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Russian MIL visiting - Page 3

post #41 of 91
Quote:
Originally Posted by lietuvama View Post
try as i might, so times i really feel like im living in a foreign country... go figure! The question for me is this, should i obey the 'when in Rome" idea, or should i show them who i really am everyone try an understand each other? Does this change when they come to my house as opposed to when i am in there house?
Some of each!
post #42 of 91
Quote:
Originally Posted by mtiger View Post
Uumm... OP said she's coming in Feb... for three months. So she may well be here for Pascha, let alone Great Lent. Just sayin'.
That's what I get for reading on the fly!
post #43 of 91
Quote:
Originally Posted by MittensKittens View Post
It's funny to hear that there are so many similarities. How about this one? It always makes me laugh. In Serbia, you are never allowed to put your handbag on the floor, because this will make you go bankrupt. Have you heard about this?
Funny, I've been told that by my mother (who was told that by her Eastern European co-workers)...gotta love living in a multi-cultural country! Now I NEVER leave my purse on the floor!
post #44 of 91
Oh, yeah, and on this line- Don't whistle indoors! You whistle your money away!

Never mind that if you apply a little logic and experience (people in Russia never whistle indoors, people in Manhattan and Los Angeles often do) you run into serious problems with these "money" tales...
post #45 of 91
OP, are you all set and ready for your MIL's visit?
post #46 of 91
Thread Starter 
Oh my. I forgot to go back and check on the thread...
Thank you so much to all of you who responded. I feel like I know what to expect and how to deal a little better now.
post #47 of 91
What an interesting thread!! My MIL is from India so I know nothing about Russian culture. I just wanted to give some general advice to expect nothing from her. Just go with the flow as much as you can and realize she's probably doing the same from her perspective. Also, try to make her feel needed. It will make her feel more welcome and less of a burden in your home, and you can maybe get some well-needed help from another woman (if she's that type to want to help with things). Ask her for cooking lessons. My SIL helped me organize my kitchen while she was here.
post #48 of 91

Gran

Hello,
I just wanted to say that my grandmother was russian and I remember she used to sing to me. She sang to me all the time and I loved it.

She will be different because she is a different person from a different place. But she will love you and the baby and the food and hopefully she will sing.

Take a deep breath and enjoy yourself.
post #49 of 91
Thread Starter 

she's here...

and doing all the things that everyone predicted!
making me bundle up in 65 degree weather.
And singing:0)
So far not too bad.
post #50 of 91
Isn't it funny how much we are shaped by our environment and culture? Good luck and to you both.
post #51 of 91
Make sure your fridge is full of the essentials:

POTATOES, lots of them. Yukon or so=not red.

Dries mushrooms- no ladies, not for when you need a break, but for her to cook with

Sour cream- she will be happy to have something that resembles "smetana"- it's used on everything. Whether on blinys or Borsch- Sour cream is IMPORTANT.

Good loose leaf tea- Darjeeling or something. None of those pesky earl grey tea bag stuff- after all, that's just "leftovers from the factory".

Honey, nice golden honey. Always good for tea. Rasberry preserves to go along with it.

Or look up the ingredients for "borsch" (red beet soup with cabbage- different than the jewish New York Borsch)- and ask her to cook you some soup. I am sure your DH would love some too....

Some sourdough bread, basic cheese and butter. But again, depending on how old she is and where she comes from she might not be a babushka in house clothes and slippers but more fancy and modern than us...

Take her to the grocery store with, show her around, ask what groceries she would like and aside just repeat to yourself "it's just visit"...

And ditto on the "draft"= I know my mother would double over from a heart attack if she knew my son drinks something RIGHT OUT OF THE FRIDGE. Because that's how sore throats happen. Oh, if you run around after a shower with wet hair- be prepared for comments because that's also how you get sick.
Ditto to slippers, veeeery important- I remember being nagged to pieces about "house shoes". (my mom is Ukrainian)

Oh, ask her what she would like to do on "Pascha", and check on what date the "orthodox easter" falls. Maybe she would a "Pascha"- the italian "Pannetone" sold here is kind of in that direction. Close to fruit cake and gets eaten buttered and with tea. Maybe she'd like to hang some plastic eggs.
post #52 of 91
Quote:
Originally Posted by In Exile View Post
And ditto on the "draft"= I know my mother would double over from a heart attack if she knew my son drinks something RIGHT OUT OF THE FRIDGE. Because that's how sore throats happen. Oh, if you run around after a shower with wet hair- be prepared for comments because that's also how you get sick.
Ditto to slippers, veeeery important- I remember being nagged to pieces about "house shoes". (my mom is Ukrainian)
Gosh, after reading this thread, I'm starting to wonder if my mom's secretly really from Russia. lol
post #53 of 91
Quote:
Originally Posted by LoMaH View Post
Gosh, after reading this thread, I'm starting to wonder if my mom's secretly really from Russia. lol
:
Well my grandmother..
House shoes, slippers, my DD is never bundled enough, no wet hair.
She is hungarian so maybe they are very similar?
post #54 of 91
Quote:
Oh, ask her what she would like to do on "Pascha", and check on what date the "orthodox easter" falls
Actually, isn't is still maslenitsa? Have her make blini!
post #55 of 91
Well if our Mardi Gras was just yesterday or something, it must still be maslenitsa, because they are what, two weeks or three weeks behind?
post #56 of 91
Quote:
Originally Posted by In Exile View Post
And ditto on the "draft"= I know my mother would double over from a heart attack if she knew my son drinks something RIGHT OUT OF THE FRIDGE. Because that's how sore throats happen. Oh, if you run around after a shower with wet hair- be prepared for comments because that's also how you get sick.
Ditto to slippers, veeeery important- I remember being nagged to pieces about "house shoes". (my mom is Ukrainian)
Oh yeah, the hair!

