Nadia’s Kulich and Seernaya Paska

What many of you call Paska we call Kulich. This is my mom’s Russian Easter Bread Recipe that I quartered because the amount she would make is quite daunting for me. We have cut it in half in years past. Now what you need to know about my mom and recipes is that she ends up tweaking them from year to year so this recipe is for her Kulich from 2001. I have a 2009 and 2012 recipe, too. This one was easier to quarter. Here’s the link to the original. My dear mom passed away from this earth in September of 2013 so I cherish her tweaked recipes.

Ingredients:

2 packets rapid rise yeast
1/4 cup lukewarm water
1/4 cup lukewarm milk
1 teaspoon sugar

4 egg yolks
1 egg
1-1/4 cups sugar
3/4 cup butter
1 cup whipping cream
1 cup half and half
1/2 ounce apricot brandy
1-1/2 teaspoons powdered vanilla
1 teaspoon salt
Zest of half a lemon
About 2-1/2 pounds of flour, sifted (about 7 cups)
Vegetable oil to coat the rising dough

6 to 7 one pound or two pound cans for baking. You can use loaf pans or large muffin tins if you don’t have the cans to bake them in.

Add yeast to the lukewarm water and milk and sugar in a stainless steel bowl. Make sure the liquids are lukewarm. Let this mixture dissolve and sit.

Beat the egg yolks and egg together.
Cream the butter and sugar in the large bowl of a stand-up mixer.
Add the eggs to the butter and sugar mixture slowly mixing to combine and then beat to incorporate well.
Mix the half and half with the whipping cream and heat until lukewarm, not hot, and slowly incorporate into the creamed mixture.
Mix in the vanilla and brandy.
Add the yeast mixture and the salt and beat with a mixer.
Continue beating and add the lemon zest.
Continue beating and add the sifted flour about a cup at a time.
Once you cannot beat the dough any longer using the mixer, put the dough on a floured surface and start incorporating the remaining flour by kneading the dough.
The dough should be kneaded very well, approximately 10 minutes.
You should knead the dough until you can cut it with a knife and it is smooth without any holes.
Place the dough in a stainless steel bowl. Take some oil and pour a little on the dough and spread it all over the dough. Make sure to turn the dough so it is coated evenly.
Cover with plastic wrap right on the dough and a dish towel on top of that.
Place in a warm place away from drafts to rise. (My sister usually puts it into the oven that has been warmed slightly.

It is now time to prepare the coffee cans (1 lb. and 2 lb. cans are the best) Cut circles the size of the bottom of the cans out of wax paper. You will need four circles per can. Make sure the cans are well greased. Put the 4 circles in the bottom of the cans.

Use a empty and clean coffee can like the ones above. If there is a label make sure to take it off. If the can has a lip at the top you’ll need to use a can opener to cut the lip off the can. I hope these pictures will make the process easier to understand.

Cut sheets of wax paper long enough to line the sides of the can and tall enough to be 2″ above the rim of the can. Use Crisco to seal the ends of the paper.

When the dough has doubled in size, punch it down and turn it over.
Let it rise a second time until it doubles in size. Punch it down again.
Now the dough is ready to put into the prepared cans.
You will take a portion of dough about 1/3 the size of the can. Knead it and form it into a smooth ball that you can easily drop into the can.

Let the dough rise again inside the can until it is at least double in size.

Bake in a 350 degree oven until golden brown on top.(approximately 30 minutes or more depending on your oven.)

Let them cool slightly in the cans. Remove them from the cans and then cool completely standing up. Some people cool them on their sides turning them often to keep their shape. We found this time that they cool just fine and keep their shape standing up so we didn’t bother with that step!

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To go with this bread my mom always makes a wonderful sweet cheese topping that is formed in a mold in different shapes. For my mom’s Sernaya Paska (cheese spread) recipe click here.

We like to serve the kulich with the spread and strawberries.

This blast from the past was probably our first Easter in Washington State, 1989.

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I’m not sure if I’ll be trying this Kulich/Paska recipe quartered at the end of this week. I’ll let you know if I do and how many coffee can shaped loaves it makes. We got seven loaves out of this recipe although we shorted some of the cans.

Are you preparing for Easter?

A New Year for the Hodgpodge

Hello Hodgepodgers!

