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Wednesday, 25 July 2012


Marilyn and I asked Mom to write down anything she remembered about the old days.  This was on one of the papers she gave me:

There were a lot of matchmakers:  sometimes a friend or an uncle.  A matchmaker was called a “starosta”.   

A young man wishing to get married either knew a girl or matchmakers would tell him about a girl. 
The matchmaker or matchmakers (there could be 2 or 3 men) would take wine to the girl’s parents’ house and present themselves as starosty.  They would be welcomed and given lunch or dinner.   They would get talking about marriage between the girl and the young man.  If the idea was accepted, right away they would plan the wedding.

These starosty then played a big role throughout the wedding.  They would see that everyone got drinks and food and had fun.


 Cakes and pies sat on the long tables at wedding receptions in the 1950s and were also served during the late lunch.  


3 ounces unsweetened chocolate                                           ½ cup butter softened
2/3 cup honey                                                                                   2/3 cup sugar
1 ¾ cups enriched flour                                                                                1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp baking soda                                                                             2 eggs
½ tsp baking powder                                                                      2/3 cup buttermilk
¼ tsp salt                                                                            

  1.  Melt the chocolate and honey together over low heat.  Set aside to cool.
  2. Butter a 9 inch square pan.
  3. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  4. Stir together flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt in a medium bowl.
  5. Cream the butter, sugar, and vanilla  together in a large bowl.
  6. Beat the eggs in, one at a time, with a mixer.
  7. Beat in the honey-chocolate mixture.
  8. Alternately beat in the flour and buttermilk  by thirds.
  9. Bake 40 minutes and test with a toothpick.
  10. When cool, frost with your favourite icing.

2/3 cup pecans
1 cup coconut

1/3 cup milk
1/3 cup light cream
2 egg yolks
1/3 cup butter
¾ tsp vanilla

1.        Chop pecans and set aside with the coconut.
2.       Stir milk, cream, sugar, egg yolks, butter, and vanilla in saucepan over medium heat until mixture comes to a full boil.
3.       Keep stirring for 5 more minutes.
4.       Stir in coconut and pecans. 
5.       Cool before spreading on the cake.

SAVELLA’S Chocolate Medivnyk is a good cake but

Bryan’s mother’s chocolate cake is still the best:

Grease and flour 9x9 pan.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Into large mixing bowl put:
1 ¾ cups flour
½ cup sugar
½ tsp. salt
3 tbsp cocoa
1 ¼ tsp baking soda
1 ½ tsp baking powder
Stir all dry ingredients  to blend.

Now add:
1 cup cold water
½ cup salad oil
1 tbsp vinegar
1 tsp vanilla
1 egg

Use hand mixer to combine all ingredients .  Turn into pan.
Bake for 30 minutes.
Spread with Vanilla Butter Icing.

*I love to serve cake hot out of the oven.  Just ice the pieces individually before serving. 

Ice the remainder of the cake when it cools.