Today: If you ever needed an excuse to serve peasant food at a dinner party, this is it.
I hear you over there, moaning. Oy, it's so cold. Oy, it snowed again. Oy, my socks are soaked through. Oy, Mercury is in retrograde and I fell face-first into a pile of slush, and not one person -- not one! -- stopped to help me.
If you needed an excuse to serve peasant food to your guests at a dinner party, you've got it.
Call it a Sochi-themed dinner party. Stew some cabbage and meat, boil some potatoes, roll up some blintzes, and take some shots of vodka. Turn on the Games, and watch some ice dancing. If you're not warmed up -- and cheered up! -- by the end of the night, I will personally ship you to Siberia.
The night before: Make your cabbage soup, start to finish; it will be dramatically better when you make it this far ahead. Stick it in the fridge; you'll heat it up and adjust the seasoning before the party. If you want to get everything out of the way, you can make your potato salad now, too.
When you get home from work: Make sure your vodka is in the freezer. If you haven't made the potato salad yet, do it now; it'll need time to cool down before the party. Make the filling and the batter for your blintzes, and keep them in the fridge.
Party time: Get that vodka flowing! Turn on the Games and put on some klezmer. Get your soup back on the stove, and reheat it gently. Taste and adjust seasoning. When it's ready and everyone's tipsy, get everyone seated. Dinner is served.
When it's time for dessert: Head into the kitchen, and make the pancakes for your blintzes. Take them out to the party, along with the filling; make everyone roll their own. Crisp them all up on the stove, then serve -- and don't worry if they're messy.
This article originally appeared on Food52.com: A Russian Peasant Party