If Only I Knew Hodgepodge

Happy New Year from Seattle! The Space Needle is getting a face lift/renovation. They are saying there will be a glass see through observation floor. too. Here are this weeks questions for Wednesday Hodgepodge.

1. It’s that time of year again…time for Lake Superior University to present a list of words (or phrases) they’d like to see banished (for over-use, mis-use, or genera uselessness) in 2018. You can read more about the decision making process and word meaning here, but this year’s top vote getters are-

unpack, dish (as in dish out the latest rumor), pre-owned, onboarding/offboarding, nothingburger, let that sink in, let me ask you this, impactful, Cofefe, drill down, fake news, hot water heater (hot water doesn’t need to be heated), and gig economy

Which of these words/phrases would you most like to see banished from everyday speech and why? Is there a word not on the list you’d like to add
?

I’ve not heard some of these words or phrases. I’m not tired of any of these…yet. I’ve not been following a lot of news these days. I had to look up some of them to see what they mean.

2. What’s something you need to get rid of in the new year?

Stuff…lots of stuff. But what stuff? What stuff will I miss when I move if I get rid of it? What stuff will just be a bother to move? What stuff is junk and what stuff is keepsake worthy?

3. Where do you feel stuck?

See question #2.

4. January is National Soup Month. When did you last have a bowl of soup? Was it made from scratch or from a can? Your favorite canned soup? Your favorite soup to make from scratch on a cold winter’s day?

I had a delicious bowl of Dear’s Tomato Rice Soup on Christmas Eve, made from scratch. Dear makes that soup. The soup I like to make from scratch is Borsch (Borscht) or Spinach Borsch or Lopsha (all soups from my Russian Heritage). The photo above is of my Borsch. My favorite canned soup is Cream of Mushroom to use it as an addition in other recipes.

When someone has a sore throat or a cold at this old house we like to get Hot and Sour Soup from a local Chinese take-out. It a nice spicy burn going down and clears the sinuses!

5. Tell us one thing you’re looking forward to in 2018.

Knowing what property we will be moving into would be very helpful to my dilemma in question #2.

6. Insert your own random thought here.

My favorite word for 2017 is Grandmother/Baba. This little one awarded me that title by being formed by God and born to our son and daughter-in-law. Thank you God and Father for this sweet gift.

I’ll be linking up to Wednesday Hodgepodge with Joyce From This Side of the Pond. She asks the questions and we provide the answers.

Hope 2018 is starting off well for you!

Borsch Re-do…

Because it’s almost Fall and still warm here in the Northwest I decided to make Borsch and I wanted to update my photos and technique. It’s a standing joke around our house that I pick the hottest day of the year to make Borsch!

Our version of Borsch growing up was made with green cabbage and not beets. We also do not pronounce it with a “t” at the end.

Stock Ingredients:

1 Chuck Roast or 7 Bone Roast
1 onion
1-3 celery stalks with leaves
2-3 carrots
2 bay leaves
5-10 peppercorns
Salt to taste

Using a large stock pot, cover rinsed meat with water. Add all the remaining stock ingredients and bring to boil. Lower heat to simmer. Simmer until roast is fork tender.  Remove Roast to oven safe pan. Strain the stock.

While stock is simmering prepare soup ingredients.

Soup Ingredients:

1 onion diced
1 bell pepper diced
2-3 stalks of celery diced
1 Jalapeno diced (optional)
1-2 tablespoons cooking oil

2 cans (approx 15 oz. each) stewed tomatoes, blended

1 head of green cabbage cut in shreds
3 carrots grated
2-3 potatoes peeled and diced
1 can tomato sauce (8 oz.)
1/2-small bunch of dill chopped or more according to taste
1 handful of chopped Italian parsley
salt and pepper to taste
optional – 1 can of Garbanzo beans rinsed and drained

At this stage you can season the roast well and put in 350 degree oven to cook further and infuse some flavor into it to serve along side the Borsch.

Saute onion, bell pepper, celery, and jalapeno (optional), in oil. When these ingredients are soft blend them in a blender with the 2 cans of stewed tomatoes. In the photo above I used an immersion blender to blend the sauteed vegetables with the stewed tomatoes. I think it is more efficient to use a regular blender. Add this mixture to the prepared stock and then add the rest of the ingredients. Bring to a boil and then lower the heat and simmer until all the vegetables are done.

Serve the Borsch with good bread, a dollop of sour cream, and slices of the prepared roast. I really went overboard and made a huge pot. I ended up freezing 7 containers to share or have at a later date.

