Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Sour Cream Delight

Mrs. Beaver:

The title of this post sounds like the name of recipe.

Instead, sour cream delight describes an emotional state. Sour cream delight is what Daria recently experienced when confusion in multiple-team grocery shopping for our large family resulted in much more sour cream being purchased than we intended.

Daria's reaction to our large sour cream purchase was down-right silly. However, those tubs represent something more than silliness to her new parents. To the two of us, they represent God's unfathomable goodness.

You see, the Lord has placed in our midst a teenager who loves to cook. For Daria, the act of cooking dishes that remind her of her motherland is good "therapy." Her adjustment to a new family, new country, new language, and new culture has gone remarkably smoothly. Just twelve weeks into all these adjustments, she is happy and content. We believe her skill in the kitchen and her desire to spend time there is contributing to her sense of well being. Her cooking is a great way for her to pass time during this season where she's still just beginning to communicate in English. Daria is also just starting to build friendships outside the family. She has few time commitments beyond her home school curriculum.

However, it isn't just Daria who benefits when she gets creative in the kitchen. She's a good cook. Her efforts in the kitchen are delicious, but they're also a genuine contribution to keeping our family of 14 running smoothly. She's even able to cook in massive quantities. Daria isn't a bit daunted by feeding a small army.

Because of the language barrier, we don't yet understand how she learned her culinary skills. But one thing we do understand is that she has been blessed by the way God wired her, and we have been blessed by the way God wired her. She's a perfect fit for our family!

We made what seemed to us like a radical decision when we began the adoption process yet again a little over a year ago. We decided to add a girl in her mid teens. Little did we know that our God had gone before us to prepare a youth who, while perfectly suited to our family's needs, would also adjust well while lovingly helping out. Our vision for God's goodness was way too small!

Sour cream is a comfort food for this former orphan who's has been cooking up a storm in our kitchen since we adopted her from Russia in late November. Whether it's a fruit salad, a vegetable salad, a main dish or a sweet, sour cream seems to find it's way into every dish. We've wondered whether sour cream is common in dishes across the enormous country of Russia, or if, perhaps, it's more of a regional favorite, like collard greens or grits are in the southern part of America.

It doesn't really matter. The future is rosy. Daria is happy working in our kitchen. The rest of us enjoy and benefit from her skill. I'll continue to purchase sour cream, and I'll continue to thank God for the daughter I already love so very much who loves to cook.

Daria with blini--delicious Russian
pancakes similar to thick crepes 


Natalie said...

Sour cream is definitely a staple wherever you go in Russia! A lot of Russians will even straight from the container..........I've seen it with my own eyes!!

Those bleenies look great. I've actually been wanting to learn how to make them since I've never made them before.

Our Family said...

I have a teen who would be honored to coach you in bleenie making the next time your in town, Natalie!

Thanks for the info about the Russian love of sour cream. We so appreciate that you can offer us some perspective on things we wonder about in Russian culture since you've lived there for so many years now.

Much love to all four of you,

Jamie and Marcos said...

Those Bleenie's look delicious! We have tried to watch videos on cooking them. What kind of pan or skillet does she use? Mine become small a little fat and look much more like a pancake ( :
Love Jamie

WhiteStone said...

I remember a coffee cake from my childhood. My grandmother spread sour cream and sugar on the dough (was it bread dough?) before baking. That set the standard for coffee cake for me and none other tastes as good as Gramma's did.

strvn2plsHM said...

It is her culture and Europe. Most dishes that we eat have sour cream in them, in Hungary!! Even their desserts have sour cream and are not near as sweet as American desserts. The love sour cream more than sugar ~ and that is a blessing :) Enjoy her skills. Food is an art here and God has blessed her with a wonderful gift!!

strvn2plsHM said...

She comes by that honestly! It is part of the culture in Europe. Almost every dish we eat, here in Hungary, has sour cream in it. (As well, as other surrounding countries.) Enjoy her God-given gift!! Food is considered an art here. Even desserts have sour cream in them and not much sugar. We are enjoying the sweets not being SOO sweet, like in America.

MacMeister said...

Was it low fat or fat free sour cream? ;-)

Whatever it may be it's making me hungry!