Saturday, 30 March 2013

Pysanka Specialist Daena Diduck

Calgary's Breakfast Television hosted pysanka specialist Daena Diduck on  March 26, 2013.  Her pysanky have been featured at all of Calgary's 3 Ukrainian Festivals to date, and will again be displayed and instructed in June of 2013 at Calgary's Ukrainian Festival.

On the TV interview, she displayed the various special sizes of eggs to use besides
chicken eggs, pheasant, ostrich, goose and bantum chicken. Explaining the variety of traditional symbols employed, she highlighted that the writing of a pysanka is a gift - a gift of health and good will. Enjoy the video below and see Daena soon at the Festival!

Ukrainian Easter Eggs - Mar 26th (05:17)

It's the season to be artistic! Ukrainian egg decorator, Daena Diduck gives us a few simple ideas on how to decorate eggs for the holiday.

Study Ukrainian Abroad 2013

I have just learned that Ukrainian is the most euphonic language in the world - at least that is what the Ukrainian Catholic University in Lviv's site says. I know that a while back Calgary hosted a fundraiser for the Ukrainian Catholic University in Lviv - it looks like their programs are growing!

The Ukrainian Catholic University in Lviv are again hosting a summer language program for new learners, and experienced speakers.  Excellent instruction and a location that is safe, culturally rich, and full of enthusiasm for North American learners!  A while back I met an instructor from the program who showed me some of the methods materials, and wow! was I impressed.  Not your typical Saturday School program at all - very good use of international understandings, and very quick to learn conversational scripts - that work!  Highly recommended - maybe for a young person you might know?


But There's Nothing There!

Moving to Calgary and buying a home here a while back was exciting.  I bubbled with enthusiasm telling people where we lived when someone made the strange comment "but there's nothing there!"  I didn't know what to say, bewildered that someone could be so insensitive.  It was as if we had not met the standard, like nothing good could be found where we live. But I discovered over the years, that our subdivision was indeed originally part of a wild, untended piece of "hinterland", and that some people really are safest huddled in their small lives. Of course, Calgary has since become such a sprawling metropolis.  I wonder whether anyone now hears "but there's nothing there!"

People sometimes inadvertently say inconsiderate things, which becomes problematic when politicians, historians or commentators assert their authority over lives, places and things without considering the people themselves.  And worse still, historians are often swayed by the political will of the ruling order in the land. Imagine a New Yorker who has never seen the Rockies saying "but there's nothing there" about Calgary these days!

So I am reading the highly recommended resources for an upcoming travel program to the Black Sea to enhance my understanding of the people of this region.  I am beginning to hope that it is simply setting a tone. Talk about politics, which investor established a business hub where, which figures from the times aristocracy used the region for a vacation site, seen through the eyes of a foreign economic lens that really says little about the actual people who for generations have raised their families there.  Or perhaps it is intended this way.  Looking at my ancestral homeland through a museum guidebook or a textbook is interesting reading.

The way of life, richly colored daily routines, familiar smells of home cooking, intricate decorative sewing, cleaning-building-horticulture-agrarian practices, the art and craft of regular people living regular lives - these things have interest for me.  The belief systems, the resilient spirit, the body of accumulated practice, the remains of a life well lived - these draw my curious mind. Maybe these things have always been the prize, hoarded by grave robbers, looted from kurhan mounds, and pillaged from Ukraine's archeological sites over the centuries. The material cultural treasures, ancestral memory, the handiwork of people living normal lives is on display in wealthy, powerful and imposing museums the world over - all originating from a place where "there's nothing there". Really!

My home in Calgary is indeed close to Nose Hill, still a wild place with coyotes, deer and teeming with life.  Calgary may once have been Canada's hinterland, much like Ukraine may have been considered a bordering land for her neighbors. But times change.  Whose telling the story now?  Calgary's city boundaries were redrawn a few years back, so my home is now considered part of the "inner city". With the political winds of time changing, I think the pedagog who defined the name "Ukraina" to mean "hinterland", really got it wrong.  Everything on the outside is her hinterland!