It’s Snow Angel season around our parts and…

It’s time for a new year of Wednesday Hodgepodge! Thank you Joyce for coming up with the brain teasers each week.

1. Share one happy moment/memory from the holiday season. 

Seeing each of the three vehicles filled with our most precious cargo pull into our driveway on Christmas day!

2. Let’s be reasonable with our expectations going into this new year, k? What is one thing you’d like to accomplish/improve/complete/do in 2022? 

I’d like to stick to completing a 30 minute cardio workout most days in 2022.  Shoveling off the back deck with Dear on Monday qualifies as a cardio workout! Snowshoeing out my back door is on the agenda this week. After wrapping up this post I’m happy to report I blazed a snowshoe trail in our back acres on Tuesday.

3. Every January 1st (since 1976) Lake Superior University has published a list of words they’d like to see banished from the Queen’s English. Words may be banished due to misuse, overuse or just general uselessness (go here to read more about how the words are chosen). Here are the words/phrases they’d like to see banished in 2022-

wait, what?-no worries-at the end of the day-that being said-asking for a friend-circle back-deep dive-a new normal-you’re on mute-supply chain

Which of these words/phrases do you use regularly?

‘No worries’ is the one phrase I’ve used most regularly, the others more randomly.  I do say, ‘did you mute your phone’ to Dear before the church service begins.

Which of these words would you most like to see banished from everyday speech and why?

‘A new normal’ is a phrase that strikes me negatively mostly because much that comes with this phrase are things that shouldn’t be normal, in my opinion.

Is there a word/phrase not on the list you’d like to add? (I misunderstood this question the first time around and added a phrase I like, oops) Here’s one I’d like banished.

‘Pandemic of the unvaccinated’ is the phrase I’d like to see banished because it is false from it’s root up.

4. Best thing you ate in the month of December? 

Our traditional Christmas dinner. Prime Rib, roasted veggies, creamed corn and Yorkshire Pudding.

5. January 5th is National Bird Day.

Are you a bird lover? 

Yes!

What’s your favorite bird to see in the wild?

Eagle is by far the favorite with hawks coming in at second. I have a strong desire to see an owl in the wild and if I ever do it might win the favorite spot!

Choose a phrase from the list that follows and tell us how it relates to your life currently…eat like a bird, bird’s eye view, early bird, bird-brained, free as a bird, a little bird told me, or kill two birds with one stone.

‘Early bird’ is a phrase that relates to my life currently. Sleeping in has escaped me. I’m up before dark these days. Our pop was always early instead of late and I’m a chip off the old block when it comes to arriving at a scheduled event early, too!

6. Insert your own random thought here. 

It looks like 2022 will not be a drought year in our parts! As of Tuesday morning January 4th we have about 20 inches of snow accumulated in our yard. More snow is on the way with temperatures that will not allow the snow to melt for awhile.

Only Joseph is still above the snow. We’ll see if he gets completely covered tonight!

To all my hodgepodging friends, I hope 2022 is a year filled with good things that draw you closer to the God who created you!

Back to School Hodgepodge

This collage above is from a first day of school in Ventura, California back in 1985 and a first day of school in Bothell, Washington in the very early 90’s.

Jo From This Side of the Pond asks the questions and here are my answers this week. Thank you, Jo!

1. As we begin this brand new month tell us, on a scale of 1-10, where does your life fall in terms of being in ‘apple pie order’? Please elaborate. (1=nowhere near it, 10=practically perfect in every way)

Yikes, perfect and neatness. That’s a tall order. The only thing I’ll attribute to perfection in my life is that I am perfectly forgiven and saved by Jesus Christ my Perfect Savior and Lord. I’m thankful for that position in this life and for what it means in the next. On a physical not spiritual level I’d say I’m about a 6. Most places in our home are tidy enough for surprise drop ins. I’d need a couple days notice to get everything perfect in every way! Outside in my flower beds, etc. I’d need a month to get things perfect!!

2. An apple a day keeps the doctor away…are you doing your part?

Not an apple but our new daily regimen since the Ch*na V started it’s spread is a multi-vitamin, vitamin D3, vitamin C, Zinc, Quercetin, and we just added N-Acetyl Cysteine.

Red or green?

Either.

Sweet or tart?

Like them both.

