The Farmers’ Market Family Cookbook by The Murdoch Books Test Kitchen

  • Full Title : The Farmers’ Market Family Cookbook: A Collection of Recipes for Local and Seasonal Produce
  • Autor: The Murdoch Books Test Kitchen
  • Print Length: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Murdoch Books
  • Publication Date: June 1, 2012
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1742663400
  • ISBN-13: 978-1742663401
  • Download File Format: epub


Everyone loves going to the farmers’ market and it’s a good feeling to know that we’re supporting our local growers and making a contribution to sustainability. We like the idea of cooking with the seasons and we want our children to learn that cooking good food from raw ingredients is fun and easy, as well as a worthwhile and healthful thing to do. This book takes the ingredients that we bring home from the market and shows ways to use them, from the breakfast special muesli to the lunchtime omelette, from the homemade salad dressing to the afternoon cookie, from the dinnertime chicken casserole to the seasonal fruit dessert. A selection of recipes have been chosen as especially suitable for small children to make, or help to make. Also included are feature panels on growing your own produce, whether it be a simple herb pot on the windowsill or a backyard veggie patch. Buying wisely and cooking well are truly an investment for life.




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ch also included two other fictional “masks” from Boris Godunov: those of the Chronicler and the Pretender. In adopting, as they suited him, all three masks and juggling them for many years, Shostakovich placed himself as a true successor to Pushkin’s and Mussorgsky’s Russian tradition of artistic dialogue and confrontation with the tsar.

So this interpretation of Shostakovich’s tortured and difficult personality seems to me more all-encompassing and, at the same time, more nuanced than the one I offered in the introduction to Testimony. It is presented here for the first time.

Over the years, Shostakovich’s views, as I faithfully recorded them in Testimony, became confused—intentionally by some, out of sloppiness by others—with my own views and positions. For example, Shostakovich’s scornful descriptions of Stalin as a total ignoramus in all matters cultural were sometimes ascribed to me. As the reader of the present book will see, I don’t share the composer’s somewhat immoderate (albeit understandable) opinions on this and some other matters. On the other hand, I’ve personally heard a music commentator declaring jovially on National Public Radio that “Shostakovich all his life called himself a yurodivy.” Hardly.

In an effort to clarify this confusion and to draw a distinguishing line between Testimony and this book, I’ve kept quotes from Testimony and from my personal conversations with Shostakovich to a minimum. But of course, everything in the present work is informed by these conversations and by the insight they afforded me into the composer’s psyche, his worldview, and his way of being.

This is why as a motto to this book I’ve adopted the humble but still proud words of the widow of poet Osip Mandelstam, Nadezhda, a contemporary of Shostakovich: “A person with inner freedom, memory, and fear is that reed, that twig that changes the direction of a rushing river.” This observation will always remind me of why Shostakovich’s life and work became of such burning importance to so many of his contemporaries.

This is a book of cultural history. Therefore, I do not engage in analysis of Shostakovich’s music, concentrating instead on the political and cultural circumstances of the Stalin era and the dictator’s relationship with the leading creative figures of the day, an area that is still insufficiently researched and understood. I describe this relationship as a shifting, mutable one, not fixed and frozen. Besides Shostakovich himself, many distinguished personalities helped me in my efforts to shed light on this period. For understanding the workings of Stalin’s cultural politics and navigating the maze of published pronouncements and documents, conversations with Anna Akhmatova, Lili Brik, Sergei Yutkevich, Viktor Shklovsky, Anatoli Rybakov, and Maya Plisetskaya were of immense value. Russian archives of Stalin’s era are still far from open, but I made full use of some recent important publications of previously classified materials.

Some rare insights into Shostakovich’s patterns and inclinations were generously given to me by Berthe Malko, Gabriel Glikman, and Yevgeny Yevtushenko and by musicians who premiered some of his greatest works—David Oistrakh, Kirill Kondrashin, Mstislav Rostropovich, Rudolf Barshai, and Yevgeny Nesterenko. I am also grateful to Kurt Sanderling, Lazar Gosman, Vladimir Ashkenazy, Yuri Temirkanov,Valery Gergiev, Mariss Jansons,Vladimir Spivakov, and Gidon Kremer for discussing with me some important aspects of the Shostakovich phenomenon. Of special significance were the opinions of composers: Georgy Sviridov, Rodion Shchedrin,Alfred Schnittke, Giya Kancheli, Alexandre Rabinovitch, and Peteris Vasks.

I am also immensely indebted to Maxim Shostakovich for sharing with me his unique knowledge of his father.

The twentieth century could be dubbed the propaganda century. Published and broadcast cultural content was wielded as a potent political weapon; words became political currency; and the gap between what was proclaimed in public and spoken in private grew greater than ever before.