With an admiring gaze I listen as my mom unravels the stories of our family geneology, and stand in awe as she unfurls thousands of family names, dates, photos, details. I realize that family is the real treasure, and the sights, sounds, smells, tastes, and sentimental feeling of ancestral family is the jewel in the crown. The winds of time have carried the seeds of our family here, but the roots are firmly planted in a place teeming with life, just north of the Black Sea in Western Ukraine.


Thursday, 28 March 2013

Mary's Perishke Марії Пиріжки

Mary's Perishke are the reason for smiling faces these days.  From Philadelphia to Fort McMurray friends and family are now enjoying this yummy treat, or at least planning a batch or two.  Little buns filled with cheese are most popular on the prairies, especially as a treat with dilly cream dressing. Tried and true recipe from an experienced hand!

Perishke Dough #1

1 pkg yeast
½ cup lukewarm water
4 Tbsp. sugar
1/3 cup butter (melted)
2 cups scalded and cooled milk
2 tsp. salt
3 eggs well beaten
Approximately 7 ½ cups of flour

Thoroughly dissolve 1 Tbsp. of sugar in lukewarm water and add the yeast. Let stand 15 minutes. Add the remaining 3 Tbsp. sugar, butter, milk, salt and eggs. Beat together. Gradually add enough flour to make a soft dough. Knead well. Cover and let rise till double in bulk, punch down and let rise again. Shape dough into walnut sized balls, flatten balls by hand. Place a little filling into the center. Pinch the edges together. Place on greased pan. Cover and let rise. Brush with egg wash, bake in 325 degree oven for about 15-20 minutes or until nicely browned.

To serve buns, place in a covered baking dish. Saute’ some chopped onion in butter, add dill, and whole cream; salt to taste. Pour over the buns, bake in the oven to warm about 20 minutes.

Perishke Dough #2

½ cup water
1 tsp sugar
2 pkgs. Yeast
1 ½ cups scalded and cooled milk
½ cup butter or shortening
½ cup sugar
1 tsp. salt
3 eggs
6 cups flour

Dissolve sugar in water, add yeast let proof. Add milk, butter, sugar, salt, eggs, and flour. Mix together by hand. Knead well. Cover, let rise in warm place until doubled in size. Punch down and let rise again.
Shape dough into walnut sized balls, flatten balls by hand. Place a little filling into the center. Pinch the edges together. Place on greased pan. Cover and let rise. Brush with egg wash, bake in 325 degree oven for about 15-20 minutes or until nicely browned.

Perishke Filling

2 cups dry cottage cheese or ricotta cheese
2 egg yolks
1 Tbsp chopped fresh dill
½ tsp. salt
Mix together well. Use to fill Perishke. 

Saturday, 23 March 2013

Pussy Willow Sunday

Alberta roadsides, the low wet ones, are home to many different species of wild pussy willows (almost 40 sorts).  Beautiful pussy willows are the flowers of willow bushes, and among the most eager blossoms on the prairies.  Anxious for insect pollinators, the fuzzy pussy willows are impervious to frost damage, pushing roots, and moving water and nutrients even in cold weather.  Good thing, considering the snow and bluster of Alberta's "spring" this year. 

Coloured twigs of moose willows are popular here in Alberta.  Early February pussy willows can be found in wet areas, and have branchy red stems with very white flowers.  March varieties are mostly brown with grey or silver grey flowers.  Early April varieties have rusty brown stems with large white flowers, and wolf willows (a neighborhood variety) host their small grey flowers on green, yellow and red stems.  You can find pussy willows in open areas and need not cross fences or hazards to reach them. The male pussy willows will be the first to blossom, while the female will bear seeds much later in the season.

