Tuesdays With Moisi ~ 305 Los Angeles Avenue

The church youth group plus other cousins at Vera’s birthday party or was it some other occasion, Vera? Maybe graduation? This is the small dining room in this home.

Junior/Senior Prom in the bedroom before my date picked me up. This is the bedroom I shared with 3 of my sisters.

I’ll be adding more photos to this post when I can access them but for now these will have to do.

Historical notes during the time we lived at 305 Los Angeles Ave, Montebello, California from approximately 1960 until 1971.

In November of 1960 my older sisters and I walked the block and a half to Whittier Boulevard in Montebello to watch John F. Kennedy come by in a convertible and we were able to shake his hand. He was campaigning in the Los Angeles area.

In the fifth grade I was running out to the playground and the girl in front of me stopped to tie her shoe and I flipped over her and landed on my wrist ending up with a chipped bone. I went to the nurses office and she called my mom and had to call a taxi for her and me to get to the doctor’s office since our mom never drove. I had a cast for a while.

All of us kids walked to school from this house. Some of us to Fremont Elementary which meant we had to cross Whittier boulevard and there were no crossing guards.  Older sisters walked to Montebello Junior High and Montebello High School. Eventually I walked to the junior high and high school.

1963 Vera graduated from Junior High School and I remember being at Montebello Park for the ceremony with our mom pregnant with the twins.

The photo above is of Montebello Junior High which has since been demolished because of earthquake safety issues and rebuilt into a modern ugly junior high.

In July of 1963 the twins were born. They were a shock to our whole family who were kept in the dark by our mom about the fact that she was having twins.

August of 1963 was the when I became a disciple of Jesus Christ and later in September our Pop became a disciple of Jesus Christ at the Billy Graham Crusades at the Los Angeles Coliseum.

1964, 1966, 1967 and 1968 Kathy, Vera, Fred and I graduated from Montebello high school.

1967 I was baptized.

1969 Pop was baptized.

1969 our sister Vera was married to Nick Titov. The wedding was a few blocks north of our home at Montebello Baptist Church.

The first 4 of us started college while we lived on Los Angeles Avenue.

In 1969 our family left the Molokan church.

In 1971 we moved to 11053 Arroyo Drive in La Mirada, California.

Tuesdays With Moisi ~ Blintzes

This is one of my favorite photos of our Pop and Mom, Moisi and Nadia. It was taken at a celebration of our brother Leonard’s marriage to Mandy in 2006. The celebration happened in Dallas, Texas. Another favorite photo below of me and my sister Lana at that same celebration in Dallas. Thirteen years younger and for me many pounds lighter.

I’m sharing our mom’s recipe for her blintzes. Nadia’s Blintzes were the favorites of many especially our Pop. We learned all of our Russian cooking from our mom.

A few years ago my sister Lana took photos of me making blintzes that I’m including here. I nicked these photos off her blog.

Nadia’s  Blintzes

6 eggs
4 cups whole milk
1/2 tsp. salt
2 Tbsp. sugar
1-1/2 cups flour
1/2 Tbsp. oil

Scald the milk. Beat the eggs. Slowly add the milk to the eggs while continuing beating. Add salt, sugar and oil, beat until blended. Slowly beat in the flour until combined.

I use two 10″ heavy Teflon pans to cook the blintzes. You might want to just start with one till you get this process down. Heat the pan. Coat the pan lightly with oil. (I use a piece of cheesecloth to coat the pan with oil and if needed I’ll coat again into the cooking process). Use a 1/3 cup measure to dip into the mixing bowl (you don’t have to fill to the top just use a uniform measure of the liquid for each blintz) Pour into frying pan and swirl the pan to coat the bottom evenly.

Cook until the blintz turns a nice golden brown. With a spatula loosen the edges and flip the blintz and brown on the other side. Remove from pan and let cool on a dish cloth.

