Saturday, June 29, 2013

Ukrainian Cuisine

I helped out in the kitchen today, and I would like to say it went well.  It’s pretty hilarious when people see me peeling potatoes and as me questions in Russian like, “Do you know how to cook?” or “Do you ever cook?”  I guess my inability to peel a potato with a 7-inch blade is a dead give away.  Today, one girl took the time to teach me how to peel potatoes the Ukrainian way.  I mean, I guess the rest of the world might peel potatoes like Ukrainians do, but I haven’t had the experience of cooking in other countries.  I was always taught to cut away from you, so that if the knife slips, you don’t cut off a finger.  This, however, is not the Ukrainian way.  I was terrified, not that I could cut my finger, but that I would embarrass myself in front of a bunch of 15 year old girls who already know more about preparing meals that I ever will.  How can I explain to them, that I usually cook for one or two?  If I buy potatoes, I buy two single potatoes, not two huge bags of them.  I peeled more potatoes today in one sitting than I ever have in my entire life – mind trip, right?  Well, it was a learning experience nonetheless. 

We do most of our cooking outside, since that is where the running water is, and the little kitchen inside is always so hot.  We do so much with so little, but we don’t seem to mind at all.   

Hot water station

We also sat around a tube of apricots that the boys gathered from a local tree.  I gutted them of their seed, and threw them into another bucket.  We later made Kompot with them.  This is a Ukrainian drink that is very similar to sangria, except its hot, and it doesn’t have wine…. It’s also not juice.  Do we have anything like that in the states?  I am pretty sure you just through fruit and sugar into boiling water and call it a day.  It’s delicious, but when it’s over 100 degrees out it’s not the most refreshing beverages.

Preparing fruit for Kompot

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