Tuesdays With Moisi ~ Aunt Anna (Тетя Нура)

Our Pop’s sister Anna was called up to heaven last Wednesday May 20th at the age of 96. She was ready to go home. She was Moisi’s last surviving sibling. She outlived all her siblings and all her own children, too.

An earlier photo of Aunt Anna with her husband Pete. My Aunt Anna was always kind to me. I had my reservations even as a youngster with Uncle Pete. My reservations were substantiated through the years.

Uncle John, Aunt Anna, Our Pop, and Uncle Alex at our parents 60th wedding anniversary party.

Another photo from the 60th Anniversary party in Downey, California.

These photos aren’t in order. This Bogdanoff family photo is from the 1950’s. Aunt Anna has the white flower on her dress. I’m in the 2nd sitting row third from the right.

This is another photo from the 50’s. Aunt Anna is the right bookend of the upper row and our dear mom is the left bookend.

A great photo of Russian immigrants in the 50’s. Aunt Anna is at the top with a flower on her dress, again. She has glasses on. Our pop and mom are on the bottom row with Pop (Moisi) reclining and Nadia. I’m going to make the bold observation that Aunt Anna survived all the people in this photo.

Aunt Anna is sitting on the grass with all her brothers, sisters in law and mother in this photo. She survived all of them. I had my favorites of our Pop’s siblings. Aunt Anna and Uncle Alex earned my favor because of my experiences with them growing up.

Aunt Anna with her brothers.

Since today May 25th would have been our Pop’s 98th birthday I’m including this photo of him hitting the pinata at his great granddaughter’s birthday party a few years back.

Sister and brother. They were close friends.

Aunt Anna at Pop’s funeral.

She managed walking up the hill to sit for the graveside service. Her granddaughter and grandson in law cared for her in their home for several years before she died.

The last time I saw our Aunt Anna in person.

This will be the cemetery where she will be buried.

This is the plot where she should be buried. Her husbands information is on the headstone. He died February 2nd, 1978.

Looking forward to seeing you again in heaven.

Tuesdays With Moisi ~ Fedot

This bit of family history was shared by our brother Steve when he visited our Pop (Moisi) in 2014, February 28th.

“Spent some time with my Dad today (while my house was being inundated by a mudslide), and we talked about his oldest brother Fedot who died in WW2 after stepping on a land mine. He is buried in this mass grave in Rostov. Another one of his brothers (Mike) was in Siberia mining coal during WW2. This brother was in Siberia for 18 years (the joke being he had a two year sentence but it took 16 years for the paperwork for his release to go through). This brother, Mikhail, forever held a grudge against Americans whom he claimed stole Russia’s gold. He witnessed them loading it onto ships.”

Putting together the bits and pieces of history we’ve learned here and there.

Tuesdays With Moisi ~ Holy Moses!

The Timofey and Martha Bogdanov family (Our paternal grandparents). From top to bottom left to right…Ivan Voloshin, Oxahnya (Agnes Bogdanov) Voloshin, Uncle Mike, Aunt Anna (Nura), Timofey (our Dzedushka), Martha (our Babushka), Our Pop (Moisi), Uncle Tim better known as Jim, Uncle Bill, Alex Bogdanoff (our cousin). I do not know why Uncle Alex is not in this photo.

Our Aunt Oxahnya’s (Agnes) first husband did not come to Iran with her so she ended up marrying Ivan Voloshin. Our cousin Alex was her child from her first husband who my grandparents ended up raising after Agnes died. Agnes died after giving birth to her third child in Persia. The child also died.

This was taken in the first city in Persia where Pop’s family settled in for about 3 years. Mahshett (Holy Town). Pop said that people who lived here were called Mashti as a preface to their name. Our pop was called Mashti Moosah for quite a while (Holy Moses!) This would be in the mid 1930’s.

I’m posting this for the benefit of our kids and family history.  It’s a small world as we found out after moving to Colville that one of Oxahnya’s grandchildren, our cousin lives just a few miles from us. She was named after Oxahnya. Her American name is Cindy. It has been fun to get together and connect some of the family history dots! We all grew up in Southern California and now both she and I have settled in Colville. It was Providence that we were able to connect.

Apple Pirog

In the Russian community I grew up in we called our sweet and savory sheets of yeast dough baked and filled with fruit or cabbage or meat, Pirog пиро́г (make sure to roll the r when you pronounce it).

