What's Cooking in Ukraine?

People think that we are in Ukraine to participate in missionary work but, truth be told, we are really here to learn how to cook fabulous Ukrainian food!  So we got a gaggle of laborers together: myself, Gracie, Alex, Roma and Sasha and had our dear friend Tanya come and show us how to make borsh (soup with root vegetables), plov (rice and meat), and charlotka (apple cake).  Roma is a great cook in his own right but he says that he has a secret ingredient that will get me killed if he ever tells me.  Rumor has it that the ingredient is LOVE and if that is the case, then we had that abounding as we got started :)

Roma and Alex peeling potatoes.

Sasha peels carrots.

Roma, Gracie and Alex cut potatoes.

They are having way too much fun.  Don't they know this is work?

Borsh, the finished product!  Pork chunks, onion, carrots, potatoes, cabbage, beets, tomato paste and a special seasoning mix.  Liquid gold.  Sasha was surprised to learn that there is no such thing as American borsh.  We can cook borsh but it is a Ukrainian dish, with nothing quite like it in Amerca.  Since this is a weekly dish here, you can understand why it would be surprising that Americanskis wouldn't do the same.  It's just a part of life.  I guess hamburgers and pizza would be an equivalent type American staple, but they are not nearly as healthy and delicious...

Plov: rice, meat, a bit of carrots and onions, raisins, and seasoning mix.  A dish I had never heard of until someone at church made it for us, but it's also a famous Ukrainian staple and absolutely wonderful.  The kids really love it and whenever you mention plov to someone here, they usually rub their bellies and say Mmmmmmmmmm because it is so very good.  A new mainstay in our house.

The seasoning mix and tomato paste that Tanya uses.  The seasoning is called "10 Vegetables" and adds amazing flavor to whatever you add it to.  We used it in both the borsh and the plov.  Roma says he makes borsh without using it, but since learning from him will put my life on the line, I think I'll refrain from learning how he does it.

This is what the charlotka or apple cake looks like and it was large enough to feed our whole crew!  On top of parchment paper, you make a layer of chopped apples.  You whip up eggs, sugar and flour into a froth and then spread it over the apples.  You bake it up and a layer of toasty meringue forms on top and beneath that is moist cake with apples.  So simple and so very good.

The payoff!  A great, healthy meal and happy guests.  Notice Caleb in the background will not let one drop go to waste.

Tanya's son Isaac kept Hope company while the mommies cooked :)

Where was Jeffrey during all the culinary exercises?  Watch the video to see his contribution...


  1. How are things where you are, in regards to the things going on with Russia? Have you posted about it?



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