At the beginning of the month we decided to add a traditional Ukrainian meal once a week to our menu. I thought our girls might appreciate some familiar food once in awhile. I also thought that I should start this before they get here because:
1) I have never made these foods before and I could use the practice before I serve it to true Ukrainians. There is nothing like getting someone excited about something they are familiar with and then having the recipe bomb!
2)My kids (and my husband and I) are terribly picky eaters and I would like to get all of the yucks, and dirty looks out before the girls get here if my boys don't like it. I wouldn't want their feelings to get hurt.
3)It will give me a good idea of the types of food I will be eating in Ukraine so I know what to order at restaurants, etc.
So far we have tried Chicken Kiev, Vareniki, Pelmeni, and Plov.
Chiken Kiev: Butter-herb filled chicken breast, I served it with rice.
It went over really well with James and I. The boys didn't think it was too bad, but definitely not a new favorite food for them.
Vareniki: Stuffed, handmade, boiled then fried, crescent shaped noodles about the size of the palm of my hand. I made two varieties: Mashed potato and Sausage and onion. James and I loved them. The boys only tolerated the Sausage and onion kind.
Pelmeni: similar to Vareniki, but much smaller (about walnut sized) and you only boil them. After you boil them you toss them in melted butter with salt and pepper. After Vareniki, I learned to only serve the boys the sausage kind. They liked these very much! James and I loved them!
Plov: (rhymes with clove) is a rice dish. You can use lamb or chicken, but I chose to use lamb. The recipe calls for lamb, grated carrots, onion, ketchup (a small amount), butter, and various spices. It smells wonderful while it is cooking! James liked it. I thought it was good, but I think I would prefer it with chicken instead of lamb. The boys hated it! We got plenty of gagging and dirty looks with this one. I will definitely try it with chicken next time and see if they like it better. I think the idea of eating lamb psyched them out...
It has been a lot of fun trying new things. I know that might come as a bit of a shock for those who know me well, but it truly has been fun trying these new recipes. I'm also thankful, that I was able to make all of these successfully. They even looked like the pictures in the recipes. There are several other recipes that we will be attempting in the months to come: Borsht (I'm a little scared of this one! Beets...), Piroshki (like a stuffed scone), and Deruny (Potato Pancakes).