Dutch Still Life of the Golden XVII century is a realm of opulence where you seem to find everything you want. It works better if you add a cat to it:
Look how the Cat’s noble presence ameliorates the colors of the gifts of Nature because he himself is the best gift of it! Just compare the cat-tuned still life with a regular version at Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam:
By the way, there is Kattenkabinet (Cats Museum) in Amsterdam also, so curators of the brilliant Rijksmuseum can easily improve their still lives by cats, they just need kind advice of Us, Zarathustra the Cat.
But now We ask Ourselves if one can find really everything in the opulence of Dutch Still Life?:
Oh yes, where is this famous Russian salad called in its homeland as Olivier? It is the most traditional food for every New Year party. We are so gracious in Our enjoyment of repasts that We demand that every opulence should be completed to its logical end – Russian salad Olivier! We, the Cat Chef are so kind to recommend it:
Here is a heavenly recipe for the true Russian salad Olivier, composed by Our humble assistant’s grandmother, who was famous for her dinners. The recipe has some essential secrets.
3-4 medium potatoes – cooked. Secret! Never put more than 4 potatoes!
2 large carrots – cooked
2 hard-boiled eggs
3-4 Russian salted cucumbers, or maybe more, depends on the size of the cucumbers (in some places they call them «dill pickles», to be found in Russian, Polish, Jewish food shops)
200-300 g bologna sausage (better from beef and pork) Other meats can be substituted: baked beef, boiled chicken, but «doctorskaya» sausage is the most authentic. It is similar to bologna made of beef and pork.
1 can (400 g) of sweet peas
1 large granny smith apple (Secret! Fuji apple is also OK)
1 cup mayonnaise mixed with sour cream of natural yogurt in proportions half to half or 2/3 of mayonnaise, up to your taste
Secret! This mixture gives to your salad a heavenly taste and aroma.
1 bunch of fresh dill
Horseradish sauce to your taste
First and most important: Serve a slice of bologna to a cat. If the cat approves your choice of sausage i.e. kindly eats it even if he is not hungry, you can proceed. If he does not approve it, please find another sausage.
So, your sausage is happily approved.
Boil potatoes and carrots in their skin, put them in the cold water when they will be ready and let them cool down, then peel them.
Cook eggs about 20 minutes, put them also in the cold water, and peel them when they will cool down.
Then you should dice potatoes, carrots, bologna, eggs, granny smith apple and pickles (salted cucumbers)
All cubes of products must be of the same size as a pea.
Secret! Only cubes of apple can be a little bit larger because when you bite them you feel satori
Secret! Cubes of pickles can be smaller because they play the role of salt. You never put salt in your salad, you just add finely chopped pickles if it is not salty enough.
Chop fresh dill, put all the diced ingredients together, and add sweet peas.
Then add mayonnaise mixed with sour cream of yogurt (it is better, to begin with proportion 2/3 mayonnaise, then you can add sour cream to taste)
Then mix everything thoroughly and
Secret! Add a little bit of horseradish sauce or serve it aside to salad.
Our assistant’s grandmother put this chef-d’oeuvre into a cut-glass bowl and decorated the top of the salad with fresh dill and an artificial mushroom made of a hard-boiled egg and a half of red tomato with little spots of white mayonnaise. And all human children dreamt of getting this beautiful mushroom though it was not the tastiest part of the famous salad!
Be so gracious in your enjoyment of repasts!
So, in our successful experiment, We proved that the Dutch Still Life of XVII has true opulence.
But the inquiring mind of the true scientist cannot be satisfied with the experiment: