When I think Russia at Christmas, I think snow, lots and lots of snow. I’m assuming that’s true, but I haven’t been there to verify it. Texas does not have a snowy Christmas, so I am unfamiliar with the idea. This meant for us a Christmas in Russia lesson was a nice addition to our Christmas Around the World unit, and a great addition to our geography lessons.
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Our Christmas in Russia books
This whole lesson was inspired when I picked up our Russia books and found three Christmas books:
- Babushka: A Christmas Tale– this book reminded me La Bafana from Italy, and to my mind used the exact same craft I did for that, which is why there is no fun craft, because it would be another broom for the Christmas tree
- Babushka, an old Russian Folktale– Basically the same story with slightly different version and very different illustrations
- Baboushka– And yet another version of the story
Oh wait, I found a variation on the story as a YouTube video, so if your library doesn’t have the story, you can hear the story yourself:
There are a couple more on there, but this had illustrations similar to what I’d seen elsewhere.
Russian Tea Cakes
I used the recipe from here: Russian Tea Cakes, which swears up and down it is a traditional Russian Christmas cookie.
At first things go smoothly, because after all it’s just beating butter, vanilla and powdered sugar, what could go wrong with that?
Well… we finally had worked our way through the five pounds of powdered sugar, and I was pretty sure I didn’t have any powdered sugar anywhere to find. After searching all over the various cabinets, I found a box of powdered sugar, and add it in.
Then I added in the flour, but skipped the chopped walnuts because I’m the only person in my family who actually likes them, and I really don’t need to be eating two dozen cookies.
Then I didn’t bother reading the instructions, because you always add the sugar you dust on right before cooking.
Only, no matter how often I dusted powdered sugar over the top of the cookies, it just absorbed into the cookies. Finally, I read the instructions and discovered:
“Dust cooled cookies with powdered sugar.”
Okay, new plan, I baked the cookies and finally got that nice powdered sugar covered cookie I’d been trying for.
This round of cookies I made for the pictures, and so we could add another snack for our Emma movie night (where we watched Clueless).
And, that’s it. That’s our Christmas in Russia.