Make Borscht Not War
A cook-along fundraiser to help Ukraine
Russia’s unprovoked attack on the sovereign nation of Ukraine has left many of us asking, “What can we do?” For one, we can send financial support.
Donate to organizations working in the area
These are just some. Please leave links to others in the comments.
Cook borscht in a pay-what-you-feel workshop–fundraiser
A traditional hearty vegetable soup, borscht originated in present-day Ukraine and is enjoyed throughout Eastern Europe. We will make the red version—with beets—and we will (of course) use all the parts of the beet. The leaves and stems will go into the soup and the peels and scraps into a very small amount of fermented beet kvass (apologies for the heretical kvass name).
Hang out with fun people, get dinner on the table and raise money! We will make our pots of borscht together over Zoom on Tuesday, March 8th at 4pm Pacific time. Cooking takes about an hour but people often like to hang out and socialize afterward for a little longer.
If you would like to secure a spot, either:
Donate any amount of money to any of the organizations listed above—or to another one that supports Ukraine. Next, email proof of payment to email@example.com (a screenshot works) and you will receive the top-secret Zoom link for the workshop.
Or register on the Eventbrite page here. All proceeds from Eventbrite registrations will go to José Andrés’ organization, World Central Kitchen, which has chefs on the ground in Poland, cooking for displaced Ukrainians fleeing there. After registering, you will receive the Zoom link from Eventbrite.
Vegetarian Borscht Workshop Materials
Please bring the following to this workshop. (I will post the full recipe on my blog sometime next week after the event.)
sharp chef’s knife
measuring cup and spoons (if desired)
large stockpot and lid
4-cup jar if you’d like to make beet kvass with the beet scraps (apologies for the heretical recipe)
I’ve included the prepped descriptions for the vegetables below (chop, dice, mince and so on) for anyone who’d like to prep in advance but most people chop during class.
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 large onions, diced
2 ribs celery, chopped
4 garlic cloves, minced
2 tablespoons tomato paste
½ teaspoon caraway seeds
1 bay leaf
1 sprig fresh thyme
6 medium Yukon gold or red potatoes, cut into 1-inch pieces (see Note)
4 medium carrots, cut into 1-inch pieces (see Note)
6 medium beets, peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces (see Note)
leaves and stems of the beets (see Note)
1½ cups chopped cabbage or kale
½ cup chopped fresh dill
1 tablespoon lemon juice or apple cider vinegar, or to taste
sour cream for garnish (optional)
I don’t peel potatoes or carrots. I do buy organic, however, and so the peels I eat contain less pesticide residue than non-organic.
Save the beet peels and scraps for a savory fermented drink we’ll make during the workshop. (You’ll use the 4-cup jar for this.)
If your beets do not have attached leaves and stems, add more cabbage.
People love my workshops!
Anne-Marie, I thoroughly enjoyed the veggie soup tutorial that you offered last week and am looking forward to the borscht one next week. I love that you figured out how to marry cooking with connecting with good folk and donating to an important cause. A win, win, win! Thank you for all of your hard work and thoughtfulness and invitation to bring us along for the ride to making the world a better place! — Sarah M
Something else we can do: Move away from fossil fuels faster
As Bill McKibben wrote in The Guardian on Friday, this war “is a war underwritten by oil and gas, a war whose most crucial weapon may be oil and gas, a war we can’t fully engage because we remain dependent on oil and gas. If you want to stand with the brave people of Ukraine, you need to find a way to stand against oil and gas.”
Just yesterday, the IPCC released another major and dire report. As the UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said regarding the report, “Every fraction of a degree matters. Every voice can make a difference. And every second counts.”