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!

Happy Birthday Mom ~ Nadejda!

 

Today is my mom’s birthday. On her official papers (she doesn’t have a birth certificate) she’s 85 today. She was born a year earlier than her papers say so she is really 84 today. Little things like birth dates got mixed up when filling out paper work during immigration.

God has blessed us richly with a mom who loves her God, husband, children, grandchildren and great grandchildren.

Gracious Hospital-i-Tea Blog-a-thon ~ Stitches

 April 6th – 12th ~ Share ideas and pictures that involve stitching for the tea table. Any kind of stitches count: sewing, embroidery, knitting, crochet, tatting, quilting, etc. The work can be yours or of someone else, but should be homemade rather than done by factory machines. Ideas are
napkins, tea cozies, table linens, and other creations made with tea themes.

 

I have always called these dish towels tea towels so I’m including them in my stitch post. The Tea Cozy in the center was a gift that a friend in England knit for me after I was so excited seeing my very first tea cozy at her house in 1973. The doilie to the right of the tea cozy is great for setting a teapot on. I have a lot of tablecloths and napkins that I use for pretty tea tables that do not have a tea theme in particular. Most of these items are in my home in Washington and I don’t have access to them for this post. I’m looking forward to my visits to your sites to see what stichery you have…

I forgot about these fancy teaspoons we inherited from my MIL and decided to add them to this post

 

For more Hospital-i-Tea blogathon posts on stichery click here.

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!