Poultry, pigs and potatoes: that’s what life looks like these days for the Horodetska family. The family of six lives near our sponsor site in Ternopil, and they’ve grown their home farm to include cows, goats and more. But it took a bit of time, and a few special gifts, to get there.
Kateryna, the oldest daughter, began life with a cleft palate. Her mother, Oksana, was off on maternity leave, so her father Ruslan was the only income-earner.
They owned a family cow, but that changed when Kateryna needed major surgery. Her parents sold the cow to cover the costs, and took out a loan for her rehabilitation. Those days were hard.
That’s when Kateryna’s Chalice sponsor came into her life. With their daughter receiving benefits, the parents shifted focus to paying off their loan. They felt supported, and in time, became active Chalice community members.
Photo credit: The Culinary Couple
Borscht is a delicious and famous traditional Ukrainian dish. In Ukraine, this frugal dish can be made with a number of low-cost fresh ingredients grown in home gardens. It’s versatile, easy to make, and packed with essential vitamins and nutrients!
“There’s green borscht and other variations, but red borscht is by far the most popular,” says Halyna, our Pochaiv site director. “There’s both meat and meatless variations of red borscht. Meat is expensive, so it’s usually saved for special occasions. For Lent, we cook the meatless version. It’s also a must-have meatless dish for Holy Eve dinner.”
Meatless Red Ukrainian Borscht
Sent by: Halyna, our Pochaiv site director
- 4 medium onions
- 4 carrots
- 3-4 celery stalks
- 1 leek stalk
- 2 red beets
- 2 cups of white cabbage
- 5 medium potatoes
- 2-3 tbsp. tomato paste
- 1-2 bay leaves
- 3 cloves garlic
- 2-3 whole peppercorns
- 1 tsp vinegar
- 3 litres of water
- Salt and black pepper to taste
- 2-3 tbsp oil for frying
Kateryna, from Pochaiv, Ukraine, didn’t have an easy childhood. Her mother, the only caretaker of the family, worked her hardest to take care of Kateryna and her two brothers. She took on multiple jobs, including servicing a local cemetery. She worked nearly every day, even on Sundays selling candles and lamps to cemetery visitors.
It was incredibly hard for Kateryna’s mother to afford housing on her small income, so the family lived in the cemetery’s facility building.The family of four shared one tiny room cluttered with landscaping tools, buckets, and shovels. The room had no running water or bathroom facilities. The children, often left alone to entertain themselves, would play between the cemetery graves.
Ukrainian Christmas Kutia
Kutia is the main dish on Ukrainians’ Christmas table. It has a special significance and Holy Dinner begins with it. Kutia is also called God’s dish. It is cooked of decorticated wheat grains, poppy seeds, honey, walnuts and raisins. This dish is a symbol of unity of generations: past ones and coming ones. Also, it is a symbol of life victory over death. Wheat grains are life which comes to the end and revives.