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There used to be a Russian & Ukrainian restaurant right next to the Heritage Hall on Main & 15th in Vancouver. It used to be in the same spot as the current Five Point Pub & Restaurant on 3124 Main St., Vancouver, BC V5T 3G7, Canada. To any Vancouverites – did you ever eat at this restaurant and do you know what happened to it and the owners? I would love you to death if you can connect the dots for me!!

This Russian & Ukrainian Restaurant was my favourite spot to go to in Vancouver with my parents and older bro & sis. It was our spot. The owners, an elderly Russian couple, ran the restaurant. They knew us by name! The husband would bake fresh bread in the kitchen. The wife, well, we went there for her delectable perogies. The borscht soup was also one of our top choices, topped with a dollop of sour cream. They had two daughters that would help out as servers.

Then there was that time that one of the daughters went diving and caught some fresh crab and we were served an off-menu dish that evening. We felt special and like part of their family whenever we dined there.

As I grew older into my late teens & early 20s, our family dining time became fewer and farther between and thus our visits to this restaurant started to decline. I found myself, in my mid 20s, absolutely craving the perogies one day. I grabbed a friend of mine and told her that she was about to have THE BEST perogies of her life and we headed to the Russian & Ukrainian restaurant. Then I got one of the most disappointing news of my life. The restaurant had closed down.

I didn’t even get to say farewell to the owners and their daughters. I didn’t get to find out where they were going next, what their plans were, if they were relocating, or if they were just removing their wonderful food away from the public. I didn’t get to cherish the food one last time.

I still think about that restaurant, that family. I still can taste the fresh bread and the hearty borscht and my favorite and most missed dish – THE BEST PEROGIES OF MY ENTIRE LIFE. I have never been able to find any perogy that tasted anywhere near the awesome-ness of how this family made a perogy. I miss it dearly.

That all being said, Leo makes pretty good borscht, especially when he pairs it with a grilled cheese sandwich. ❤




Signing Off,



Here we are, 2 weeks after fermenting the apple & beetroot. The recipe from The Nourished Kitchen only calls for it to ferment for 3-4 days, but I was away on holidays so let it sit awhile longer.

The result you ask? It turned out fantastic! I served it with porkchops from Two Rivers Specialty Meats in North Vancouver, and received only positive feedback (minus my mother that is the pickiest eater I know).

Here are the last 2 steps to complete the process:

7. After your apple and beetroot relish has sufficiently cultured, remove it from the vegetable fermenter and gently pick out the star anise pods and whole cloves.
8. Place the apple and beetroot relish into a blender or food processor and process until smooth.

Delicious relish, COMPLETE!


This is a good day.

It’s my first day participating in the Preserve the Bounty challenge, brought to you by The Nourished Kitchen & Nourished Mama (follow her on Twitter, I highly recommend it).

I decided to try the Beetroot Relish recipe, since I’m growing beets in my small patio garden (The Naomi) and will hopefully be able to pick fresh beets from my garden and make this again in the future.

Don’t forget, Wizard’s First Rule: Fermented Foods are SOOO good for you. Give this a try!


Ingredients (serves approximately 24 – 2 ounce portions)
– large apples, 3 (about 1 ½ pounds), cored but not peeled
– large beets, 3 (about 1 ½ pounds), peeled
– 2 star anise pods
– whole cloves, 1 tablespoon
– unrefined sea salt, 1 tablespoon
– fermented vegetable starter culture, if desired (see sources)

– Peeler or Food Processor
– Large bowl
– Mason Jar or Vegetable Fermenter (see sources)

1. Shred apples and beets by hand, or in a food processor.
2. Toss the shredded apples and beets together until well-combined and mixed together.
3. Add the star anise and whole cloves to the apples and beetroot, and continue to toss until the spices are evenly distributed among the shredded fruit and vegetables.
4. In a mason jar or, preferably, a vegetable fermenter, layer the apple and beetroot.
5. Periodically sprinkle unrefined sea salt or vegetable starter culture over the layers of apple and beetroot and mash with a wooden spoon or mallet to encourage the fruit and vegetables to release their juices, creating a luscious brine to encourage the proliferation of beneficial bacteria.
6. Ferment in a mason jar or vegetable fermenter for a minimum of three to four days, or longer, depending on the level of warmth in your kitchen.
7. After your apple and beetroot relish has sufficiently cultured, remove it from the vegetable fermenter and gently pick out the star anise pods and whole cloves.
8. Place the apple and beetroot relish into a blender or food processor and process until smooth.

NOTE: If, after mashing the apples and beets with a mallet or wooden spoon, the brine created by the salt and juice fails to completely submerge the vegetables, prepare a separate brine by dissolving 1 tablespoon unrefined sea salt in 1 quart filtered water and pour this salty mixture over the apples, beets and spices until they are completely covered. Doing so minimizes the risk of contamination by undesirable bacteria, mold and fungi.

Well now, I got up to Step 6, so I will post an update after 3-4 days of fermentation. Wish me luck!

Update: check out my progress to Steps 7 & 8 here: relish complete!



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