Pysanky – Watercolor by My Sister, Nanci Yermakoff, 2000.
Countries steeped in Eastern Orthodoxy celebrate Easter with glorious painted eggs and a traditional Easter buffet feast.
The eggs (pysanky) are quite an art form. The style of egg-painting is different in each country (Russia, Ukraine, Belarus et. al.), but perhaps the most beautiful are the Ukrainian batik (wax-resist dyed) eggs. Continue reading →
Growing up in a Belarusian family, we always had Russian-style “fresh ham”, or Buzhenina, for Easter. It didn’t look or taste like most Easter hams, because it was a “fresh ham”. In which case, was it really a ham??? Continue reading →
In the years before World War I, social unrest was escalating in Belarus, Russia. The Bolsheviks (precursor to the Communist Party of the Soviet Union) were gaining traction, and the economy was failing. Continue reading →
Humble Potatoes - Waiting to become дранікі (Draniki)
Not long after the turn of the 20th century, my Grandfather left Belarus as a young man to come to the United States. He didn’t like what the Bolsheviks were doing in Belarus and saw escape across the Atlantic. Unfortunately for him, it meant an arduous journey, a struggle to survive as a new immigrant and not seeing his Belarus family again until he was in his 70s – more than 50 years later. Fortunately for me, it meant growing up with my kind-hearted grandfather and living under the influence of my Belarusian ancestry, including the glorious дранікі (dra-ni-ki) — the Belarus version of the potato pancake. Continue reading →