Season's Eatings

My grandma sent me the sweetest little note this week and five recipes for her homemade Christmas candies. You don't even know how happy that made me feel because she's made these candies every year for as long as I can remember and doesn't so much anymore, and it means a lot to me to be able to make the candy she learned to make from her mom, without candy thermometers or fancy equipment. She is so precious to me and I cherish those recipe cards and the memories - hers as a girl, and mine as a girl - that they represent. This is the first Christmas that I am going to give candy-making a try.

In the spirit of holiday recipe sharing, several of you have asked for some of the recipes for dishes I've mentioned from time to time on the ol' blog. So I'm posting several of them this weekend. There are four soups because nothing is better on a winter evening or for a large gathering because it's hearty, easy to double (or triple...), can be dressed up by serving in a bread bowl...you get the picture.

Some of these recipes are my own finds that have become our family favorites, some are my favorite foods from the mission, and a few are from my mom, who, if she read my blog, would freak out that I'm so generous in sharing them. We come from a long line of excellent cooks and my mom is very proprietary of hers. So don't tell her I shared or she won't give me any more good ones.

One little disclaimer: In my Christmas Meme, I told you all about the Ukrainian dishes I like to make around the holidays. I'm including borscht and plov, but the recipe for varenyky (translation: "little boiled things") is a little difficult because I learned by watching and doing with the babushkas. If I had written instructions for the dough, they would say something like, "Dump some flour on the counter. Crack an egg or two on top. Salt well and toss together with a couple of wide bladed knives or spatulas. Add water until the correct consistency and then roll out really, really thin..." And cooking would be just as I was told: "Drop them in the water and boil until they swim."

Yeah. So if you want to know how to make varenyky, come on over and I'll show you. Or you can visit the freezer section and buy some Mrs. T's pierogies (the Polish word for varenyky which actually means "little baked things") - they're an OK substitute for the real thing. But the potato and onion ones are the only authentic flavor, just so you know.

Bon appetit! I've posted all the recipes separately for your reading and printing convenience.

Pork and Pepper Stew
Code Yellow's Prize-Winning Chili
Mom's Hamburger Soup
Mom's Crab Dip

Oh - P.S. There is a wonderful saying in Russian: "There should be a LOT of a good person." It's what they say to justify chubbiness. You gotta love a culture that still appreciates substance in a body. I've adopted it as my holiday, pregnancy, and just-feel-like-eating-good-stuff motto for life. Feel free to adopt it for your own. But only if you're a good person.


Anonymous said...

those look great and some remind me of my Czech grandma and our old Polish neighbor growing up. However, right now I'd rather be remembering yours. Any chance you'd be willing to share those candy recipes?

Code Yellow Mom said...

I have to make the candy first to test them out, then I'll post them. I also remembered that I need to post my hot cocoa recipe, too...so stay tuned. :)

Angela said...

So, I have to become an internet blog groupie to FINALLY get that gal-dern Borscht recipe. Whatever it takes. I'm looking forward to trying Plov too.

My word verication word is: Dawomb.
As in, da womb is gonna love da borcht i feed it. I'm sure.

Gabriela said...

Thanks for the recipes! I'm going to try a couple of them.

Super Happy Girl said...

I'm so trying CYM Mom's hamburger soup, pork and pepper and the Plov.
Thanks CY!

Super Happy Girl said...

Borscht has cilantro and sour cream!

Blogger profile name said...

I tried candy making tonight - chocolate covered cherries - like my grandmother used to make on Christmas Eve. I kept thinking "This is what my grandmother used to do!"

Nettie said...

What a wonderful gift from your Grandmother! Now, that my grandmother has passed away, I treasure a recipe card written in her beautiful, careful writing for her coconut cream pie. There is no funner tie to our ancestors than through food!

Millie said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Millie said...

Mmmmmm... recipes. I'm considering whether I'm worthy of your saying or not.

Your little Ukrainian ladies sound like my mom. "What do you mean, you need a recipe for macaroni salad? You boil the macaroni and drain it, then you mix stuff into it!"

I hear you about getting your grandmother's recipes. Those are the best, and so fun to pass down to future generations. I have my great grandma's cookie recipe and the whole family has been hot after it this year.

Unknown said...

Thanks for the recipes. The soup ones sound right up my alley.

Pam said...

I love your motto! I had one similar during all my pregnancies. When someone would ask how I was, I would always answer, "fat and sassy!"

Merry Christmas!!!

Tammy said...

Wonderful...thank you for sharing these recipes! :)

someone else said...

For anyone reading the comments -- I've made her pork and pepper stew and it's excellent!!