Ever played the game Apples to Apples?

Yes.

Do you like apple pie?

Yes.

If so, ala mode or just gimme the pie? 

As my dear old Pop used to say he’d like his “pie alamo”

3. Tell us about a time recently where you ‘upset the apple cart’ or the last time someone ‘upset your apple cart’? 

A good true quote is something that ‘upsets my apple cart’ in a constructive way.  Here’s one that makes me ponder, “Nothing is more deceitful than pride. We are inclined to believe anything about ourselves if it is favorable.” From a commentary on 1 Corinthians.

And from Spurgeon: “My own weakness makes me shrink, but God’s promise makes me brave. Lord, strengthen me according to Your Word.”

4. What are three words that come to mind when you think of September? 

School because traditionally school started in September. Birthday because Dear’s birthday is in September. Fall/Autumn because this great season of the year starts in September.

5. What are you most looking forward to this month? 

Our road trip to North Carolina and Dallas. Those are the two destinations in our 20 day trek that involve seeing some of our loved ones! Technically we won’t be in Dallas until October.

6. Insert your own random thought here.

No Place Like Home

We moved into our current home September of 2018 and we were so thankful for all the help we had from our children. We moved from the big city to the country.

I’m joining Sandi at Rose Chintz Cottage for a weekly blog carnival called No Place Like Home. Here’s an explanation of what it involves…

So, I will get the party rolling on Monday, November 23. Like other years, everything pertaining to Home is welcome… Cooking and baking, recipes, antiquing, arts and crafts, crocheting/knitting, quilting/sewing, collections, floral arranging, home decor, homemaking tips, hospitality, refinishing furniture, tea time, tablescapes, thrift shopping, etc….Maybe there’s a new baby in the family or you have a new fur baby you would like to introduce us to. They are welcome too! Anything and everything which makes your HOME more enjoyable to come HOME to, for your family, your friends, and yourself. 

So on this first Monday of the party I’m going to share  a few Thanksgiving tables from the past. Our Canadian neighbors celebrated Thanksgiving several weeks ago. This is Thanksgiving week in the United States. Thanksgiving day is Thursday November 26th. I won’t be hosting Thanksgiving at our Country Bungalow this year but we will be celebrating with family. The following tables are from our previous home.

Thanksgiving 2012

Thanksgiving 2013

Thanksgiving 2015

Not exactly sure what year the table collage above is from but I know it’s in our Kenmore home and not our current home.

Thanksgiving 2019 and our Grandson’s first Thanksgiving.

And our granddaughter is a pro already with putting the marshmallows on top of the candied yams!

The turkey at our Country bungalow 2019.

The First Thanksgiving 1621~Historical America, Homer Laughlin China Co., Made in U.S.A. I found this platter at a thrift store.

Thank you to Sandi for hosting No Place Like Home.

For those of you who live in the U.S.A. what are your plans for Thanksgiving? It will look a lot different for many of us but it can still be filled with gratitude, love and joy.

Corn Maze Snow Version

What a difference a week makes. Sunday the 18th of October my brother and his kids enjoyed the maze with me in sunshine and a bit of mud. On Saturday the 24th of October the patch paths were covered in snow. Our car arrived at the Corn Maze location a little after ten and it was closed. After checking on line we saw that they were due to open at eleven. Jamie and the littles arrived a little before 10:30 and the owner of the maze spotted us and came over to open up early for us. We were the only group on the maze from start to finish. Thank you Colville Corn Maze for a detailed maze experience and for opening early for us!

We never dreamed we’d be trekking through the maze in snow but we were all up for the adventure.

You need a map expert like Katie to make it through with ease and we were so happy she was on point since we were trekking through the snow in below freezing temperatures.

Warning: This is a photo loaded post!

Katie led us to the #1 stop quick and easy. Onward and upward we go.

We supported the Corn Maze People by buying some of their last pumpkins.

The cutest little pumpkins in the patch!

Do you go to a pumpkin patch this time of year? Do you have a Corn Maze in your town? Our snow is melting and we’ve had a nice stretch of dry weather. Very cold starts to the day with warming by mid afternoon. Slow but sure progress on the shop.

Vareniki, Christmas Tradition

These are photos from over 5 years ago on two separate cooking days before Christmas. I got the photos from my nieces.