This recipe will make enough dough for 2 small cookie sheet sized pastries. You can cut the recipe in half if you aren’t feeding a crowd or giving some away.

Dough:
1/2 cup warm water
2 packages yeast (each packet is approx. 2-1/4 teaspoons yeast)
1 tablespoon sugar
2 cups sour cream
1/2 cup soft butter
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
2 teaspoons salt
about 6 cups flour

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Dissolve yeast in warm water with the 1 tablespoon sugar.
Warm the sour cream carefully to lukewarm.
Mix the sour cream, butter, sugar, eggs, salt, and yeast mixture.
Start adding the flour 1 cup at a time till all mixed in and your dough comes away from the bowl and starts to form a ball. You might need a little more than 6 cups of flour.
Knead the dough on a floured surface.
Place the dough in a bowl in a warm place away from draft and let it rise twice punching in between rises. This could take up to 2 hours.
Divide the dough in half. Work with one half at a time if you are filling 2 small cookie sheets.
On a floured board or surface roll the dough out to the size of your small cookie sheet (approx. 15-1/2 x 10-1/2 x 1) The dough should be 1/4-1/2 inch thickness.
Carefully transfer the dough to the prepared cookie sheet (greased) and pat the dough down to fit to the edges and up the edges.
Fill the prepared dough with your choice of filling.
Bake in 350 degree oven for approx 40 minutes or until dough is a golden brown.
Cool before cutting in small portions and serving.

Filling:
4 cups fruit – fresh, previously frozen, or canned
1 cup sugar
4 Tablespoons corn starch

Bring all the ingredients to a boil and then let cool before spreading evenly over the dough.
I added nuts on top of the filling but that is optional.
I used apple slices that I chopped into bite sized pieces.
*This filling recipe was enough for one cookie sheet of the dough. Double it if making 2 cookie sheets.

 

I had some roasted pecans and decided to sprinkle them on top before baking the Pirog пиро́г.

 The finished product. I’m a novice at baking with yeast doughs and kneading dough but slowly but surely I’m practicing my way into a comfort zone to try these recipes my mom made for larger gatherings. I’ll share some of her savory Pirog recipes in the future using a slightly different dough recipe. My mom’s Pirog usually had another layer of dough on top of the filling that was pinched to the bottom layer of dough. Then you would cut decorative slits on the upper dough before baking. She also made more decorative tops like you would on a pie with zig zag designs. 

I’m sorry that I never took photos of our mom’s creations.

My sister Vera sent me this photo of her pirog that she added the top to. Thank you Vera! This sheet pie/pirog was made with Apricot filling. Vera also made the apricot filling.

Our Mom’s Roolyet (Russian Nut Roll)

Roll the “R” when you try to pronounce the name of this nut roll that is a family favorite from my childhood and adult life, too. Our mom’s Roolyet was the best. We’ve just managed to perfect a recipe that brings back the memory of our mom’s roll. I think she would give us at least an A maybe not an A+ yet. Our pop got teary eyed when he bit into his piece because it reminded him of his beloved bride who died four years ago. (Since I published this post back in 2017 our dear Pop was called up to heaven in June of 2018.)

My sister Vera and I perfected this in 2017 while I was visiting in Southern California. I posted this recipe on the Mennonite Girls Can Cook Blog but decided now to add it here for my own easy access.

Ingredients:

For the Dough:

  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 1/8 cup milk, scalded
  • 2 1/4 teaspoons active dry yeast (1 packet)
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 2 egg yolks (set aside egg whites)
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter melted and cooled slightly, reserve 1 tablespoon
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 3/4 cups flour
  • 1/4 cup flour

For Rolling Surface:

  • 1/4 cup powdered/icing sugar

For Filling:

  • 2 1/2 cups ground walnuts
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 egg whites

Method:

