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Thursday, 31 October 2013







My daughter said, “I'm more about eating my pumpkin than I am about carving it.”
So that’s what we’re going to do tonight. 

 It was delicious.  (Serves up to 10!)


Of course, the girls used to love making jack o’lanterns.

And, the next day, I cooked the pumpkin, often using this wonderful recipe from Lee-Ann Rosher in Saskatoon:

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Loaves
(makes 2 loaves.  You can cut the recipe in half and make only one if you want, but the loaves do freeze very well.)

1 cup canola oil
2 cups sugar
4 eggs
2 cups pumpkin purée  (If you cook your own pumpkin,  drain the purée)
3 cups flour
2 tsp baking soda
2 tsp baking powder
½ tsp salt
1 cup chocolate chips
1 cup chopped walnuts

·        Preheat oven to 350.
·        Grease two 9x5 loaf pans.
·        In a large bowl, beat together oil, sugar, eggs, and pumpkin.
·        In another bowl, stir together flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt.
·        Add flour to pumpkin mixture.
·        Stir in chocolate chips and nuts.
·        Transfer mixture to the two loaf pans.
·        Bake for 55 to 60 minutes.  (Test with wooden pick to make sure it comes out clean.)

Monday, 28 October 2013

What a Weekend!

Birthday Loot!  THREE COOKBOOKS!!!

Thank you to my wonderful family for these treasures!

And my birthday dinner was perfect, too: 

            Appetizer:  Hot Garlic Bread with Hot Olives
            Main:  Rack of Lamb with Herb Crust (rare)
                         Balsamic Potato Wedges
                        Salad Wedge with Blue Cheese Dressing
            Dessert:  Araby Spice Cake with Lemon Icing  & CANDLES   J

I had another piece of the Araby Cake for breakfast the next morning before heading off to Abbotsford for a dog show.

Vesper and Marcine

Marcine showing her dog, Nia (Vesper’s half-sister)

 Larry showing Dakota (Vesper’s mom)

Thanks, Marcine, for all your time with Vesper! 

Saturday, 26 October 2013

SCORPIOS and a GOLD STAR dessert

            On a sunny, breezy October day, Mary and Myron Leschyshyn hurried away from home to get the midwife for their mother, Anne.  Their father, John, was away at a neighbor’s place, helping with the harvest. 
            “I don’t do that any more,” said the midwife, and sent them to another woman.  “I have a headache,” said this one.
            Mary and Myron stood helplessly in the middle of a crossroads. 
            “What am I going to do now?” Mary asked herself.  Then she thought of the Twerdochlibs. 
            “There’s a lot of children at Twerdochlibs,” Mary told Myron.  “They’ll know what to do.”
            And so, Mrs. Twerdochlib, who was not even a relative or a midwife, helped Florence Leschyshyn arrive on that beautiful October day.

                                                        Aunt Florence and Uncle Mike

Papaya, Mango, and Starfruit in Cinnamon Syrup

        From 500 Sensational Salads

N.B.  Prepare this a day ahead of serving.
2 ¼ cups berry sugar
1 cinnamon stick
1  papaya
1 mango
1 starfruit

*Peel & seed papaya.  Cut into thin, lengthwise pieces.
*Peel mango.   Cut into thin, lengthwise pieces.
* Thinly slice star fruit.
*Put ¾ cup sugar on bottom of large pan.  Add cinnamon stick and half of the papaya, mango, and starfruit. 
*Sprinkle on another ¾ cup sugar.  Put in the rest of the fruit.
* Sprinkle on the rest of the sugar.
*Cover the pan & cook over medium heat for 35-45 minutes until the sugar dissolves completely.  Shake the pan occasionally but don’t stir.
*Uncover & simmer 10 minutes until fruit is translucent.
*Remove from heat & cool.  Discard cinnamon stick.
*Refrigerate overnight before serving.

I served this cold, as a compote, with turkey and it was delicious. 

It is truly a GOLD STAR DESSERT!   Serve it really hot with ice cream.

Bryan also enjoyed it cold on vanilla yogurt.  J  


And it’s my birthday, too.  J

Monday, 21 October 2013

Salute to a wonderful teacher . . . and OATMEAL WALNUT CAKE

Olha Mayowsky, when she graduated from Normal School

Years ago, Mom gave me a local history book called The School District of Pozir #2206.  I kept it only because it has some family history and photographs, and never started reading it until now.   How I wish I could thank Mom again and tell her that I’m really enjoying it.

