The letters presented here are from the correspondence of the Hlynskyi family: the Greek Catholic priest Isidor Hlynskyi, his mother Yuliia Hlynska (née Bilynska), and Anastasia Kuzyk, the housekeeper in Isidor’s household. They discuss various topics, including the festive menus of church celebrations in the Galician village of Butsniv near Ternopil, where Isidor Hlynskyi served as a priest from 1887 to 1931. The author of the first two letters, dating approximately from 1890 to 1892, is Yuliia Hlynska, the widow of the priest Kuprian Hlynskyi, Isidor’s mother, who lived in Cherneliv-Ruskyi. These letters are written in Ukrainian and transcribed in Latin script. The choice of the Latin alphabet was likely influenced by Hlynska’s Polish education. The third letter presented here is by Anastasia Kuzyk, who managed Isidor Hlynskyi’s household from at least the early 1890s to 1931. Her letter provides a unique glimpse into the local Galician Ukrainian dialect of the time.


Galician Holiday Cooking in the Letters of the Hlynskyi Family, 1890s-1920s

Yuliia Hlynska, Anastasia Kuzyk
1890-1892, 1926
V. Stefanyk LNSL, Manuscripts Department, 159, fol. 660 / 43, p. 5-6; Ibid. 159, fol. 175 / 8, p. 44-45.
Original language:

Letters from Yuliia Hlynska to Anastasia Kuzyk concerning the forthcoming holiday in the village of Butsniv

Letter 1, undated, circa 1890-1892

My dearest Nastia,

Yesterday, I went to Ternopil and bought 50 cucumbers, which I’ll start fermenting right away. If you want to make mizeria,[1] just buy however of them you need.

I’ll buy cauliflower on Friday.

Make sure to order at least 4 brains from Moshkova (Moshka’s wife) or do whatever you can, so you’re certain to have them.

I’ve arranged for crayfish and strawberries. Also, I’ll get some peas, sour cream, cream, and two kilos of butter.

I’ll bake some table bread. If it doesn’t turn out well, I’ll buy some in town.

I’ve written to Father[2], but haven’t received a response yet. Do you have any young ducks for pate? Get two veal livers for the pate as well. Get a kilo of almonds for ozszadu (illegible).

On Friday, the cook and Yulka, his assistant, will come for the table preparations. Why hasn’t the priest[3] written if I should bring oats?

Should I bring glasses and tumblers? I have some very nice ones.

If there’s anything else needed, please let me know promptly, as I may have forgotten something.

There will come a cart on Friday, so I need a passport na tela (illegible)

Buy some mushrooms, too.

Generally, whatever you deem necessary, as I could have forgotten something you need?

 Y. Hlynska


Letter 2, undated, in response to the previous one


I’m sending a cook your way. Perhaps he’ll make obazinoczkiw (illegible) or something else, and you can either go yourself or send someone to Ternopil to buy bread, brynza,[4] cream, and anything else you think you might need: andruts,[5] brains. Or maybe Pan[6] can go? I’m sending 5 loaves of bread, sour cream, and a bit of cream, as the cows aren’t yielding much milk. We don’t need cauliflower if there are some honey mushrooms, but it’s up to you. Whoever is coming, please hurry, as I’d like the horses back in Cherniv (Cherneliv-Ruskyi, ICh) by nightfall. I’ll come a little later. If I pass through Ternopil and you’re there, I can give you a lift in the cart.



[1] A salad comprising thinly sliced or grated cucumbers, typically dressed with sweet sour cream or kefir, and occasionally vinegar, though sometimes oil may be used instead.

[2] This is how Yuliia referred to Isydor Hlynskyi in her letters to Anastasia Kuzyk.

[3] Ibid.

[4] A sheep milk cheese made across much of East-Central Europe.

[5] Lightly sweet, flat wafers.

[6] Slavic honorifics in Poland and Ukraine.

