A year in Dnepropetrovsk

An American volunteer in Ukraine

Archive for vinaigrette

Rosh Hashana

Friday, September 26

3 days until erev Rosh Hashana

Since the entire Joint office would have Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday off, and since not everyone works on Sunday, the office Rosh Hashana celebration was set for the Friday before the holiday. Someone had heard Sharon talk about making sushi for her family, and soon all the women were asking her to teach them (there are quite a few sushi restaurants in the city, but at least in the office, only Lena really goes to any of them. Many people had never tried Japanese food, in fact). Well, one thing led to another, and Friday’s Rosh Hashana lunch was a homemade sushi feast! We all helped prepare, rolling the maki, preparing the sumka (a type of salmon, I don’t know what it’s called in English), setting up the ginger and wasabi, making a platter of all the Rosh Hashana foods– apples, honey, pomegranate, and challah (the sushi was the fish)– and of course, since this is Ukraine after all, setting up platters of pickles, pickled mushrooms, and olives.

It was a wonderful lunch! Everyone had filled out small cards for at least five other staff members, and we all exchanged these. Drinks were poured, and toasts were made. Wine abounded. Everyone was in good spirits, and lunch lasted quite a few hours (as meals here tend to do). Read the rest of this entry »


No, this is not a dressing, this is a full salad. This popular Ukrainian dish can be served at all times throughout the year (a big deal, because it’s hard to get fresh fruit and some veggies during the winter). Nine times out of ten if you are invited as a guest in a Ukrainian home, a vinaigrette will be served. It’s delicious, very filling, and easy to make (although time consuming to dice all the vegetables). Here is the recipe I recommend (the recipe I followed is in parentheses). Both versions are modified slightly from the official recipe I looked up.

You will need:

  • 5 beets (I used 4)
  • 3 carrots
  • 5 potatoes (I used 6)
  • 1/2 onion
  • 3 dill pickles
  • 1 lemon
  • roughly 1/3 cup of oil
  • about 1 tablespoon salt
  • some pepper or spice

Read the rest of this entry »