I just have to share with you a little of the story about Olha Mayowsky, the teacher who was 23 years old when she began teaching at Pozir School in the fall of 1933.  
When the mother of one of her students was hospitalized, Olha “unannounced” took over caring for the children and house until the mom returned! 
 When another of her students refused to go to school,  “Olha found her way to his home” and discovered that he was too ashamed to go barefoot to school.  She “told him that he had feet, and to be proud of them.”  He became a very good student and, years later, dropped in on Olha’s mother in Angusville “to let his teacher know” that he had done well in life and still felt he had her to thank for his success.     


1 cup oatmeal
1 ¼ cups boiling water

1 ½ cups flour
1 tsp baking soda
¾ tsp cinnamon
¼ tsp nutmeg
½ tsp salt

½ cup softened butter
½ cup brown sugar
½ cup white sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla

½ cup chopped walnuts

Also Ingredients For Topping:  
¾ cup flaked coconut
½ cup brown sugar
½ cup chopped walnuts
¼ cup butter
3 tablespoons milk

*Cover oats with boiling water and let stand 20 minutes.
*Grease and flour a 9x9 cake pan.
*Preheat oven to 350.
*Combine flour, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt in a small bowl.  Set aside.
*In a large bowl, beat brown sugar and white sugar into butter.
*Add eggs and vanilla.  Beat.
*Stir in oats.
*Stir in flour.
*Stir in walnuts.
*Bake for 50 minutes.
*Prepare Topping :  Melt  the  butter and  combine with coconut, walnuts,
and milk.
*Spread hot cake with Topping and broil about 3 minutes.  Watch carefully or
it will burn.

We have enjoyed this moist cake since July, 1987.  J


Wednesday, 16 October 2013


 On the way to Tofino, we stopped at the Goats on the Roof store in Coombs on Vancouver Island and picked up supplies for a picnic lunch.

Bison Salami, Hot Genoa Salami, Feta & Potato buns, and fun drinks

After a 2 hour winding drive through mountains, finally,
Ocean Village Cabins
with ocean view J

The bottom of ours could sleep 4

with lots of room for the food we brought in 4 coolers.

One of our Dinners:  BRATWURST (Homemade!!! By the Strobels ), 
Coleslaw, and Cheesy Potatoes

Walking miles along Long Beach gave us big appetites . . .

Cream Cheese, Grape Nuts, & Pimiento Sandwiches
On Bryan’s Crunchy Millet Farmhouse Bread  (Canadian Living, Feb. 1999)

And, of course, Thanksgiving dinner!  turkey,  gravy, stuffing, perogies, spinach, rutabaga, and  tropical fruit compote!

After which we walked on the beach in front of the cabins and were 
surprised by FIREWORKS . . . Vesper was NOT impressed.

We had a really nice time except that we were missing    


From The Ultimate Sandwich Book, p. 125
8 oz cream cheese
3 oz grape nuts
1 tsp chopped blanched almonds
Salt & pepper to taste
Minced pimiento

Blend together cream cheese, grape nuts, almonds, salt, & pepper.
Spread on bread.
Cover with minced pimiento.

Monday, 14 October 2013


Oct 14th 1982

My dearest Eleanor, Bryan, and Little Granddaughter,

We were in church today in morning, then went to Dad’s sister Nellie.  We had dinner there, wash the dishes as she is very poor[ly].  She gave me some cabbages.  Tomorrow I will make sauerkraut.

Yesterday all day I washed as I layed down for an hour after dinner. 
I am sending you the recipe you were asking for and I said I lost.  I was going through looking for something and found two recipes of it.  I haven’t baked it since Matt got married.  It calls for 3 8 inch pans but we baked in two 9 in pans but I guess it be better in three.

You forgot your birthday present. 

On Monday after you left we had dinner at six o’clock, then Diana, Bill, & Nestor left.  So I cleaned up and went to bed early. 

I will be leaving Tuesday, October 26 at five minutes past 2 o’clock, the same as always.  I forgot to ask when I get to Saskatoon but it around 9 o’clock.  Dad didn’t argue, he only asked me when I am going.  I forgot to give you the eggs so I will bring them.

Diana & Bill will come tomorrow some time after Diana comes from work. 

Today I bought the cork for your thermos but it a little too big, if I get the right one you can have it back or I will use it.

I got a letter yesterday from old country.  Somehow someone wrote that I could read right away not like always had to read twice before I knew what they write.

