Wednesday, July 07, 2021

Borscht for my birthday

We have had a wonderful time for the past week while our son was here.  His son (our grandson) just left to take him to Kansas City International Airport about an hour ago.  The time just flew.  We're hoping hurricane Elsa doesn't interfere with his landing in Atlanta.

Today is my 77th birthday, which doesn't seem possible.  When our son visits, we almost live on starches and meats.  Cliff likes that, but I am so ready to get back to lots of fruits and vegetables!  Yesterday I got to thinking about borscht, which I haven't made for at least two years.  A friend who was born and raised in the Ukraine put his recipe for it in his blog (to which he no longer adds these days); I tried it and was crazy about it.  Cliff likes it too.  I looked at my typed recipe to make sure I had all the ingredients and found I had everything but the V8 juice.  Cliff, Jim (our son) and Arick, the grandson, were making a run to the oldest granddaughter's house to help her in her preparations to move, so I asked them to pick up some V8 juice; I needed just eight ounces of it, but they only found a gigantic bottle of the stuff.  I'll put three or four 8-ounce portions in freezer bags for more borscht at another time and likely pour the rest down the drain, because I don't like V8.  Silly me, when I went to Meesha's blog to see if the recipe I had on paper was accurate, I noticed he said you could use tomato juice instead; now that's something I might have saved to drink.  Anyway, the stuff was as good as I remembered.  If you're interested, here's the entry telling how to make it.  I had never tasted borscht in my life until I saw this recipe and tried it.  I was supposed to use red bell pepper, which would have blended in with the redness of the soup, but I only had a green one.  Below is what the finished product looks like, although I had already eaten about a quart of it when I took the picture... the recipe makes about a gallon!  My friend Meesha grinds his beets in a hand food grinder for the soup, but when I tried that with mine, beet juice ran all over the table and floor.  I just chop them up with a pastry blender now, so I imagine my pieces of beets are a bit larger than his.
I like how even the potatoes turn red.  They'll be even redder tomorrow.  Guess what I'm having for breakfast.

I'll leave you with some scenes in Cliff's shop, taken throughout the week.  The guys had great fun fixing things on the two tractors Cliff recently bought.

three generations:  Grandson, Grandpa, and Dad

Big tractor tires are heavy!

The tires on this 1650 Oliver were set out too wide.  By switching the tire on the left and the tire on the right, the wheel base was narrower, making the tractor easier to load onto a trailer to haul it.

He's cleaning the windows in the cab

I can't tell you how much I love this tractor!

Cliff loves having someone around to trouble-shoot these old beasts.

This time together has been great for all of us.

P.S. Originally I said the son and grandson were switching old tires for new.  Funny thing is, I knew better but just wasn't thinking; Cliff corrected me when he read the blog:  They were putting the tires already on the tractor (left moved to right side, right tire moved to left) so the tires wouldn't stick out as far from under the fender.  It was for looks only, and to make it load on the trailer easier.  

This is why I shouldn't say anything about work done on a tractor when Cliff isn't sitting within talking distance.  


  1. What wonderful photos! (and memories!!) I love borscht but I think I would prefer your recipe to the ones I've had which were smoother. I like chunky soups. I'm a huge fan of beets to start with. :) Happy Birthday to you!!

  2. Larry, I recall, had bought tractors where the tread was running wrong way. Drove him crazy til he could correct the error.

  3. Happy Birthday ! I've never made borscht. But it does sound and look good too. Enjoy your special day !

  4. Great photos! I am glad Cliff is enjoying his tractors so much!

  5. Happy Birthday. Have never made borscht but I do love beets so may try it. Wow are those tires huge. Good he had help moving them around.

  6. Happy Birthday. I think I would like that concoction :-)
    How wonderful to have your son "home" for a week. The time always goes
    by way to fast. But, you made lots of memories and have great pictures.

  7. I actually like beets. Hubby does not, but I bet he would like the soup.

  8. I was in my early 50's before I ever tasted any borscht. A friend of mine from Russia made it and brought some for me to share. Hers looked similar in color to yours but was more smooth, and she served it with dollop of sour cream in the middle of the bowl of borscht. Oh my gosh! It was delicious.


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