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Tag Archives: Pysanky

Garlic as a Fruit

Pysanky-1With Easter just over a week away I’m transported back to memories of my Ukrainian grandmother, Anna. It was a cherished holiday for her as it is for many. She was born and raised in the Ukraine. She worked hard in the fields and would often tell me stories of her difficult, funny, and interesting life. Food was always involved and so was card playing.

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She had great love and pride for her children, her family, her garden, her pierogies, and prayed over her bible so much it was worn thin from turning the pages filled with prayer cards from lost loved ones. She taught me the art of egg decorating, babka tasting, how to knead dough for pierogies, gave me my love of fresh horseradish and beets, not to leave out the importance of raw garlic. She considered raw garlic a fruit and ate it as such. Yup, just like an apple.

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She didn’t have a grand kitchen, but she did have a grand soul that filled her kitchen and the hearts of anyone she knew. On her small stove she fried her pierogies with copious amounts of butter and onions, baked her Easter breads, and boiled the eggs we intricately decorated with beeswax and deep colored dyes. You may never have met my sweet Babchi, but if you like trying new things, click on the pictures within this blog and find out how to make your own Ukrainian Easter eggs (pysanky) or make a babka with this recipe given to me by my cousin Laura Stasiuk.

LaurasBabkaBabchi was one of many that taught me the value of family, traditions, and doing things together.  Many summers were spent watching her roll out dough for her endless supply of pierogies on her kitchen table, while talking, laughing, singing, and dancing. She taught me to find joy in simple pleasures like feeling the earth under my feet, the smell of fresh mint rubbed between fingers, or growing and drying fresh grown chamomile flowers for tea. She taught me how to appreciate all the gifts in life, big and tiny.

Enjoy your families now and always.  And to all of you….ya tebe lyublyu (я тебе люблю) which means….”I love you” in Ukrainian. I wish you all a “Babchi” in your life. Photo credits to my dear Aunt Gloria McNamara, Anna’s daughter.

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