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Tuesday, 27 August 2013

KASHA for breakfast & a LETTER from Mom

Savella Stechishin says, “Kasha is any cereal cooked like a porridge. . .”

I’ve had some Bulgur in my pantry for quite a while so I decided to give it a try.  Bryan and I quite liked it, and it’s simple to make.  Also, it you have some leftover, it heats up nicely in the microwave the next day.  So here it is:


1 cup bulgur
2 cups water
¼ tsp salt.
            Bring to a boil.  Lower heat, cover, and simmer for 15 minutes until the water is absorbed. 
            Serve with brown sugar and milk. 

                        *You can also add toppings.  I liked chopped walnuts, and Bryan also added sliced bananas. 

Aug 27, 1982

It froze hard last night.  Everything froze.  There is always a frost around this time but very light but this year it’s froze hard.  We likely will have an early winter.  Dad thinks of taking in potatoes as soon as they dry up.  He won’t wait like he did other years.

 We are going to a auction sale tomorrow.  I hope I get what I want.  I need certain kind of pot to cook pyrohy but I can’t get.  I had one but someone ran over it so I looked all over for one but it’s either too big or one like I have.  Oh likely I will come across one some time. 

Sunday we are going to church as we haven’t been there since last winter.  It was something always, either we could not go or the priest was sick.  The last time when we had dinner after church Dad was away at Diana’s and I had no way to go.  So I canned strawberries that day.

I am sorry that the baby is having earaches.  It must be like me.  I always get infection in my ears one at the time and I am sorry you had to take her off the bottle.  She may eat more solids but she will miss her bottle.  I did have George off at 8 months but I did give him the soother at night till he learned to be without.  But they do miss the bottle at night.  

I should wash the kitchen walls as they need it, perhaps this afternoon.  As it’s morning I am writing.  I embroider a bit but it don’t have the color chart so I have to judge myself and I am not good at it.  Dad says it’s nice but I wait for someone else’s judgment. 

I wrote to Nestor that we are not going now to see him.  It’s the geese.  There be no one to feed them as it will be harvest.  Next year we be free as we will only get few chickens and no more geese.

God bless you all.  

Sunday, 25 August 2013


On August, 20th,  Aline wrote:
The raspberries are just producing like crazy.  I've done 3 batches of jam today and one batch of raspberry jelly.  I may pick some to freeze, just freeze the fruit for later use. I don't know why I'm even bothering as the jam eater is no longer here. The weather here is just an oven out of control. First we were crying for it to quite raining now we could use some to cool things down.

Aline’s email triggered lots of childhood memories for me.  There was one summer, in particular, when Anastasia came home.

We spent so much time outdoors, and I became so brown that I don’t think I ever lost all of that tan.  

Anastasia took Diana, Nestor, and me to pick wild raspberries in the hot sun.  

And that brings me to one of my all-time favourite desserts.  Mom prepared a big bowl of  raspberries mashed with sugar and stirred in cream so thick it didn't need whipping.

We just called it . . . 

Malini with Cream

For an individual helping, I used to mash about ½ cup of raspberries with a teaspoon of sugar, and then pour on thick cream.  I used enough cream to make the mixture a pale pink.  If it was bright pink, that was too strong. 

but in Cordon Bleu cookbooks it’s called . . .


For 4 servings:
Whip 2 cups of cream.  Add ½ cup sugar (or to taste). 
Mash 1 ½ cups of raspberries (or more) with a tablespoon of sugar.
Mix into the whipped cream and serve in parfait glasses.

And every year, Mom put up LOTS of sealers of Raspberries in Syrup for winter.  

Mom, 49 years old


Thursday, 22 August 2013

FAMILY SECRETS and a mile-high MERINGUE TOPPING for Lemon Pie

Recipes . . .  as closely guarded family secrets . . .  Are they a thing of the past?  It seemed, when I was young, that you weren’t a real cook unless you had at least a few such recipes that others coveted but you would never share.

      Gale and myself;  early 1970s                                              
I still remember, with longing, a cauliflower dish, covered with a thick, golden, cheesy topping, that my friend Gale Stansfield flaunted at dinner parties and I have never been able to reproduce.

My cousin, Lily Maksymic, makes Lemon Pie with an amazing meringue topping--  she was hesitant to share, at first, but here it is, a secret Family recipe.  J

        From The Family Sweet Tooth” , a cookbook produced for a reunion of the Macsymes family in Wishart, Saskatchewan

3 egg whites
1 tbsp ice cold water
2 tbsp sugar
1 tsp cornstarch
¼ tsp baking powder

·        Beat egg whites and cold water until soft peaks form.
·        Mix dry ingredients together and add to egg whites & beat to a stiff meringue.
·        Bake at 350 degrees for 12 to 15 minutes.

Lemon Pie  --  it’s hard for anyone to resist – in fact, it’s Karen’s favourite.

                                                        Karen (1960s)

Monday, 19 August 2013


In Laredo, Nicole and Kepler

played a Spice rack smelling game

Nicole says, "He was more interested in staring at thyme than smelling it."

"Lol he was absolutely HORRIFIED by sage of all things."

