How It Used To Be: Summer in the Country

In the evening, you could read some adventure novels by Mayne Reid, Jules Verne and Hemingway. You could fly to the stars in your fantasies just by reading books of the Strugatsky brothers or Stanislav Lem. And sometimes you could just read all night long.

Reading in Summer Evening

Reading during Summer Evening

Early in the morning you could also go fishing with bamboo rods. For fishing you usually put on a straw hat which was bought during one of your vacation trips. As for fishing tackles – they were very simple to make indeed. Homemade floats made with bottle stoppers and goose feathers, a net bag for your catch … and live earthworms in the tin, of course.

An Old Straw Hat

An Old Straw Hat

Starting in the mid-summer or even earlier, in the woods you could pick mushrooms: strong white and bright orange-cap boletus, chanterelles, bright yellow and russules.

Still Life with Mushrooms and Wild Flowers

Still Life with Mushrooms and Wild Flowers

In the village it was possible to buy fresh milk. Milk could be poured out in special cans or in three liter glass jars. It was very delicious to drink fresh milk with Russian bread and strawberry jam – yummy!

Cold Milk Bread and Jam

Cold Milk, Bread and Jam

In the countryside Soviet people as a rule had some land just next to their summer houses where they could grow fruit bushes and trees. Usually people had small vegetable gardens there as well. It was a real treat for kids when berries and fruit were ready to eat.

Red Curran

Red Currants

If there were lots of berries it was possible to preserve some for the winter, for example by making compotes, preserves, jams etc. People usually could take a recipe from a book or use their own family recipe. For preserving, glass jars with special tin caps were typically used. And in a Soviet kitchen there were spring scales and a colander for sure.

Picking Fruits and Berries

Picking Fruits and Berries

Typically, Soviet people pickled cucumbers by adding garlic and dill.

Snack

Snack

Sometimes adults made homemade liquors for holidays:

Viburnum with Sea Buckthorn Drink

Viburnum with Sea Buckthorn Drink

When fall came, people picked corn and cooked it for a long time. After that it was very delicious to eat hot or cold corn with some salt.

Corn

Corn

And then it was time for sunflowers. Kids took them with themselves everywhere.

Sunflowers and Oil Lamp

Sunflowers and Oil Lamp

To sum up: kids had very fun and nice summers in the countryside during the USSR era.

Photos by Alexander Sennikov.

To discover Russia with Alexey Gureev

  • Pages:
  • 1
  • 2

Comments

Leave a Reply

We are glad to discover Russia together with you!

We put our heart into the project. Join us on Facebook or Twitter: