How to Cook Borsch?

My dear Reader,

“Borsch definitely has a long history in Ukraine and there is no point in trying to clarify that there was someone else who discovered it. If you could taste borsch cooked in the eighteenth century you would hardly recognize it. Back then, the main ingredients were sour beetroots, but without any tomatoes, which gave it its distinctive sour flavour. Nowadays this flavour is achieved with the help of sour tomatoes. Also, initially borsch did not contain any potatoes but now you will not find it without them…”

Today Ann, the Author of the book entitled Ukraine, I Wrote About is going to teach you how to cook borsch! At her own kitchen, with her own camera and creative tips, you are going to taste the most delicious red soup ever! Stay in tune and order your Ukraine, I Wrote About at https://www.amazon.com/Ann-Romanenko/e/B07H2DKP69?ref_=pe_1724030_132998060

Hurry up! Click here and enjoy:youtu.be/K3xOUyOnwgU?a 

Enjoy your borsch!

Love you all,

Yours Chef-Cook

UKRAINE, I WROTE ABOUT (Do You Have a Patronymic Name?)

My dear little Friends,

It’s me, the author of the book, who would like to share with you some excerpts from my book available on Amazon https://www.amazon.com/Ann-Romanenko/…

Have a terrific day!

Order a cope of my book Amazon

And subscribe to my Channel 

Fun videos and good mood are waiting for you!

Yours Author

 

PASSIONATELY ABOUT UKRAINE ON AMAZON

My dear little Friends,

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Today I would like to share with you, my dear Friends, my great news.  I finally managed to publish my book on Amazon:

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1721749993/ref=dbs_a_def_rwt_bibl_vppi_i0

Today I would like you to let you in… my inner world that is sometimes unknown even for me. This book helped me to reveal that I simply love the country where I was born and where my heart belongs to. These are not words, these are true feelings. While being even far from Ukraine I feel that I am bonded with my motherland. And this bond cannot be broken ever. I will cite you something “Ukraine has its Ann and Ann has her Ukraine“. I guess this one sentence has its all. I never thought that I can love the place where I live so much. I always wanted to travel and perhaps live in the other country, I didn’t suspect that I can be so attached to my Ukraine.

I would not like to tease you or take your time from reading my book…however, reading my book might give you a chance to understand who Ukrainians are, why we live a bit outside from Europe, why we have our hybrid undeclared war with Russia, and what we eat for breakfast (perhaps the most interesting). I tried to present you a full picture without hiding its ugly part (as much as I can) and yet I wanted to make my country attractive to you, as well as invite you to visit it one day. 81Gl8HjphFL

There will be surprises such as desperate meetings with my Euterpe or spontaneous outpouring of emotions (funny or serious). One more bonus is that you will not only be able to chat with Ann while flipping through my book, but also enjoy the illustrations created to entertain you.

Anyway, do not consider me immodest please, I am sure that “Ukraine, I Wrote About” won’t let you indifferent…

 

Hope to find you, my little Friends, among my Readers! Your reviews are the best reward for my work! It means a lot to me! Please spread a word on my book!

Find it available as paperback (soon as e-book) on Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Ann-Romanenko/e/B07H2DKP69?ref_=pe_1724030_132998060

Looking forward to reading your comments!

Love you all,

Yours A

Green Sunday

Trinity or Green Sunday is celebrated on the 50th day after Easter in summer in Ukraine. Starting from Friday people were in search of green branches and herbs to decorate their homes with.  And me too:

Trinity -1

This tradition comes from ancient Judaism, in which the Pentecost, the Feast of Harvest, was celebrated outside amongst flourishing Nature.

Trinity 4-1

The last Saturday before the Trinity Day is called “Green”. In the morning, Ukrainians went to the woods and meadows to collect herbs: thyme, tarragon,  basil, oregano, tumbles and in evening they were decorating houses with the branches of maple, basswood, and ash.

Trinity-1.JPG

On Sunday morning Ukrainians  in festive clothes are going to the church, which is  also decorated with flowers and branches of trees. After the church, boys and girls are heading to the woods, where they were playing games, dancing, singing songs, and joking.

There is one captivating tradition regarding wreaths,  girls usually go to the forest or to the field to make wreaths. Then they come back to the village to tie the wreaths to the birch tree. On Sunday, girls are checking their wreaths and taking them off the tree. If the wreath remains fresh, it means the girl’s family would be happy, but if the wreath withers, it is not a good sign and meant the family will be unhappy.

In ancient times Ukrainians spent this holiday at forests and fields, arranging fireplaces and dancing around, even jumping through it. Nowadays, Ukrainians also prefer going to forests, but mainly for bbq and again dancing, although this time as an after effect of horilka, ha-ha! Happy Trinity!

