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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 HonorĂ© 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.


Wednesday, 22 November 2017

Uncle Myron's granddaughter's wedding . . . and Poppyseed Cake

Uncle Myron with his daughter Val and two of her sons

Uncle Myron's daughter-in-law, Liz 
Uncle Myron's sons George and Ernie  

Uncle Wes's son, Larry, and his wife, Heather

Val's cousin’s daughter and husband from Winnipeg on her dad’s side of the family

Melanie and David

Uncle Myron's granddaugher, Vanessa, and Marilyn's son, Sean
Vanessa is my cousin George's daughter

                     Uncle Myron with his daughter-in-law, Rachel, son Clifford, and granddaughter

Aunt Nellie's son, Jimmy

Jimmy's wife, Laurie

Marilyn's daughter, MaryAn

Marilyn's son, Jonathan


Aunt Nellie's son, Vern, Melanie, and Uncle Wes's son, Ivan

                    my brother George, cousin Marilyn, cousin Clifford, Aline

my brother George's granddaughter, DJ

Uncle Wes's grandson seated with his grandmother, Marion, standing behind 

                                                  Nick & Anne Kereluk, friends of the family


When I was growing up, there were always loads of cakes and pies on the tables at a Ukrainian wedding.

  Here’s a recipe from Lois Syhut in Sonningdale, Saskatchewan  for delicious


2 cups flour
1/8 tsp salt
2 tsp baking powder
½ cup poppy seeds
1 ½ cups sugar, divided
½ cup coconut oil or butter
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup milk
½ cup egg whites (or 4)

*Set aside a well-greased 9 inch tube pan. 
*Start oven preheating to 350.
*In a medium bowl, stir together flour, salt, baking powder, and poppy seeds.
*In a large bowl, beat together 1 ¼ cup sugar, coconut oil, and vanilla. 
*Beat in some flour and then some milk.  Keep alternating until done.
*Beat egg whites until soft peaks form.  Then beat until stiff with the remaining ¼ cup sugar.
*Fold egg whites into batter.
*Turn into tube pan.  Bake for 50 minutes.
*Stand on wire rack.  Remove from pan after 10 minutes. 
*When cool, spread with a vanilla butter-cream icing or a cream cheese icing. 



My cousin Gerald is Uncle Myron's son.

 Gerald and his wife, Val, were in Ukraine last month where they had a wonderful time as guests at a wedding.

It occurred to me that they might enjoy a trip down memory lane.

The pictures I have shared in this post are from their daughter’s wedding in 2003. 


Thanks, Marilyn, for sending me the pictures in COLOUR you took at that wedding!
P.S.  Marilyn tells me that Father Bryan Bayda is now a bishop!