We dined on ham in hay, drank fermented rye liquid, jumped over fires built of candles and searched for a non-existent flowering plant…
Our secret Baltic Midsummer Brunchclub has gone well.
The idea (on which you can read more here) was to celebrate this ancient, pagan festival of summer solstice – known as Jaanipaev in Estonia or Ivan Kupala in Russia. And so I wanted to cook up dishes either associated with this time of the year (end of the farming cycle, collection of hay) or with the Baltic region, then get traditionally tipsy and dance khorovods. well, almost.
I had planned a couple of naughty rituals for people to follow – well, not that naughty, although some guests were quite up for all sorts! But the great British weather has interfered, of course, and so we settled on more salubrious jumping over fire and looking for (a phantom) flowering fern.
For the next couple of weeks I’ll be posting recipes of the dishes I made for this Baltic-Nordic-Russian brunch/dinner, but here’s the menu that 13 (yes, 13) lucky guests were sampling:
My Baltic Midsummer Brunch
Vodka and elderflower cocktail
Poached eggs lashed with dill hollandaise
My own Borodinsky bread
Ham baked in hay
Cucumber and dill salad
Sea buckthorn cheesecake
Kama truffles with Old Tallinn tipple…
Which recipe should I start with, my dear reader?