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It’s held each year on the first Saturday – Sunday of November (times are 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. and Noon – 5 p.m., respectively) in the Parish Hall. [It began in 1981 as a bake sale and until recently it somehow, somewhere, some way eluded me.] Just got back, but it’s still going strong tomorrow! (On Sundays, visitors can see a bit of Russian dancing on the grounds, located about 30 minutes northwest of Birmingham…

Following what is estimated as a couple months’ prep, the ladies of the “Sisterhood of St. Olga” – some of whom you may espy in native peasant dresses – roll out trays full of Ukrainian-Slovakian delights. These bonnes bouches de babushka are based on vintage recipes bequeathed by relatives and friends who immigrated to the area, drawn by potential employ at the local coal mines.

Comestibles included beet-infused borscht, shschi (Russian soldiers’ cabbage/meat soup – VERY GOOD), pirozhki (buns filled with various ingredients), blini (pancakes of a sort), pelmeni (filled dumplings), and kolbasa, which you may recognize under its Polish name, kielbasa.

chose the grand-slam “Imperial Platter,” which boasted halupki (stuffed cabbage), kolbasa, kraut, pirozhki, halushki (dumplings & cabbage), cucumber salad, and pigachi for only $14. I LOVED IT…

Other, smaller platters, including a vegetarian selection, are priced accordingly, and many of the pastries (Imperial squares, medivnyk, Russian teacakes, pascha, and bulochki) are individually priced.

The smaller pastries run $2, while the larger breads are at $5. Very reasonable! The bakery area, itself, is reason enough to go. Plan to bring extra money just for this. I did, and I was broke…but I took an armload home, with my favorite a toss-up between the nut-filled, Slovakian rozky and the kolach, a rolled bread that, per my choice, was stuffed with almonds… YUMMM.

Onsite you’ll discover a store known as the Beriozka, where you can find imported tchotchkes (e.g. matryoshkas, or nesting dolls; iconography; hand-painted ornaments) and other more practical imports, such as books and woolen shawls, from Russia, Belarus, Ukraine, and the Republic of Moldova. I picked up one of the Russian cookbooks and will be utilizing it soonly…

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