Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Christmas Dinner at our House

What a marathon December turned into.  Tanya was already down with the flu (temps of 40+) on Dec 10 when I went rolling in the mud of a plowed garden trying to keep separate my dog Volk and the neighbour's dog, Ronald, who were intent on killing each other. Volk deserved a good beating but not necessarily being killed.  I had one collar in one hand and one in the other for it seemed like 20 minutes until the neighbour came and got his dog. The next day I was in bed, too.  Flu and Bronchitis for both of us.

Tanya's niece, Sveta, an absolute angel, packed her toothbrush, her cat Murashka, and dog Limonka, and moved in with us for two weeks. We could not have managed without her.

Tanya and I were both on injectable antibiotic, morning and night.  I was supposed to roll one way in the morning and the other at night to even out the injection sites but could never remember which.  Sveta said both ways looked the same anyhow. I was the first human Sveta had injected but she had lots of practice on dogs.  She nursed Limonka for a couple months through a disease that kills most dogs.  She should have been a vet instead of a corn breeder.

My youngest daughter, Lynmara, was arriving from London on Dec 22nd.  I was supposed to meet her in Kyiv at the airport.  Not going to happen, so we called a taxi driver friend of ours in Kyiv and he met my daughter and her friend, Mark, and got them safely to the train station.  Sveta went to meet them in P'yatikhatki and they were at our place by 11:00 pm.  We filled them full of borshch and stew and sent them to their beds.

Next day, Tanya was well enough to supervise daughter-in-law Lina and Sveta to get things moving for Christmas. I was well enough to lose three straight games of cribbage.  By Christmas Eve, Tanya and I were both 90% mended and spent the day cooking and baking.

My Ukrainian family's gift to me, which I greatly appreciate, is to celebrate Christmas December 25th (we also celebrate Jan 7th too) so I will not miss my family in Canada too much.  So we have a big Christmas dinner and exchange gifts.  Andrei was running a fever so he dropped off Tania and the two girls and Tania's mother and went home to bed (he was well in a couple days). So with Lynmara, Mark, Sveta, Lina, Tanya and I we had 10 people around the table.  With enough food for twenty.

The dinner table
Just in case you doubt me, here is the menu:

  • Green tossed salad
  • Kholodets (jellied meat, made from half a 6 kg farm raised chicken)
  • Salad Olivier (Russian Potato Salad)
  • Broccoli spears and dip 
  • Roast turkey (half a 10 kg farm raised bird) and cranberry sauce.
  • Poached salmon steaks
  • Kutleta (Ukrainian meatballs), mashed potatoes and gravy
  • Cold sliced roast beef
  • Cold sliced roast pork loin
  • Black and green olives
  • Pickled mushrooms
  • Dill pickles
  • Blue cheese and crackers
  • Grapes, mandarin oranges
  • Cookies and muffins

After dinner we exchanged gifts.  Lynmara had something for everyone, including packages of OLD cheddar cheese which we cannot get in Ukraine (though we can get many wonderful kinds of European cheese). Then we did pictures.

Mark, Sveta, Lynmara, Lina
Lynmara, Dasha, Masha

Dasha loves to come to our place because she has room to run and she loves to run.  So we went up to the office and she asked for 'good music' which means Rossini's William Tell Overture Finale.  We had moved her trampoline into the attic so she just ran circuits around the room.  Where do kids get so much energy?

Mark had to fly home next day as he had people coming so Lynmara, being familiar with the system, went with him to show him the ropes on the night train and make sure he got to the airport. Then she came back on the express that evening.

Lynmara flew home on the 31st and Tanya and I settled back into the routine of just the two of us, three cats and two dogs.  We had a quiet New Year's Eve supper in front of the TV and went to bed about 1:00 am.


  1. Food makes celebration a celebration - a great meal.
    the Ol'Buzzard

  2. Wow, what a spread of food! It all sounds delicious! And you've got a good looking family there, that's for sure.

    Glad you're feeling better now but my gawd, that was a bad bout of illness for you and your wife. Your niece is an angel.

    And you lose at cribbage too? I thought it was only me, lol! My Rare One and I play crib together all the time -- it's a prairie thing, isn't it!!!

    1. Cribbage is certainly a standard game in our family. Ella and I bought a crib board when we were first married and one of the kids still has it, I think. Lynmara and I always play crib when we visit and I mostly lose. She can play off against your Rare One, while you and I do to B side.

  3. I had a cold over Christmas and way too much food too, but wow - you beat me big time! (Cribbage, though, probably not)

    1. Thanks for dropping by and commenting. I hope your Christmas cold is over and yes, the cooks here did a tremendous job of putting on a spread.

  4. Your Christmas dinner sounds delicious! It's too bad you were all fighting flu bugs, but I'm glad that's all behind you now. Happy New Year!

    1. Thanks. Yes, we are over it all now. Just need to walk off the extra pounds

  5. what a great dinner..sorry you all were sick..that sucks..and that little one..makes me think of my two gg's with all the energy.

    1. Little ones are so much fun, especially when you can send them home with their mother after they have worn you out.


Comments are encouraged. But if you include a commercial link, it will be deleted. If you comment anonymously, please use a name or something to identify yourself. Trolls will be deleted