Because of that, the interpretation of official Soviet documents and press is an especially intricate and delicate craft, an example of which for me was the book by Lazar Fleishman, Boris Pasternak v tridtsatye gody [Boris Pasternak in the Thirties] (Jerusalem, 1984). To Professor Fleishman, who also happens to be a childhood friend, I owe gratitude for additional advice and help, as I do to Professor Timothy L. Jackson, Professor Allan B. Ho, Dmitry Feofanov, Ian Macdonald, Dr.Vladimir Zak, and Andrei Bitov.

Many aspects of the present book were first discussed with my dear friends Grisha and Alexandra Bruskin. And my heartfelt thanks go to my wife, Marianna, who recorded and transcribed many interviews for this book. I am also very grateful to my translator, Antonina W. Bouis, with whom collaborating is always a pleasure, and to my formidable editor at Knopf, Ashbel Green, and his assistant, Luba Ostashevsky, for their unflagging support and informed help with the manuscript.


Tsars and Poets

On Wednesday, 8 September 1826, Moscow was in a whirlwind of festivities: the ancient capital of the Russian Empire was in its second month of opulent coronation celebrations. The new monarch, Nicholas I, came to Moscow from St. Petersburg after the execution of five prominent Decembrists—noblemen revolutionaries who headed the failed attempt on 14 December 1825 to stop Nicholas from ascending the throne. On 13 July 1826, Pavel Pestel, Kondratii Ryleev, Sergei Muravyev-Apostol, Mikhail Bestuzhev-Ryumin, and Petr Kakhovsky were hanged. The military governor general of St. Petersburg reported to Nicholas I: “Through the inexperience of our executioners and lack of knowledge on how to build scaffolds, at the first attempt three, to wit: Ryleev, Kakhovsky, and Muravyev, broke off, but were quickly hanged again and received their deserved death. About which I report loyally to Your Majesty.” 1 Nicholas’s mother, Maria Fedorovna, wrote in relief after the execution to one of her confidants: “Thank God, everything went peacefully, everything is all right. May God forgive the executed and may the Final Judgment be merciful with them. I thanked God on my knees. I believe that by God’s Mercy, Nicholas will reign in peace and quiet from now on.”2

For Nicholas I, the rebellion was one of the most horrible events of his life, a nightmare to which he returned frequently. He had been on the brink of defeat and humiliation then. “The most amazing thing,” the emperor would say later,“was that they did not kill me that day.” He was convinced that Providence had saved him so that he could become the head of Russia and lead the country with an iron hand down the road to law and order, victories and glory. He was truly God’s Anointed.

That September Wednesday the emperor’s schedule was tight, as usual. In the morning he and the Prince of Prussia came out onto Ivanov Square for the changing of the guard; then he received the military governor general of Moscow for his report. After that, Nicholas I met in the Kremlin with the leaders of the Moscow Assembly of the Nobility; then came several top officials with reports, including the chief of the Gendarme Corps, Alexander Benckendorff. That day, the official Moskovskie Vedomosti printed the royal decree on the establishment with Benckendorff at its head of the Third Department of His Imperial Majesty’s Personal Chancellery—the modernized version of the Russian secret police.

Among other appointments, between lunch with the Prussian prince and a ball given in honor of important foreign guests by the French ambassador at the marvelous palace of Prince Kurakin, there was an audience planned with Alexander Pushkin, a young but already nationally known poet. Nicholas I’s older brother, the late emperor Alexander I, had been very angered by Pushkin—dissolute, audacious, haughty, flooding Russia with outrageous poetry—and had exiled the poet twice, once to the south of the empire, and then to the backwaters of the countryside, to the estate of his parents in Pskov Province, under the supervision of the local authorities. Many of the arrested participants of the December uprising were found to have handwritten copies of Pushkin’s antigovernment verses in their homes. A man who had such influence over the minds of his countrymen was dangerous, and he had to be dealt with—attentively, dispassionately, but decisively and firmly.

Pushkin, who had been summoned abruptly on the tsar’s orders from his village exile to Moscow (it took four days by horse), was brought to the Kremlin after four p.m. The autocrat and the poet were meeting face to face for the first time. It was a historic moment, whose importance both men appreciated.

Pushkin’s fate hung by a thread. It was impossible to imagine two more disparate people: Pushkin, short, unattractive, but with an animated and expressive face, curly-haired and dusky (a reminder of his African heritage), never known for the elegance of his dress and now in rumpled and dusty traveling clothes, unshaven and chilled, stood before the tall, handsome, broad-chested emperor, only three years his senior, with an aquiline profile, always regal in bearing and most observant of people’s appearance and elegance. Their clash seemed inevitable.

