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Tuesday, 26 December 2017

"The more we get together" . . . and French Style Shrimp in Cream Sauce!

It's fun to visit a boy!

 rowdy times . . .

  quiet times.

creative times

play times!


June 18, 1988:  Mom wrote:

Matt’s milk cow will calf one of these days.  I hope he milks.  I would do it but she’s in pasture.  When you have cream you could do so much more cooking with cream.  


So easy!

            Madeleine Kamman’s recipe in THE GOOD COOK: SHELLFISH, c1982

2 lbs prawns or large shrimp
2 tbsp butter
2/3 cup heavy cream
1/3 cup sour cream
   Salt (optional)

*Heat a large skillet over high heat.
*Add butter.  It should sizzle and turn brown but not burn.
*Add shrimp and sauté until shells turn red.  Remove skillet from heat, cover, and let shrimp steam for 3 minutes. 
*Remove shrimp.
*Grind pepper into pan.  Add cream and reduce by half over high heat.
*Stir in sour cream. 
*Return shrimp to skillet.  Add salt only if necessary. 
*Add pepper to taste.
*Serve with French bread.   

Totally . . .  YUM!


Thursday, 21 December 2017


 A good movie about UKRAINE

It was shown at very few theatres so you may not have heard of it, but it was made in 2017.

The picture above is very unappealing and the movie received a lot of negative reviews, but Bryan and I liked it.

  You should be able to get it at your library.  If not, ask the librarians to purchase it. 

Information online:

82% of Google Users liked this film BUT it was a financial disaster.  It made only $600,000 at the box office.  

According to Wikipedia, a Ukrainian Canadian investor, Ian Ihnatowycz, financed the $21 million film in its entirety. 

One Logline:  "A young man's life is changed forever when the burgeoning Soviet Union's ambition leads to Stalin's army spilling into rural Ukraine."

A better Logline:  Set in 1930s Ukraine, as Stalin advances the ambitions of communists in the Kremlin, young artist Yuri battles to save his lover Natalka from the Holodomor, the death-by-starvation program that ultimately killed millions of Ukrainians.


Zhitny Khlib (Ukrainian Sour Rye Bread)

Recipe posted online by Olga Drozd in 2008:

Zhitny Khlib takes 3 days to make because, first, 

you must make the sour dough starter.

But it’s therapeutic. . .

And it makes two big loaves . . .

crusty on the outside; tender and delicious inside.

Serve with pickled herring for a Christmas Eve appetizer!


Tuesday, 12 December 2017

GWAMPA, another year older

And lots of memorable moments!

July, 2017  Bryan sent me the following reports from Tennessee:

 "Gwampa, will you play with me."  

Spent some time with Kepler stalking and shooting aliens as well as assembling Lego things.

We just got back from the city pool at the end of the street. It is very hot again.
  Kepler had a great time, especially on the water slides. Nicole and I as well as the lifeguards were frantically trying to keep up with Kepler who kept jumping in the "no diving" areas and running in the "no running" areas. 

I kept Kepler busy in the guest room playing pirates being attacked by a big shark -- his latest big interest...sharks that is.

Kepler spent a good part of the morning in my room playing pirates and a good part of the afternoon setting up the 3 little pigs houses in lego. You cannot imagine how many times we enacted that story.

When I bumped into a door, Kepler's advice "be more careful, Gwampa."

I spent part of the afternoon being a zombie trying to breach the walls of Kepler's wall.

It was cloudy today but pleasant to be out around supper time. I showed the little rapscallion how to somersault on the grass. Naturally, he somersaulted all over the place.

We went to Radnor Lake State Nature Area for a nice long walk in the woods. Kepler loved seeing all the turtles. It was free.

We are "settling in" to motel life. At least the pool is big and the water is warm and clear.
I need to buy some swim goggles. My eyes are taking a beating. The little guy "swims" in the 9 ft deep area. He can cannonball with the best of them. His belly flops are painful to watch.

Today we went to the Stones River Battlefield Park (the scene of a major Civil War engagement involving 81,000 soldiers) and a Union cemetery with 6,000 graves.