Oh no, do not click yet, here is the cherry on today’s pie, my trailer devoted to new project, let’s check what I’ve got for you:

And you, do you celebrate Holy Trinity? Share! Subscribe! Like!

Love you all,

Have a great weekend!

Yours Ann

P.S. In case you would like to know more about Ukrainian traditions, I am happy to announce that currently I am working on a book about Ukraine…aren’t you interested?

Japanese Year in Ukraine

2017 is the year of Japan in Ukraine. Thus, Ukrainians have a unique chance to get to know more about Japan and its culture. I was particularly lucky to visit Japanese Gardens which are presented right in the city. I felt very inspired by the seen. There is no single element or design component indicative of or required for a Japanese garden. The simplicity of Zen design is often the main finished attribute of a Japanese garden, which encompasses peace, calm and serenity. Varieties of design elements are generally incorporated to achieve the full effect of a traditional Japanese garden. Have a look:

In case you would like to know more about Japan, visit https://nice2beme.com, highly recommended!

Have a lovely week!

Love you all,

Yours Film Director

Ukrainian Christmas

Hello, my little Friends. I know that all your Christmas holidays are over and you are fully immersed into your working lives. I confess that mine are over as well. However, I would like to put a full period with my last short film devoted to something new about my own Christmas.A short film about my Christmas…songs, food and Ann on ice…these are not all the components of Ukrainian Christmas, but you still have a great chance to glance at my Christmas day in Kyiv. Promise to prepare much more serious for the next Christmas and tell you more, trust me there is a lot yet to show, you cannot even imagine!

Please make me happy and leave a little (almost invisible) comment!

Love you all!

Have a lovely week!

Yours Big Dreamer

What’s Your Name? (Competition)

My name is Ann and yours? This phrase plays an important role in every day’s life. It has a profound effect on everyone. Especially if you have an unusual name, which might be not clear from the first pronounce. It may even lead to some confusion (in case you still don’t remember his/her name) or a smile at someone’s face. Nevertheless, it is a powerful way of successful communication.

Collage

Every name is unique as its owner. In my country it is not so popular to celebrate name days, however, in Europe and other part of the world it is a wide known reason to have a party with some presents. People cannot be satisfied with only one day per year celebration (birthday), so they came to the conclusion that they need an extra one. Surely, I know that the custom originated with the Catholic and Orthodox calendar of saints, where believers, named after a particular saint, would celebrate that saint’s name day.

Cup Collage

There are really name ways to celebrate your nameday and every country competes for the most extravagant. Unfortunately, I heard only about quite typical traditions including exchange of greetings and presents for this day. I believe it could be nice to witness a very bizzare tradition of celebration with some kind of smashing cakes like Americans do for their birthdays, or “bumps” given to kids at their birthdays in UK, or in Jamaica, a person can expect to have his or her special day celebrated by having copious amounts of flour thrown at them from friends, family and occasionally random onlookers alike, or in Hungary (as well Ukraine), where following the opening of the presents all tug on the earlobes of the lucky birthday boy or girls and etc. It can be pretty nice to establish some particular traditions for namedays as well. What do you think, my little Fellows? Any weird ideas? How do you celebrate your nameday or birthday (if celebrate)? And what does your name mean?

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I’d love to hear your stories…please, please! And the most interesting answers will get a reward, one of the postcards presented in this post upon your choice for free! How about it? Aren’t you interested? The winner will be announced next Friday, June 8, in the beginning of my next scheduled post. Your reward will be delivered to you via post on the address provided to me personally (secrecy guaranteed)!

Gentel White

http://www.redbubble.com/people/anrostudio/shop

Happy weekend!

Love you all,

Yours Ann

You Won’t Drink More Than a Bucket of Horilka

There is a good Ukrainian proverb that “man is not a cow, he won’t drink more than a bucket of horilka“. Isn’t it funny! Can you drink a bucket of horilka? I bet, you won’t be… otherwise you will be walking out of my kitchen horizontally, or will be staying there till tomorrow as minimum, but in the morning during breakfast you might receive a new glass of horilka to help you deal with hangover and then everything repeats. So, be careful it is a tricky alcoholic beverage.

Horilka With Cucumber

As you may recognize the talk is today about traditional Ukrainian beverage- horilka (vodka in Ukrainian language). In my country, since we speak Ukrainian, we differentiate between vodka and horilka, let’s not mix them. It can be explosive!

