Well, let me dig out the book, then!
Let’s see… Pile six… Level seven.. strata… b? No.. c.. Here we go!
*cradles the black binder*
This is my most treasured possession. A copy of my mother’s cookbook. Initially started by her when she maried my father, it is a compilation of tried and tested recipies. I must say, my mother was a horrible cook. It is actually on record that she burnt water (we have fairly hard water here). However, she knew we deserved good food, and so she made a recipie book of things she *could* make. And would practice them. We had many wonderful dinners from the words in this book.
Now then.. Borscht For Thirty.
5 - 6 large beets with leafy tops
1 large onion
10 cups water
10 chicken bouillon cubes
1 large potato
8 - 10 Tbsp lemon juice
1 - 1 1/2 Tbsp sugar
Trim the fresh, tender-looking leraves from beet stem, discarding stem and coarse leaves. Wash tender leaves and drain well, then chop them. Peel beets and chop coarse, making 5-6 cups. Peel and slice onion and combine beet tops, beets, and onion in a large kettle. Add water and bouillon and bring to a boil. Cover and simmer soup for 15 mins. Peel the potato and cut into 1/2” cubes, add to soup and cook another 15 minutes. Add 6T of the lemon juice and 1T of the sugar. remove from heat and chill thoroughly. Taste cold soup and add salt as needed and as much more of thelemon juice and sugar as you need to achieve the sweet-sour flavor balance you prefer. Cover and chill for as long as a week. Serve with sour cream. Makes 3 quarts.
The ‘Thirty’ may be a bit of a stretch, but it’s still a LOT of soup. It’s also fairly basic, flavorwise. Feel free to add a dash here or there of whatever spices and whatnot you prefer. A bay leaf or two would feel right at home.
Sadly, my mother’s recipie book lacks a later recipie: Bishop’s Borscht, aquired by my father as partial payment for singing Russian Orthodox Easter services (long story short: He speaks fluent Russian, and can sing, was a paid singer for a choir for many years). That particular one is simply amazing, and includes such directions as ‘Simmer the ox tails for three days’.