Matt was hauling wheat to town for Lornie today, tomorrow will be hauling rape seed for himself. 

Next week there is a lot of auction sale near home so Dad plans to go but I don’t need anything and besides I will have a lot to do and Sat we are going to the wedding reception they already married only putting on a reception.  I am looking forward to going to your place.

I will close for now wishing Bryan a good trip.
May God bless you all, Mom



1.      Drain (don’t rinse) one jar of sauerkraut.  This is enough for one batch of Mom’s dough (makes about 50 perogies). 
     If you use cans, one 28 oz can is not enough for one batch.  Use 2 cans.
2.      Finely chop 3 or 4 slices bacon.
3.     Fry bacon (but not until crisp – crisp bits will poke into the dough).  Add 1 chopped onion and fry until soft.
4.     Add 1 tbsp lard or bacon fat and the sauerkraut.  Keep on medium high heat, stirring all the time until it looks like no juice is left. 
5.     Set aside to cool.

Dough:  to follow Mom’s recipe and method go to:

Wednesday, 9 October 2013

Planning a trip on the Trans-Siberian Railway and . . . PEAR SALAD

ZDRAST-vuy-tye!  (Hello!)

So I’m trying to learn a little Russian right now.   I’ve got a couple of phrases down pat . . . well, more or less  J

Vi ga-va-RI-tye pa an-GLI-ski? (Do you speak English?)
Ya nye pa-ni-MA-yu.  (I don’t understand.)

Yes, I'm all set . . .   

 Oh, wait.  There’s still Step 2:

Before  jumping on the Rossiya 2 or the sumptuous (and incredibly expensive) Golden Eagle Trans-Siberian Express, Lonely Planet says there’s a biography you should read:  The Princess of Siberia by Christine Sutherland.   They describe  the book as “unputdownable”.  

 Beautiful and romantic Princess Maria Volkonsky (only 21) travels thousands of frozen miles to be with her exiled husband, Prince Sergei, in Siberia.  (The prince was one of the Decembrist revolutionaries who wanted to free the serfs.)   Forbidden to have servants, she learns to clean and cook, as well as cheerfully support the “emaciated human wreck”  she finds “covered with verminous rags, dragging his chains” in a mine.   Conditions did improve, but, after eleven years, Sergei’s health was seriously impaired, and, due to Maria’s efforts, permission was granted for them to settle near a doctor.  In Irkutsk, Maria became a society leader who worked to establish schools and the arts.   

The Volkonsky House-Museum now is one of the sights in Irkutsk – “a small mansion set in a scruffy courtyard”. 
All right, here I go . . .  

. . . putting it on my Bucket List.  J


I was surprised (pleasantly) to find that, when in their food coverage, Lonely Planet makes recommendations for Ukrainian restaurants in Russia separate from Russian restaurants. 

 Now, for something delicious I'd be happy to find anywhere:

PEAR SALAD (3-4 servings)
            From:  500 Sensational Salads, edited by Julia Canning for Hermes House

2 pears
Butter lettuce
1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
2 tbsp olive oil
Blue cheese (optional)

Shake vinegar and oil together and serve over the pears and lettuce.  The salad is excellent; with, or without the Blue Cheese!


Monday, 7 October 2013

TURKEY with OLIVE-WALNUT STUFFING and a Ukrainian Drink

We’ll be off to a cabin at Tofino on Vancouver Island for the Thanksgiving holiday so I cooked our turkey early this year.

In planning the menu, I remembered that Nicole never fails to look for something green on her plate.  Bright green, steamed okra fit the bill very nicely.

Roast Turkey with Olive-Walnut Stuffing
Apple & Orange Compote
Peruvian Potatoes
Steamed Okra
Mashed Rutabaga

The day before the dinner:
1.  make 10 cups of bread crumbs in the food processor.  Let these sit out on 5 plates to dry a bit overnight.  The result is like Panko crumbs.
2. Boil and peel 4 large potatoes.  (Or you can roast them and peel them.)
1. Prepare the “Fresh Fruit Compote” drink.   Let it cool and then refrigerate. (If you make this the same day as your dinner, it’ll likely be warm, which is okay, except that everyone expects their drink to be cold. J)
2. Calculate cooking time for the turkey (see recipe below) and decide what time you will need to start preparing the stuffing.
Keep in mind:
Resting time:  Lucy says to let it sit for 15 minutes, lightly covered.
                               Gordon Ramsey says to let it rest 2 hours:  “the juices are re-absorbed, making it succulent” . . .
                        I say Yay Gordon!  You don’t need to let it rest 2 hours but do roast the turkey early enough so you don’t have to worry about whether it’ll be done in time for dinner. 

