Silver Travel Cook Club - August 2020

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Silver Travel Cook ClubEmerald WaterwaysThis month’s Silver Travel Cook Club features a recipe for Syrniki, inspired by sponsor Emerald Waterways' Imperial Charms of Russia holiday, travelling by water from St Petersburg to Moscow.

And you could win an Emerald Waterways goody bag and a copy of The Russian Heritage Cookbook by Lynn Visson.

Imperial Charms of Russia itineraryThis journey of discovery with Emerald Waterways not only reveals a wealth of hidden wonders, but also allows you to enjoy authentic local experiences, as history and folklore play out beautifully as you sail Russia’s proud waterways.

This 11-day itinerary sails from the World Heritage-listed city of St. Petersburg to Russia’s mighty capital, Moscow, taking in towns and villages such as Mandrogi, Kizhi and Uglich along the way. Enjoy carefully planned excursions that highlight the traditions of ancient folk communities, and also ensure you see the many highlights of the big cities. 

Enjoy generous inclusions such as return flights from London Heathrow, transfers to and from your ship, and all on-board meals with selected drinks with lunch and dinner. You can also take advantage of an array of included excursions, conducted in small groups, and complimentary on-board Wi-Fi.

Emerald Waterways NS Nizhny Novgorod

Departure dates and pricing:
Having just launched new 2021 departure dates and an updated 11-day itinerary, now is a great time to secure your place on board. In addition, for a limited time you can take advantage of guaranteed savings of £1,000 per couple when booked before 31 August 2020.

Prices start at £2,195 per person, departing 11 September 2021.

Find out more at 

Terms and conditions apply to the offer, please visit for full terms and conditions.

Recipe: Syrniki

These sweet, cheesy traditional Russian pancakes are soft on the inside and slightly crispy on the outside. They are especially delicious when topped with blueberry syrup and sour cream, but are also good with maple syrup, whipped cream or butter.


  • 16 oz of crumbly goat's chese (or ricotta)
  • 3 eggs
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 90g plain flour
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • 30g light vegetable oil


Syrniki - traditional Russian cheesy pancakesBreak up the cheese and crumble into a large bowl.

Whisk in the two eggs and vanilla extract.

Add in 60g of the flour, sugar, salt and baking soda. The batter will be thick and more like a dough batter than a normal pancake batter. Put the remaining 30g of flour in a shallow dish.

Scoop out the balls of dough. Please each dough ball into the shallow dish and coat with flour on both sides, before flattening with a spatula.

Heat the oil on medium-low heat in a cast iron pan. Once hot, place the pancakes in the oil. Fry on both sides for 3 minutes each side, or until golden brown.

Serve immediately with your favourite topping.

Emerald Waterways goodie bagWin Emerald Waterways goody bag and a copy of The Russian Heritage CookbookHow to win an Emerald Waterways goody bag and a copy of The Russian Heritage Cookbook

Pancakes are also a great British favourite, one of those dishes that ought to be simple to make, and yet which is also very easy to get wrong!

Tell us about your most memorable culinary mishap, and the best entry will win a copy of The Russian Heritage Cookbook.

Read more about all of our Silver Travel Cook Club recipes.


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Other Members' Thoughts - 15 Comment(s)

  • Leah50
    about 1 year ago
    Invited six family members, including the son-in-law I wanted to impress to lunch. I'd cooked two Eastern Mediterranean dishes, one quite small fish dish, and a large vegetarian one for the rest of us. Served my young grandchildren first, they made faces at first bite, their dad tasted next and grimaced. Embarrassed, I tasted it myself.....washing-up-liquid moussaka anyone? I still don't know how ir happened.
  • Sararose
    about 1 year ago
    I am not a brilliant cook but consider my Sunday dinner to be my signature dish. One Sunday Kevin, a strict vegetarian friend invited himself to lunch and I proudly served him crispy roast potatoes , Yorkshire pudding and three different vegetables. The rest of us of course had delicious roast beef too. I spoilt Kevin's meal by pouring gravy (made with beef dripping and all the lovely beef juices) all over his piled up plate! He never invited himself to a meal again.
  • ESW
    about 1 year ago
    Many years ago I was making a batch of blackberry and apple jelly. I made the mistake of putting too much into the jelly bag which collapsed, spraying juice all over teh kitchen. Husband took one look but rapidly disappeared leaving me to clean it all up.