This photo above is from 2012, the last Vareniki day with our mom.

It’s been 5 years now since my sisters and nieces have been able to have Vareniki cooking day with our mom. This event usually happens the weekend before Christmas. Our mom left this earth in September of 2013. I’m proud of my sisters and nieces for keeping this tradition alive without our mom’s guidance. It’s our family tradition to have these filled cheese dumplings for dessert on Christmas Eve. The cheese filling is a lightly sweetened Russian style farmer’s cheese. These filled creations are enjoyed after dinner on Christmas Eve. After making the dough, filling them with cheese, pinching them just right like our mom taught us, they are simmered until they float, cooled, and stored for Christmas Eve. To serve they are placed evenly in a glass casserole dish and baked with butter and half and half until bubbly. They are served hot topped with sour cream and syrup.  I’m going to have to have a breakthrough and try making these with my girls. We also enjoy them for breakfast.

Today my two older sisters, one of my brothers and sister in laws and 3 of my nieces are getting together to continue the Vareniki tradtion.

I received this next photos from my nieces at their Vareniki making today at my oldest sister’s home. I loved the hashtags my nieces used like #webelongtomoisiandnadia #newkitchenhelpers #makingbabaproud

My sister Kathy with her grandson, Jackson.

My sister Vera, niece Debbee, sister Kathy, grandniece Avery, niece Melissa, niece Michelle, and sister in law Letty.

My niece Michelle teaching her daughter, Avery, the pinching skills.

My grandnephew, Jackson. Two new helpers this year from the next generation!

ABC Wednesday ~ M is for…

 M is for Mariachis, Mexican Food, and Margaritas.

Mariachi is a type of musical group, originally from Cocula, Jalisco, Mexico. Usually a mariachi consists of at least three violins, two trumpets, one Mexican guitar, one vihuela (a high-pitched, five-string guitar) and one guitarrón (a small-scaled acoustic bass). They dress in silver studded charro outfits with wide-brimmed hats. The original Mariachi were Mexican street musicians or buskers. Many mariachis are professional entertainers doing paid gigs in the mainstream entertainment industry. Professionals are normally skilled at more than one instrument, and they also sing.

 

Some of our Mexican Restaurants in Southern California have Mariachis strolling around the restaurant taking requests for songs to play and sing.

This Mariachi group played at my nephews wedding

I was born and raised in the East Los Angeles area of Southern California. The Mexican culture (these days if you are politically correct called “Hispanic” not “Mexican”) was all around me. We celebrated Mexican holidays at my elementary school, took field trips to Olvera Street in Los Angeles where the culture was further introduced to us. I have always enjoyed Mexican Food. There isn’t a Mexican restaurant in the Southern California area that calls itself Hispanic that I know of. They still all refer to themselves as Mexican restaurants.

 

Our favorite Mexican Restaurant in the Camarillo Area is El Tecolate. In Mexico El Tecolote means the Owl. Mexican Restaurants always serve chips and salsa at your table when you arrive. Sometimes we order guacamole to go with the chips too. Guacamole is a dip made with mashed avocados and other ingredients.

They have decorated the restaurant with many different types of owl “art”. This is just a fraction of the Owls you’ll see inside.

 

They serve your typical Mexican food here and other interesting dishes that are unique to this restaurant.

This is an open tamale

Carnitas (slow cooked pork) is another Mexican favorite. So yummy…

There are some Mexican restaurants that still hand make their tortillas. The restaurant where this Mexican lady is making tortillas is in Venice Beach, California (a district of Los Angeles).

 And last but not least I leave you with a Margarita which is a classic Mexican Tequila and lime drink! You can have the double, I’m fine with the single.

We prefer ours on the rocks. A lot of people like the blended variety that gives you a brain freeze on your first sip. Muchas Gracias for visiting my M post mi amigos y amigas.

For more ABC Wednesday visit Mrs. Nesbitt.

Photobucket is holding all my photos from 2007-2015 hostage and they have blacked them all out. I’m slowly working at restoring my posts without their help. Such a tiresome bother!

The Art of Chado ~ Japanese Tea Ceremony

This is a guest post from my daughter Katie about a class she’s taking this quarter. I’m including it in this weeks Tea Blog-a-thon, Dressed-to-A-Tea, as promised.