"Nutmeg and ancho chili are his favourites...weird kid."

Nicole amended," Lol, it’s actually ginger he likes, not nutmeg."


In Surrey, B.C., with blackberries growing wild all over the place, I’ve gotten inventive, too,  so here’s my very own


Rinse 1 to 2 cups blackberries and leave to drain well.
Butter a 9x9 pan.
Start preheating oven to 400 degrees.
Fill an electric kettle with water and set it to boil.

Now make a biscuit dough:
            1 cup flour
            1 tbsp baking powder
            ¼ tsp salt
            ¼ cup softened butter
            ½ cup milk
·        Mix flour, baking powder, salt, and butter in a food processor.
·        Transfer to a bowl and lightly stir in the milk.
·        Turn onto a floured counter and dust with more flour.
·        Pat or roll out into a 12x14 rectangle.

·        Sprinkle the dough with the blackberries, ¼ cup brown sugar, and ½ tsp cinnamon.

·        Roll the dough up like a Jelly Roll and cut into thick slices.  Transfer to the baking pan.

In a mixing bowl, stir together 1 cup brown sugar, 2 tbsp flour,  and 1/8 tsp salt.
Stir in 2 cups boiling water. 
·        Pour this over the slices in the baking pan.
·        Bake for 15 minutes at 400 degrees.
·        Reduce heat to 350 and bake 15 more minutes.

There will be LOTS of delicious sauce.  Serve the pudding HOT with vanilla ice cream!


Sunday, 18 August 2013


August 18/82  

I was to see the doctor yesterday.  He gave penicillin pills to take.  It has worked a little but a long way to go.  I have pneumonia.  I quit for a while lugging cans of water to the geese.  I will look after them when I get better. 

It’s 11 o’clock in the morning.  Dad went to a sale.  It starts 11:30 so he had an early dinner. 

I didn’t have fun at the wedding as I was burning up.  I only drank coke and 222 pills. I washed my hair before we went.  With sweating so much hair never got dry till I went to bed.

I won’t have any cucumbers for pickling as they froze, once in the spring and now again so there is only a few unless it don’t freeze now for a long while. 

It rained last night .  We don’t need much rain now that the harvest started.  George and Donald are swathing wheat and mustard.  Matt bought a big swather so it goes fast. 

I have a big wash when I get better as I should have done this week but I will leave till I am better. 

I have dilled 5 pints beans.  That be enough for me as I still got some from last year and we don’t go for them much.
I been doing a bit of embroidery but not much since I got sick.  Dad is doing fine as he stayed in bed for two days and he got better so he’s all right now. 

I had done some rhubarb with raspberries.  Dad like it.  I did six quarts and I have 5 quarts of last year’s so I will have enough.

I will close now as I haven’t much to say.


In August, it's time to look at Mom's pickle recipes.  


            Mom said, “One thing about them is to follow the directions carefully.  They will stay crisp.  That is something you don’t always get with Bread and Butter Pickles.”

12 large or 15 medium sized cucumbers
            *Soak them in cold water, unpeeled, overnight.
            *In the morning, do not drain, but peel and slice them into large chunks.     
            *Peel 6 large or 8 medium onions.  Cut them up in large pieces.
            *Add the onions to the cucumbers.
            *Sprinkle with ½ cup salt.
            *Soak for several hours.

Sterilize some sealers.

**Drain the cucumbers and onions well before starting to make the syrup. 

Prepare Syrup:   

4 cups brown sugar
4 cups mild vinegar
2 teaspoons peppercorns
2 teaspoons mustard seeds
4 teaspoons celery seed in a bag

2 tablespoons cornstarch
2 teaspoons ginger
2 teaspoons turmeric

*In a very large pot, make a syrup of the sugar, vinegar, pepper, cornstarch, mustard seeds, and celery seeds in a bag.   Boil a little.
* Mix together ginger, turmeric, and cornstarch.  Moisten a little with cold vinegar or water.
* Add to syrup and boil for 3 minutes.    
*Add the drained onions and cucumbers and bring to a boil.
* Cook for 5 minutes – after they come to a boil.
* Transfer to hot, sterilized sealers.

Use after the pickles age for 2 weeks.


Donald and Karen are planning to make these pickles.  They have a huge garden and these pickles always been one of Donald's favourites.

2 possible origins for the name -- Bread and Butter Pickles:

(a)  During the Depression, some sandwiches consisted only of bread and butter slapped over these pickles.
(b)                         Somebody made a living by making and selling these pickles so the pickles were her “bread and butter”.  

Friday, 16 August 2013



     Marta Pisetska Farley says that her recipes have been mostly translated from Ukrainian.  She says, “Ukrainians took food seriously”  and  that the dishes that “appeared most frequently” were dough, dumpling, pancake, and noodle combinations.

J Well, it’s the little dumplings that make Farley’s soup different from other mushrooms soups . . . and very SPECIAL!

        (Yushka z hrybiv i zatirka)

        From Marta Pisetska Farley’s Festive Ukrainian Cooking

This amount will serve 8.

