The Soviet Dream – Lev Danilkin, Francis Spufford & Orlando Figes

I’m personally quite excited about this… This April Southbank Centre in London will mark the 50th anniversary of Yuri Gagarin’s first manned space flight with a talk exploring the Soviet Union of the 1950s and 1960s featuring three writers – Lev Danilkin, Francis Spufford and Orlando Figes (a personal favourite).

The Soviet Dream will look into how the Soviet Union attempted to implement a planned economy that would outstrip capitalism, making communism the economic model of the future. Lev Danilkin is Yuri Gagarin’s official biographer, and has edited several key reviews of contemporary Russian literature. Francis Spufford’s book Red Plenty is part novel, part historical investigation of the communist dream and the key characters within it. While Orlando Figes, one of the most distinguished historians of 20th-century Russia and author of Natasha’s Dance: A Cultural History of Russia, will chair the event.

The Soviet Dream, London’s Southbank Centre, 13 April 2011, 7:45pm

Click here to buy tickets and find out more

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Sibiriade – Nikolai Dvigubsky Series at Pushkin House

On 4th November Russophiles can enjoy a lecture screening of epic film, Sibiriade, in four parts as part of the Nikolai Dvigubsky Series at Pushkin House. Hidden deep in Siberia is a village of Yelan. Two families live here from the time immemorial: the Solomins – wealthy, well-established people; and the Ustyuzhanins – rebels, poets, jovial persons, though as hard-working as the former. In 1917, a revolution took place in Russia, which had radically changed the lives of many Russians, including those living in Yelan. But the well-to-do Solomins would not recognise the Soviet regime.  Years will pass before the young generation of Solomins’ and Ustyuzhanins’ children and grand-children put an end to the senseless hostility and build a new life on Siberia’s rich and fertile land.

6.30pm, Thursday 4 November 2010
Lecture-Screening “Sibiriade”, Nikolai Dvigubsky Series
1978 | USSR, Mosfilm | colour | 100 mins + 99 mins
In Russian with English subtitles
Tickets: £7.00, concessions £5.00, FREE for Friends of Pushkin House

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Easy & Quick Georgian Red Pepper Sauce Recipe

Recently I made some Georgian shashlyk and as you may have spied from the final photograph I served this with my take on the traditional Georgian red pepper sauce.  It doesn’t have to be served with shashlyk as it would go well with any grilled meat dish.  It’s really easy, all you need is a food processor or blender!

Ingredients

6 red peppers (bell or pointed)

2 red chilli peppers

3 medium sized tomatoes (or a selection of smaller ones)

3 garlic cloves, peeled

1 tsp fenugreek seeds, ground

1 tsp coriander seeds, ground

Bunch of fresh coriander

Instructions

Peppers in the UK never taste quite as nice as peppers abroad so in order to get a bit of extra flavour I put mine in a foil dish in a low-heated oven (about 150 degrees centigrade) and warmed them for 15 minutes

Cut the peppers, removing the middles, into chunks and place in food processor (or into a pot if you are going to use a hand-held blender) with all the other ingredients except the fresh coriander

Georgian Red Pepper Sauce

Blend but try to keep the mixture quite thick

Stir then chill in refrigerator for 30 minutes

Chop the fresh coriander and stir into the sauce

Georgian Red Pepper Sauce

Season to taste and serve

Georgian Shashlyk

To check out my shashlyk recipe go to Georgian shashlyk

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