Kickstarter backers are women--and we think that's rightfully so, as a great deal of the Pickle Project really is about women as well. Of course, one thinks of women as cooking and preserving, but this post is about those women, at stalls in indoor markets, lined up outdoors outside the indoor markets, or even just outside a subway stop, who sell fresh produce from their gardens, the woods and fields. They're a group that your support on Kickstarter will help us learn more about when we return but I wanted to share some initial thoughts and images here.
And just a reminder: your pledge to the Pickle Project made before 5:00 PM Eastern time, on February 1 will help us meet our goal, return to Ukraine, and learn more about the women whose stories deserve to be told.
Wednesday, January 26, 2011
Monday, January 24, 2011
Kickstarter will receive our official Pickle Project T-shirt. It's 100% cotton, designed and hand-stencilled in the size you desire--but, we need to reach our goal in order to make the T-shirts available to all our great supporters--so pledge before February 1!
And our heart-felt thanks to all our backers. You're amazing!
And our heart-felt thanks to all our backers. You're amazing!
Saturday, January 22, 2011
- You can hear Sarah interviewed on the Nash Holos radio program from Vancouver here.
- You can read an interview with Linda at the Watershed Post about the similarities between New York's Catskills and the Carpathians here.
- and, you can read Linda's guest post about historic photos, Ukraine and memory at the Archives Info blog here.
Thursday, January 20, 2011
We've been madly tweeting (follow @PickleProject for a Pickle Pic of the day) and Facebooking about our new effort--but finally, here's a blog post about your chance to become directly involved in the Pickle Project. Take a look at our video above and learn more about the next steps in our project. But our next steps won't happen without your help.
Here's the deal:
Kickstarter is a unique online platform for funding creative ideas--including ours. Click here to go to the Pickle Project on Kickstarter. Watch the video, read about what we'd like to do, and check out the great premiums we're offering for your support. I mean, who wouldn't want the official Pickle Project T-shirt, a painted Ukrainian egg or folk pottery? Even a pledge of $10 brings us one step closer to our goal.
How do you pledge? Just click on the green button that says Back This Project. You'll be asked to input your pledge amount and select a reward. From there, you will go through the Amazon checkout process. Note that you must finish the Amazon checkout process for your pledge to be recorded.
If the Pickle Project is successfully funded, your card will be charged when we reach our funding deadline--for us, February 1. If we don't reach our funding goal, your card is never charged. Don't have a credit card or want to use Amazon? Please contact us directly so we can help you.
Friday, January 14, 2011
In last Sunday's New York Times, a travel article described L'viv, in Western Ukraine, as a place impossible to forget. Today, we're pleased to have a blog entry from that memorable place. Christi Anne Hofland (above, left) is teaching English in L'viv and shared her observations on the annual Pampushki Festival. Enjoy!
Today is January 14, the end of the Ukrainian month-long Christmas holidays characterized by a month of feasting, beginning with St. Nicholas Day on December 19th and ending with the Old New Year celebration on January 14th. During the holidays, one can find all the traditional Ukrainian dishes, including varenyky, holedyets, Christmas kutya, and of course, pampushki. Pampushki are Ukrainian donuts traditionally served on Christmas Day. This Christmas season in L'viv's Ploscha Rynok, we celebrated the 4th annual Pampushki Holiday.
Living in the city center of Lviv, I walk through the Plosha Rynok everyday but I had never seen so many people in the Plosha Rynok as I did during the Pumpushki Holiday! By evening it was almost impossible to cross the Rynok Square, everyone was there to sample the famous Ukrainian donut and foot traffic was hardly moving. The square was lined with vendors selling their own versions of the tasty fried treats. People lined up (or crowded up, which seems to be more the Ukrainian way) in front of the vendors known for the best pampushki.
