hospitality journal 5 & Ukrainian culture: Kissel

My note for my hospitality journal today was that I put in effort to make 3 salads to take to the house of some friends today. Vitaliy marinated the shashlik, too. It was a nice afternoon and a great feast. They have always fed me well the years I’ve known them, and I spent a lot of time in their house during my early years in Ukraine when I knew so little about food prep here. I was thinking how much I’ve grown in my knowledge and practice the 12 years I’ve been married here!

I didn’t photograph any of the salads. But here are the tulips and green onions we brought back from their beautiful garden:


This friend also cut three stalks of her rhubarb plant, and quickly told me how to make kissel. It’s a thick drink here. Here’s the wiki article about kissel— apparently it’s pretty popular in this region of the world.

Cut off the leaf top, peel the stalk, I used 600 ml of water for the 3 stalks; She said to boil them ( did them in the pressure cooker), added sugar (almost 2/3 cup). When done in the pressure cooker, I strained out the rhubarb and put it in pot to boil again. Mixed up corn starch (maybe 1/4 – 1/2 cup) with boiled water from the chainik–stirred it up so it wasn’t lumpy, then added it to the kissel and stirred with a whisk.


My kissel wasn’t very thick or too sweet– Vitaliy was my taster and said he liked it like that.

Wow. I never imagined making kissel. I don’t really like it or drink it. But hey! there we go.

My next Ukrainian project is making the traditional Easter sweet bread thingys.

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