I chose such a topic for my post, because many of you expressed a wish to hear about it. And you know that I cannot turn down your requests. Moreover, I thought that it might be pretty interesting to find out more about this well-known beverage. That’s why I prepare two glasses of horilka for you and waiting you to join me in this fascinating alcoholic trip.

Bottle

 Cheers (“Bud’mo” in Ukrainian), but I will probably say after something like “guys, how can you drink it? It’s awful?”. I should confess that I almost don’t drink any alcoholic beverage. I just don’t understand its taste. Sorry, folks, can’t do much. However, as a person who likes discovering this world I would like to find out where does horilka come from and what is behind…

Ancient

 The word ‘alcohol’ comes from the Arabic ‘al-kuhl’. Arabs borrowed the technology and carried it to western Europe. In western Europe, distilling alcohol from wine was practiced in Italy in the 11th century, but generally this was done secretly by alchemists. Distilled alcohol reached Poland probably from Germany in the 15th century and it is recorded that the term ‘wodka’ was known from at least 1534.  It is believed that distilled alcohol spread from Poland via Lithuania, Belarus and Ukraine, and only then to Russia. So, see, my dear polish Friends, we should thank you for having horilka as one of our beloved spirits. Who is our Big Brother now! Niech Zyje, Polska! Na zdrowie!

Nalej Zdrowje

Our chronicle mentions that mead was brewed for the funeral wake which Princess Olga held for her husband. With the introduction of distillation flavored horilka appeared. In the 19th century a ‘nalyvka’ was made by steeping fruit in 25% horilka, while a ‘nastojanka’ (‘nastojka’) was made by steeping herbs and spices in a similar strength horilka. Later, when it became easier, sugar was added for sweetness. The term ‘nalyvka’ was also used for a type of sweet fruit wine made by fermenting fruit and berries without added water, but with sufficient sugar to provide a residual sweetness. This was naturally weakly alcoholic, and to increase the strength, horilka was added. A stronger variant, was called ‘spotykach’, the name derived from the Ukrainian verb ‘to tumble’. Who is the tumbler? Wow, I got to know so much new, friends. Even I feel a bit drunk from all this information and you? How about one more glass? Na zdorowja! (“for good health” in Ukrainian).

Two Glasses

You can be more surprised to hear that Ukrainians are very good at cooking homemade horilka, which is called “samogon”. I am sure you never heard this word before and have never tried samogon before. It can have a more tricky effect on you, since samogon can be even stronger. At once, I had a funny experience. I was much younger, at university yet. I went to a trip to Mountains for summer holidays. I had an infection spot in my mouth and it was painful. During celebration of Ukrainian Independence Day our company had horilka and since I usually don’t drink, they decided to seduce me in other way. They offered me not to drink it, but take a sip of horilka and keep it in my mouth to cure my infection. I followed their advice…don’t you guess what was the result? You are right, Ann felt drunk, eyes are funny, and I wanted to sing…la-la-la-la!

Candy and Glass

If you do not smile yet, then another story for you. Did you know that alcohol content in our horilka is measure with the help of nose? Nope, you are not mistaken. A usual human nose. Are you confused? It is pretty simple. There are three stages. First one – after drinking a sip of freshly brewed samohon your nose has not changed its color, at all, it means that samohon is not ready yet, it is too close to beer, concentration is too low. Second –  brewing longer and gain tasting, the tip of your nose gets pink just a bit similar to rosy cheeks of a young lady who is blushing. Third – after one more sip your nose is already red like a red-rip tomato, which means that alcohol concentration is almost the maximum. Samohon is ready to be served. Who is ready to taste?

Collage of Bottles

One more glass of horilka? Cheers…Nazdravlje! Skål! Proost! Kippis! Santé! Prost! Egészségedre! Salute! Na zdrowie! Saúde! Noroc! Salud! Будьмо! I have no idea I am a polyglot, after several glasses of horilka I started to speak so many languages. It is a magical liquid!!!

Apple Glasses Art

See you after one more glass! Happy Weekend!

Truly yours,

Ann

Life Is So Endlessly Delicious

Hey, lads, is anybody hungry here? You are welcome to have some delicious minutes with me. But be aware there is no “taste” button here, you are unlikely to be able to taste anything. Don’t even think!

Fellows, I would like to steal your precious couple of minutes and introduce you some of our Ukrainian traditional food dishes. I promise not to talk too much or too long (although you know me, I hardly can keep this rule), but share with you something interesting about our typical cuisine!

Today in our menu is Vareniki (don’t look at me like that!), sweet Friends, I know that is a very odd word, which has no translation, don’t be in a hurry to your dictionary shelf, you won’t find this word anywhere, since this is a pure transliteration (a very professional term) of the Ukrainian so-called dumplings. Let’s get closer.

