Ukraine: A Missing Mitten, Pysanky Easter Eggs, & Babka Bread
Want to know more about Ukraine? Are you a lover of travel, geography teacher, homeschooling or involved parent, student, or life-long learner? In an effort to make world geography more meaningful and memorable, I've compiled all you will need to locate Ukraine on a map, cook a Ukrainian meal, watch YouTube clips on Ukraine, color the flag, create a Ukrainian craft, read a great book about Ukraine, and more! This is part of a series of lessons I did with my family while studying various countries from around the world. You can see them all at Around the World in 26 Letters .
Where is Ukraine?
Locate Ukraine on this map of Europe. Use this map of Ukraine to label the capitol, Kiev or Kyiv. Mark other relevant features (rivers, mountains, famous locations, etc.) if desired. If you'd like to spend a bit more time researching the country, you can add the language, currency, type of government, religion, and/or famous landmarks. Write them on the back of the map. You can easily find all this information at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ukraine.
Fun Facts About Ukraine
Ukrainians wear their wedding ring on the ring finger of their right hand instead of their left hand.
Despite Ukraine being one of Europe's poorest nations, the golden domes of Russian & Ukrainian Orthodox cathedrals gleam out across the landscape. You can also find Turkic architecture and ancient cave cities in Crimea.
Ukraine means "borderland." The country's name comes from the term "ukraina" which means 'borderland,' 'frontier region,' or 'marches.'
The Ukrainian Flag
Prepare and serve pickles, Ukrainian Lokshyna and Ham, Country Babka, Apple & Cranberry Kompot, and Horikhivnyk (Almond Date Bars).
If you did not already make borsch when you studied Russia, then make some for your meal tonight by following this Ukrainian Borsch Recipe. Borsch is the nation dish of Ukraine!
Apple & Cranberry Kompot
- 3 -4 apples
- 3/4 cup or less of fresh cranberries
- 1/2 cup of sugar
- Rinse cranberries. Wash apples. Bring to boil about 2.5qt of water in big cooking pot, add all sugar and reduce heat till light simmering. Pour cranberries into the water. Cut each apple in to 6-8 pieces and remove seeds (you may also skin apples if you like). Add apples to the pot. Simmer apples and cranberries over very light heat till apples become soft, but not over cooked (about 10-15 min.). Remove pot from the burner. Let kompot cool till room temperature, and then pour it to the pitcher. Serve Apple & Cranberries Kompot with fruits in or without. Refrigerate any leftovers. (This recipe came from http://www.enjoyyourcooking.com/beverage-recipes/apple-cranberry-kompot.html)
Ukrainian Lokshyna and Ham (Noodle and Ham Casserole)
- 1 1/2 cups egg noodles prepared according to package directions
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 3/4 cup ground ham
- 1/4 cup grated cheddar cheese (or more)
- 1 slightly beaten egg
- 1/4 cup light cream or whole milk
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 cup buttered bread crumbs
- Mix the drained noodles with the melted butter. Add in the ham and cheese. Combine the egg, cream/milk, and salt, and add to the mixture. If the ham is very salty, reduce the salt or omit it. Spoon into a buttered baking dish and top with the buttered bread crumbs. Bake at 350F for about 20 minutes. (This recipe came from http://www.food.com/recipe/ukrainian-lokshyna-and-ham-noodle-and-ham-casserole-78461)
- 2 teaspoons sugar
- 1/2 cup lukewarm water
- 2 (1/4 ounce) packages dry yeast
- 1 cup lukewarm milk
- 1 cup flour
- 6 eggs
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 cup melted butter
- 2 tablespoons grated fresh lemon rind
- 5 1/2 cups flour (approximate)
- 1 cup raisins (or more)
