Marusa is a student who has recently been making more of an effort to be a regular attendee of our Sunday morning worship. I think she enjoys the small group feel (this last Sunday we had six people) and it gives her a chance to ask some great questions. She is not taking this faith as it is given. She instead is trying to figure it out for herself. David and I both appreciate students who don’t have to be spoon fed, and who challenge us in order to make sure they are understanding exactly what they are getting into.
Marusa’s mother is named Anna and she is a great lady. She is one of those older generation Ukrainians who doesn’t really understand what it is to learn another language (even though she speaks three). When David and I don’t understand she speaks quicker and louder in hopes of us understanding. Marusa has explained repeatedly to her mother that we don’t understand. Anna continues to tell her daughter that we must.
Anna came over on Sunday and cooked us our first batch of homemade borscht. I thought it was quite good. David’s verdict is still out. Our borscht took about an hour and a half to prepare and then cook. It was all from scratch of course, and it wouldn’t have been complete unless we sat and had a cup of hot tea while it simmered.
I feel as though borscht, as a concept, can be compared to enchiladas in Texas. Everyone thinks theirs is the best, everyone has a different recipe and no one is exactly sure where they originated (but everyone has an opinion). Ukrainians have pride in more than just their food and David loves to make a comparison to Texas Pride. I’m not exactly sure what he might be referencing. (I hope everyone is getting ready for Texas’ Independence Day.)
Max, another student, who is contemplating a monastic life (becoming a monk) joined us for lunch. He is a very interesting young man who has spent 10 years in the states, including a short stint of sketchy employment with an Eastern European organization in Chicago. And Marta, who missed church, offered to bring bread and chocolate to make up for it and round out our meal.
3 medium beets 1 chicken leg
2 medium carrots 1 T salt
1 onion 2 cups sour cream (about)
2 cloves garlic pepper
1 chicken leg vegetable oil
Wash beets, boil beets until cooked. Peel carrots, grate carrots, peel onion, chop onion. Put a T oil in skillet, cook carrots and onions together, mince or chop garlic and throw it in. Boil a lot of water with a chicken leg in it. Grate the beets in with the carrots and onions (after you peel the skins off, of course). Add salt to chicken water and then throw in the vegetables, once the water begins to boil. Anna then put in two boillon cubes (I believe on a whim) and then she mix about three T of the broth with the sourcream before she dumped all the cream into the pot. Finally she started shaking in the pepper until she liked the taste. Then the simmering began, about 10 minutes. Let me know if anyone tries to make this – I would love to hear how it goes.