Letter from Anastasia Kuzyk to Isidor Hlynskyi regarding a celebration in the village of Butsniv in 1926

Received on July 19th

Glory to Jesus Christ. I’m writing this letter now cause I barely have any time, unfortunately. There’s so much work to do before the celebration, and even more afterward to tidy things up. And then there’s the unbearable heat. Today, Thursday, July 15th, it’s already 21 degrees in the morning, and who knows how much it’ll get by noon? The apiary has been thriving; we’ve already harvested a bit of honey from the hives three times. I’ve calculated that the apiary has produced a total of one hundred and fifty liters of honey. I’ve sent fifty liters to Ihrovytsia (a village in the Ternopil oblast), and I have one hundred liters at home, but I hope God will bless us with even more. These have been good days for the apiary. Occasionally, we get some rain, but overall, the weather is nice. Peter’s Day was particularly nice, with rain in the evening. Tuesday started off hot. On Wednesday, we were busy sealing honey. We plan to harvest honey again on Friday, as God permits. Likely on the sixteenth or seventeenth. On Saturday, we’ll begin harvesting rye.

Father knows who attended the Feast. It wasn’t too bad, and it would have been even better if Father was at home, but what can you do? There was plenty of food. A quarter of a keg of beer before dinner disappeared in no time. I didn’t offer them wine because they would have drunk about 4 bottles, and I didn’t want to. Only drank one bottle on Sunday. Father Canon Hlukhovetskyi, Boiko, and his assistant (a priest appointed by the diocesan bishop to assist the pastor) from Luka (a village in the Ternopil oblast). Marusia[1] wanted to leave her boys, but I disagreed. She was a bit upset, but I didn’t mind. She took them all home. Everything is the same here. Ivas is delivering clay to Maryna’s house. Reyent[2] is dealing with the beets in the field. Vasyl took Turko for a bath. He had just brought Fritzko back from the bath, but he was crying to go again. Vons wasn’t around. Father Hlukhovetskyi and Father Canon also asked him to come, but he didn’t. Anyway, there was a feast. I’ll write more about our lunch. The pickles were nice. That’s what I heard, as I didn’t get to try it myself, there was none left. Then we had small pate-filled pies, pani Bachynska ate six of them in the kitchen. Even before they made it to the main table, they consumed six more in the first room with her priest (husband). They kept praising them, saying they were very good. Then there was ox stake with baby potatoes and salad, followed by cauliflower, peas, carrots, and aspic. Next, turkey, chicken with compote, lagumina,[3] and black coffee. The end.

Yitsko is putting tin on Marynia’s house. A bit more clay, and the house is done. It’s evening, seven o’clock, the temperature is seventeen degrees. On Thursday afternoon, I wrote a letter and had to send it to the post office, but for some reason, I was feeling so tired. I thought I would rest for a while and then get up to finish writing and send it. I ended up falling asleep and missed the post office. It was a little frustrating because I missed a day.

In the meantime, I hear all the bells tolling—someone’s died. I asked, and it appeared it was Horodynska Mama who passed away. She went out to the field, sat under the barn in the sun, and passed away there. They’re unsure how long she was lying there. The funeral is scheduled for tomorrow, the sixteenth. As for those craftsmen who did diak’s house, pan Konashovskyi wrote out $15 check. Zaliskova hasn’t visited Father Canon yet. Reyent came back from the deceased where he read the psalter. For some reason, he seemed anxious. Perhaps, he was mourning for the deceased. He retired to bed. Greetings to you, I am kissing your hands. The weather is still nice.

Greetings from everyone at home. I wish Father were here, as it’s quite dull without him. Anyway, we are all in good health.


[1] Maria Kuzyk, née Vons, daughter of Anastasia.

[2] Informal reference for a male individual engaged in domestic activities within the household. “Reyent” was also used to denote a “scribe’s assistant” within the regimental structure of the Hetmanate during the 17th-18th centuries.

[3] Sweet pastries or confections made from beaten eggs and sugar, often with various additions.

Related sources:

Documents (1)

The List of Dishes included in the “Menu” of the Vegetarian Society canteen in Odesa from May 6 to December 31, 1913
During her brief period of work in the Odesa vegetarian canteen, Jenny Schulz and a cook composed a daily menu. It is hard to say whether and to what extent daily menus changed right after Schulz’s departure, since the texts of menus have not been discovered. Nor is it possible to say how far the list of dishes actually reflects Jenny Schulz’s gastronomic concept, since it includes dishes from the period after her departure. This summary list of dishes, introduced into scholarly use for the first time in the article written by Julia Malitska. The source is translated and published unchanged and is to be the subject of a separate study. It showcases...
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Worked on the material:
Research, comment

Ivanna Cherchovych

Translation into English

Yullia Kulish

Text transcript

Ivanna Cherchovych


V. Stefanyk LNSL, Manuscripts Department

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