Subsequent Battle

After a trek through the forest down to the river, we waded upstream to the falls.
We took Kepler part way up the steps. He really liked being under the ledge where the water passed over. Nicole and I took a couple of tumbles but we are still standing.
Cummins Falls State Park

At the pool the little fellow kept throwing a stone into the water so he could retrieve it. He is so at home under water. A regular otter.

Nashville Zoo today. The Jungle Jim is quite impressive.

The zoo is relatively small but nicely laid out for both people and animals.

Kepler to Gwampa: "Goodnight partner".

Gwampa's been pretty busy around home, too!

                                                                          Cinnamon Buns

                                                                       Banana Bran Muffins

                                                                        Tomato Herb Bread

      Mushroom, Meatball, and Rouy Cheese Pizza on a Cauliflower Crust: inspired by recipe in HELLO, Aug. 2017

And his smile just keeps getting bigger!

Saturday, 9 December 2017

MAUREEN . . . and Shamrock Cookies

"Ever there . . . in quiet ways"

Maureen's watercolor of icebergs in Goose Bay, Newfoundland

Maureen's beautiful quilt for a baby . . . 


Maureen is very proud of her Irish heritage so I chose this recipe for her:


The book is available online.  


1 cup butter
1 cup icing sugar
1 egg
2 tsp peppermint flavoring
2 ½ cups flour
1 tsp salt
1 ½ tsp green food coloring
Green decorators’ sugar

*Heat oven to 375.
*Mix butter, sugar, egg, and flavoring.
*Stir in flour, salt, and food coloring.
*To shape shamrocks, roll 3 small balls (1/4 tsp dough each).  Flatten together into shamrock.  Attach stem.  Sprinkle with green decorators’ sugar.

Bake 9 to 11 min.  

Monday, 4 December 2017

Five Decades Together . . . and Ukrainian Garlic Bread

Wes Leschasin married Marion Bantrock on October 29, 1939.    They had two sons and farmed in the Pleasant Valley district in Manitoba for 40 years.

Thank you, Marilyn, for sharing these pictures of  
Uncle Wes and Aunt Marion's                
50th Wedding Anniversary!


Marta Pisetska Farley’s very interesting essay in FESTIVE UKRAINIAN COOKING includes this comment:

“Much of the symbolism in feasting was centered on ritual breads.”

In RUSSIAN COOKING, I found the comment that “a girl should be able to sift flour before she can walk and knead bread before she can talk”. 

In the same book:

“The Frenchman Honoré de Balzac, who visited the Ukraine in the 1840s, noted, with proper French respect: ‘I counted 77 ways of making bread.”

Here’s one of those fantastic breads!

Ukrainian Garlic Bread (Pampushky)

Recipe on p. 42 of MAMUSHKA, a Cookbook by Olia Hercules

Ask for the book at your library.  
It's also available online for a very reasonable price.

Bryan says the buns weren't hard to make.


 Here's Marilyn who knows the importance of sharing special moments.  

Tuesday, 28 November 2017


Gedo and Baba

Mom was in her nineties when she wrote this.  
Her family were Ukrainian Greek Catholic.

Thank you, MARILYN, for visiting Mom and asking her to write about her memories.


BRAISED CHICKEN GIZZARDS (Entosthia Kotisia me Kimino ke Skordo)

      from:  GREEK CUISINE by Peter Conistis

 The chef has a restaurant where he serves these irresistible gizzards!

Serves 3 as a main course with potatoes and salad.

1 lb gizzards
3 to 4 cups chicken stock
1/3 cup olive oil
1 onion
6 garlic cloves
1 tsp cumin seeds
1 tsp dried oregano
100 ml (3 fl oz) dry white wine
225 ml (7 fl oz) chicken stock, reserved from poaching
¼ tsp pepper
¾ tsp salt

*Finely chop onion and set aside.
*Finely chop garlic and set aside.
*Dry roast cumin seeds and grind.
*Bring gizzards and stock to a boil.  Simmer for 60 minutes.  Drain and reserve stock.
*Over low heat, cook onion and garlic for 10 minutes in olive oil.
 *Add gizzards, cumin, and oregano.  Stir for 1 minute.
*Increase heat and add wine.
*When wine has evaporated, add the reserved stock, salt, and pepper.
*Reduce heat and simmer for about 30 minutes, until a thick sauce forms in the pan.