Over the years, a variety of recipes have been used in Sandum holidays and Sandum traditions — lending themselves to a diverse gastronomical background, as well as cultural. Since the Day of Secession is coming up, we were thinking “Why not publish some of the recipes to our most common dishes!” Here is what would be a fairly festive (i.e., full of eating) Sandum national holiday with foods for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
All measurements will be first in American Imperial units and then Metric units.
Crêpes are, needless to say, very French. But, here in Sandus, we like our pancakes, our blini, and our crêpes — so this is merely a part! They are a very thin pancakes and, in Sandus, we typically make them for breakfasts and not for a snack (alas, there are few crêperies near us). So, on the morning of the Secession, feel free to fire up the stove and get cooking!
What you need:
Two bowls, one larger than the other
1 large, flat-bottom pan
1 cup (125g) of flour
1/2 cup (62.5g) of sugar
2 cups (240ml) of milk
Pinch of salt
2 tbsp. (30ml) of oil (vegetable, olive…)
Butter to grease pan
What to do:
1. In the smaller bowl, beat two eggs, sugar, and around half of the amount of milk; combine. In the larger bowl, add the flour, salt, and oil. Then, combine the contents of the smaller bowl into the larger bowl, add the rest of the milk, and mix until no large pockets of flour remain.
2. (Optional) Place the batter in the refrigerator for an hour or more. If you make the batter at night, you can also leave it overnight to make in the morning. This will help the small flour pockets to dissolve and the batter will set and slightly separate; you will want to mix it again briefly.
3. In a large, flat-bottom pan, put in a bit of butter into the bottom of the pan and turn on heat to medium-high heat. You can change the heat as it cooks in order to slow down the cooking process — once it gets going, it starts going fast.
4. Once the butter has melted, place a ladle-sized portion into the pan and swirl it around so that the batter distributes evenly and is as thin as possible. Flip. Once it has turned golden-brown, take the first one off and put onto a plate. Eat this one. By tradition, the chef should eat the first crêpe since the first one never turns out quite right.
5. Repeat step 4 until you are all out of batter and you and others are full. We recommend toppings of sugar, butter, and other assorted jams or preserves. Enjoy!
Sandum citizens have historically always loved rice. The S8gm8 used to eat rice constantly as a child and other Sandum citizens appreciate its cultural background but also its ease of preparation — and it’s often very cheap, too. The S8gm8 keeps a large 5lb/2.25kg bag in his apartment at all times, and has often considered buying a 20lb/9kg bag instead. Needless to say, we eat a lot of rice.
Tahdig is a Persian recipe. Typically, if one prepares rice in Iran, they place it in a large pot and leave the tahdig (meaning the ‘bottom of the pot’) to brown and crispen. This Sandum recipe is a version of this dish, and it is often made for lunchtime.
What you need:
1-2 cups (185-370g) of rice
2 tbsp. (30ml) of butter
Selected spices (suggestion: cinnamon and turmeric)
What to do:
1. Cook your desired portion of rice in a rice cooker, or on the stove.
2. In a pan, place all of your rice and turn on medium heat. Beat down the top of the rice so that it is flat.
3. Chop up the butter and place around the dish so that it will permeate as it melts; you can also use olive oil but we prefer butter. Place the spices, salt, and pepper around in consecutive circles (like above).
4. Go read a book. Literally. This thing should cook for about an hour. For about 40-45 minutes, leave the cover of the pan on the rice and, for the last 15-20 minutes, remove the lid.
5. When finished, the bottom should be firm, crisp, and golden-brown. Make sure it is! If not, cook longer. When done, flip a plate over the top of the pan and turn both so that the tahdig should fall out onto the plate too; you can run the bottom of the pan under cold water, too. Cut into sixths and enjoy.
In Italy, pasta tends to be a course in a much larger meal; in Sandus, like in America, it is a meal in and of itself. Plus it’s cheap! To be quite honest, this is more of an everyday meal in Sandus because it is so cheap. The S8gm8 is accustomed to spending at most $5USD for this dish and it lasts him three days (one dinner, two lunches).
What you need:
1 large pot
1 box of pasta
1/2 (225g) lb of bacon, cut into squares
Salt & Pepper
1 clove of garlic, chopped (optional)
Pinch of bacon salt (optional)
What to do:
1. Fill the pot with enough water to retain all the pasta but less so that it won’t boil over, so about 3/4 of the pot. Put a moderate amount of salt in this pot; if you’re going for a more Italian flavour, put in a lot of salt. Turn on high heat.
