The Kwasnicia Klan Cookbook
The concept of this little volume took shape during the planning of the second Kwasnicia family reunion in the spring of 1988. A simple task -- just collect a couple of recipes from everyone, staple them together and presto --- it's done! Well, we've learned that such undertakings do not come quite that easy, but it was fun and there truly are some culinary works of art captured for posterity.
The recipes in this volume represent a cross-section of some of the favourites of three generations of the Kwasnicia Klan. They range from typical Ukrainian dishes (pampushke) through to more standard Canadian fare (hot beef sandwiches) through a sprinkling of more exotic dishes (papaya with curried tuna) to a touch of good old U. S. of A. (San Antonio chicken wings).
It is interesting to note that when the call goes out for favourite dishes, the Kwasnicia Klan responds heavily with desserts and cookie recipes. The likewise heavy emphasis on salads has been interpreted as a method for overcoming guilt generated by the submission of all those calorie-laden desserts. The most popular non-standard ingredients seem to be garlic, chocolate, cream cheese and dream-whip. We believe we may have here the potential for a unique Kwasnicia culinary masterpiece which could take Saskatchewan by storm. This creative challenge we throw to all you master chefs who would like your name emblazoned in lights on every fast food strip in western Canada.
A few acknowledgements continue to be required. The history of the Kwasnicia family was adapted from material prepared by Edith Kwasnicia for the 1988 reunion. The one-liners used as page fillers in the original volume have been removed because most were extracted from copy write material. Sonja Riley's artistic eye was primarily responsible for the quality of the original page layout, and she also assisted in the editing. John McKenzie made the original volume come miraculously alive through his publication capabilities; Chris Riley made this version come alive on the Net. And finally, a few of the contributors to the original volume are no longer with us; however, we salute their warm and loving personalities which remain steadfast in our hearts and minds, and their contributions to this volume which likewise remain steadfast around our middles!
And finally, to all who originally contributed, YOU made this project successful. As a reward, you are all granted one (and only one!) guilt-free gluttonous experience taken directly from these pages.
To any who may find their way to these culinary delights through the miracle of cyberspace, take a chance and be joyously rewarded.
Slightly revised for the Web, November 2006
A Quick Family History
The Preeceville, Saskatchewan branch of the Kwasnicia (eldest son Mike spelled it Kwasnycia) family had its origins in the village of Bertnickiw, Ukraine, with the birth of Stephan Kwasnicia in 1880. In 1904 he married Dora Gudzik, five years his junior, and in 1906 they immigrated to Canada to homestead in the Preeceville area of northeastern Saskatchewan. The early years were hard - the main task being breaking the land with the predominantly poplar forest yielding to Stephan's back-breaking labour at no more than four acres a year.
The first home was a simple 15x25 foot sod structure, hastily thrown together to protect the couple against the cold prairie winter. As the family grew the sod house gave way to a more spacious two room poplar log house with a whitewashed mud protective coating on the outside walls and a thatched roof. In the summer months of those early years Stephan, along with a number of neighbours, would go to work in Manitoba to earn enough money to see the family through the rest of the year.
Stephan was one of the 21 local ratepayers who in 1908 petitioned the department of Education in Regina requesting the formation of a school district. That effort resulted in the formation of the Chechow School District in December, 1908, and Stephan remained a member of the Board for a number of years. He was also an active member of the Chechow Ukrainian Orthodox Church.
Stephan and Dora had nine children, one not surviving infancy. The remaining eight were Mike, Myrtle, Stella, Mary, Ann, Philip, Pauline, and Sam. Mike passed away in 1977, Mary in 1983, Philip in 1989, and Myrtle in 2002. Of the remaining siblings Stella made her home in the United States and lost contact with the family, Ann and Sam continue to live in the Preeceville area, while Pauline lives in Saskatoon. By 1988 Stephan and Dora's surviving extended family (then to the fifth generation) numbered about 100 and had spread itself from that first sod house near Preeceville across Canada , ranging from southern Ontario to southern British Columbia, and south into Wisconsin and Utah in the United States.