Teaches More Than Cooking
Last month, Emmy and Fletcher attended Campbell’s Cooking Class. The two of them made a scrumptious candlelight dinner for their parents featuring beef stroganoff as the main course followed by bananas flambé for dessert. Go to the index page for Campbell’s Cooking Class where you can see a video of their production fit for royalty.
Not only did Emmy and Fletcher absorbed many decades of my teaching experience and my compendium of culinary insights, they also learned invaluable history lessons having to do with beef stroganoff. Even though Donald the Dumb has gotten into trouble with his connection with Putin, my history lesson predates Trump and his ties to the Kremlin by two centuries.
After my history lesson, Emmy and Fletcher now know more than Donald the Dumb about Russian history. My next lecture into cooking will deal with recipes by Rasputin, the mad mystical monk for the royal family of Tsar Nicholas II. Interestingly, Rasputin was poisoned by someone else’s cooking entre, which occurred just prior to the Russian Revolution. However, that must wait until their next class.
However, Count Pavel Aleksandrovich Stroganoff was a Russian aristocrat. The Stroganoff family date back in Russian history before the time of Ivan the Terrible, who reigned from 1530-1584. The Stroganoff family was making millions of rubles from salt mines, trading, and land acquisitions. However, when Ivan the Terrible became tsar, Anika Fedorovich Stroganov, the first matriarch of the Stroganoff family essentially took over Siberia and linked up with Ivan the Terrible. She gave Ivan the Terrible Siberia, and Ivan allowed the Stroganoff’s to rule Siberia.
Count Pavel Stroganoff (1774-1817) came along later as a part of Russian aristocracy. Interestingly, he wasn’t born in Russia but in Paris, France. The Russian aristocracy got rich in Russia but spent their wealth in Europe. Count Pavel Stroganoff was a general in the Napoleonic Wars where he earned the St. George Cross.
The Russian aristocrats would hire French chefs but insisted upon having recipes that harkened back to their Russian heritage. Count Stroganoff told his chef to make up a recipe, which the French chef named after the count. Tragically, the count died due to tuberculosis when he was only 43-years old.
Emmy and Fletcher seemed somewhat interested in my history lecture, but, in reality, they were far more interested in creating beef stroganoff than knowing much about the meal’s namesake.
Being Scottish, I have substituted lamb for beef, which is also excellent.
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