Discovering Rome


Rome is a great place: beautiful and interesting city ! It is impossible to remain indifferent. This is a place where the development of civilization took place and it is a must to see!!

Take away from our family after this trip:

Surround yourself with beautiful things

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Cooking from scratch and fresh ingredients matter

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We have rediscovered pizza.It is a pleasure to watch when it is done by professionals Screen Shot 2014-09-20 at 5.56.32 PM

But is a good dish to cook together, we love that you can`t go wrong with ingredients and you can put what you like disregarding your food restrictions.

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Stop and relax to have your favorite drink in a cafe

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re-Read foreign books

One of the most famous tale from Italy is Pinocchio that is quite popular in Spain and Russia.

There is a funny Spanish song for children about this character:

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(photo credit: momalisa.com)

In Russian adaptation book and movie this wooden toy is called Buratino (ital. burattino — wooden puppet)
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As for English there is good guide for kids ” This is Rome”

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Top 5 Family Traditions for Multilingual Families


Our family just started multilingual journey, however, we are constantly thinking how to incorporate languages into our family routine, make it a pleasant time for everyone so speaking another language is enjoyable and natural.

Here are our top 5 family traditions for multilingual families:

1. make a quote book of your kids while they learn languages. Children always invent their own language, mix languages in the own fun and unusual way, invent their own words,etc. My mother used to recall many of my languages expressions even when I was already an adult and we laughed. Or maybe your kids will write stories/poems in different languages that would be also great to save.

Or perhaps while watching cartoons/movies you will find some fun language to save and make jokes. For Soviet kids many cartoon quotes drifted into conversation, our family liked using many:

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(“I have a thought and I am thinking it” )(photo credit.adme.ru)

or  if your children are over 10 you can make idioms book in your language. There are many ways:

– if you have pets or choose a particular object and  find all language expressions with them  and make drawings, pictures to explain these idioms

here is a cute album with Spanish expressions with cats

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“Somos cuatro gatos” (Literal translation: We are four cats.What it actually means: It’s a small group of people)

drawings

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(photo credit:alibis.com; learneglishfreeonline.com)

2. make quality get together time to discuss in your language best of the day/week/month over tea/kefir/wine, etc

3. choose books/songs for each other to read in your language. we like to read and sing karaoke

4. make personalized ABC book of your daily life/trips

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(photo credit: happybook.su)

our daughter`s first book is in three languages:

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5. make a year in review (or holiday journal review) using your language:

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(make notes during family time or mark in your calendars the most important events)

Spanish Easter


Holy Week in Spain is world famous for its unique celebration. It is led by Catholic religious brotherhoods and fraternities that perform penance processions on the streets of almost every Spanish city and town during the last week of Lent, the week immediately before Easter.

Each procession is a float with sculptures symbolizing certain day and telling the Bible story, accompanied by a  small orchestra followed by a number of people in meditation and silence. The float is very heavy and is carried by a number of men that are hidden under a cloth under the platform , so it seems to walk alone. These people are chosen and consider the job of carrying an honor.

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Holy Week in Andalusia it is most famous due to beautiful decorations, wide celebrations (all town is outside to watch, main streets are closed for the celebration), regional peculiarities e.g. processions are sometimes interrupted by spontaneous saetas (flamenco verses).

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According to my husband Holy Week is a best outdoor theatre. The atmosphere is simple incredible, Spanish people connect with their folklore culture through this holiday, some cry, some meditate and take it serious, while others are joyful with respect.

If you are lucky you can spot Spanish actor and director Antonio Banderas singing a song to the Virgin. He is devout and takes part as a penitent in the “Lagrimas and Favores” brotherhood in his home town in Malaga (photo by Reuters).

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Easter time is not only joining a family dinner , it is also a “social cooking”: women of the family get together to cook numerous Easter delights and a large almond cake . At this time of the year town bakery is open to public for free to use professional oven .

What are other dishes Spanish people eat at home ?

Torrijas (in the US they are called French toast), how to make them, click here.

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Maslenitsa


Maslenitsa is one of the oldest holidays in many countries. This time for Russians is quite different from Christmas and Easter as you get together with your family and friends for a meal. What is a meal -it is also a gathering where people communicate. According to traditions every days has its own theme:

Monday – Welcome of the holiday

On this day snow hills were put up in the settlement. People believed that the longer sleds went and the merrier people’s laughter was, the more plentiful crops will be and the longer flax will grow. To encourage plants to grow better, people had to swing on swings, the higher they went, the better.

