The Ukrainians teach us leftovers are to be respected, not wasted.
The Ukrainians offer us a lesson in food economy. They respect the potato.
The famine of 1932 is preserved in family lore. Joseph Stalin seized all private farms, creating a collectivized system. He then demanded 42 percent of the grain harvest. Despite being the breadbasket of Europe, Ukraine was plunged into a famine that killed 7 million people.
Ukrainians to this day practice food thrift. Leftovers never are discarded. They become soups and stews. Leftover potatoes are mashed and formed into pancakes consumed at any meal.
These range from a breakfast main course with syrup or jam to a lunch or dinner side dish covered with meat gravy. The traditional garnish for all is sour cream.
UKRAINIAN POTATO PANCAKES
Place all the ingredients in a blender or food processor except for the half and half and sour cream. Process to a purée.
Heat oil in a skillet and when hot drop large spoonsful of the mixture. Cook until browned on one side. Turn and repeat. Drain on paper towels and hold in a warm oven while frying the rest of the batch.
Mix sour cream and half and half and serve as a condiment. Options are: melted cheddar cheese, jams and jellies, fruit chutneys and syrup. Serves four to six.
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