In these times of confinement and quarantine, food has become an important subject. After perhaps toilet paper and hand sanitizer, that is. Whatever your opinion about the safety measures imposed on each of us during this pandemic, the subject of food has come to the forefront of many a conversation.
I am not talking about all those who will now wait in line for three or more hours in order to get their fix of McFries or Kentucky Fried Ducks. These people will only think about that and never do anything about it. They need their suppliers or pushers.
Others will change their habits and start making homemade food instead. In our house, homemade food has always been there. I cannot even remember the day there was a TV Dinner served instead of food.
We do order in the occasional pizza or some other food, but mostly because work schedules don’t always allow for enough time to prepare something palatable. So in this post, I will present a little bit of the food we prepare at home, without the use of hormones or steroids.
To begin with salads. Everybody can make a salad, right? Not so much. There is a certain “art” to making salads that make you want to come back for more. At age 57, I have eaten a certain number of salads, and some of them are still very vivid in my memory. It seems they are also still on my stomach after all these years. Others, like the ones pictured here will see reprisals and repeats. Pickling cucumbers is easy and quick. All you need is a bit of patience to make them ripen to perfection.
Then come meat and seafood. The above roast beef was prepared by a friend of ours, as our own oven was being used for other dishes. Baked to perfection, it didn’t last long on that plate.
But I was talking about BBQ a minute ago, so there must have been something from that side as well.
Shashlik or skewered meat is very popular in Ukraine, where the meat is usually grilled on very long and sturdy skewers. The ones we found here in Canada seem to be a bit smaller. Needless to say that these skewers didn’t last very long that evening.
Sometimes a very quick menu with some shrimp is just what we all want for dinner. We always have some of them in the freezer. A decent size shrimp, thawed in cold water as not to scare them, then marinated in some lemon-garlic (or anything else that comes in our minds) mixture for a bit and then 2 minutes under the broiler. Quick and easy.
Baked dessert is a different matter. That needs to be prepared and done well. Usually that is where I leave the kitchen to the professionals. That is to say, my wife. Ukrainian Pashka is a must for Easter. Since Ukrainian Orthodox Easter and “Regular” Easter are often celebrated at different times, we get to eat Paska twice a year.
This year’s Paska
Fresh and nicely decorated, they are prepared on Saturdays before Easter, while eating them starts only on Sunday morning. Together with some other specialties. Normally, we make way too many of them, so friends and family often get a choice of Paska to take home. This year… not so much .
“Hornies” or “Rogaliky”
But not all homemade and baked goods are for special occasions. During the week we often bake some easy things like these poppy seed and jam rolls. The Ukrainian name for these is “Hornies” thanks to the form they take when baking. The French would call them “croissants” although the dough is way different.
Chocolate topped creampuffs
Sometimes, just sometimes, the mood is for creampuffs with chocolate. Filled with cream, topped with chocolate. Two-bite puffs. To be eaten with(out) moderation. That’s what we do for fun home food. Looking at the shelves for flour in the stores nowadays, it looks like way more people have decided to make their own bread and other baked goods.
Perhaps this quarantine brings back some of the quality food we have discarded over the years. On top of being fresh and wholesome, making this food is faster than waiting in line for a supply of McFries …
To each his own, I guess.
Until next time…