            My turkey sat for half an hour on the counter with the lid off while we had cocktails.  Then it was still nice and hot.  


OLIVE-WALNUT STUFFING  (enough  for a 15 pound turkey)
        From Mrs. G. Mikelson, McCreary, Manitoba

½ cup butter
1 large onion
1 large celery stalk

10 cups white bread crumbs
1 ½ tsp salt
½ tsp pepper
½ cup chopped stuffed green olives
1 cup finely chopped walnuts (not too fine)

½ cup hot water

·        Chop the onion and celery finely. 
·        Melt the butter in a large soup pot.
·        Cook the onion and celery in the butter over low heat for 10 minutes.
·        In a large mixing bowl, stir salt and pepper into the bread crumbs.
·        Chop the olives and add to the bread crumbs.
·        Stir in the walnuts.
·        Bring water to a boil in a kettle.
·        Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
·        Remove the pot with onion and celery from the heat.
·        Stir the bread crumbs into the large pot.
·        Moisten with ½ cup hot water.

·        Stuff turkey lightly.  

P.S.  Daniela tried this recipe and she said:  Serg does not like the more common stuffing with ground sage. So he loved this one...we just added some mushrooms to it!!!!It was just delicious!!!!

Lucy Waverman’s ROAST TURKEY method

Stuff the turkey and put in a roaster. I don't bother with trussing.   Cover it.

Roasting Time for the turkey :  Calculate:
15 minutes a pound for the first 10 pounds of turkey and 7 minutes a pound for each pound after that.  Also:  Add an extra pound for the stuffing.

So my 14 pound turkey takes (150 minutes + 28 minutes) + 7 minutes for the stuffing  = 3 hours total :  It was PERFECT!  The breast was still moist.

Oven Temperature:  Roast the turkey for one hour at 400 degrees.
                                                Then reduce heat to 350 for the rest of the time.

      Based on Kay Shaw Nelson’s The Delectable Vegetable

4 large cooked potatoes
2 tbsp vegetable oil
1 medium onion
1 tsp salt
2 tbsp chili powder (not cayenne)
2 cups creamed cottage cheese
1 tbsp lemon juice
¼ cup milk

·        Dice the potatoes.
·        Chop onion finely.
·        Heat oil and sauté onions over medium low heat.
·        Add salt and chili powder.  Cook one minute.
·        Stir lemon juice into cottage cheese. 
·        Add potatoes, milk, and cottage cheese.  Cover and cook over low heat for 10 to 15 minutes until potatoes are nice and hot.  (If necessary, turn up the heat before serving.)


1 lb okra
2 tbsp Butter
Salt & pepper

·        Wash and trim okra.
·        Bring 2 inches of water to a boil in a steamer.
·        Put okra into steamer.
·        Steam okra 5 minutes.
·        Melt butter.
·        Put steamed, bright green okra into serving bowl. 
·        Drizzle with butter and sprinkle with salt & pepper.


This drink has a confusing name: Kompot iz svizhykh ovochiw . . .  from Annette Ogrodnik Corona’s The New Ukrainian Cookbook.  
I made it the same day as our dinner so it was still warm.  It reminded me of a pear drink we had when we visited relatives in Ukraine.   Cousin Miron poured it from a large bottle sitting in a window.

KOMPOT IZ SVIZHYKH OVOCHIV  (Fresh Fruit Compote Drink)

2 oranges
2 Granny Smith apples
½ cup liquid honey
1 tbsp lemon zest
6 cups water
Brandy or rum, if desired

·        Peel and cut up the orange segments.
·        Put water on to boil in a saucepan.
·        Peel the apples and cut into small cubes.
·        Add apples, oranges, and their juice to boiling water.
·        Boil for 2 or 3 minutes, just until apples are slightly softened.
·        Remove from heat.  Stir in honey and lemon zest.
·        Let cool.  Then refrigerate.
·        To serve, put some of the fruit in the bottom of each glass.   Then fill with liquid.  (Add an ounce of rum or brandy to each glass, if desired.)

Miron, his daughter Maria, his son Mikalko, his mother-in-law, and his wife Maria
APPLE & ORANGE COMPOTE (to serve with the turkey)

There will be more fruit leftover than needed for the drinks.  Blend this and add cinnamon to taste.  J