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Thursday, 7 July 2016

JULY 7 BIRTHDAYS . . . and CHINESE MEATBALL SOUP


July 7 is SPECIAL for all the Leschyshyn family because it’s the birthday of our gedo:  John Leschyshyn.

Donald’s daughter, Tracey, shares Gedo’s birthday!
 
Tracey, holding her cousin, Nicole
Mom helped me write out this family tree before I went to Ukraine in 2004 and visited Gedo’s family who still live there. 


Gedo’s niece and her family in Ukraine:

Blue dress: Olya Kalin (married to Bohdan)
Maroon print: Oksana  (Bohdan’s daughter: age 14)
Dark kerchief and light dress:  Svetlana (married Maria Kalin’s nephew)
Dark shirt: Vasyl Kalin (Maria Kalin’s younger son who lives in Ivan Frankivsk.  He is married to Marta and has a son, Bohdan.  His wife and son are not in the picture.)
Light blue shirt furthest back:  Ivan Kalin (Bohdan’s 16 year old son)
Little girl:  Bohdanka Kalin (Bohdan’s younger daughter)
Green print dress:  Me, Eleanor
Light blue shirt, head between me and Vasyl:  Bohdan Kalin, Maria’s older son, in his 50s
Beside Bohdan: Nestor
Old lady in babushka: Maria Kalin
Light blue dress: Diana

******


 Maria Kalin: Mom’s first cousin

Her sons, Bohdan and Vasyl, are my second cousins.

Bohdan’s children (Ivan, Oksana, and Bohdanka) are third cousins to my children.

They are also third cousins to you, Tracey!

Happy Birthday!

 ********

Do you share Donald’s fondness for Chinese food, Tracey?   



 CHINESE MEATBALL SOUP

            From HOMEMAKERS magazine, November 2004

¼ cup rice vinegar
1/8 tsp salt
2 inches (5 cm) of coarsely grated gingerroot

½ cup minced green onion tops
4 cups chopped napa cabbage
Watercress (optional)
1 egg
2 tbsp soy sauce
2 tbsp cornstarch
1 tbsp finely grated gingerroot
½ tsp white pepper
2 tsp sesame oil
1 lb ground pork
8 cups vegetable stock or water
Salt to taste (start with 1 ¼ tsp salt if using water)
Rice noodles (I used vermicelli rice noodles: boil 3 minutes)

·        Put coarsely grated gingerroot, rice vinegar, and salt into a small dish and set aside.  (This will be added to the soup at the end.)
·        Finely chop the green onion tops and set aside.
·        Chop cabbage and set aside.
·        Remove long stems from watercress and discard them.  Chop watercress coarsely and set aside.
·        In large bowl, whisk together egg, soy sauce, cornstarch, ginger, sesame oil, and pepper.
·        Add pork and green onions.  Use a wooden spoon to beat for about 3 minutes.  (Beat in one direction only: this gives meatballs firmer texture.)
·        Bring stock or water to a boil.
·        Add salt if needed.
·        With wet hands, form golf-ball-sized meatballs and drop into the stock.  Cover and simmer for 5 minutes on reduced heat.
·        Add cabbage on top of meatballs.  Simmer, covered, 8 minutes.  Taste for seasoning.
·        Cook the rice noodles and distribute in 4 large soup bowls (pho size).
·        Distribute water cress in the bowls. 
·        Add the vinegar and ginger to the soup. (Or serve it on the side and dip the meatballs in it.)
·        Ladle soup over the noodles.
      
      PREP AHEAD AND REHEAT?  No problem.

For a complete dinner, serve the soup with the brussels sprouts as a side dish.   These may also just be added to the soup bowl!

YUM! 


HELLO BRUSSEL SPROUTS (to serve 4)

            From HELLO, Dec 7, 2015

1 pound Brussels sprouts
2 slices bacon
2 tsp lard
1 tbsp butter
1/8 cup maple syrup

·        Trim sprouts and cut them in halves.
·        Boil water in a large pot.
·        Set up a large mixing bowl of cold water with ice cubes.
·        Cook Brussels sprouts for 2 minutes.  Drain.
·        Spread sprouts out on a kitchen towel.
·        Finely chop bacon.
·        Put lard and bacon in a frying pan over medium high heat.  Stir until crisp (for 5 minutes).  Remove bacon with a slotted spoon.
·        Add butter.  Spread sprouts out in one layer.  Stir after 2 or 3 minutes. Cook for 6 minutes in total over medium high heat until some are browned.
·        Stir in maple syrup and bacon bits. 
·        Serve.

PREP AHEAD AND REHEAT?  No problem!