Chado – The “tea way”‏

This quarter I have been fortunate enough to get to take a class on the art of Chado, the Japanese tea ceremony. We meet once a week for lecture, and then once a week we go to the Japanese Garden at the Seattle Arboretum and practice in the tea room. This last week we got to bring home our “fukusa basami”, (pictured) little clutches containing our “fukusa” (ceremonial cloths), some papers for putting sweets on, and our fans. (pictured)

I also decided to buy a yukata and obi to wear for the class, though this is not a requirement. A yukata is an inexpensive, light, informal version of the kimono. Real kimono are pricey and require alot of care. An obi is the broad sash worn with kimono or yukata. My yukata has not yet arrived, but I received my obi early last week. My friend Mika tried several times to tie it for me, but complained that since I was smaller than her she couldn’t get the proportions right. When my instructor arrived she had me come in to the tea house and quickly and expertly tied my obi. I drove home wearing it so that my brother could take a picture. (pictured)

 

So far we have learned several bows, how to walk in the tea room, how to fold and unfold our fukusa properly, how to whisk tea, and how to take and serve sweets and tea. It’s alot of information to take in, but I’m loving it.

Thanks Katie! When you get your yukata I want another photo!

For more Tea Posts click over to Gracious Hospitality.

Photobucket is holding all my photos from 2007-2015 hostage and they have blacked them all out. I’m slowly working at restoring my posts without their help. Such a tiresome bother!

Dressed-To-A-Tea!

Generally when I go to a tea I dress up just a bit from my normal everyday style (jeans and a top) I’ll put on my black pants and try to wear something more interesting on top. I am not a hat person because a hat does not compliment me at all. My daughter Katie can wear any hat out there and look cute but not me!

 

We had tea at The Gilded Rose Manor Tea House for my mother’s 85th birthday on Saturday. I took a few photos of some pretty accessories they had around the tea room to share for “Dressed-To-A-Tea! This hat rack with the hats and boa’s was in the front entry.

 

This was something for a little girl to wear.

 

And some other pretty vintage children’s dresses.

More typically our Tea apparel is “to each his own” as you can see from the tea guests above. There are more pictures from my Mother’s birthday tea here.

This is my daughter Katie dressed for a Winter Tea with her vintage hat, gloves and pearls.

I’m hoping to be able to share a tea post with my daughter dressed for her Japanese Tea Ceremony class soon. She’s taking this class from the University of Washington and travels to a Japanese Tea-house in Seattle at the Arboretum each week for her instruction.

Visit LaTeaDah at Gracious Hospitality for more Dressed-To-A-Tea Posts.

Photobucket is holding all my photos from 2007-2015 hostage and they have blacked them all out. I’m slowly working at restoring my posts without their help. Such a tiresome bother!

Tea in the Afternoon

 

Kelly (SIL married to my brother Steve), Melissa my niece (Sister Kathy’s 2nd daughter) Jessica (soon to be my niece by marriage to my nephew Timothy, Kelly will be her MIL), Kathy my oldest sister, My Mother Nadia, My sister Vera, Debbee my niece (Sister Vera’s daughter), Michelle my niece (Sister Kathy’s first born daughter), and myself. (Wish my daughter Katie and DIL Laura, my sister Lana, my SIL Letty, my SIL Mandy, and my niece Kristin (Vera’s DIL) could have been with us, too!!)

In honor of my mother’s 85th birthday I spent a couple hours today with these lovely ladies having an afternoon tea. (More tea posts to follow) My mother the guest of honor shared with us some verses she wanted to gift us with. She read them in Russian from her Russian Bible. (This Psalm is 132 in the Russian Bible)

 

Psalm 133 ~ “How good and pleasant it is when brothers live together in unity! It is lke precious oil poured on the head, running down on the beard running down on Aaron’s beard, down upon the collar of his robes. It is as if the dew of Hermon were falling on Mount Zion. For there the Lord bestows his blessing, even life forevermore.”

What a blessing it is to live with these ladies in unity. It is good and pleasant everytime we get together. Thanks mom for sharing this Psalm with us at your tea.

Photobucket is holding all my photos from 2007-2015 hostage and they have blacked them all out. I’m slowly working at restoring my posts without their help. Such a tiresome bother!