  1. In a small bowl dissolve the 2 teaspoons sugar with the scalded milk, add the yeast and mix well.
  2. In medium bowl mix the 1/2 cup milk, egg yolks, melted butter minus the tablespoon you set aside, and vanilla then add in the yeast mixture and mix well.
  3. Sift the 1 3/4 cup flour, salt, and 3 tablespoons sugar together.
  4. Add sifted ingredients to the wet ingredients slowly while mixing, the dough will be sticky.
  5. Prepare kneading surface with a light dusting of flour.
  6. Knead the dough adding as much of the 1/4 cup of flour needed during this process to make the dough less sticky, knead the dough for 10 minutes then form into a ball.
  7. Place the dough into a lightly greased stainless bowl that is 3 times the size of the dough and cover the bowl with a kitchen towel and place in a warm spot without drafts.
  8. Leave the dough to rise to double its size, 1-2 hours.
  9. While dough is rising prepare the filling by mixing the 2 1/2 cups ground walnuts, egg whites, 1/2 cup sugar and 1/2 teaspoon vanilla, mixing well.
  10. Divide the filling into two equal portions.
  11. Once the dough is doubled in size prepare the work surface where you will be rolling out the dough, dusting it with the powdered/icing sugar.
  12. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  13. Punch down the dough and divide it into 2 equal portions.
  14. Roll each portion of the dough separately into a rectangle approximately 1/4 inch thick.
  15. Spread the filling evenly over the rectangle of dough leaving 1/2 inch free of filling along the edges.
  16. Starting at the long edge fold over the dough carefully and keep rolling into a tight roll.
  17. Pinch the seam well and pinch the ends to prevent the filling from leaking.
  18. Place the roll seam-side down on a baking sheet lined with a Silpat or parchment paper.
  19. Repeat the process for the second roll and add it to the baking sheet keeping the rolls at least 3 inches apart.
  20. Use the reserved tablespoon of melted butter to brush the tops and sides of the rolls evenly.
  21. Bake in a 350 degree oven for 25-30 minutes or until golden brown.
  22. Let cool and cut into slices to enjoy.

Yield: 2 twelve inch long rolls

Notes: We found that 3 cups of whole walnuts make 2-1/2 cups of ground walnuts.
We used a slightly warm oven to let the dough rise in.
Use a serrated/bread knife to cut the roll.

 

 

Family Photo Shoot

We were gifted a professional photo shoot of our family from our kids Christmas of 2019. We were going to try to schedule the shoot in the Spring but then COVID19 struck and it didn’t work. We finally got a date on the books during our annual Family Hunting Weekend in October. What we didn’t count on was snow on that weekend and temperatures in the 20’s!

I think we did a great job at not looking like we were freezing! This was the photo we sent with our Christmas card and letter this year.

Gramps, Addyson, Baba, and Jaymison.

Oh how we love these two little grands!

Our firstborn son and his love.

Our second born son and his love.

Their beloved family.

 

Our youngest and our only daughter and her love.

The original three who married three exceptional human beings that we love dearly.

God has been good to us despite ourselves! We are grateful and thankful to Him.

My Little Babushka

I received a couple old photos new to me of our little Babushka Vera and I wanted to put all the photos I have of her in the archives of this computer together in one post. She’s sitting on the bottom row of this photo taken in Iran in the late forties. My grandfather that I never met and who was killed in Iran shortly after this photo was taken is on the right. The gal above my grandfather is our aunt Nina. She was married to our uncle Paul, our mom’s only brother. He’s next to Aunt Nina on the end of the top row. The rest of the people in this photo are Aunt Nina’s people and her mother and father are sitting next to our maternal grandparents. The little girls in this photo are the only ones still alive. They all live in Southern California. The two girls flanking the bottom row are both suffering from Alzheimer’s disease.  The little girl in her mother’s arms is alive and well in Southern California. My cousin Alex who is standing next to our Babushka died in an automobile accident in Wheaton, Illinois in 1979. The two grandmothers sitting next to each other, Manya and Vera were close friends and at the end of their lives they lived next door to each other in an apartment building a couple doors down from our Russian Baptist Church in Los Angeles. Several of our Russian widows lived in that apartment building. Our mom and pop had already immigrated to the USA when this photo was taken.

These are our little babushka’s three children. Our mom, her sister who died and her brother Paul.

This photo is from 1951 with friends and family after they all immigrated to the USA. Our little babushka is above our mom who is holding me. Our Pop next to our mom. Uncle Paul is holding our cousin Valia and next to him our aunt Nina is holding our cousin Walter. Next to our little babushka is our Aunt Nina’s sister in law Zena. Next to our mom is Mrs. Hamzieff from San Francisco and I’m not sure who the lady next to her is. The little boy, I believe belongs to Mrs. Hamzieff. Babushka immigrated from Iran as a widow to the USA with our Uncle Paul’s family.

