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Birch Tree Love

Birch  (“bereza” or “berezka” in Russian)  trees are not only beautiful, but quite bountiful in certain parts of Russia (think mid-region f...

Friday, March 25, 2016

Homemade Russian Sauerkraut recipe (Easy)

Russian homemade sauerkraut (very easy)

Russian homemade sauerkraut (very easy)

By
  • 1 head green cabbage
  • 3 carrots
  • 2 med. size Granny Smith apples
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 3 tablespoons of coarse kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon of sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon of Cayenne pepper
  • 6 cups of water
Slice cabbage thinly with sharp knife. You can use a mandolin for it, if you have one. Place it in a large (preferably plastic) container. Peel and grate carrots. Core and slice apples about ¼” thick. Peel and crush garlic cloves. Add all of these ingredients to the cabbage. Mix all well with your clean hands. In a 2 quarts size container, dissolve salt and sugar completely. Add ¼ teaspoon of Cayenne pepper to the liquid, if you like just a bit of spiciness. Pour the liquid over the cabbage, mix it again, cover the dish with a kitchen towel, and cover it with a smaller size lid, so the cabbage has “breathing” opening around the rim of the container.
Place the container with cabbage on a counter top, and let it stay there for three days. Check it every day and mix it with a wooden spoon. After three days, drain majority of the pickling liquid into some dish. Taste your sauerkraut. If it needs a bit more of salt or sugar, add them at this time. Transfer sauerkraut into wide mouth quart jar/s. Add pickling liquid to the jar/s with sauerkraut so it will cover it completely. Discard the remaining liquid. Place your sauerkraut in refrigeration for 24 hours.
Next day you can enjoy your slightly prickly crisp sauerkraut (solenaya kapusta) with 100 grams of Stoli!

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

New Nesting Dolls

With Spring quickly approaching, we thought you might like to see a few of our new floral nesting dolls... (at www.therussianstore.com)

Floral Blossom Beauties
available in six different color schemes



Floral Blossom Beauty - Yellow & Blue





Rose Beauties
available in three different color schemes





With so many Floral Nesting Dolls in stock, there is sure to be the perfect one for you or a loved one! These blooming flowers home decor dolls make perfect Birthday gifts, new mother gifts, and just because gifts.


Aren't they just the prettiest?





Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Monkey!


2016 will be the Year of the Monkey according to Chinese zodiac. 

The Year of the Monkey will start from Feb. 8, 2016 (Chinese New Year) 
and last to Jan. 27, 2017

Years of the Monkey: 1920, 1932, 1944, 1956,196819801992, 2004, 2016, 2028.

Cute Monkey Trinket Box

Monkey Gifts available at The Russian Store!




Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Insect Inclusion Amber Jewelry & Gems

Amber is such a beautiful and interesting "stone." It really is tree sap, but it looks and feels like a gemstone and it is considered a gemstone. It takes millions of years to form itself, and sometimes it forms with insects trapped inside. When real amber is formed with insect inclusions it is a highly sought after, truly unique piece of history to own. (More on the history of amber)

Beware of cheap plastic knock-off insects in amber! Always purchase from a reputable source, such as The Russian Store to ensure your receiving the real thing. There are a few ways to test if amber is real or not; Determining if your amber is real or fake.

Pictured below is a cute, affordable way to enjoy genuine insect inclusion amber! A tiny piece of Russian amber (about 1/4") is housed in a small 1" x 1" x 1" clear plastic box with a magnifying lens top. This allows the viewer a chance to see the insect's body and legs easily. These unique insect amber stone gift boxes retail at $39.99

Collectible Real Amber Nugget with Insect in Box

Take a look at this close up of a much larger, stunning amber piece (over 2" long), with more than one insect, sold by itself with no box, for $176.99... amazing, huh?



Real amber with real insects stuck inside could be a special and unique gift for the entomologist in your life. Or, perhaps, simply the history buff or nature lover in your life. 