Repeat the process. Sometimes the only hindrance to these flipping and cooking well is the temperature of the pan. You’ll have to experiment to get it at the magic temp. Start at medium.  After the blintzes are cooled you can stack them. They can be frozen at this time if you would like. This recipe will make approximately 24 blintzes.

Cheese filling for the blintzes:
1- carton of ricotta cheese (8 oz. size)
(You can also use cottage cheese, hoop cheese or farmers cheese)
1 egg
1 tsp. vanilla
1-2 tbsp. sugar
16 ounces of half and half
1/2 cup butter, 1 stick

Beat all the ingredients till smooth except half and half and stick of butter. Spread about 1 Tablespoon of cheese onto one side of blintz. Roll up and place in a 9×13 baking dish. They can be layered. Melt one cube of butter and pour over the blintzes. Bake in 350 degree oven until heated through. Heat up to 8 oz. of Half and Half until is is warm but not boiling. Pour half and half over blintzes to cover and continue baking until half and half boils. Remove from oven and serve with sour cream and preserves or syrup.

For a savory filling:

Saute 1 large onion in oil and season with salt and pepper. Add 1 lb. hamburger (15%) and brown. Add salt and pepper to taste. Dice enough broccoli to make 2 cups. Steam until broccoli just turns bright green. Combine meat, broccoli and 1 can of cream of mushroom soup and heat through. Scoop about 2-3 T of mixture onto blintz and fold in the sides to form a square. Place in a baking dish. Melt butter and poor over the filled blintzes. Bake in a 350 to 375 degree oven until heated through. Serve and if you want to make additional sauce you can serve extra sauce with the savory blintzes. Oh I almost forgot, you can serve these with sour cream if you’d like, also.

HT: Bagdanov Family Cookbook

Tuesdays With Moisi

All the photos in this post were taken in the 50’s.  I believe this photo was taken after my parents bought our home in Montebello Gardens/Pico Rivera, 4635 Oak St. These are all family and friends who immigrated from Persia to the United States. Russian Baptists and Russian Molokans together. Moisi (Pop) is in the front row with his head on Nadia’s (Mom) shoulder.

The photo above was also taken on Oak street. Our mom is standing on the left. Our aunt Anna is standing on the right. Kneeling, our mom’s cousin Luba, and our aunt Nina. I recognize the lady in the center standing but her name has slipped my memory. Maybe my brother Leonard or sister Vera can leave a comment with her name. 🙂

This is a very rare photo of our mom and our aunt Ouiliana with trousers on. Our aunt Katie is in the center. Both of these aunts are from our Pop’s side of the family. One married to Uncle John and one married to Uncle Alex.

Aunt Zena, our mom, and aunt Ouliana in the back. Aunt Nina(our only aunt on my mother’s side of the family), ?, Mrs. Hamzieff, and Aunt Luba. We called most anyone our parents age aunt and uncle.

I’m not sure where photo was taken. Possibly it was at our Uncle Pete and Aunt Anna’s house since she’s the one with an apron on. Yikes! Is that a cigarette in our Pop’s hand? He did smoke for a while but always kept it a big secret from us kids. Generally you can tell who is Baptist and who is Molokan by whether or not the men wear ties. Ties were not a common dress code for Molokans.

Our maternal grandmother, babushka Vera with her dear friend and the mother of our Aunt Nina, babushka Manya.

The photo above is taken in front of our driveway at 4635 Oak Street.

Front yard of 4635 Oak Street. Moisi (Pop) is holding me.  I’m guessing this is Easter 1952.

Our sister Vera’s birthday since she’s holding the cake. This must have been in February in the early 50’s.

Easter on our driveway.

The same Easter but at our Uncle and Aunt’s home. Our maternal grandmother lived with Uncle Paul and Aunt Nina for many years before she got her own apartment a few doors down from the Russian Baptist church in Los Angeles.

We took a few camping trips to Big Bear with our cousins on our mother’s side of the family.

The photo above is a favorite of mine with our Pop working on a jigsaw puzzle while we were camping. He spent many hours working on jigsaw puzzles before he died.

