I grew up in Shenyang in China. My mother was very good at making blini, but I never paid attention because, like many young girls, I thought I was going to become a princess! When I got married, we moved to Australia and I learned to cook from my mother-in-law.
Nina Laptev

11 Jul 2012 - 4:24 PM  UPDATED 6 Sep 2013 - 9:31 AM

I tweaked her recipe in a few ways: for example, instead of oiling the pan between every blin, I add butter to the batter itself and oil the pan only when necessary, so the blini are not as greasy. When I’m making blini for large groups, I cook one side of the blin only in the blini pan, and then the other in an electric frying pan. Once my daughter-in-law and I made nearly 1000 blini for a Russian gathering during Maslenitsa week (the week before Russian Orthodox Lent).

Everybody loves blini and we eat them with anything except meat in the week leading up to Lent – honey, jam, salmon, herring, caviar and sour cream. It reminds me of being a young girl in China.

Interview by Tatyana Leonov. Photography by Katie Kaars.