- I love rolls, buns, loaves and muffins! I love bread, and cake, and cakes, and gingerbread, even Tula, even honey, even glazed. I like sushki too, and bagels, bagels, pies with meat, jam, cabbage and rice.
I passionately love dumplings, and especially cheesecakes, if they are fresh, but stale, too, nothing. You can oatmeal cookies and vanilla crackers.
And I also love sprats, saury, marinated pike perch, gobies in tomato, a piece in my own juice, eggplant caviar, slices of zucchini and fried potatoes ...
Oh yes! I love ice cream with all my heart. For seven, for nine. Thirteen, fifteen, nineteen. For twenty-two and twenty-eight. "
Victor Dragunsky. What Bear Loves
Memories of the past. After material with my memories of how people ate during the USSR many of the site visitors complained: it's a pity that everything is over! .. And one even wrote that he had specially prepared illustrations for his future comments. Well, I dare not deceive their hopes. Here is the continuation of this material. And to all those who believe that this is not exactly a military topic, I will answer that a hungry soldier will not fight much, that a mother who has not received a varied and healthy diet will not give birth to a healthy child and a healthy soldier will not feed, that iodine deficiency, and he has us in Russia is typical for many regions and population groups, leads to mental retardation, as well as damage to the pituitary gland in childhood by radiation, and passive smoking in the absence of a sufficiently large amount of citrus in the child's diet is doubly dangerous! So the food problem is strategically very important. Moreover, paraphrasing a well-known proverb, we can reasonably assert: tell me what you eat, and I will tell you who you are! Last time we stopped somewhere in 1970 ... Today the story will start in 1972, when, after graduating from a special school with English, I entered to study at the Penza Pedagogical Institute. V. G. Belinsky on the specialty "History and English ”. But what kind of photos should I use for this material? I thought and decided: with photographs of various delicious dishes that everyone can cook today. Simple, affordable and delicious. Last checked!
Many here in the comments recalled what they ate during their student years. But I don't remember this at all. There was a student cafeteria, there was a traditional mashed potatoes with a cutlet, and, of course, cheesecakes and pies, but I did not remember whether all this was tasty. I had to study and take care of the girls, because there were many of them, and I was alone. By this time, my mother had married Pyotr Shpakovsky for the second time and left for Rostov, and at home I was left with a silent grandfather for many years and a grandmother who was periodically hospitalized due to problems with unhealthy nutrition: strong broths, cabbage soup with pork, strong transparent ear ... All this did not add health to her (and to me too). In general, everything was like in the operetta "Princess of the Circus": "I'm tired of basking in someone else's fire, but where is the heart that will love me." And my stepfather advised me how best to find a life partner. Besides the fact that she must be beautiful, charming and smart ... Look, he said, as a woman chews food, and you will not make a mistake! She should not rummage in a plate and pick food, and her appetite should be good, but she should not overeat at dinner. While eating, she must hold a fork in her left hand and a knife in her right. Look also at her mother: the daughter repeats her "dimensions" in old age. Close your eyes and listen to her voice: it does not change with old age (although everything else changes!), And if you are not too pleased to listen to it now, what will happen next? Her gait should be light, her calves should be graceful, and (very important) she should be able to cook well. Everything else will follow.
And, I must say, the advice he gave me was very useful. Using them, I found myself a life companion, with whom I have been living for 46 years, and over all these years I have never thought that I was wrong with my choice. Including the kitchen! We got married after the second year, in the summer of 1974, and immediately began to run the household ourselves and ... for the first time went together to buy groceries in a nearby cooperative store. That is why I remember this day especially well, as well as everything that we saw that time in this store.
There was a fresh vegetable section, and it contained boxes of hideous-looking potatoes mixed with earth, and equally dirty carrots. There was a bow, but small. There were also pickled green tomatoes and salted herring in a barrel. On the shelves are three-liter jars of tomato, apple, pear and birch juice, as well as pickled squash and cucumbers, traditional for all Soviet stores of that time. All these containers were covered with dust. In my opinion, nobody bought them then.
In the dairy section, there was draft milk, milk in bottles, milk in paper triangular bags. Sour cream weighed out and in jars. Mayonnaise "Provencal" and "Spring" (with dill). Butter by weight, in packs, and of two types: "just butter" and "chocolate". The cheeses were presented by "Rossiyskiy", "Poshekhonskiy", "Gollandskiy" and "Smoked". There were also three types of processed curd cheeses, snacks for drunkards: "City", "Friendship" and some other. These are in a package made of "silver paper". Processed cheese “Yantar” has already appeared in plastic jars, we bought it quite often. There were loose cottage cheese and "curd mass", as well as curd snacks with raisins (very fresh and tasty).
