Sep 022014
 September 2, 2014  Around the World in 12 Dishes

Cottage Cheese Cake and Learning About Ukraine |

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It’s time again for my monthly post for “Around the World in 12 Dishes,” the series in which each month participating bloggers travel the world with their kids by cooking a dish from another country and perhaps reading a book, doing a craft, or learning fun facts about it.  This month we stay in Europe to learn more about Ukraine, the beautiful country currently going undergoing so many hardships.

We were getting ready for a trip, so I chose to make a simple cottage cheese cake, called zapikanka.  (Monkey and I had fun saying this!)  It is so yummy!  You can make it with any kind of fresh fruit.  I opted to use raisins (most of which seemed to disappear into the mouths of my little helpers).

Cottage Cheese Cake and Learning About Ukraine | Alldonemonkey.comDon’t be fooled!  They are just stealing the raisins.

It is just as light as described but quite sweet – for my taste it is more of a dessert than a breakfast dish, as suggested in the recipe I found.  Ultimately, whether you like this dish or not hinges on whether you like cottage cheese.  Though it does bake up like a cake, this doesn’t change the texture so much that someone who doesn’t like cottage cheese would become a fan.  But if you do like cottage cheese (even just a bit), this will be a big success!  I really loved it and was only a little sad that the boys didn’t – more for me!

This time I tried to do more extension activities to teach Monkey about Ukraine.  We did a weather around the world activity, comparing the temperature in Ukraine to that of other places around the world.  While it does get much colder there during the winter, at this time of year the weather is quite similar to ours.

Cottage Cheese Cake and Learning About Ukraine |

I also asked Monkey to make a Ukrainian flag out of Legos.  Two seconds later he showed me the flag on the right.  When I asked him to make one, you know, bigger, promptly took another two seconds to make the one on the left.  Smarty pants.  I took the hint and moved on to another activity…

I didn’t find many contemporary stories from Ukraine, but we read some wonderful folk tales.  I was interested to see that most of them (like many folk tales) had some kind of violence in them, a testament to how life was (and perhaps, how it still is).

Sirko and the Wolf: A Ukrainian Tale is a beautiful book that tells of the friendship between a wolf and a dog.

The Cat & the Rooster was definitely Monkey’s favorite.  It is the story of a clever cat who saves his friend Rooster from the sneaky Fox.  I was skeptical that it might be a little s-c-a-r-y for Monkey, but if he was psychologically traumatized, he didn’t show it!  In fact, he asked for it again and again.

The Rumor of Pavel And Paali. A Ukranian Folk Tale.  This tale of two brothers was an interesting read for me but one that I didn’t share with Monkey.  It was just too violent, as the kind brother takes out his eyes to trade for food from the greedy brother.  Ultimately a tell of the triumph of good over wickedness, good to discuss with older children.

 Around the World in 12 DishesCheck out the other participating blogs to see what they have been cooking up:

Adventures In Mommydom, Afterschool for Smarty Pants, All Done Monkey, Crafty Moms Share, Maroc Mama, Creative World of Varya, Glittering Muffins, Kid World Citizen, Mermaids’ Makings, The Educators’ Spin On It and The Mommy Talks.

If you try a dish from Ukraine, we’d love to hear about it! You can link up your dish or craft here to share your post on all the participating blogs:


  4 Responses to “Cottage Cheese Cake and Learning About Ukraine {Around the World in 12 Dishes}”

  1. That last book does sound rather grim. I am so behind on my countries, and just need to get going again on it.

    • I hear you! I am really behind on mine – It is one of those things that is easy to get pushed to the back burner (haha) but is always so fun when we are able to do it.

  2. I always knew food was a great gateway to learning about a country but just now I realized I could make this more of a regular thing in my home. I’m sure I already cook a ton of ethnic food but how awesome to at least point out to my kids the origins of the meal. Thanks!

    • Yes! Food is a wonderful way to introduce kids to the world, especially if you are already cooking ethnic food! It’s such a fun way to explore together, and I bet they would be surprised that they are already enjoying dishes from other cultures.

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