So here it is Baba Blogs. Baba for those that don't know is a Ukrainian Grandmother. Baba, Babunya, Bunya, Boosha, Babushka, Babtsia....are all other variations. I like Baba Blogs as the name because it has different connotations. Like... could it be about being a Baba; or one Baba's diary; maybe about anything. Well, it's kind of going to be a mix of things. My thoughts of starting this happened just a few days ago, I came across THE BOOK a few days ago again. It's been in my posession for over 10 years now. It lived in a box for a long time and for the last 4 years it's been on display up on a high shelf above my kitchen. The crazy thing is that I have never read its pages. It kind of overwhelmed me. It's travelled through at least 2 countries, 2 provinces and 2 states. This year, being 2020, ten years since I got it, I figured it was time to dive in.
THE BOOK belonged to my Baba, Malania Hontaryk. I don't know where she got the book from but it has someone else's name on the inside front cover. Maybe she got it as a gift from that person, but I don't think so, as there is writing in the book not my Baba's. I like to think she found it somewhere. I know she visited Winnipeg so maybe at a thrift shop or yard sale and paid a nickel for it. Who knows. Unfortunately, the reason I got the book was Baba passed away ten years ago in 2010. That would be one of the million things I would ask her today if I could. When we were going through her things, I found it in the cupboard above the telephone table in her house. On the front cover it says Canadian Date Book - it's a calendar book, an old style daytimer/planner. Whoever owned it before used it that way. There are notes and shopping lists on a few of the pages. Baba did not use it that way though. She used it to write down recipes and as a file for other recipes she had written down on scraps of paper. I recognize my mother's handwriting as well on some of those pages. She passed away a year before her mother, almost to the day. Baba was 93 my mom was 63.
As I was dusting that shelf way up high a couple of weeks ago, I took the book down and put it in my office. I looked at it sitting there for a couple of weeks until we had a snow day here in Casper, Wyoming. 14 inches of snow fell in 8 hours, the city was shut down. I hopped on to the Facebook group Ukrainian Recipes and wrote this:
So when my Baba, Malania Hontaryk ￼passed away in ￼2010 at 93 years young, we found this book filled with recipes among her things. I’ve decided that this is the year that I will finally go through some of those recipes and translate them. One of the issues is that Baba only had a third grade education and so many of her words are not the correct spelling. ￼ Some of the recipes are also written in my mother’s handwriting and a few by other people as well.￼
Would it be OK if I posted one recipe a day and the fabulous folks on this page help me translate if I’m having issues?￼
The response was all positive and helpful and got me even more excited about the project. It was then that I decided to write a blog.
So here we are, Baba Blogs will be some of Baba Malania's recipes and some of Baba Lisa's ponderings.