Sausages were as follows: "Doctor", "Amateur" (interspersed with bacon), "Livernaya" (somehow bought, did not like it), and also half-smoked "Krakowska", and fat, like a pig, in a natural casing - "Armavir" ... There were sausages, but there were no sausages at all in any of the Penza stores. There are also two types of bacon: lard-bacon "Hungarian", sprinkled with red pepper, and "just" lard, sprinkled with black pepper. And then there was "Tambov gammon" - the most tender ham "with a tear." There were also a lot of sweets, but ... there was no "Bird's milk". This is only from Moscow. But my favorite truffles were, there were filled chocolate bars, there was coffee beans and elephant tea. There was no meat. After him I had to go to the city center in the "Myasnaya Passage", where I went with my grandmother and all the subtleties of his choice and purchase comprehended. There was also a market nearby, where a chicken cost ... only 3 rubles, well, 3,50, if it's really big. And they also sold meat of rabbits and nutria, tasty and, in comparison with rabbits, very large "animals" - "marsh beavers". Now in Penza they are no longer sold, but in Pyatigorsk, Yeisk and Taman in the markets I came across them quite recently.
So, as you can see, the assortment of products in 1972 in an ordinary store in an ordinary city was very good. Allowed, in general, to eat tasty and varied. Meat delicacies were also periodically “thrown away”: “neck”, “carbonade”. It was bad with the fish. There was plenty of hake. There was herring in barrels, but, let's say, of the second grade. In 1972, my stepfather called me to Moscow, where he worked in the archives of the Moscow Region, and lived in the Rossiya Hotel. There, sausages and steamed sturgeon were served right in the room, but ... it was impossible for an ordinary citizen to get a job there in principle.
But let's go back, however, to 1974. My wife and I returned home from the store, began to cook dinner and ... immediately for the first time and had a fight. And because of the food! We were going to cook soup, so my wife demanded that I fry onions and carrots with it. "What for? And so it will do! " - “No, it won't! It's tastier this way ... "-" I won't! We don’t do it like that… ”Word for word, well, it went. They were young, hot as gunpowder. As a result, an interesting thing turned out that in my family of teachers, and even my mother, Ph.D., associate professor, all my life that I remembered, they had cooked incorrectly. Meat, vegetables, roots - they were all poured into a saucepan at once, put on the fire and ... my grandfather sat, cooked "it" for two hours. Meat with vegetables! It turned out to be "fucking", as my young wife told me, but I didn't know that! And here on Proletarskaya Street they cooked like that in all the families that I knew. But we had the book "On tasty and healthy food" and "Schoolchildren's nutrition", and I read them, but ... I did not do that! This is the inertial force of human thinking. So, when, contrary to the obviousness, here on "VO", some say "haircut", when in fact "shaved", I am not at all surprised. They really see so, think so, and it is completely useless to convince them.
That time I had enough to admit that my wife was right, and the soup really turned out to be tastier. I must say that the “Gifts of Nature” store opened in Penza was a great help for our young family in those years. In addition to expensive nuts and traditional birch sap, in winter they sold ptarmigan and quail, though not plucked, in feathers. A partridge cost 1 ruble, and a quail - 50 kopecks. Three partridges - three soups or two main courses for our family of three, because a year later we already had a daughter, and she was growing very quickly. Then the children's kitchen also helped a lot (we were lucky, it was located not far from our house!), Where we received mixtures of "V-oats", "V-kefir", "Delicious curd", although sometimes we had to stand in line. But ... then there was not so much any baby food as it is now. By the way, this children's kitchen still works for us today, but our granddaughter, who was born in 2002, found it unnecessary. Everything you need can be bought at the pharmacy and grocery stores. But then, I repeat, in the 70s, it was a very important help in baby food.
Neither in 1975, nor in 1976, nor in 1977, when we graduated from the university and went to teach in the countryside, did we notice a particular deterioration in the range of products. Poverty, and frank, greeted us a rural grocery store. So my fellow teachers even asked me to bring a pack of butter from the city, and I brought it. But during the three years that we spent there, the situation has changed dramatically.
Jars of juices remained, cucumbers and squash remained, but everything else was now "thrown away" at about five o'clock, when workers walked home from the factory. And then our people found a way out! Grandmothers from all the houses that stood around the store, at 5-6 o'clock in the morning (!) Went to him, took a queue, and stood there, alternately replacing each other. The windows of my apartment overlooked exactly this store and this line. So it was very easy for us to control the process of standing. The queue was small, but by five o'clock it magically increased tenfold: their children, grandchildren, relatives, friends of relatives and relatives of friends were attached to the grandmothers, so when the store opened and began to "give" butter in packs to the poor going from the factory the workers could only join the huge queue, which they did, loudly cursing the old women and others like them standing in front of them.
And you could understand them. Only from our family, five people stood in line, and if they "gave" two packs of butter, then ... we bought 10 of them and immediately ran back to the back of the line for a new batch. Sometimes the oil was obtained a second time! And the situation, at least in our country in Penza, was getting worse and worse until 1985, when with the coming to power of M. Gorbachev appeared, no, not food, but at least hope for improvement. Well, what happened next will be told next time.
To be continued ...
P. S. "Recipe from the cook." One of my favorite Italian recipes, which, by the way, I love very much: Tuscan Gourmet Sauce. Cut a pound of peeled zucchini into cubes and simmer in a glass of water in a frying pan until the water boils away. Salt. How to prepare - add butter, two cubes with a walnut. Cool, put in a blender, add 15 green basil leaves (you can also purple - checked!) And "blend" until a uniform mass. Salt if necessary. You can spread on bruschetta bread, hot and cold, put on pasta and just eat this sauce with spoons along with the sausage! Do it to your wives and they will admire you!