Wednesday, October 21, 2015

A Man and his Nesting Doll Collection (Blog Share)

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We had to share the following short blog post because we love hearing about other people's nesting doll collections!
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Sunday, July 01, 2001

Nesting dolls finely crafted in Russia

By Marsie Hall Newbold
Enquirer contributor

        Who: Richard Ross, 49, of East Walnut Hills, a student of Russian culture and collector of Matryoshka, popularly known as Russian nesting dolls.
        On display: Seventy-five of the plump little handcrafted characters.
        Where: Most are kept in a lighted display case in the entry hall of the home he shares with his wife, Janet, their daughters Meredith, 15, Allison, 14, and the family dog, Sandy. Others are scattered throughout the living and dining rooms.
[photo]Richard Ross has 75 Matryoshka dolls
(Michael E. Keating photo)
        It's a small, small world: Mr. Ross' interest in Russia began when his daughters were students at the Academy of World Languages. A Russian exchange student stayed with the family in 1996, and they visited Russia for the first time the next year.
        “That's when I first started seeing the dolls,” Mr. Ross explains. “I just fell in love with them.”
        A family affair: “They are wonderful collectibles,” he continues, “Because they are not very expensive and they are highly crafted. Sometimes families make them. One woman told me that she paints the faces, but her daughters do the bodies.”
        “The detail on each one is just amazing,” he adds. “Each doll has its own expression and character.”
        A prize inside: Mr. Ross' Matryoshka vary in size from less than one inch to nearly a foot in height. Some have as many as seven pieces; each nested inside the other. Several are not “nesting” dolls at all. In these a large one opens to reveal many tiny “babies” all of the same size.
        Regardless, most of them are carved from birch.
        “Birch is very common over there,” Mr. Ross explains. “The Russians are famous for their birch trees. They live longer and grow twice as big as ours.”
        Brrrrr! Most of Mr. Ross's Matryoshka were purchased at outdoor arts and crafts markets. “I bought a bunch a few years ago in the middle of December,” he says. “I just about froze my fingers off because it was 20 below zero.”
        “But I'd do it again,” he laughs. “Because the best ones are outdoors.”
        So many choices: With so many to choose from, how does he decide which dolls to buy?
        “I look for a good face but also the overall design,” he explains. “Sometimes the body does not equal the face, or maybe the painting is good.”
        “In the end,” he says, “I buy what I like. The dolls speak to me, in a way. In them I see the unique Russian culture, our former enemy who has so much potential and such wonderful deep emotions.”

Source: http://enquirer.com/editions/2001/07/01/tem_nesting_dolls_finely.html


Do you have a collecting nesting dolls story? Tell us about it! Or start a nesting doll collection!


Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Gemstone Jewelry

We are most known for our extensive collection of nesting dolls and other Russian souvenir crafts such as Khokhloma, Ushanka hats, Posad shawls, and Amber jewelries... but did you know that we have a nice inventory of hand-made gemstone jewelry too?

From the popular turquoise, amethyst, opal, and mother-of-peal stones to the not so common larimar, carnelian, rhodochrosite, and chalcedony gems, there is bound to be a perfect piece of gemstone jewelry for you from us!


Abalone Shell Hook EarringsRed Coral Silver BraceletLovely Lapis Lazuli Pendant


Five ways to have fun with gemstones:

1. Pick out a gemstone that is your favorite color, or just "speaks" to you.

2. Read about gemstone meanings and pick the one for what ails you.

3. Your birth month's gemstone may have more than one, or be different than you thought.

4. Start a collection and trade with friends for a fun, ever-changing jewelry box.

5. Pick out a gem based on your heritage. "For instance, in early Indian culture, diamonds were associated with the gods and were used to decorate idols. In traditional Islamic cultures, an agate ring was thought to offer protection from mishaps and victory over one's enemies. Jade was theroyal gem in early Chinese culture; while lapis lazuli was highly prized by the pharaohs of ancient Egypt." (New World Encyclopedia)