    The jelly had splashed all over the curtain and when daughter arrived home she saw the bright red stain and was convinced I had been murdered.

    Interestingly enough, she assumed Michael had totalled me rather than the other way round....
  • Wildthing1234
    about 1 year ago
    I've never enjoyed baking, but during lockdown it gave me something to do. Most things turned out ok, but my chocolate chip cookies were just slop! I threw them out for the birds and even they didn't eat them! I ended up scraping them back up to put in the bin!
  • Babz
    about 1 year ago
    One of the many disasters that come to mind is when I spent hours peeling veg to make a huge saucepan of soup, put it on to boil then sat down to recuperate as I was so tired. I got involved with a TV programme and that was it until my husband noticed something going on in the kitchen. ""My soup", I yelled and ran out to find the kitchen covered in smoke, my soup dry and burned, as was my saucepan. Doors open on a freezing cold night and the smell of smoke remained for days. The discoloured worktop around the hob is a constant reminder of our lucky escape. It took months before I even thought if making soup again.
  • SilverTravelUser_4342
    about 1 year ago
    I think my biggest error was putting salt in the beautiful apple pies I made as part of my O level cookery exam, fortunately everything else was great and I passed with flying colours. It certainly made me check and double check in future and set me up nicely for my career in catering. I’d love a copy of this book.
  • Marco-polo
    about 1 year ago
    About a month ago I bought a new expensive oven. I tried to cook a sponge to try it out!
    Not quite sure what went wrong,but the sponge mixture ended up everywhere except in the tins!
    Fortunately, the manufacturer’s claims that it was easy to clean turned out to be correct.
    Subsequent sponges have earned me compliments from my very young grandchildren.
  • SilverTravelEditor
    about 1 year ago
    Thanks for the great comments so far this month about your culinary car crashes.

    @Debbie - well done for allowing your French hosts to retain their innate feeling of culinary superiority over their British neighbours! I'm guessing your French, and cooking, have improved significantly since then...

    @DRSask - how times have changed! Hopefully even your tin-can friend recognises fresh produce now?

    Please keep these wonderful comments about culinary mishaps coming, to be in with a chance to win a copy of The Russian Heritage Cookbook AND a goody bag from Cook Club sponsor Emerald Waterways.
  • DRSask
    about 1 year ago
    When I was 19 a friend and I used to try a new recipe each Friday night. One week we sent another friend to the shop to get the ingredients for a sweet and sour chicken dish. Little did we know that he wasn't familiar with fresh food. If it didn't come in a can he didn't know it. Rather than a fresh pineapple he bought a can of crushed pineapple. Same for the vegetables. We did our best with the recipe but it turned out quite horrid! We threw it all out and dinner ended up being a good old fashioned fry up.
  • philatel
    about 1 year ago
    My major mishap was when I tried to make some rhubarb jam - I followed the instructions implicitly but, after putting the jam in the jars, when I tried to spread it on toast, it had set rock solid and I was unable to get any out! I had to abandon it - jam plus the jars!
  • Lowslung
    about 1 year ago
    There are several culinary disasters come to mind, but the most disastrous was the forgotten pressure cooker filled with lentil soup that transferred itself to the kitchen ceiling
  • Debbie
    about 1 year ago
    At the age of 15 I stayed with a very posh French family for a week at their remote and very chilly Brittany chateau. They insisted that I made them an apple pie with custard as a traditional English dessert. I struggled through and finally served the dish - unfortunately my French was so limited that I had mistaken the "sel" for the sugar and added three tablespoons of salt to the custard - I can still see the horrified faces of Monsieur & Madame as they took their first mouthful!
  • gloucestergirl
    about 1 year ago
    On one of several attempts to bake gluten-free bread I thought that I had finally made a perfect loaf, only to find that when I cut it open it was completely hollow inside !! My husband thought it was hilarious!
  • Ozdevon
    about 1 year ago
    I misread the recipe & instead of a teaspoon of chilly flakes I put in 4! I was reading the wrong line. Friends never let me forget this mistake.
  • Hardyplant
    about 1 year ago
    I've had so many culinary mishaps during my 74 years that I've pushed them to the far recesses or my memory - and hope those who had to eat them have too!