A Ukrainian sweet bread recipe that’s contemporary…and timeless

I apologize to Ukraine.

I’ve wanted to do a column on the Eastern European nation’s food for weeks. Ever since Russia launched its brutal invasion at the end of February, I have been inspired by the spirit of Ukraine and its resistance. Like many Americans, I am amazed at the struggle they have shown against their larger and more powerful neighbor.

I was particularly inspired by Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy. I vaguely remember reading about the former actor/comedian’s election to his country’s highest office in 2019 after playing the President of Ukraine for three seasons on a popular TV show.

The next time I heard his name was when he was implicated in President Donald Trump’s first impeachment. Even so, he was hardly a household name to most Americans.

Until the Russians attacked.

Since then he has symbolized the struggle of his people and refuses to leave his country if given the opportunity. Today most of us know his name.

Babka takes time to prepare, but the Ukrainian sweet is worth the effort.

We also know him by sight, so we don’t recognize most foreign leaders, especially those serving a country so far away. We’ve seen him trade his clean-shaven look for a scruffy beard and his sleek blue suit for the military’s olive green.

But not only Zelenskyj inspires us. It’s his whole nation.

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