These are our Babushka Vera’s 7 grandchildren as of 1956 ish. Cousin Alex, Babushka, sister Kathy, brother Fred, cousin Valia, Me, cousin Walter and my sister Vera. One more cousin and four more siblings were added to these two families. We had a sister that died in Iran so Babushka had 13 grandchildren in total.

This is a new to me photo of our babushka at a beach in California.

This is Babushka Vera and Babushka Manya in Arrowhead in California.

The two of them again in this photo. Our little Babushka lost her left hand and arm up to her elbow when she was young. Her arm was injured and got infected and had to be cut off at the elbow to save the rest of her arm and her life. She always positioned herself so that her missing hand was not in view in a photo.

Not a well preserved photo but this was our growing family with our Babushka at our Uncle Paul and Aunt Nina’s home in Huntington Park in California.

Me and Babushka at my 9th grade graduation and my high school graduation. I remember shopping with her for a dress at Sear’s once and she wore a size 16-1/2. She always searched for a dress with 3/4 length sleeves.

Our parents and Babushka at our home in La Mirada in the 70’s.

Cousin Walter, cousin Tanya, Babushka, our Pop and Uncle Paul.

Babushka, mom and me at Laguna Beach in California.

Kathy, Babushka and our mom.

Christmas at Babushka’s with our sister Lana in the late 60’s.

Our Babushka at Nick and Vera’s wedding in 1969.

Our little Babushka enjoyed embroidery and made a special gift for each of her grandchildren for their weddings. The tablecloth above was given to our sister Vera for her marriage to Nick.

Babushka at our sister Kathy’s wedding with our sister Vera in August of 1974.

Babushka, me and our mom at Dear and my wedding in December of 1974.

The center front row with our pop, mom, Babushka Vera, Babushka Martha and Dzeduska Timofei.

Dear’s family and my family at our wedding.

For our wedding Babushka Vera embroidered this tablecloth along with 8 napkins. A treasured gift. It’s amazing to us that her embroidery was so beautiful even with the handicap of having only one  hand.

Christmas morning at Babushka Vera’s. See all those baked goodies that our Babushka baked with one hand! Grandkids with their spouses and our cousin Alex’s in laws. This was mid-1970’s.

Babushka would tell us to not stay out after dark. She said nothing good happens in the dark!

I think Debbee was Babushka’s first great grandchild. This was in 1976.

This last one is at our second home in Huntington Beach in early 1977.

I hope to add more photos to this post as I find them.

Our Babushka Vera died in March of 1980. She was a Godly woman who prayed for all her grandchildren and for all her grandchildren’s future spouses. She prayed for our Pop’s salvation and for the salvation of her own husband. Our Dzedushka Fedot became a Baptist Minister before he was killed in Iran. I am so looking forward to seeing Babushka in heaven and seeing Dzedushka for the first time in heaven.

Tuesdays With Moisi ~ Melissa’s Tribute

This is a photo and tribute our niece Melissa wrote about her Dzeda, our Pop, Moisi, on May 7, 2014.

“My Deda….he loves his Bible. Tonight he told me that he doesn’t rush when he reads. ‘I meditate on it,’ he says. His goal from now on is to start memorizing more of it. He’ll be 91 at the end of the month and questioning his purpose on this earth without Baba is a daily struggle. Yet despite his broken heart, he has never lost sight of what is truly important. He presses on, striving to live for Christ every single day. The man never ceases to amaze me. He is a true inspiration.”

This photo was taken of our Pop in his bedroom when he was still living in the senior apartment in Brea, California. He would soon move in with our oldest sister and her family, Melissa’s mom.

My prayer for you is that if you are meditating that you would only meditate on the Word of God, something from the Bible.

“Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in your sight, O Lord, my rock and my redeemer.” Psalm 19:14

“For it is you who light my lamp; the Lord my God lightens my darkness.” Psalm 18:28

“My son, be attentive to my words; incline your ear to my sayings. Let them not escape from your sight; keep them within your heart. For they are life to those who find them, and healing to all their flesh. Keep your heart with vigilance, for from it flow the springs of life.” Proverbs 4:20-23

“Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. What you have learned and received and heard and seen in me -practice these things and the God of peace will be with you.” Philippians 4: 8-9

Labors of Love

L is the letter for the day and my bandwith is low, low, low so I can’t upload any new photos right now. I’ll have to look to my archives and decide on a subject for the letter L. I chose my Labors of Love post from 2016.