OP, I hope you will survive the visit!
post #57 of 91
Quote:
Originally Posted by EVC View Post
Actually, isn't is still maslenitsa? Have her make blini!
Yes, it is. Our Lent starts on Monday the 2nd, with our Easter a week after Western Easter this year. The next two years we're actually on the same date (which is REALLY odd). The timing varies year to year... it can be a month or two apart, then converges to the same date, then goes back out again,

But yes - you can still have blini until Monday.

We had ours this past weekend. Invited a bunch of "western" friends and had an absolute ball with it.
post #58 of 91
Quote:
Originally Posted by In Exile View Post
Maybe she would a "Pascha"- the italian "Pannetone" sold here is kind of in that direction. Close to fruit cake and gets eaten buttered and with tea. Maybe she'd like to hang some plastic eggs.
OMG, no. No. No. No. And No again. Pascha is NOTHING like Pannetone! Pascha is more like cheesecake filling, formed in the shape of a flat-topped pyramid!

What you are thinking of is Kulich. Similar consistency, different flavor. Totally. Usually cylindrical (we use coffee cans as forms), iced on top decorated with a XB.

If anyone needs either recipe, I'd be happy to share. We've used the same one since at least when my grandmother was a girl. So we're talking at least over 100 years.
post #59 of 91
Quote:
Originally Posted by EVC View Post
Russians I guess tend to disentangle their emotions more--they smile when they are happy, yell or frown when they are mad, cry or sulk when they are sad, look nervous when they feel awkward, etc. Thinking of it now, I think that might be part of the myth of the "Russian soul"--more vivid and accurate expression of emotion, whereas our emotions sometimes appear "watered down" because we smile and say we are fine.
Ya know, I think you just hit the nail on the head for explaining why DH and I have some serious problems communicating emotions. I'm very Russian and he's very American in this department.

Quote:
Originally Posted by EVC View Post
And, darn it, many European languages (including Russian) have "good day" as a standard greeting
Actually, the literal translation is "peaceful day", and it is intended as a wish for the other person, like saying "Have a great day!"

Quote:
Originally Posted by EdnaMarie View Post
Well if our Mardi Gras was just yesterday or something, it must still be maslenitsa, because they are what, two weeks or three weeks behind?
It changes every year. This year it's one week behind Western.

And Paskha is a cheesecake like dish, with Kulich being the bread. I know in some E. European countries, paskha is the bread, though. If you ask her to make blini or kulich, don't be surprised if she's not familiar with dry yeast. You may have to explain it to her - in Russia I've only ever seen yeast cakes.

Something I didn't see mentioned is that babushkas tend to be all about the food. Culturally the mother figure feeds everyone. Even delivery people would be invited into the kitchen for a "snack" - which would be about what we would consider lunch. And they would constantly be offering other things - have some jam, have some more butter, have some more bread, have some potatoes, have some pickles, etc. I actually asked about this once because it seemed really weird to me and I was told that it's considered good manners to encourage the guests to eat their fill. Granted in this instance she is the guest, but if you play your cards right and make her feel at home, don't be surprised if she takes over the kitchen.

And definitely ask her to show you how to make her favorite dishes. Recipes are practically unheard of except for specialty items like paskha or kulich, so you're probably going to have to take notes. For everyday foods, it's a pinch of this, a little of that.

I don't know where you're located, OP, but if you're anywhere near a big city, check out if there's a Russian/European deli, there are some ingredients that just aren't the same here. Rye (black) bread, sour cream, mayo and pickles are the biggies that come to mind.
post #60 of 91
Quote:
Originally Posted by mtiger View Post
OMG, no. No. No. No. And No again. Pascha is NOTHING like Pannetone! Pascha is more like cheesecake filling, formed in the shape of a flat-topped pyramid!

What you are thinking of is Kulich. Similar consistency, different flavor. Totally. Usually cylindrical (we use coffee cans as forms), iced on top decorated with a XB.

If anyone needs either recipe, I'd be happy to share. We've used the same one since at least when my grandmother was a girl. So we're talking at least over 100 years.
Hm, all my ukrainian relatives were kind of supporting my view. I honestly know it as that all my life. Maybe there are local differences in view?
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