Willow twigs play a rather important role in the Ukrainian tradition at this season.  The Sunday before Easter is called Palm Sunday, but where do palms grow in Canada?  Resourceful Ukrainian pioneers buried knee deep in snow and yearning for the end of winter, would see the willows as the harbinger of spring. A short walk into the wild wood could find you knee deep in swamp and rewarded with  a few bundles of furry catkins to treasure in anticipation of better weather to come.

The Ukrainian tradition is to bring willows to Palm Sunday services to have them blessed, a beautiful symbol of greeting Jesus as he rode into Jerusalem on the Sunday before the crucifixion.  Enjoy this youtube video at . After services, one can then decorate the home, placing the pussy willows around holy pictures and ikons. 

A bundle of nicely coloured and shaped willow twigs will dry into a very elegant arrangement over time. Some people make willow furniture, willow baskets, wreaths and walking sticks.

My dad, a child of the Alberta prairies, used to love working with wood.  Gently peeling off the bark, polishing off the chaff, and working it gently with a soft cloth to bring out the wood's sheen.  His walking sticks are such a lovely reminder of his youth - and times past.  Diamond willows make particularly beautiful walking sticks!  A diamond willow walking stick, complete with autographs of "best" and "forever" friends, has always been a part of the Alberta Ukrainian summer camp experience.


Thursday, 21 March 2013

Pysanky in Little Hands

Working with little ones can be such a joy, especially when they come away happy and fulfilled. The influence of a few well placed words, a few big ideas, and time for a moment of total engagement can be hugely effective.

Energetic 10 year olds, boisterous energy, chatter and then complete silence, if only for a moment, because they were totally immersed in creating something beautiful. Focus, meticulous control, frustrated, learning to use a new tool, a new canvas, these kids scribed a good wish onto a fragile egg in the hope of effecting the future.  They made a Ukrainian pysanka!

I came away from the experience moved and impressed at the depth of feeling and artistry they showed. Whether their lines were straight or wobbly, their soft voices and smiles of pride revealed something of their enthusiasm.  They really believed the sun-god would bring energy and light, the drops would rain moisture over fields and gardens, and that curled horns meant food, and a cure for hunger.  Their hearts were full with feeling! Their minds were filled with the symbolism.

I was touched by the little boy who showed me where his pysanka had a big cross.  Another recognized the pine branches (hey that would make a great tea if a person had scurvy), the pussy willows (don't they use them for Palm Sunday), and another the wheat stalks. Even more, I was moved by the brave faces of those who had to pick up their treasured pysanka shells from the floor.  They all called it a five star activity!  They all want to do it again!

Bees wax, a kistka, colored dyes, and each one, teach one! Ukrainian pysanky!

Saturday, 16 March 2013

Building Empathy for One Another's Experience

Calgarians can be rightly impressed with the vocal community involvement of its residents, both current and former.  One such champion of human rights and freedoms is former Calgarian Roman Zakaluzny - Roman Junior to some of us.  His involvement in the Ukrainian Canadian Civil Liberties Association as a champion for the Canadian perspective on taxpayer support of Canadian museums is worth mentioning.  I hope you enjoy the read.

Spring has a Ring - of Kovbasa

Naturally, my husband is interested in the glorious ring of smoked meat Ukrainians call kovbasa. Kubasa, kobasa, kubie, it has a variety of endearments - and there is definitely a ring in the air this spring.  
The kobvasa  has such a prominent place in the Easter tradition - a ring of smoked meat, meat served as a sacrifice after a long lenten period.  It is but one of the special foods I will take to be blessed in my Easter basket!  Braided Paska bread, sweet Babka bread, cheese, butter, ham, horseradish, and kovaba, then some fresh green onions and beet-horseradish, and decorated with boiled eggs, colored krashanky eggs, and of course newly scribed Ukrainian Easter Eggs -pysanky!
So you know that Calgary's Ukrainian community has a variety of tastes, a variety of pleasures - but Ukrainian food draws everybody's attention it seems. And the Ogden House Ukrainian Cultural Society in Calgary is a great group of people with community on the mind.
If you have "Eastered" or if you are on the way to "Paska", or you do both, or neither, The Ogden House Ukrainian Cultural Society in Calgary is pleased to bring to you Kubie Madness!...Naturally another wonderful evening of food and entertainment to help ease the transition from Winter into Spring!
So now you know, my husband is interested in kovbasa.  More so now because he just bought himself a new toy - a smoker!  It may not happen too quickly, but there may be a new flavour of kovbasa for my festive table soon - will keep you posted.  (Really, how much garlic do you like in your Ukrainian sausage?)