I love Easter and all that it holds and all that it means. I like the idea of new Life, a resurrected Life. The greatest Love that was demonstrated on Good Friday and the Life that was resurrected on Easter Sunday.

Here are photos of our Easter weekend labors of love and celebrations 2016.

12523956_10209342418103300_869908340961820747_n

This was the end result of our labors on Easter Saturday 2016. Top left an Russian Easter sweet cheese spread called Seernaya Paska. The X and the B stand for Christ is Risen. On the right is the finished and frosted Russian Easter Bread called Kulich or Paska surrounded by Russian shrink wrapped eggs. The sign in Russian on the bottom left says Christ is Risen so you see where the X and B comes from.  Now I’ll show you some of the process of getting here.

944673_10209325700205363_8556436750134116980_n

First you gather your labor force. This is my sister Lana who arrived early so that we could get the Russian Easter Bread (Kulich/Paska) started.

12670500_10209025541021643_6688122367162299089_n

The rest of the laborers arrived and donned their aprons and head scarves.

kulich-16

At one point in the process of mixing the dough I thought I made a big boo boo so we prayed over the dough and Lana and I laid hands on the KitchenAid.  I didn’t want to start over again. All turned out well…

2016-03-27 easter 2016

Lana showing how her slippers match her apron.

The other photos in the collage are of kneading the dough and shrink wrapping the boiled eggs. While the dough was rising we enjoyed lunch together. Home made tamales and beans with guacamole, chips, and Dan and Jamie’s home made salsa.

2016-03-27 easter 20161

After lunch it was time to prepare the cans and to punch down the dough after it’s first rise. The Peter Rabbit bunting was completed by Katie and hung by Laura and Katie. Josh and Laura gifted me the bunting kit for my birthday last week.

easter 2016 013

2016-03-27 easter 20162

After the second rise we punched again and prepared the dough by hand for the cans pinching off enough or almost enough for each can we picked for this time around. Short, medium and tall.

easter 2016 028

The guys were busy outside in the sunshine solving several world problems.

easter 2016 041

The finished eggs and kulich on Easter day. I’ll show more from our Easter table in another post.

When the baking was done and the cheese mold was in the refrigerator setting up for our Easter Sunday meal the kids went out to dinner with their aunt and uncle. Dear and I stayed at home and crashed…

1917966_10208999050115371_7055826096728142628_n

All of our kids together enjoying each other and extended family fills us with joy and not having to make dinner for them after a full day in the kitchen was a bonus!

We love and treasure these traditions and hope to carry them on through the years and pass them on to the next generation. I’m happy to report three of our nephews wives took on this labor of love alone in their homes and had very successful outcomes!

Keepsake Quilt

We are on the letter K and I’m choosing Keepsake for my post.

This is a quilt my mother in law made before Alaska and Hawaii were part of the United States. It was in 1959 that Alaska and Hawaii became states so Verna made this quilt well before 1959. Rex and Verna got married in 1945. Verna was a one room school teacher in Kansas during World War II.

Each of the 48 states were represented with the state bird and state flower.

Verna’s children, grandchildren and great grandchildren live in the states of Washington, New York, California and North Carolina as of this date.

Verna with my hubby long before we met. This is probably 1966 or 1967.

Dear’s Parents, Rex and Verna with their 4 grandchildren in 1982. Two more granddaughters were born in 1985 and 1991. Rex passed away in 1985 before they were born.

Rex, Verna, Dear, Josh me and Dan in 1982.

This photo was taken in 1988 or 1989 at our first home in Washington State. Verna was living with us at this time. My folks, sister and her girls were visiting from California.

This collage is of Dear’s only brother and him and Rex and Verna. I put this collage together to show the similarities the two sons have with their parents. Terry with Verna and Dear with Rex.

We had an unusual social distancing gathering on Easter at our kids home to exchange Easter meal goodies and to see JJ and Addy at their Easter egg hunt. It was a different but good Easter celebrating our Risen Savior! Later in the afternoon we had an extended family Zoom meeting sharing our highs, lows and buffaloes with each other. It was so good to see many of the family units from Texas, Indiana, California and Washington and sharing some prayer requests. I trust you all had a good day.

As soon as my broad band lets me upload my photos from yesterday I’ll share them.