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Friday, 22 June 2012

Perogies and Friends

Fall, 1976.  Gary Tisdale and I started working together in a school library and quickly discovered a shared interest in good food.  In fact, some of the best meals I’ve ever had were at Gary’s table.  

When my daughter, Kathleen, appeared on the scene, Gary made the cakes for her baptismal party.

Naturally, I sent Gary the link to my new food blog and he responded with the following story which he is allowing me to share here:  
Here's one back. Same mentioned cookbook. When I had left home to go to ACA in Calgary, my mom and dad's best friends there, Mabel and Allen, took me under their wing. They had me 
over for suppers on occasion and found my first board and room place for me. Time passed and whole lot of life experiences in a real short time. I had decided enough of the work world and 
it was time to return to education. My parents agreed and had planned a trip to Kelowna and would pick me up enroute. I decided to have Mabel and Allen over. Now I could make cabbage rolls, mushrooms
in cream and dill, and while I had not made vareneki (my grandmother called them by another name), I was brave enough to give it a try. I had watched my mother and grandmother make them 
for years. I was quite methodical in my approach and, while the end result wasn't quite like mom's or grandmother's, they weren't bad. Allen and Mabel arrived. We ate. After supper, Mabel turned
to me and said, "That was very good and very different. I've never eaten food like that before. Where did you learn to make food like that?" I replied, "By watching my mother, aunts, and grandmother
cook." Mabel replied, " All these years I thought your mother was an English war bride."

It wasn't always fun to have a Ukrainian background those days.

India, 1972:
     At a cocktail party, the host, a Canadian Trade Attache, marched over to me in the middle of his living room and practically shouted, "I didn't know you were Uke!"
     "Ukrainian," I responded.
     "I thought you were English, but you're Uke!"  It was as though I had done him a personal injury.
     "Ukrainian," I repeated.
     "No!  Hunky!  Uke!"