There were pampushkis filled with jam, chocolate, poppy seeds, or cream. Pampushkis were also covered in powdered sugar, chocolate, sweet sweetened condensed milk, or various fruit sauces. Groups of carolers paraded through in traditional “vertep” costumes. A Ukrianian folk band was playing on the stage. Kids were making Pampushki crafts at the children’s booths. Ice skaters filled the outdoor skating rink. A crowd was gathered right in the center of the Plosha Rynok. As I pushed through the crowd I encountered the largest pile of Pampushki I had ever seen! Women dressed in Ukrainian folk costumes were handing out free pampushki to anyone who made it to the front of the crowd. Of course I managed to snatch one too. Soft, fluffy, fresh, sweet and amazing! I think it probably tasted even better because of the effort it took to get my hands on one!
Photos: Top: Christi Anne and friend enjoy a pampushki; center: a pampushki vendor, 2009; bottom: Sarah Crow with a human pampushki, 2009.
Monday, January 10, 2011
Olga Trusova, our very first supporter on Kickstarter, is our guest blogger here. Enjoy her mouthwatering description of a traditional Svyata Vercherya meal in San Francisco. If you have recipes, meals, and photos to share about your Ukrainian food traditions, please share!
On January 7th, we celebrated Ukrainian Orthodox Christmas. Twelve meatless dishes were served with the first rising star during Svyata Vecherya. Since there is only a handful of places like Veselka in the Bay Area (Renaissance, Fandorin, Russia House, and Babushka, among the few), I decided to cook this traditional Ukrainian Christmas feast at my home in San Francisco.
Born in Odessa to a Ukrainian mother and a Russian father, I consider myself an Odessitka above all. Odessa, a Ukrainian city on the Black Sea, combines the cultures and flavors from various parts of the world, brining traditions and passions of Ukrainians, Russians, Moldovans, Armenians, Georgians, Greeks, Jews into one delicious party. Borscht and pirogi, wine and lavash, brinza and gefilte fish - these are some of the staple foods of an Odessit, and they deserve a separate blog post all together. But for Svyata Vecherya, I decided to focus on cooking traditional Ukrainian food for my friends and family, as a way to celebrate my mother's heritage and to give American folks a chance to try authentic Ukrainian dishes.
Our twelve course meal consisted of kutya, zakuski (sauerkraut, pickles, herring, smoked fish, pickled mushrooms), borscht and garlic pompushki, vareniki with sour cream, honey cookies and Russian candy, accompanied by whortleberry mors, kvas, rose-hip drinks, and lots of vodka. When it comes to borscht, I can talk for hours about my love for the beet soup. It seems like every family in Ukraine has its own borscht recipe - I, of course, follow my mom's and will not reveal its secret ingredient to anyone. Kutya, on the other hand, deserves some explanation. It is kind of a cross between pudding and porridge, made with poppy seeds, poppy milk, toasted walnuts, wheat berries, honey, raisins, and served cold primarily during Christmas. If you know the history of kutya, please share it, as kutya is quite fascinating and seems to be a very ancient creation (maybe even an early aphrodisiac).
Zakuski, or appetizers, were purchased from the Royal Market & Bakery on Geary Street - a small "Russian ghetto" in San Francisco, where I get my Russian/Armenian food fix from time to time. My neighbor Mary brought an amazing homemade herring from the Nordic House in Berkeley. My friend Kara brought potato and cheese vareniki, or dumplings, prepared according to her grandmother's recipe. We were very lucky to have such an amazing feast and such a joyful Christmas this year!
Of course, for an authentic Svyata Vecherya, a cook uses only local ingredients. It's an opportunity to dig into those pickled and preserved goods that make winter so comforting. So I'm already thinking about how to adapt our next Christmas meal to my life in California. Looking at the Epicurious seasonal ingredient map of where I live now, I see so many exciting ways in which I can stay close to this land as well. Avocados, kumquats, kale, swiss chard are among a few exciting foods in season at the moment. What would Svyata Vecherya look like with those ingredients in place? After all, this pescaterian meal was created in celebration of Christmas, for being grateful for the gifts given throughout the year, and for gathering the family together during one of the coldest months of winter to enjoy many dishes prepared with what the land provided.