Choral Conductor's Seminar - Edmonton August 10-18,2013

Spiritus Chamber Choir performed
at the Egllise du Sacre Coeur
in Dijon -
I am so excited about another summer full of music! Touring France singing as a member of a chamber choir was great,

but now it's about conducting too! It's going to be another summer gloriously filled with music making! Thanks to the great forethought of the Ukrainian Music Society of Alberta, Edmonton will again play host to another invaluable training program for choral conductors. Forty years of care for the Ukrainian music tradition in Canada has been a great service to the Canadian and Ukrainian choral experience, not to mention the numerous other music genres the society has promoted over the years.

Have to put August 10-18, 2013 on the calendar - those are the dates for this Ukrainian Choral Conductors' Seminar. Seminar work on vocal technique, conducting techniques, cantoring, score analysis, text delivery and diction, secrets of running a rehearsal efficiently, history of Ukrainian choral music, conducting church choirs will be great fun! Canadian and Ukrainian specialists will instruct, among them Prof. Mstyslav Yurchenko, of Kyiv, a specialist in liturgical tradition, (especially of Maksym Berezovsky), and Canadian Maestro Laurence Ewashko of Ottawa. Because Canada has a wealth of talented practitioners the program is certain to draw attention of the experienced and novice to the event. Church and community choir repertoire will be studied, and a seminar choir of local volunteer talent will be engaged.

The venue for this workshop is the ideally located St. John's Institute, Edmonton, just blocks from the University of Alberta and its Fine Arts Building and Music Faculty.

You may not know, but Ukraine's musical tradition is unique in its span of history, cultural, religious, and political perspectives. Many of the artistic treasures are relatively new to Western audiences, with a refreshing sound reflecting musical, linguistic and cultural trends of a truly Ukrainian nature. The new stuff is amazing too!

Thanks to Luba Boyko-Bell for sharing this - call her at 780-469-4890 or at for more information.

Friday, 15 March 2013

Shaping Community with the Pysanka

Having Ukrainian cultural elements in my life, it is easy to take for granted what others consider absolutely beautiful. Embroideries, ceramics, weavings, but this season is the time for the Ukrainian Easter Egg - the pysanka.

Recently got an invitation to teach pysanky to the children at the community school nearby. Now that Ukraine is a focus in the Alberta Social Studies in both Grades 3 and 5, it is not only an extra to "do Ukrainian things", it is a curricular expectation. But it is assumed that everyone teaching has an expertise in every aspect.....could one conceivably have expertise in everything? Mindful to focus on the curricular expectations, I am glad to accept the invitation.
What an opportunity to shape the minds, hearts and sensibilities of a new generation! I started by telling them when my blonde, blue eyed ancestors came to Canada, and why. A little lesson on the map opens opportunities to so much discussion, about Europe, about neighbors, about the land and its chernozem fertility, the people and the culture, and of course, the economic opportunities or deficits.

Then to tell them about Ukraine's ancestral forests and steppes, rivers and Black sea, the bees, the honey, the beeswax - using every gift nature provides. Followed by terms like "non-text features" - the symbols that convey meaning over time, space, and language. Then expressing the belief that every person's culture has beauty, and reminding the children they have yet to discover their ancestral tree - perhaps a tidbid about geneology. After all, every generous contribution to Canada and her future actually shapes and molds what will come!

