Food Glorious Food
My expectation of a mission trip was that I give the course requested and would eat very little. Not in Ukraine. I have received more than I have given and the food. Wow!
Families in Ukraine may not have much but they share and give from their hearts. Their gifts are often food grown and made with their own hands.
From the moment we touched down in Ukraine, we have been given food. Incredibly ornately decorated breads are given as a welcome gift for everyone to share. Each person takes a piece of bread and dips it in salt as a symbol of welcome and good health. Our team has had the pleasure of sharing several breads. Some families have given homemade fruit jams of strawberries, blueberries and raspberries. These jams add to the beautiful taste of the breads.
Most of our meals have been a minimum of two courses (that is breakfast). Good wholesome fresh food that is simply and deliciously spiced would be the overall theme. Most meals include new potatoes of some sort. Other commonly served foods are tomatoes, cucumbers, beets and cabbage. They are prepared fresh and delicious in a variety of ways.
Breakfasts are hearty. Perfectly prepared eggs with meats, thin cheese filled crepes with a side of sour cream and homemade oatmeal are just a few examples. They all have the simply fresh and good taste. Different slices of bread are commonly provided with breakfast.
Lunch and dinner includes at least three courses. Fresh raw vegetables are presented in different savory salads or arrangements to begin the meal. This is closely followed by soup of the day. The soups have a hearty rich flavour that reflects the type of soup for that day. Borscht to regular chicken soup provided a pleasant flavour in your mouth.
The main course is always a surprise although you can count on potatoes being a part of this course. Whether it is sweet baby potatoes saturated in butter and dill or the incredibly delicious perogies, potatoes are present. Team members had the privilege to learn how to make perogies with authentic Ukrainian cooks. Even when we went for pizza, we had a side order of potatoes to dip in a dill dip. Pizza in Ukraine, who would think this would be good? It was fabulous. It had a thin crust, mild tomato sauce, delicately spiced sausage and glorious stretchy cheese. Meals in a pot were also part of the menu. Individual pots were given with a scrumptious stew inside. They included potatoes or perogies, carrots and a meat.
The meals are complete with piles of sweets. Plates were filled with a variety of delicious sweets and placed in the middle of the tables. These included delicate cakes and cookies. A chocolate potato cake was a highlight with its delicate taste. Everyone wants the recipe. Individual desserts are also part of the menu. Delicate dessert crepes or cream filled cakes are just examples.
Whether it is the Cossack style pot stew or the yummy perogies, Ukrainian food is awesome.