- Dissolve the 2 tsp. of sugar in the lukewarm water, sprinkle the yeast over it, and let stand until softened. Combine dissolved yeast with the lukewarm milk and 1 cup of flour. Beat well, cover, and allow the sponge to rise in a warm place until light and bubbly, about 5-10 minutes. In a large bowl beat the eggs with the salt, add the 1 cup of sugar gradually, and continue beating. Beat in the butter and lemon rind. Combine this mixture with the sponge. Stir in the flour and KNEAD IN THE BOWL for about 10 minutes. Knead in the raisins. Cover and let rise in a warm place until double in bulk, about 3 hours. Punch down, knead a few times, and let it rise again for about 1 hour. Butter 2-3 tall, round baking pans (or coffee cans) with butter, sprinkling them lightly with fine bread crumbs and fill them ONE-THIRD FULL. You can also use greased parchment paper on the bottom and sides of pan. Cover and let rise in a warm place until the dough reaches the brim of the pan, about 30-60 minutes. Brush the loaves with a beaten egg diluted with 2 Tablespoons of milk or water. Bake at 400F for 15 minutes, and then lower the temperature to 350F and continue baking for 40 minutes longer, or until done. Avoid browning the top too deeply. If necessary, cover the top with aluminum foil. Remove the baked loaves from the oven and let them stand in the pans for 5 to 10 minutes. Tip each loaf very gently from the pan onto a cloth-covered pillow. Do not cool the loaves on a hard surface so that it will not fall or settle. As the loaves are cooling, change their position very gently a few times to prevent settling. If desired, the cooled loaves may be iced or glazed and decorated with bakers' confetti. Babka is always sliced in rounds across the loaf. The sliced bottom crust serves as a protective cover, and it is put back to prevent the loaf from drying. (This recipe came from http://www.food.com/recipe/ukrainian-country-babka-78678)
Horikhivnyk (Almond Date Bars)
These are traditionally served at Easter.
- 1 cup flour
- 2 Tbsp. granulated sugar
- pinch of salt
- 4 Tbsp. butter cut into pieces
- 2 egg yolks
- 1 Tbsp. whipping cream or whole milk
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract
- ALMOND AND DATE TOPPING:
- 2 cups confectioners sugar/powdered sugar
- 6 stiffly beaten egg whites
- 2 cups chopped and blanched almonds
- 1 1/4 cups finely chopped pitted dates
- 1 cup miniature chocolate chips OR 8 (1 oz. each) grated semisweet chocolate squares
- BASE: Sift the flour with the granulated sugar and a pinch of salt. Cut in the butter. Combine the egg yolks, cream and vanilla. Add them to the flour and mix until the dough comes together. Pat the dough in a smooth layer into a buttered 9 x 12 inch baking pan. Bake in a preheated 350 F oven for 10-15 minutes, or until it is firm but not browned.
- ALMOND AND DATE TOPPING: While the dough is baking, beat the egg whites until stiff. Gradually beat the confectioners' sugar into the beaten egg whites. When the mixture is firm, fold in the almonds, dates and chocolate. Spread the topping over the partially baked dough. Reduce the oven temperature to 325 F and continue baking for about 40 minutes, or until the topping is set. Cool in the pan, and then cut it into 1 1/2 by 3 inch bars.
- (If desired, you can double the recipe for the base. Reserve half the dough and then top the almond and date topping with the other half of the dough.) (This recipe came from http://www.ukrainianclassickitchen.ca/YaBB.pl?num=1226983502)
Pray for the people of Ukraine
To find out about the religious nature of Ukraine and specific ways you can pray for the country, go to operationworld.org.
This 40 page picture book explains how Ukrainians celebrate Easter. *Rechenka's Eggs by Patricia Polacco is another good picture book that includes a Babushka and the colorful Ukrainian Pysanky eggs.
Video Clip Showing How to Make Ukrainian Easter Eggs (Pysanky)
Visiting Ukraine on YouTube
Where is Kiev, the capital of Ukraine?
Other countries starting with the letter U
Would you prefer to study a different country? Try one of these.
United Arab Emirates
My brother has been to Ukraine many times, but I haven't visited yet. What about you?
Ready to visit another country?
Go to Around the World in 26 Letters to find links to all the countries we "visited." Each webpage features a menu, craft, books, video clips, worksheets, and more!
© 2011 Shannon