Besides camping we’d drive to farms to pick berries and cherries for mom and pop to prepare for canning.

January of 1958 our brother Tim was born. This was in our living room on Oak street.

I’m guessing this is my seventh birthday.

Easter 1958 at our cousin’s home in Maywood, California. Our maternal grandmother lived with our Uncle Paul and Aunt Nina so we visited them regularly.

This photo above is from a road trip we took to Oregon stopping at Crater Lake.

Christmas 1958, Tim was 11 months old and we all needed to protect the tree from his curiosity.

This must be Easter 1959 at our Uncle Paul and Aunt Nina’s home in Maywood, California.

Backyard on Oak street after a deep sea fishing trip Pop took for yellowtail.

I’m guessing the photo above is from 1960 at our Uncle and Aunt’s with our maternal grandmother because our brother Steve was born in December of 1959.

The kitchen at a birthday for me just before we moved to Montebello. I’m guessing this is my 9th birthday. The next photo is of the same kitchen from a realtors more current photo. Looks like the kitchen has not been updated much from the 50’s!

Another photo from our backyard on Oak Street.

This is a historical post for my kids so I’m adding the three school photos I have from Montebello Gardens Primary School here, too.

And here is a current photo of what our house on 4635 Oak street looks like now.

This is the backyard now. Where this storage shed is today there used to be a pigeon coupe that Pop built.

This realtors shot of the hall to all the bedrooms in our house looks so dismal. I can see now why it was easy for us to jimmy up the walls since they were so close together. I ran down this hall one Easter or Christmas morning and slipped and slid into the cabinet of that utility room you can see at the end of the hall and broke one of my toes. I had to wear a slipper on that foot for church that day because of swelling, so embarrassing.

As I find more photos from our family’s time on Oak street I’ll add them to this long post. In a future post I’ll cover the time our family spent at 305 Los Angeles Avenue in Montebello.

Hope you all have a good Tuesday.

Tuesdays With Moisi

Шашлык ~Shashlik (Barbecued lamb Skewers)

1 leg of lamb de-boned
3 large onions sliced
Juice from 4 lemons mixed with 1/2 cup olive oil and 4 cloves of garlic crushed.
Lawry’s Seasoning Salt and pepper

Cut the lamb in pieces about 1-1/2 inches thick to 2 inches square. Trim off excess fat. Place a layer of onions in a large pot, then a layer of meat, season with Lawry’s and pepper, then sprinkle with lemon juice oil mixture. Repeat layers until all meat is in the pot ending with onions and lemon juice mixture. Cover and let stand in refrigerator for at least 4 hours or better overnight, stirring occasionally to let all the meat marinate thoroughly.

After the meat is done marinating, separate the meat from the onions. Thread the meat onto skewers, and broil outdoors over hot charcoal embers, turning the skewers occasionally to brown the meat on all sides. Now for the modern method you could use those fish cages to put the meat in and BBQ it on your gas grill. This is a lot simpler by far, but some swear by the old school method.

Serve with rice pilaf and a cucumber, tomato, onion salad.

Growing up when we were part of the Russian Molokan Church I remember the annual all church picnics we had at Brookside Park in Pasadena where there were several open grills cooking this wonderfully marinated lamb. So succulent, so yummy. We’d have rice and salads with it. What a highlight of the year those picnics were! For special family gatherings our pop was the one who marinated and barbequed the lamb or other meat.

Tuesdays With Moisi or Nadia

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The first part of this post was written by our daughter Katie a few years ago. I’m featuring Nadia (babushka) today instead of Moisi for Tuesday With Moisi. The photo above was taken in 2013.