But just the contrary occurred. After a long tête-à-tête, the tsar and the poet emerged from the office, and there were tears in Pushkin’s eyes—the poet was touched, profoundly agitated and happy. In his turn, Nicholas I came to the conclusion that Pushkin was “the wisest man in Russia.”3 Now he called him “my Pushkin.”

What did they talk about? It began with the tsar’s question: “What would you have done if you had been in St. Petersburg on December 14?”

“I would have stood in the ranks of the rebels,” Pushkin replied without hesitation. Those words could have been fatal for the poet. But Pushkin’s intuition had suggested the right path: Nicholas I valued direct and honest people. His respect for Pushkin grew even greater when in response to the tsar’s question if his thinking had changed and he would give his word to act differently now, the poet vacillated. Only after a long silence did he extend his hand to the emperor and promise “to change.”

As a contemporary of Pushkin’s wrote enviously, “His intelligent, frank, and respectfully bold speech pleased the Sovereign. He is permitted to live where he wants and publish what he wants. The Tsar has taken on being his censor with the condition that he not abuse this gift of total freedom and remain to the end of his life under the personal patronage of the Tsar.” 4

All of Moscow learned instantly about this significant meeting. A secret agent of the Third Department related in a special report that “everyone is sincerely happy over the Emperor’s generosity and benevolence, which, without a doubt, will have the happiest consequences for Russian literature.” 5 If Pushkin had only known how ungenerous Nicholas I would be, how little benevolence he would show for “the wisest man in Russia,” how picky, rancorous, envious of another’s fame, indifferent to Pushkin’s poetry, manipulative, and cruel he would prove to be in the coming years! In other words, he was a politician, a real politician, for whom culture was merely a way of achieving his goals, and an unreliable and suspect way at that. Pushkin was killed in a duel, and Nicholas I will always be blamed for it. The poet’s funeral was organized under strict official supervision. At the church services there were reportedly more gendarmes and police than mourners. The farewell to Pushkin was turned into a state farce. But who could have guessed that in the festive, joyous Moscow of 1826? The death of the hounded and lonely Pushkin was a little more than ten years away.

One hundred seventeen years later, in the fall of 1943, Moscow was a completely different city—not a “porphyry-bearing widow,” as Pushkin once called it, but a real capital of a mighty state, albeit without a too close resemblance to the model empire that Nicholas I, the “Don Quixote of autocracy,” had imagined. In 1918, after a hiatus of over two hundred years, the government was moved back to the Kremlin by the Bolshevik leader Vladimir Lenin, and his heir, Joseph Stalin, made it the symbol of his power: It was no longer an exotic background for sumptuous coronations, but a brain center of an enormous and dynamic country.

What a leap, and what irony of fate! The Moscow in which Nicholas I received Pushkin appeared festive and filled with myriad lights. Stalin’s Moscow of 1943 was a military city—sparsely populated, hungry, dimmed, and grim. But there was something in common between the two Moscows—first of all, in the psychology of the two leaders. Both Nicholas I and Stalin had lived through a terrible crisis: their greatest fright, which they may have never fully gotten over. For Nicholas I, it was the Decembrist rebellion; for Stalin, the real threat of defeat in the war with Adolf Hitler’s Germany.

The war had begun on the night of 22 June 1941, when Nazi troops invaded the Soviet Union and in a few days drove the Red Army to the brink of catastrophe. The Germans moved on inexorably over a huge space—from the Baltic Sea to the Black Sea. Stalin was in despair. Rarely losing self-control, in a fit of rage he shouted angrily at his terrified comrades,“Lenin created our state, and we’ve shitted it away!”6

In October the Germans were outside Moscow, and the capital could fall at any moment. On 16 October panic spread through the city, which many years later theater director Yuri Lyubimov described to me this way: “They were burning documents, black snow flew, as in Mikhail Bulgakov . . . It was a scene out of the Apocalypse. ”7 The most important ministries and institutions were hastily evacuated from Moscow, including the Bolshoi Theater; a special plane awaited Stalin to move him to Kuibyshev, deep inland. But Stalin remained in the capital. Like Nicholas I, he knew the importance of personal example.

In the confrontation with the Decembrists, Nicholas I managed to turn the tide in large part due to his cool demeanor. At first stunned in the face of advancing disaster, Stalin also managed to demonstrate the determination and ruthlessness necessary for organizing resistance. Soviet soldiers attacked the enemy with cries of “For the Homeland! For Stalin!” A miracle occurred and the Germans were repelled from Moscow. But the real break in the war took place in early 1943, after the defeat of the Germans at Stalingrad, a strategically important city on the Volga, which Stalin in private conversation to the end of his life insisted on calling by its old name, Tsaritsyn.