In Ukraine, it is said that no vareniki, no holiday! And the truth is it’s hard to imagine a Ukrainian who has never tried these wonderful stuffed dumplings. They were prepared by our grandmothers and are now one of the most beloved and popular dishes in the Ukrainian cuisine. A little history – vareniki are not only a tasty dish but they have a special meaning in Ukrainian culture. They are given to young people on the second day of their wedding (Ukrainian weddings last for 2 days) as a symbol of prosperity for the new family. And when new babies are born again friends and family hand vareniki to young mothers with the words – so that your belly is always full. It’s no wonder why we have so many fatty Ukrainians, they cannot imagine their life without vareniki. Stuffing can be different, typically meat, mushrooms, potatoes and cottage cheese. Almost anything you want. In the picture they are with cheese. Enjoy your meal (but there are only five vareniki and ask for more is not allowed)!

Vareniki

 And how about potatoes friend with onion? Huh! Personally I do not like friend onion, most probably I will take my magical shovel and start the digging. I may be lucky to find a lot of things, which I will put into somebody’s else plate. How smart! Changing the subject, Ukrainians (including me) do like eating potatoes, they adore potatoes and even can eat potatoes with potatoes. We are crazy about it. And you? Yeah, it’s not so healthy. As far as I know potatoes are about 80% of water, in fact, it is even good for our body, as we should drink more. That’s why I don’t see any serious reason not to eat it. I will, you cannot persuade me. Good news for fans of mash: humans can apparently survive on a diet of just potatoes, and milk or butter, which contain Vitamin A and D, the only vitamins missing from the humble spud. Getting back to history I remember that there is some argue about who and when brought potatoes to Europe. The most interesting is that many Europeans did not know what potatoes are, they were using its flower as decoration for their outfits. Can you believe? They were not so smart to check that under flower, somewhere deep, there is a vegetable that is eatable! Ancient folks! Do you like potatoes?

Potatoes

 Now it is salad’s turn. What do you think about salads? I do like them, especially fresh vegetable salads. It is a winter period here, and you almost cannot find fresh (not artificial) vegetables in our shops. If you are lucky, then they will cost a fortune. Many of us have to survive with some tins. Do you prepare tins for winter? No, lazy bones! I suppose Olivier salad should be known for you, but might not for all of you. I have some contradictory feelings towards it. This salad was very popular 25 years ago in USSR times (and I hate this time), but its taste is quite interesting. Olivier salad was discovered in 1860s by a Frenchman Lucien Olivier. He was the co-owner of one of the biggest Russian restaurants. As I heard he kept the receipt in secret and took it to his grave. Anyway, one of smart chef-cooks was able to find some information and create its approximate receipt. n different modern recipes, it is usually made with diced boiled potatoes, carrots, dill pickles, green peas, eggs, celeriac, onions, diced boiled chicken (or sometimes ham or bologna sausage), tart apples, with salt, pepper, and mustard added to enhance flavor, dressed with mayonnaise. Again not so healthy, I agree.

Salad

 At last, I found a good healthy salad for you. Guess, which one? Exactly, exotic salad with sea products. You will fall in love with it. It has a nice spicy taste. It contains different sea products and ginger. Taste is gorgeous, it’s finger-licking good! And the price is awfully uninviting. As soon as I bought it I quickly took the label with price off and threw it out not to cause a kind of heart attack. Unfortunately, in my country sea products are pretty high, Ukrainians almost forget the taste of usual calamaris. So, friends, if you have some extra sea products, don’t forget to share with us, we will appreciate it so much!

Exotic Salad

 Sushi, sushi, you can easily attract my tongue, and usually it’s difficult. Who wants sushi? I should tell in advance that in Ukraine we don’t have original sushi, I mean which should be made of raw fish. The only raw fish is salmon or trout. All other specific type of sea products and so on, are commonly fried or boiled. A typical Ukrainian won’t dare to put into his/her mouth anything which is moving yet. Believe me, it’s impossible. For many of us such exotic cuisine is still very strange. Though Ukrainians did get used to our own sushi and enjoy them with pleasure. Surely, it’s not cheap type food, but on special occasions we can let themselves!

Sushi

It’s all for today, but we will come back to Ukrainian cuisine and taste preferences. Our national cuisine is very rich in natural ingredients. Ukrainians do like food and prefer cooking at home. They are capricious and demanding. I hardly call them gourmets, but they do enjoy table party traditions. And you didn’t hear yet anything about our vodka…hm, be patient!

See you next time!

Yours Chef-Cook Ann