A Mosaic of BC Breakfasts: Part Six

A typical Ukrainian breakfast on a Canadian farm in the 1930’s.


Information provided by Nancy Worobets, Vancouver, BC

Nancy was born in 1925 and grew up on a farm near Edmonton, Alberta. Her parents were Ukrainian immigrants. Most of the food they ate came from their farm. The closest grocery store was nine miles away in the town of Willingdon, although some dry goods could also be purchased in Spring Creek, another small community about four miles away where there was a post office, doctor, bank and her school. She travelled to school by horse and buggy during the summer and used a sled in the winter.

For breakfast, Nancy remembers always having porridge cooked over a wood stove. This porridge was white because it was made from wheat. She recalls that her father would take their wheat to Edmonton where it was milled into this “cream of wheat” (or semolina) and flour.

They would boil the porridge and add some sugar and milk, which was provided by the twelve milking cows on the farm. Nancy’s parents liked milk so there was always milk around at mealtimes. In fact, coffee and tea were only offered on special occasions. To this day, Nancy still drinks whole milk – she says it’s the only kind that tastes similar to the milk she had on the farm.

But how did they store milk in those days? Remember, there was no electricity or fridges so milk was kept in metal containers that were hung by a rope in the well.  Any other leftover food that needed refrigeration was also stored down the well in a covered pail.

Life on the farm in the 1920s, ’30s and ’40s was definitely challenging! Do you have a relative or friend who grew up then? Share a story about their breakfasts by leaving a comment below.

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