The Battle of Stalingrad took on legendary status in the annals of modern military history. After it, as many people who knew Stalin well recalled, the Soviet leader, despite the exhausting stress of running the country (he spent sixteen hours and more at his desk every day), looked rested. Stalin’s shoulders straightened, and he smiled and joked more frequently.

Stalin knew that the Soviet Union not only was saved but would become, after the successful end of the war, one of the world’s superpowers. The time had come to decide on the appropriate imperial symbols. Uniforms were introduced for railroad workers and lawyers; Soviet diplomats were ordered to wear on solemn occasions black suits with silver shoulder boards and gold trim on lapels and cuffs. People quietly joked in Moscow that soon even poets would be put in uniform, with one, two, or three lyres on their shoulders to show their rank.

Since the revolution, the anthem of Bolshevik Russia had been the French “Internationale.” Now Stalin decided that the Soviet Union needed a new state anthem, more in keeping with the circumstances and the change in political ambitions. A special state commission, headed by Marshal Kliment Voroshilov (who liked music and had a small but pleasant tenor), announced a competition, for which a lot of money was appropriated. Hundreds of proposals were sent by contestants, who included the country’s best-known poets: Demyan Bedny, Mikhail Isakovsky, Nikolai Tikhonov, Mikhail Svetlov, and Yevgeny Dolmatovsky. The list of composers had the names of Sergei Prokofiev, Shostakovich, and Aram Khachaturian.

In late autumn 1943, Stalin, who kept a close eye over the proceedings, selected one poem out of all the proposals, written by two young poets—the Russian Sergei Mikhalkov and the Armenian Gabriel Ureklyan (who was published under the pseudonym El-Registan). All the composers were asked to set the words, painstakingly edited by Stalin himself, to music. (Not many people knew then that Stalin, as a sixteen-year-old seminarian, published in the Tiflis newspapers several poems, as naïve as could be expected at his age, but sincere and passionate.)

The final round of the competition for the anthem was held at the Bolshoi Theater, whose musicians by then had returned from evacuation in Kuibyshev. Stalin and other Politburo members were present. Each anthem was heard sung by a chorus (the Red Army Ensemble of Song and Dance under the direction of a Stalin favorite, composer Alexander Alexandrov, who had several titles—professor at the Moscow Conservatory and major general in the army, as well as People’s Artist of the USSR), then played by the orchestra of the Bolshoi, and, finally, performed by both chorus with soloists and orchestra. Besides the competing anthems, for the sake of comparison several others were played: the “Internationale,” the “Marseillaise,” “God Save the King,” and—most intriguingly—the strictly banned symbol of prerevolutionary Russia, “God Save the Tsar,” the anthem written in 1833 at the personal request of Nicholas I by Alexei Lvov, a former aide-de-camp of Benckendorff and future general and director of the Court Cappella Choir.

Shostakovich and Khachaturian sat in the empty auditorium; their anthems had made it to the final round. They were tense, and the crimson and gilt of the recently renovated theater (damaged by German bombing at the beginning of the war) did not improve their mood. Shostakovich nervously stared at the restored ceiling, which depicted the nine muses with Apollo soaring in a blue sky. He later recalled that he had thought grimly,“I hope they accept my anthem. It would guarantee that I won’t be arrested.” 8

The Bolshoi was truly an imperial theater, erected in 1856 from plans approved by Nicholas I. Stalin loved being there, missing almost no premieres in either opera or ballet. He attended some productions, primarily Russian classics, many times. He avoided appearing in the center box, formerly called the Tsar’s Box. Not too many people knew that Stalin sat behind a curtain in box A, to the left, directly above the orchestra pit. That box was armored, in case of an assassination attempt. No one ever knew exactly when Stalin would come to the Bolshoi, but the performers could easily guess: That day General Nikolai Vlasik, the head of Stalin’s personal bodyguards, would come to the theater accompanied by dandified aides-de-camp. In preparation for Stalin’s visit, he walked around, greeting no one, giving the shivering staff a hard, suspicious look as he checked every nook and cranny of the theater.

During the performance the hall and the wings were filled with bodyguards in civilian dress. The frightened artists threw themselves onstage as if into an icy river. One singer in Tchaikovsky’s Queen of Spades, aware that Stalin was in attendance, hit a wrong note. Stalin knew Queen of Spades well. He called in the Bolshoi director for an explanation. When the man practically crawled into the box, Stalin asked: “Does that singer have any honorary titles?”

“He is a People’s


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