There are a large variety of videos online to explain the process of pysanka writing, but I found the children really wanted the basic traditional designs first. But to begin the learning, I teach. The raw egg is life, a seed bearing a life in a shell that breathes. Inscribing onto the shell creates a talisman of good wishes for the future. Their first pysanka will be the traditional 8 pointed star rosette, or sun-god with its rays of yellow, orange and red, blue/green rain drops, decorated with the red curled horns of plenty (plenty of food, prosperity and wealth), all on the black background of eternity. Precious, the pysanka will live, fulfill its mandate in the world, and eventually dry to dust, its shell will return to the earth that brought it life.

Father Paul

Gentleman - brief comment about the sun god

How to make a Beginner Pysanka (short and concise

A volunteer who generously shares the gifts of their time, treasure and above all their unique talents, is always a welcome guest it seems. Note to self - tell them about the Pysanka in Vegreville, Alberta and remind them that one in 5 Albertans has some Ukrainian ancestry! Maybe they are Ukrainian too!

For more online material about pysanka writing, follow the links at

Tuesday, 12 March 2013

Pavilion at Cave and Basin in Banff

While in Banff National Park, enjoying the amazing vistas of Canada's jewel of public parks, it is not difficult to lose oneself completely.  Pristine glacial fed rivers, forests full of wilderness, and the serene sense of peace not to mention the mind opening scent of that many pine trees - Banff is truly Canada's gift to the future. Many of us head to Banff for a sense of healing, for a hike, to experience the beauty.

Banff is just over 100 years old.  Recalling the past, the Banff experience is also an opportunity to recall Canada's first national internment operation of 1914-1920.  On Thursday, June 20, 2013, Parks Canada Agency, National Historical Recognition Project (Banff) is hosting an opening event for a pavilion at the Cave and Basin National Historic Site.  Project Lead Steve Malins has graciously extended the invitation to ukrainiancalgary readers to join in the opening events.  Thanks to the Ukrainian Canadian Civil Liberties Association for helping to extend the invitation far and wide. 

For more information contact

Monday, 11 March 2013

Ukrainian Dancing Has Come a Long Way!

For a lot of Ukrainian Canadians, the experience of Ukrainian dancing has no equal.  It is an expression of childhood.  Memorable hours of driving to and fro through the prairie winter, to learn to dance, countless trips to the gas bar and coffee stops, certainly crowd the memories of many adults, that's true.  But any activity that is so thoroughly championed by parents, aunties and uncles, grandparents, and the entire community is bound to have meaning for a small child. Learning to have stage presence, poise, artistry, perform in great venues, travel to entertain and be cheered, all while involved in activity that conveys respect and admiration for ancestors of yore - not to mention the great sinew that binds all Ukrainian dancers of all generations and ages - what can compare! 

Some people probably take some of this opportunity for granted, but of course Ukrainian dancing is also work.  At least this is the kind of work that comes of passion, of vocation, of a deeply held dream to change the world.  Years of preparation, years of sweaty clothing, torn slippers, richly rewarded by momentary applause and accolades. And yet it is work. Work that has power and impact.   Such is the life of a Ukrainian dancing teacher.  For the love of Ukrainian dancing!
amk 2012

Today there are Ukrainian dancing schools in most Canadian provinces! And there are very talented, professionally trained teachers bringing more talented youngsters into the embrace of culture, tradition, and dreams. And the best of them have the opportunity to move their part time living into a professional career. 

Congratulations to organizations like Shumka, Cheremosh, Tryzub, and many others across the Canadian steppes for taking Ukrainian Dance to the next level, over and over again! Congratulations for making real careers possible for Ukrainian dancers here in Canada. 