1 pound mushrooms
1 pound onions
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons flour
2 medium potatoes
½ pound parsnip
½ pound turnip (not rutabaga)
8 cups meat stock
¼ tsp pepper
Salt to taste

-Slice mushrooms.
-Chop onions finely.
-Fry mushrooms and onions in butter until onions are transparent.
-Stir in flour.
-Peel and dice parsnip and turnip.
-Peel and dice potatoes.
-Add pepper to stock in saucepan.
-Boil potatoes, parsnips, and turnip in stock for 10 minutes.  Taste to see if they are tender.  Take off heat.
-Prepare dumplings. 

1 cup flour
2 tbsp butter
½ tsp salt
½ cup water

-Mix flour, butter, and salt in food processor.
-Add water and process.  The dough will be stiff.
-Pinch off small bits of dough and roll between palms to make dumplings.
-Set aside.

-Now stir mushroom-onion mixture into soup.  Bring to a boil. 

-Taste for salt.

- Add pea-sized dumplings and cook for 3 minutes.  Before serving, taste to see if the dumplings are cooked through.



Happy Birthday to my grand-niece, Faith!

Thursday, 15 August 2013

ZOMBIES in UKRAINE. . . !!!!

            So I’m reading WORLD WAR Z: an ORAL HISTORY of the ZOMBIE WAR by Max Brooks and there it is – Kiev is being overrun and 

                               across the Dnieper,

                         Pecherska Lavra, the monastery, is going up in flames! 

“With its high walls, its strategic location, we could have made a stand.”
“Any first-year cadet could have turned it into an impregnable fortress

 . . . sealed the gates, and mounted snipers in the towers.”

The last thing, the soldier says he saw as he retreated was “Rodina Mat (Motherland).  She was the tallest building in the city, a more than sixty-meter masterpiece of pure stainless steel . . . her shield and sword held high in everlasting triumph, her cold, bright eyes looking down at us as we ran." 


Vesper has been growing by leaps and bounds!

Recently, she took Best of Breed Puppy at the Pacific Kennel Club Dog Show!  Our thanks to Marcine for handling her. 

Afterwards . . . 

Time to talk FOOD . . . so here’s something Vesper admired.  J

This recipe has been a family favourite since 1983.  It’s simple but amazing! Nicole suggested that we try making it on the little gas barbecue Nestor gave us for our balcony, and it worked really well.  Bryan is now officially a 

BARBECUED CHICKEN  (from McCall’s Barbecue Cookbook, c1965)

Chicken pieces -- plan on one or two pieces per serving  (If you’re  cooking only 5 or 6 pieces, you can cut the remaining ingredients in half.)

¼ cup butter
¼ cup lemon juice (fresh or bottled)
½ tsp paprika
2 tsp salt

* Melt butter.
* Stir in lemon juice, paprika, and salt.
* Set the grill on a low flame.
* Dip the chicken in the lemon butter sauce and place on grill.
* Grill, turning from time to time, for 40 minutes.

Sunday, 11 August 2013


You can grow up on a farm but learn next to nothing about farming.  Or you can marry a farmer and get right into it.

            Here’s what I just learned by talking with my sister-in-law, Karen:  She said there hasn’t been great weather this summer.  It’s been wet and cool so David hasn’t finished baling hay because it’s green underneath.  “There’s alfalfa mixed in so it can’t be green or it won’t keep,” she explained.   “I hope it’s not going to be an early winter after a summer like this, but the leaves are changing already even though it’s too soon.  And the salamanders are moving and burrowing down – they don’t usually do that until September.”

            Karen wasn’t raised on a farm, even though her parents did farm for a while. When Karen was 7 years old, her parents left Moosomin and moved into town.   

    There were 3 children, widely spaced apart.  The first was Margaret.  After 6 years there was Ken.  Then 13 years went by before Karen arrived.    

“How did you meet Donald?” I asked Karen.
Karen, her dad, me, and Aline in the 1960s
“I think George was dating Aline and I was friends with Aline.  One time when Donald saw me out walking, he said to Nestor, ‘Go get her,’ so Nestor picked me up and carried me over his shoulder to the car.”   The memory made Karen laugh.     “I guess Donald was being Mr. Shy,” she said.  “I had a dress on and I was saying, ‘Put me down!’  It was a good thing none of Mom’s friends saw this.”

Karen and her mom (1980?)

Sorry, there's no picture of today’s recipe because I hadn’t planned on blogging it.

Instead, I was going to blog Bohdan Zahny’s  Green Peppers stuffed with carrots and cabbage, and they turned out okay . . . but nothing special.

Fortunately, I teamed the peppers up with a chicken recipe that everyone wanted seconds of!

EASY CREAMED CHICKEN  and delicious!

Originally published as Sour Cream 'n' Dill Chicken in Country Woman May/June 1993, p33

10 chicken pieces
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1 envelope dry onion soup mix
1 cup sour cream
1 tsp dried dill weed (or 1 tbsp chopped fresh dill)
7 sliced fresh mushrooms (or 1 can sliced mushrooms)

·        Preheat oven to 350.
·        Put chicken in 13x9 pan.
·        Combine all the other ingredients and spread over the chicken.
·        Bake one hour.

·        Serve with plain boiled potatoes as there’s lots of sauce.