Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Borscht recipe

I have had several requests for the borscht recipe that I used. Unfortunately, I didn't keep it. I also didn't stick to it very well.

I can tell you how I found it online, though.
First, I looked for Borscht recipes with a search engine. Specifically, I looked for one I could do in a slow cooker. I ended up cooking it on the stove anyway because school was very demanding of my attention that day and I never got a free moment in the 2-3hour window of time that I should have been cooking! Such is life... anyway, I digress.

After finding a bunch of recipes, I compared them with my favorite borscht ever. And, that, interestingly enough, I had at a Ukrainian friend's house here in the States! Anyway, she told me that there are differing versions of borscht; that some have pickled beets and some regular (I think) truthfully, it could be that some have cabbage and some don't. ANYHOOO....

I knew the basic ingredients and what I didn't want: anything pickled! I also knew that it should cook a long time to really be good. So, I chopped veggies, tossed in some leftover potroast pieces and cooked away. In the end, I added more beef broth. When I served the leftovers, I added even more. We thought there were too many veggies. Not that we don't like veggies but just that we like the borscht a little brothier. (spell-check says "brothier" isn't a word; what do they know?)

I hope that helps!

Melissa

Monday, October 13, 2008

Family picture.

I had all the kids draw a family portrait this morning for our school time (yes, we had school on Columbus Day! I forgot. And we wondered most of the day until Max's calendar activity on his math paper where the mailman was!) . It was fun seeing what the kids came up with. I mentioned before that Misha just usually draws whatever Max does but this time, he couldn't see Max's drawing very well from where he was and despite his initial concern of "How?", he dove in and got started, his tongue hanging out with all it's might!

This is his final product:
The thing that cracks me up is how well he portrayed his view of everyone. From left to right, Steve is in the back row (the black chest is chest hair. The shorts are swimming trunks. Misha is our sensory one, remember? The chest hair is a very prominent feature to him; He calls it prickly!); next is me, Mama. LOL!!! What's up with my hair?!! I am holding an ice cream cone and a flower. I also look like I am wearing Ukrainian-style tall boots!

Ivy follows me, her hair being the only in the picture that actually hangs down. Interesting, since her beautiful, long hair is really her signature feature. Max is next (after our house) and wearing his eye-patch and a sword. I think he also has a peg-leg. He wears an eye patch every day for a lazy eye. Next are Hannah and Annette. I am not sure which is which. I do notice that one of them has a big mouth. Hmmm...

Misha is that bald guy at the end. We asked him why he had no hair and he just said, "Me nee (not) I-want-it hair." And that was that.

My favorite is Vitali. He's the one in the water in the foreground. We have been having a cycle of misbehavior from him this past couple of weeks and, even though today has been a very good one, Vitali was in the water because, according to Misha, "Papa said get out of the water to Vitali and Vitalik Nee listen."

I just loved all the little clues into his mind in that picture! Hysterical how much of his own personality I see in his drawing! I am so glad I did this today.

Have a great day!

Melissa.

PS. I am just about to post all the kids' work on my regular day-to-day blog that I call "Life Here". If you want to take a peek, come on over!

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Ukrainian night at our house!

We had a Ukrainian night at our house recently. The boys were sooo excited!! Especially Max. He ate at least three bowls of Borscht, the most well-known Ukrainian soup there is. Beets give it and everything in it a slightly odd pinkish-red color. It has vinegar and/or lemon juice and that gives it an acidic taste which is softened when served with a dollop of smetana (sour cream).
Steve made my day by stopping on the way home from work at the international foods store and buying some other Ukrainian yummies: Sandora brand juice, a cold sausage and even some candy made in the very same factory that we lived over when we were in Kharkiv, Ukraine, where the boys are from!
I did my best at phonetically spelling everyone's names in cyrillic. If you read Russian, you may find that I messed up. Doesn't matter, no one seemed to notice!
We had leftovers on Sunday night. Max was so excited he could hardly stop hugging me! Very gratifying for a mom. :-)

Melissa