The Ukrainian Shumka Dancers are looking for a full time Principal for the Shumka School of Dance. A two year contract position at the Shumka Studios in Edmonton, Alberta is a dream job. Providing artistic, managerial, instructional, budgeting and administrative services, this is a really important arts position. Excellence in dance, thorough understanding of Ukrainian dance, music, culture and folklore, while thoroughly capable of leadership in both the craft of dance and its business in today's marketplace, this is a job for an innovative and strategic leader.

For more information check the website at

But more than that, remember to say a quiet thanks for the persons who put your first dance slippers on! Good job!

Tuesday, 5 March 2013

988-2013 makes 1025 years!

The year 2013 will mark the 1025 year of Christening of the Kyvian Rus' Ukrainian State - 988 to the present. I'm hoping to get to Ukraine to catch a glimpse of how they might celebrate the date!  And here in Calgary, Ukraine's King Volodymyr is well represented by the impressive church on the hill in Bridgeland overlooking Memorial Drive.

By 980 King of Kyivan Rus', Volodymyr Sviatoslavich Rurikovich (958-1015) had consolidated his empire from Ukraine to the Baltic Sea, solidifying frontiers from any incursions. King Volodymyr established amazing international relationships with neighboring royal courts. Royally commanded, his boyars brought envoy delegations from the great religions of the world for Religion 101 - Comparative Studies (Christianity, Judaism and Islam) By 987 Volodymyr was drawn to Eastern Christianity, for the full festive ritual of the Byzantine church, the beauty, majesty and awed because "God dwells there.....". Bringing the Byzantine world closer through this relationship of faith was impressive.

Legend has it that Saint Andrew, the first Apostle of Christ, traveled over the Black Sea to the ancient Greek colony of Chersonesos, (literally peninsula - an ancient city and now an archaeological site near Sevastopol in the Crimea, Ukraine ) where the faith was accepted by many thousands. This video tour of Ancient Chersonesos is one of the sites on the Black Sea Odyssey tour, a place commemorating the place of Volodymyr's Christian Baptism.,5.50,78.8

Saint Andrew is said to have traveled north up the Dnipro River to a place where Kyiv would in time be celebrated for its thousand golden domed temples. This ancient place retained its status in Eastern European Christianity from Saint Andrew's time.  The Christian Baptism of King Volodymyr the Great, and Kyivan Rus' made it a Metropolitanate of the Patriarch of Constantinople.

Newly Christened, King Volodymyr received the Princess Anna of Constantinople in Christian marriage and initiated a campaign of Christianization in his nation of Kyivan Rus' (Ukraine). Removing pagan idols, deposing pagan wives, and adopting a new convert's zeal to the tasks before him, he compelled his household, court and officials to submit to a memorable Christian Baptism by immersion in the Dnipro River flowing through his city of Kyiv.

In 988 King Volodymyr's people walked into the water in the Obolon' area, a part of right bank Kyiv that is a floodplain between the River Dnipro and Pochaina.  Podil Raion (Lower City)  just above the floodplain contains construction dating back to at least the 9th to 11 centuries making it the oldest neighbourhood of the city of Kyiv and its historical center. A family member toured me through the  prestigious district years back, to The St. Elijah church (Ilinska Tserkva), the first Orthodox parish in Kyivan Rus'.  Records show that in 945 AD a Liturgy was served at the already built Church of Saint Elijah by the flowing river Dnipro.  Pagan warrior Princes of  Kyiv, Askold and Dir are said to have witnesses a miracle, and initiated its construction. Imagine a full immersion Christening in the Dnipro River, and appreciating the dry land ceremony of presentation in the temple of Saint Elijah only 1025 years ago!  

Rus' newly minted Christians took to their new moral code with enthusiasm, and trepidation. King Volodymyr set an admirable example for his people by freely giving money to the church, the poor, and hesitated to repeat his war craft or inflict capital punishment for fear of bearing sin. A role model, he generously funded the building of beautiful churches. Volodymyr directed clergy who remained in each newly Christianized city to teach spirituality, literacy, culture and economics in the accompanying schools built by his royal decree. Culture flourished. By 1015 he had calmed the spirits of many doubters.