Tuesday – Playing

Merrymaking activities and games took place on this day, and those who amused people were treated to blini.

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Kustodiev “Maslenitsa”

Wednesday – the Sweet Tooth Day

Sling what’s in the oven straight onto the table! ”. Pancakes is the most important dish.

Thursday – Revelry

On this day, to help drive away the winter season, people rode on horseback in circles round the settlement. Men traditionally organised a mock war game, where they had to defend and seize  snow fortresses.

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“Taking a snow fortress” by Surikov

Friday – Mother-in-law’s eve

Mothers-in-law invited their sons-in-law and treated them to pancakes.

Saturday – Sisterinlaws gathering

On this day people called on all their relatives, from one household to another.

Sunday – Forgiveness Day

On this day people asked their relatives and friends for forgiveness. The day culminated in dancing and singing, as people bid farewell.

maslenitsa songs:

Гори, гори ясно
Чтобы не погасло,
Глянь на небо,
Птички летят,
Колокольчики звенят

Мы давно блинов не ели,

Мы блиночков захотели,

Ой, блины мои, блины,
Ой, блиночки мои.
Моя старшая сестрица,
Печь блины ты мастерица,
Напекла она поесть
Сотен пять, а может, шесть…

lap game for kids:

Цоки-цоки-цоки чи,
Наши кони горячи,
Цоки-цоки-цоки чи,
Блин летит к нам из печи.
Масленица-блиноедка,
Масленица-сыроедка…

Как у тетки блин протух,
У меня живот распух,
Масленица-блиноедка,
Масленица-жироедка,
Масленица-пожируха
Масленица-объедуха…

Они хранили в жизни мирной   In peaceful life they protected
Привычки милой старины;       Sweet olden-time traditions;
У них на масленице жирной      With them on fatty Maslenitsa
Водились русские блины.            Was always the Russian blin
А.С. Пушкин                                       A.S. Pushkin

Our family is cooking pancakes every year during Maslenitsa week, but we do not follow lent and other food restrictions.

Ingredients:
350ml of milk
10 tablespoons of flour
3 eggs
2 tablespoons fructose/stevia (what you peter)
a pinch of baking powder
pinch of salt
1/4 teaspoon of vanillin
1 tablespoon of olive oil/vegetable oil

Preparation

1. In a large bowl mix all the dry ingredients first and then eggs.
2 . Add hot milk, whisk , add the butter, whisk again .

3 . Add oil  to batter and little to a pan.  Fry minute on one side and the other half a minute .

 

Tip number 1: Right before mixing, sift the flour. You will get rid of  lumps and impurities it flour, and  fill it with air .

Tip number 2: Eggs need to be at room temperature , and milk – slightly warm .

Tip number 3: First mix liquid ingredients – milk and whipped with sugar and salt egg. And only then gradually pour the sifted flour , mixing thoroughly each time the dough to avoid lumps .

Tip number 4: Before you bake pancakes , add a tablespoon of vegetable oil to your batter and mix well. This way pancakes will not stick to the pan.

Tip number 5: The batter should not be too thin or too thick . For its consistency perfect pancakes is similar to liquid sour cream . Allow the mixture to stand for 30 minutes.

Tip number 6: Cast iron pan is the best for cooking pancakes as it heats evenly and retains heat for a long time .

Tip number 7: Grease the pan with a little oil , otherwise the pancakes will turn out too greasy . In order to avoid using excess oil use a silicone cooking brush.

Tip number 8: How much to pour into the pan , depends on how thin and delicate pancakes you want to eat:). Pour a little batter in the center of pan and tilt it a few times from side to side , so that it is uniformly spread out over the entire surface .

Tip number 9: Bake pancakes on a very hot pan . The first pancake often get ” lumpy ” no worries, pan is warming up.

Tip number 10: To retain moisture in pancakes  turn them over when they are slightly golden, no need to wait for dark shades.

Tip number 11: Use a thin wooden spatula : unlike metal , it does not tear thin pancakes.

Tip number 12: Do not leave your pancakes unattended:)! With each new pancake the pan will become hotter , and  you will need less time for each pancake.