Syrniki for Breakfast

I’m cutting it close with both Cook the Books and Movies & Munchies posts for May.    And, today’s post has something to do with both groups.   You see, CTB’s last book was Red Sparrow.   Most all of the members didn’t focus on any of the Russian food as the Ukrainian invasion has just occurred.   Now that the war has been going on for three months, my thoughts are still with the Ukrainian people and their struggles.

Juli is hosting this month and she originally suggested Russian Ark but changed it to the series, Servant of the People.   She still highly recommends viewing Russian Ark, but with everything going on in that region, she didn’t want to be highlighting Russian recipes right now.  I get it.

So, I knew that there was some irony when Volodymyr Zelenskyy won the presidency of Ukraine in 2019 but honestly I didn’t pay a lot of attention to the specifics.   After watching the first episode of Servant of the People, I now get it.  There was definitely a new perspective as well as I watched this comedy.  I didn’t laugh.  Vasily (Zalenskyy) is a firm but much loved teacher, so much so that after a student posts one of his teacher’s rants against political corruption and after his students crowd source enough for his campaign, he unsuspectedly wins the presidency.   The first episode deals with the surprise arrival of Ukrainian “secret service” along with a handler.  (Apparently Vasily was so convinced he didn’t have a chance that no one in his family watched the polls.)  Then it’s a whirlwind of makeup, wardrobe, and a scripted press conference which goes off the rails.  Ironically, as he’s told to pick out an expensive watch, his handler tells him, “This is the one Putin wears.”

I didn’t laugh.  I kept thinking about the characters as if they were real people.  (Of course, Vasily/Zelenskyy  is the real president struggling with the invasion, destruction and deaths.)  Are those students fighting now?  Is the school still standing?  Is Vasily’s mother, a nurse, working herself to death?  Is the apartment building he and his extended family live in a pile of ruins?

Surprisingly, there was quite a bit of food in this first episode—breakfast at Vasily’s parent’s home, a birthday dinner, mom making potato salad, a surprise cake, koravai (an elaborately decorated bread), and an elegant breakfast for those shady political insiders.

To wind my thoughts back to the beginning of this post and the connection between Movies & Munchies and Cook the Books….  Wendy from A Day in the Life on a Farm posted a Ukrainian recipe for last month’s CTB and the Red Sparrow.  I thought it sounded delicious and I wanted to make her version of Syrniki.  These are a slightly sweetened fried pancake made with farmers cheese.

I followed Wendy’s recipe but had to add a bit more flour to get the consistency to make them into balls and flatten.  I’m not reprinting her recipe here so please check it out.

Maybe those politicos who thought they were in charge of the elections would have these for breakfast with a large spoonful of caviar.  We enjoyed them with strawberries.

Thanks to Juli for hosting this month.  And, thanks to Wendy for a great breakfast.

I’m hosting next month’s Movies & Munchies with Uncorked.  Look for an announcement post here soon.


5 comments to Syrniki for Breakfast

  • mae

    So many Ukrainian pancakes! I love the ones I’ve had and I think I would love the ones you pictured. Strawberry season is definitely here so your choice looks perfect.

    best… mae at

  • talk about fantasy becoming real life. How weird about the Ukrainian president 🙂

  • They look like a very delicious breakfast with berries.

  • I’m glad you enjoyed the Syrniki, Debra. It is hard to see the humor in the television series with all that is going on over there. I watched Uncorked the other evening. I wasn’t sure, at first, how I was going to like it but I ended up enjoying it and ignoring the rap music LOL. It was very interesting to learn how much is required to become a sommelier. I did a Memphis style BBQ for Memorial Day and will be posting it shortly.

  • Such a timely movie! I’m with Sherry — fantasy becomes real life. So strange. Love pancakes, so that recipe is for me. 🙂