So many historical references can be drawn from seeing the beautiful temple in honor of St. Volodymyr - Equal to the Saints, ideally situated with its panoramic vista of the Bow River in Calgary.  Enjoy!

Saturday, 2 March 2013

Ukrainian Easter Cheese!

On this grey Calgary morning, sipping my coffee, I am thinking of spring! Spring sunshine, spring rains, spring greens.....and catching a glimpse of the baby deer born on Nose Hill park.....ah, spring forward! 

On a trip to France recently, a bunch of friends got together and spent a day with a French chef.  A walking tour of his city, the famous marketplace, and into his chef's kitchen was a short course in the French food experience.   Lucious seasonal fruit, preparing wild game, even a lesson about the proper age to kill a chicken! A deep veneration of nature, the cycles of life, and the unique flavours to appreciate at specific points in the journey really came through in the chef's lessons.  It's all about honoring the food, in every moment of its preparation.  Loving life, loving food, in this chef's eyes, means loving the animal enough to give it a full life before it can give a person the fullness of its sacrifice. 

Alex Miles/amk 2011
Author of Ces Hommes qui Cuisinent
He also gave a lesson in cheese. The wisdom goes like this - and it seems obvious - that the first cheese of the season, made from the first milk of the season, nurtured from the first green grass of springtime, is especially nutritious and healthy for the human organism.  The grasses, having rested over the fall and winter, have accumulated so many nutrients, they are particularly flavourful, and make for particularly flavourful milk, butter, cheese, etc.

In my family home, preparing for Ukrainian Easter involved preparing cheese too, from fresh whole milk.  Why cheese?  Turns out that this important food is a gift of the soil, through the life of animals, through the handiwork of man, offered in the cycle of life, death and renewal which is Easter.  Quoting Clifton Fadiman, cheese is "milk's leap to immortality." This unripened soft cheese is called boodz. Будз

Boodz: будз
3 gallons unpasteurized whole milk
1 cup buttermilk or yogurt
1/4 cheese rennet tablet
Place container with milk in sink filled with hot water.  Warm milk until lukewarm, add buttermilk and mix.  Crush tablet and dissolve in spoon of warm water.  Mix into milk mixture.  Keep container in warm water.  When milk sets, take a wooden spoon and cut through milk twice each way.  Let stand until curds separate from the whey.  Then drain in a cloth bag or strainer lined with cheesecloth.  Place in a container and leave at room temperature overnight.  In the morning, take out of bag and place in a bowl in the fridge.  It can be left out longer for a more sour boodz.

I don't know if they make rennet tablets anymore, but it does come in liquid form and I hear you can use pasteurized milk.

Ukrainian Pottery Decoration Project

Getting truly unique art and ceramics for a Canadian Ukrainian style decor is tricky in Calgary.  It is true that you can purchase so much on line, but I am all for making art myself.  But where to get truly beautiful ideas that I can actually produce myself?

So I am heading to a "paint it yourself" studio later today.  A coffee and companionship, with an artistic outlet to free the child in me.  Actually there are great philosophers who believe you need to get into a flow state to truly relax.  When you lose track of time, and the hand, the body and the mind are all engaged in creating something, that is a flow state.  My ideal flow state happens with handwriting, painting, while writing pysanky, dancing,  singing, and of course writing - at least these are my favorites. In a flow state a person loses track of time and is engaged fully.

Flendrivka-rare Ukrainian pottery decoration style - youtube
But today it is a paint yourself ceramic experience - let's see whether my amateur skills can create something beautiful!  Here is the example I am planning to emulate - wish me a steady hand!

Flendrivka-rare Ukrainian pottery decoration style

So that was a week ago and here is my beginner version of флендрівка. Lots to learn ahead, but I hope you like it! It could be the beginning of a set of bowls!