2. Meanwhile, begin cutting up the bacon into squares. Cook the bacon on a medium to medium-high heat in the pan, letting the bacon cook. The S8gm8 does not like the body of his bacon to crispen, preferring to cook the bacon for a shorter amount of time. But, you being you, cook it for as long as you damn well please. It is at this point, with the bacon in the pan, that you can chop up garlic to put in, or you can simply put in garlic powder.
Note: some people contend that you should chop the garlic before the bacon to avoid cross contamination, but you are also putting the garlic into a scalding hot pan. If you’re really worried about germs, this dish might not be for you anyway (see below).
3. Allow the pasta to cook. In the meantime, in a bowl, beat the eggs and add both salt and ground black pepper. You might be amazed, but such a thing as bacon-flavoured salt exists in the United States; if you’re going for a more American taste, you can add this too.
Now, get on your running shoes: these next few steps need to happen quickly, within a minute, so you’ll be moving like on a basketball court. The idea is to cook the eggs simply with the heat of the pasta and the bacon.
4. Once done, strain the pasta and keep about a cup of the pasta water for good luck. And also to put it into the pasta if it becomes too dry. Place the bacon into the pasta pot. Take the pasta in the strainer and put it into the pot again. Take the bowl of beaten eggs and put into the pot. Mix so that the eggs evenly coat the spaghetti and are cooked by both the pasta and the bacon fat. If the pasta is too dry (you will know by sight), put in a little bit of the pasta water into the dish, as much as necessary; discard this. You don’t need good luck any more — now is the time for good eating.
5. Season appropriately to your desire. Plate. If bourgeois, grate parmigiano-reggiano cheese atop the pasta; if you are a proletarian on a budget like we often are, use store-bought parmesan. Enjoy.
Some people prefer to scramble the eggs by putting them into the pot before everything else and return the pot to the stove so that they scramble. We find this to be unnecessary: the hot pasta and the scalding bacon and bacon fat seem to do the trick for us.
Some envision compote to be a dessert; we think it’s a drink. The French say “compote” while Russians say “компот,” where it is a drink. Since the Sandum Royal Family is known for its eponymous apple orchard, we mostly use apples — but you can use whatever fruit you want.
What you need:
1 lb. (450g) of apples, or other fruit, quartered
2-3 quarts (1.9-2.8l) of water
1 cup (200g) of sugar (optional)
2 sticks of cinnamon
What to do:
1. Fill the pot with water and put on high heat; bring to a boil. Meanwhile, since it will take it a while to bring to a boil, quarter the apples and drop into the pot (before it boils).
2. Add the cinnamon sticks, a dash of nutmeg and cinnamon, and sugar. The sugar is only option if you or your family has a history of diabetes; we recommend it. Stir slowly until the sugar dissolves.
3. Once the pot comes to a boil, reduce the heat to medium or medium-high heat. Cook for at least 30 minutes.
4. (Optional) Some suggest straining the drink once it is done cooking. It is true that you don’t want to drink the cinnamon sticks, but those are relatively easy to find. We have never strained it, but you can line a sieve with cheesecloth, a dish towel, or paper towels and strain it that way.
5. When done cooking, drink either hot or cold. We do both, but definitely store it in a pitcher in the refrigerator. If you did strain it, we commend placing the fruit back in so that you can eat it when you drink.
If you have leftover crêpe batter from the morning, make some more. In Sandus, however, that is normally a breakfast meal. For dessert, we would suggest three options for your feast: make vatrushki, Ancient Greek biscuits, or tarte tatin.
In Sandus, we are known for making blueberry vatrushki; for this, we recommend Elena Makhonko’s Russian Food & Cooking, pg. 117.
We also make Ancient Greek biscuits and Roman placenta (with a hard C…). For biscuits, we recommend Mark Grant’s Roman Cookery: Ancient Recipes for Modern Kitchens, specifically the recipes for Glykinai and Enkrides on pg. 102-103 (based off of Ath. 14.645d-e).
For the placenta, see Pass the Garum, or for a placenta “perfecta,” see here too.
For tarte tatin, see this nifty recipe plus cute French chef here.
Enjoy, and happy Day of Secession!