    • Gimme my Babushka’s cooking and I’ll be content

    • The sort of Russian/Persian cuisine that my Baba (Grandma) makes… I would be a happy camper for a year with yummy borscht, galupsi, kulyich, syrny paska, lapsha, varenky, shashlik, and a million other treats that I would butcher just as badly trying to spell in English…I can say most of them but they’re sure hard to type. Just make sure you give me a good supply of sour cream, and can I bend the rules to include my Mom’s “green borscht” which is spinach soup we chop up hardboiled eggs in? I was never entirely sure where that soup’s origins really lay…I could never get sick of all the lamb and cabbage and butter filled goodness, heck I even like the Russian candies my Deda (Grandpa) keeps around though none of my cousins do. My mouth is watering already. ~ Katie
    • borsch-snoqualmie-001
    • Many Borsch recipes include beets in them. The familiar Borsch that we grew up with and that we had at Molokan Church Meals did not have beets in it. Here is my mother’s recipe. Our people don’t pronounce Borsch with a “t” on the end.

      Nadia’s Borsch

      For the Stock:
      1 Seven Bone Roast or Chuck roast if you can’t find Seven Bone
      1 onion
      1-3 celery stalks with leaves
      2-3 carrots
      2 bay leaves
      5-10 peppercorns
      Salt to taste

      Salt and pepper the roast and sear it on all sides. Put the roast in a stock pot and cover with water. Add remaining ingredients. Bring to a boil. Simmer and cook until roast is fork tender. Remove the meat and set aside. Discard the stock vegetables.

      Soup Ingredients:

      1 head of cabbage shredded (green is what we use)
      1-3 carrots grated
      1-2 onions diced
      1 bell pepper seeded and diced
      2-3 stalks of celery diced
      1 jalapeno seeded and diced (optional)
      2-3 potatoes diced
      2 cans stewed tomatoes blended in blender (we have those that don’t like chunky tomatoes)
      1 can tomato sauce
      1/2-small bunch of dill (to taste)
      1 handful of chopped Italian parsley
      salt and pepper to taste
      1 can of garbanzo beans drained and rinsed (optional)

      Saute onion, bell pepper, celery and jalapeno if you are using one until onion is translucent.
      Add these ingredients to a blender along with the two cans of stewed tomatoes.
      Blend and add them to the beef stock along with all the other ingredients.
      Bring to a boil, then simmer until cabbage, carrots and potatoes are tender.
      Taste and see if the soup needs more salt or pepper at this time.

      The Borsch is ready now.

      My mother doesn’t include this in her recipe but when she made borsch at my house once I saw her add a half a cube of unsalted butter at the end. :) My mother mashes most of the potatoes to thicken up the soup a bit.

      You can serve the roast alongside the borsch with a good loaf of bread and of course…sour cream.

I made this pot of Borsch on Sunday and we’re enjoying it again today. I also took a couple of containers to Dan and Jamie’s today. We watched Addy while Dan and Jamie made a trip to Spokane to do some shopping.

Tuesdays With Moisi ~ Molokans

Today for Tuesdays With Moisi I wanted to give you some information on the Molokans, Moisi’s religion before he was born again.

I have some previous posts about the Molokan Cemetery in City of Commerce, California and the Molokans (Milk Drinkers). By sharing these posts I in no way am promoting the Molokan Religion. Some of the traditions are noteworthy but not to be worshipped.

I’m adding some photos I have of Molokan events and the Molokan churches in Los Angeles and San Francisco.

The photo above is a wedding photo. This is our uncle Vasili’s (Bill’s) marriage to Nura. Our parents are the chaperones who stood with them for the wedding ceremony. This photo would have been at the bride’s home where the groom comes to pick up his bride from her parents to ride to church with the chaperones for the marriage ceremony and meal. At the bride’s home prayers are given as a blessing to the couple.

This photo above and below are not my photos. Above shows the dedication day of the new United Molokan church in Los Angeles (Big Church).

The photo above is a photo of a Molokan church on Portrero Hill in San Francisco. Some of our families good friends settled in San Francisco and attended this church. Very minimal interiors are part of the Molokan churches. A main table that have had different objects on it. A Bible, Salt and a loaf of bread. Some churches add a book of prophecy. We have heard that one of the small radical Molokan churches in Los Angeles have taken the Bible off their table. Benches are what are used for seating. The male leaders sit at the head and far side of the table. Others sit on benches a distance from the table. Men on one side and women on another side. For meals which are a large part of the church they use benches again and saw horses with flat 4X6 ish planks of wood for the table top that rest on the saw horses. You’ll see an example in the videos below. Long rows of those tables with the benches fill the whole inside of the building and food is passed down the table for the group meals.

