Setting a Traditional Table

Sometimes our holiday memories involve more than just the food.  For Holly, the Ukrainian Borscht she makes each Easter is only part of the tradition.  Setting the table brings joy and anticipation as she places heirloom pieces acquired from the women in her family on the holiday table.  Each piece brings memories of her mother, her Auntie O.Z. and her Aunt Laura.  As she looks over the table, she feels the presence of each of these special ladies.

Sausages, Pierogies, Sauerkraut Soup and Borscht – But Especially Borscht

Visiting Gram’s house for the Easter celebration always included sausages, pierogies, sauerkraut soup, and borscht.  The borscht, though was Holly’s favorite.  Lucky for her, her sisters were not quite as enamored with the Pepto Bismol colored soup as Holly is.  Which, of course, meant more for her.  What kid wouldn’t be happy with that outcome. As with so many family recipes, Gram didn’t pass on the borscht recipe before she passed away.  So many of our traditional foods are lost to time this way.  So we do what we can to replicate the flavors to help us hold on to the memories and traditions.  And so, Ruth, Holly’s mom tested and retested until she was able to get the flavor and color of the borscht that graced Gram’s table.  It may not be “authentic”, but does that really matter when that first bite evokes a place and time that you remember fondly?

Enjoy!

~ Leigh

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Holly’s family and the handwritten borscht recipe.

Gram’s Borscht Recipe

Sometimes our holiday memories involve more than just the food. For Holly, the Ukrainian Borscht she makes each Easter is only part of the tradition.

Easy Borscht Recipe

Yields6 Servings
Prep Time4 minsCook Time15 minsTotal Time19 mins

 2 - 15 ounce cans whole beets, drain and reserve juice and dice beets
 1 - 15 ounce can cream of mushroom soup
 ½ cup canned mushrooms, drained
 2 tbsp white vinegar
 ½ tsp balsamic vinegar
 ¼ tsp pepper
 ¾ cup sour cream

1

In a large pot over medium heat, combine all ingredients and heat through.

2

Serve with additional sour cream.

Ingredients

 2 - 15 ounce cans whole beets, drain and reserve juice and dice beets
 1 - 15 ounce can cream of mushroom soup
 ½ cup canned mushrooms, drained
 2 tbsp white vinegar
 ½ tsp balsamic vinegar
 ¼ tsp pepper
 ¾ cup sour cream

Directions

1

In a large pot over medium heat, combine all ingredients and heat through.

2

Serve with additional sour cream.

Gram’s Borscht Recipe

Holly

Holly is my split apart.  We finish each other’s sentences, we call each other on the phone simultaneously, and sometimes we even dress alike – without planning to.   Our husbands have come to accept these oddities and just raise their eyebrows in acknowledgement of a “coincidental” purchase, a turn of phrase or the latest great idea we both came up with – at the same time, separately.  She is my soul sister.

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