Monday, July 21, 2008

In a Pickle

Edna cleaning cucumbers
Edna cleaning pickling cucumbers

Today our neighbor Olya came over to help Edna can some pickles. We've been anticipating this day ever since Olya gave us a jar of her pickles during the winter. Aside from canning, it was a good opportunity for fellowship and ministry. While Edna and Olya were in the kitchen, I was helping to entertain her granddaughter, Alyona. We made a bracelet together and learned to sing a simple Ukrainian song about God's Love. Olya said she was touched by the words of the song because they were so rich in meaning.

Edna and Olya canning pickles
Edna working under the watchful eye of Olya

Food seems to be the center of life in Ukraine so it's no surprise that food is a great ministry tool and the kitchen seems to be where most of our ministry takes place. (Yes, God can also be glorified by canning pickles.) Last Friday, we had Olya over for dinner and we were able to sit around the table and learn more about Olya's life. Olya grew up in Bila Tserkva and lived in a house that was only a short walk from where she now lives. She shared with us about how things use to be and the difficulties of living life in Ukraine.

Edna and Olya canning pickles

Olya was surprised that we had never canned before. She was shocked to hear that not everyone cans in the United States. She told us that we should can as much of everything as we can while it's in season. She said that if we work hard now, we can sit back and rest during the winter while we eat our canned foods. (Not exactly the first thought that comes to mind for most Americans when they think about getting through the winter.) It's also a lot cheaper and tastier to can your own fruits and vegetables. That's what most Ukrainians do and it makes perfect sense so we're going to try and can everything we can for the next month. Olya has offered to let us use some of her storage space for all of the food we can. We are grateful for all of her help and her friendship. Edna is looking forward to many more hours with Olya in the kitchen.

Edna with the finished product
Edna with the finished product


Anonymous said...

honey you did it, I am so PROUD of you...Looking at this picture makes me think of my grandma, she used to do it every fall...You can can bell pepers too, and make tomato sauce, so much testier, Olya is right.


Little Viky said...

You are so real Ukrainians now! What language do you speak with Olya? Ukrainian? Do you understand everything?

Greg and Edna Silva said...

Mom - Thank you. :)

Маленька Віка,

Olya usually just speaks a mix of the two languages to other people, but she knows that we are learning Ukrainian and so she only speaks to us in Ukrainian. She is patient with me and doesn't speak too fast. I usually understand everything she says. If I don't, she will rephrase the question in simpler terms for me. We are so blessed to have her next door. :)


Little Viky said...

Good job! Nezhyn is famous fot its pickles. I believe your pickles will be better!!!

bryan.stupar said...

look at all those pickles!
good job, i bet they taste amazing!

Greg and Edna Silva said...


We like Nizhyn pickles too. We used to buy them a lot until our neighbor gave us a jar of her canned pickles. Now we are hooked.


They may look like a lot of pickles, but we actually want to can a few more. We won't be able to enjoy them until winter!


mom&popfoote said...

Wow Edna, I'm impressed also, you do look so Ukrainian. And I like that Bathroom, it's the nicest one I've seen over there.
I didn't get to make our plum jam this year and am disappointed, this inspires me to try next year!
Love Roxanne

Greg and Edna Silva said...

Hi Roxanne - Thank you for the nice comment. :)

We are blessed with our apartment. I have no complaints. We have established a great relationship with our landlords and they have continued to make improvements to our place.

Strawberry jam is something that I would like to try canning next year. Eating Liese's jam recently has inspired me. :)