Method

After gathering the mushrooms, peel them, and separate the caps from the stems. Thread them separately, but not very tightly, on a thin string. Dry them out by setting them in the oven several times or by hanging them in the sun. These mushrooms are used to flavor borshch or sorrel shchi, or as forcement. They are also used to stuff dumplings.

In addition, they are served with vodka or with the Main course (zharkoe)* instead of salad on fast days. Prepare them as follows: Choose good caps, wash them in warm water, and boil until tender in salted water. Half an hour before serving, arrange the mushrooms in a bowl and pour on vinegar and, if desired, olive oil.

*Zharkoe normally means a meat dish or the main meat course. This is an instance where its extended meaning of “main dish” must be assumed, since meat dishes per se were proscribed on fast days.

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