Fraser Valley author Raisa Stone will be sharing her stories about Ukrainian families, culture, and food at the Mission library on Nov. 26 when she reads from her book, Baba’s Kitchen: Ukrainian Soul Food.
The book is a humourous memoir told by Baba, a no-nonsense Ukrainian grandmother, who also shares her traditional recipes. Baba may be fictional, but the stories she tells are real.
Stone, 53, describes the work as a book of essays which support the history of Ukrainian recipes.
The stories were collected through conversations with family, friends and neighbours throughout Stone’s life. There is even a murder confession Stone heard from her neighbour. The old woman died years ago, but Stone remembers the tale and the vegetable soup recipe she shared. Both are in the book.
There are also stories and recipes from Stalinist survivors, holocaust survivors and immigrants to Canada. There are stories within a story and Baba speaks about them all like they were hers.
“I started listening to stories when I was a toddler,” shared Stone, who remembers helping her mother cut dough for perogies when she was just four years old.
“I take cooking with my grandmother seriously,” she said.
Since the first edition was published in 2012, Stone has been receiving letters from people around the world who want to find stories about their families and learn more about Ukraine.
“When you cook together, you talk,” said Stone. “Ukrainians usually spend the entire day cooking together. You can spend the whole day making cabbage rolls and perogies.”
There are 190 recipes in the book, along with a chapter on folk remedies as supplements.
The first edition was as an e-book, but the second edition, which is self published, contains new and expanded stories and is available as a paperback. Ordering information is available at ukrainiansoulfood.ca.
Stone will be reading from her book as the narrator Baba from 7 to 8:30 p.m. at the library, 33247 Second Ave. For more information call 604-826-6610.