There are plants everywhere. Yana is growing onions, carrots and tomatoes in plastic containers. Just inside the mobile home door is her herb garden; big pots of parsley, dill and various experiments – the arabic beans have germinated and are flourishing.
I’ll grow anything! There are many different types of salad recipes I can give you. She explains that salads are a big part of any Russian meal and are eaten after the first course of soup with the meat or main course.
The most intriguing of the recipes is Seld pod shuboi, which literally translates as herring under a fur coat! This is a salad or terrine made by layering salted fish, potatoes, beetroot and egg. Cooking is done by instinct so it can be hard to give exact measurements and you can vary quantities to suit.
As we talk a disembodied voice booms through the walls asking mobile 93 to return the hoover. I jump in fright but Yana hardly reacts; it is the tannoy system, used for communications over the whole site.
- Dried peas
- Sweet corn
- Sour cream
Boil the potatoes and eggs. Grate the potatoes and season with fresh herbs and place in a bowl. Grate the boiled eggs and place in a bowl. Dice the beetroot finely and also place in a bowl. Clean and dice the herring and arrange one layer on a large oval platter.
Thinly layer (1/2 cm) the various ingredients on top of the first layer of herring in the following manner or to taste; potato, mayonnaise, beetroot, egg, mayonnaise, beetroot, herring, potato and so on until you have reached the desired height! Serve immediately.