We grew up eating borsch. I’m sad to say I really hated it when I was little. I’d sit in front of the bowl trying to get it down and it was difficult. One of the reasons why was the chunks of tomato that were in the soup. That’s why this method is much preferred to me where you blend a lot of the vegetables and eliminate many of the chunks in the soup. Today I don’t mind chunky soup but for Borsch I still prefer this method. There are many variations of borsch. Some people chop up or shred the meat and put it into the soup. My mother always prepared the meat from the stock pot to the oven and added some potatoes to cook with the roast. She then served it on the side. At this point if you wanted to add it into the soup you were free to do so. Instead of adding the sour cream to the soup growing up we’d spread the slice of bread with sour cream instead of butter to eat along with the Borsch.

B is for Borsch!

It’s time for Alphabe-Thursday with our dedicated teacher Miss Jenny. We are at the very beginning …a very good place to start. Today is the letter B! I’m going back to my humble food beginnings.

When tempted to buy a head of cabbage it must be time for borsch. This is a soup I grew up on and only learned to love from my high school years on. When I was little I can remember having to sit in front of a bowl of borsch until I finished it. Left alone at the table I’d dump the bowl back in the pot and then get in double trouble. My mom would be very upset that I spoiled the whole pot with my bread laden bowl of soup. I would dunk as much bread in the soup as possible hoping the soup would disappear…

The broth for this soup is made with a 7 bone beef roast. While the vegetables are cooking I season the roast and put it in the oven for additional cooking. Pieces of the roast can be added to the soup to make it a heartier soup.

Borsch is also served with a nice dollop of Sour cream and good bread. Here’s a recipe for borsch!

Comfort & Comfort Food

After our Harrison Lake Cruise and BBQ at Bev’s we headed to Marg’s for dessert and the comfort of a massage. Yet again we had 3 desserts which were each delicious.

 

Marg really knows how to make someone relax and have fun. The sign at her home is appropriate…

The following morning we all met at Minter Gardens for brunch and a stroll. I’ll show those photos on another day.

Our last evening together we had dinner at Julie’s clubhouse. She served us one of my all-time favorite comfort foods borsch. She even made it like my mom makes it with just a few subtle differences.

 

 

You can find my mom’s recipe for borsch here.

 

Julie set a beautiful table for us and before the evening was over she left us with a beautiful devotion to remember. I want to add to the  thoughts Julie spoke and share these verses.

James 1:16-18 (New Living Translation)

16 So don’t be misled, my dear brothers and sisters. 17 Whatever is good and perfect comes down to us from God our Father, who created all the lights in the heavens. He never changes or casts a shifting shadow. 18 He chose to give birth to us by giving us his true word. And we, out of all creation, became his prized possession

 

I drove off into this sunset headed back to the U.S.A. My welcome home at the border crossing was a random computer generated search of my car!

Photobucket replaced all my photos with ugly black and grey boxes and they are holding my photos hostage until I pay them lots of money. I’m slowly going through all my posts and trying to clean them up and replacing some photos. Such a bother.

Give Me My Babushka’s Cooking

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For Foodie Friday I’m posting this paragraph my daughter wrote about her Babushka’s cooking and a recipe and how to make my mom’s Borsch following it.

  • 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.

    Nadia’s Borsch

    For the Stock:
    1 Chuck Roast (with bone would be good)
    1 onion
    1-3 celery stalks with leaves
    2-3 carrots
    2 bay leaves
    5-10 peppercorns
    Salt to taste

    In a big stock pot, cover chuck roast with good water. Bring just to boil. Take roast out of water and discard the water. Put chuck roast back in pot and cover with fresh water again. Add remaining ingredients. Bring to a boil. Simmer and cook until roast is fork tender. Strain the stock. Reserve the roast.

    1 head of cabbage shredded (green is what we use)
    1-3 carrots grated
    1-2 onions diced
    1 bell pepper diced

    2-3 stalks of celery diced

    (saute the bell pepper, onion, celery and jalapeno then blend before adding to stock)
    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
    optional – 1 can of garbanzo beans
    option #2 – add a small jalapeno diced to the saute group above.

    Put the strained broth back into a stock pot. Add all the above ingredients and bring to a boil. Simmer until cabbage and carrots 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 bake the chuck roast with a little of the stock, salt, pepper, and sauteed onions to serve alongside the borsch with a good loaf of bread and of course…sour cream. This was my welcome home meal for my kids on one of my trips back to Seattle a couple years ago.

    I hope you enjoyed this post from my archives. I think it is high time I make borsch again and take some new pictures.

  • Photobucket is holding all my photos that I stored on their site from 2007-2015 hostage replacing them with ugly grey and black boxes and asking for a large ransom to retrieve them. It is a slow process to go through all my posts deleting the ugly boxes.