Saturday, November 29, 2008

Borsht Day at Sister Simmons' 11/28/08

Borsht Day at Sister Simmons' 

Still snowing
Wind 3-5 mph
Temp -2c

Today the sisters of the Second Branch came to our home again for a cooking lesson. This time it was Borscht. I locked myself in the bedroom and tried not to disturb their event, but I was asked for some computer assistance and they made several trips into my lair, the final one with a bowl of the final product.

The new Sister from America has become a focal point of some cultural activities around traditional cooking that has both unified them and brought social contact to a tentative Sister Cindy. The sisters of Second Branch have been very friendly and seem to be happy coming to our home.
This came about in a Relief Society meeting a month or more ago, when there was an animated discussion that Sister Cindy wanted translated. One of the young adults who spoke some English said that the Relief Society president wanted to have this class about preserving cabbage and carrots, but they couldn't decide where to hold it. One person declined because she had relatives living with her, one said she had other problems, and on, and on. After the class, Sister Cindy offered her home for the class, and we were off to the races, so to speak.

Today, they made the Borscht in the kitchen and decorations for a local orphanage in the parlor. It was a good group and they did both projects from 1 PM to 4 PM today. I got to have a bowl and it was quite good, served with sour cream and dill. The URL below is a site with several recipes, but they don't sound like what I ate because mine had beef in it.

Sister Cindy has so much to give to these sisters and I am so happy that she has felt accepted and appreciated by them. She has made a couple of mis-steps with them, like the time she was trying to explain the Bishop's Cannery to them and how we canned tomatoes etc. there and decided to show them a can to get the translation right. As she opened her can cupboard to get the can out, the group of sister gave a collective gasp at the amount of food she had in the cupboard. These sisters don't have storage like that and it was a shock. She explained that we feed the elders weekly and she has to have that amount of food on hand. For them, being prepared and hoarding are close cousins and hoarding is a cultural no-no from long years of having nothing during the Soviet period. However, she has moved past that and they all seem to be enjoying one another.

I was brought out of my hiding place to help Sister Cindy with her computer as she wanted to show several of the younger sisters how to get BYU-TV on their computers. We had another one of our mis-communications about what was needed to bring with the computer and mouse into the kitchen and I ended up doing the demo, probably not gaining points with Cindy.

Anyway, they were thrilled to know that they could get streaming programs from BYU and especially the music. None of them are fluent in English, but the music is always a hit.

We are getting to know the people better and hopefully this will start a new round of social contacts for us and the chance to do some serious fellowshipping and strengthening of the members. Baby steps.

What a country


Trisha said...

YUMMY YUMMY YUMMY. Be ready to make that for my favorite food on Valentines day when you get home.

Shannon Simmons said...

You go mom! This looks great!