When we asked Nancy, a neighbour in her 80s, about whether she had any recipes that she might share with us, specifically ones that she just knew how to make without any directions in front of her, she said she did! It was very exciting because this is exactly what this project, The Resilient Chef, is all about for us: exploring and documenting the recipes that older individuals just inherently know how to make so we can share them with all of you! She was very excited to help us and immediately went and started to write down the recipe for us. It wasn’t something she went to a cookbook for, Nancy could, as she says, “make this with her eyes closed.” The hard part was figuring out the proportions. A little of this or a little of that isn’t so easy to translate to measurements, but we did our best!
Nancy gave us a bit of back story about the recipe. Her mother died when she was quite a small child, so she was forced to have to learn to cook early on, being that she was the oldest child. It was a lot of hard work, especially for her being so young. This recipe in particular is over 100 years old, she says. She’s not entirely sure where it even came from, but, from what she can remember, she was taught how to make this back in the Ukraine by her father. This was typical fare for them and something, to this day, she loves to make.
This recipe is close to our hearts because it so epitomizes the work we are trying to do here. We truly hope you enjoy this dish!
Check out our tip on how to make healthier choices with your meats in Meaty Problems.
Borscht – Serves 8
18-20 cups of water
1 ½ lb of soup pork, bone-in
1 tsp salt
5 or 6 medium beets, depending on how thick you want the soup, cut in thin strips
1 cup chopped onions
2 carrots, sliced
Beef boullion cube
1 bay leaf
2 to 3 cups cabbage, shredded
1 can of baked beans with pork
1 can of condensed tomato soup
2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
½ cup sour cream
Bring water, pork and salt to a boil and skim any excess oil off the surface. Lower temperature and simmer, covered, for 1 ½ hours.
Add onions and beets; cook 10 to 15 minutes until beets are cooked. Add carrots, beef boullion cube, bay leaf, baked beans and cook for 10 more minutes. Put in cabbage and cook until it is tender. Do not overcook. Stir in the tomato soup and apple cider vinegar.
Cook a little longer until soup has thickened slightly. Serve with a dollop of sour cream.