In the background of the photo above is a small group of Molokans who came to our mom’s funeral in 2013. Our Pop, Moisi, is standing with our nephew Ryan.

The YouTube videos below are a sampling of what the singing is like in Molokan churches.

To my knowledge there are two distinct groups of Molokans. There are the postoyanniye, “constant”, original Molokans who wanted to keep their distinction from the “Jumpers”. In 1833 there was a breaking away of a portion of Molokans who experienced what is described as an outpouring of the Holy Spirit. This outpouring resulted in men and women in the church service at different times jumping. Spiritual Jumpers, pryguny, are the group of Molokans our Pop and his family were part of. The Russians in San Francisco are part of the Constant sect and they don’t jump.

Again to my knowledge there are two “prophets” associated with the Jumpers. One is Maxim Rudometkin. His writings are followed by the Spiritual Molokans of Los Angeles (Big Church). Some of these Molokan Jumpers called themselves “New Israelites” with their leader Maxim. They follow old testament dietary laws and also celebrate the feast days, holy days, festivals but they gather on Sundays as their Sabbath day.  The group, also known as Maximists, considered Efim Gerasimovic Klubnikin, a divinely inspired 12 year old boy prophet. He prophesied a “coming time that would be unbearable and that the time to leave Russia was now.” During the early 20th century under his leadership, about 2,000 pryguny (Jumpers) emigrated to the U.S., first settling on the east side of Los Angeles. Many seeking rural isolation moved to Baja Mexico, then Arizona, Central California, and some other parts of the West Coast. We visited a few Molokan families on their farms in Kerman, Calfiornia. Maxim’s writings are published in a book that is kept on the central table for worship along with a Bible and the song book.

This was the first church we attended before our pop along with some of his relatives and friends started a Molokan church of their own on Kern Avenue in Los Angeles. The Kern Avenue group celebrated Easter and Christmas but First United Christian Molokan Church (Big Church) did not celebrate these holidays. Our grandfather, Timofey, and our uncle John stayed at Big church and were leaders there. Our brother Fred got married at Big church and is still part of this church but it has relocated to La Habra, California.

When we attended church here there wasn’t a paved parking lot.

Another change from when we attended “Big Church” is the addition of the 60 Fwy in Southern California. It cuts pretty close to the church property now. This property has been sold and this church group now meets in La Habra.

My favorite part of being a Molokan were the meals we shared at those rows of tables along with hot tea. Sugar cubes were set on the tables in small bowls. We kids would always build a bridge of sugar cubes across the top of the tea glass then pour the tea and hot water over them and watch them collapse into the glass. In the videos you might see that glasses and bowls are still used to serve tea. The meals consisted of either Borsch (cabbage vegetable soup with beef stock) or Lopsha (noodle soup). Bowls of whole cucumbers and tomatoes would be passed down the tables and one person would take the knife in the bowl to peel the cucumbers and slice them and then slice the tomatoes and put them back in the bowl. Fresh bread was served with the salad and soup. Then the meat and potatoes that were used to make the broth would be served. I can almost smell the meal and that fresh bread and fresh cut salad. Delicious.

In google searches of Molokans I came across a great article out of Russia about their history. I will share more on another Tuesday.

Tuesdays With Moisi Video

Our brother Steve recorded this YouTube video of our pop (Moisi) giving the Christmas 2012 blessing at their Christmas Eve meal. My mom seemed to be prophetic in stating this might be the last Christmas. She died in September of 2013 on her and our pop’s 70th wedding anniversary, September 13, 2013. You’ve been reading Moisi’s life story in his own words and I thought it would be nice for you to hear him, too. Moisi was 89 at the time of this video taken in Nuevo, California.