Ukrainian Easter Baskets Art – Photos by Tania D’Avignon

If you read this story, you know about Ukrainian Easter food; you know about a blessing of food baskets in Ukraine for an Easter; you know about Ukrainian Easter breakfast/brunch traditions; and finally, you know what food has to be in Ukrainian Easter basket –
Paska which is egg bread, a sweet one, with raisins
Hard boiled eggs; decorated
Meat items – sausage, preferably a garlic one; ham; smoked bacon, in one piece
Cottage or farmer cheese
And also you know that Ukrainian Easter basket has to be nicely decorated for the blessing in a church. 
I would say very nicely decorated! Beautifully decorated! As I am originally from Ukraine (a western part of the country) I used to decorate my own food basket for every Easter (here you can see my baskets from different years), but I have realized that my decorating skills are very modest, compare to WHAT I saw on the pictures of known American-Ukrainian photographer Tania D’Avignon.
Tania took whole bunch of pictures of Easter food baskets art in the village of Horoshova, Ternopil's'ka oblast, West Ukraine, and made a book – Ukrainian Easter Baskets. The book is dedicated to Olesia and Vasyl Kozak from Horoshova. Olesia and Vasyl are wonderful people and very good friends of Tania.
The village of Horoshova is located in Borshchiv district, Ternopil's'ka oblast. The district is known for its greenhouses business. Almost every family in that area has a greenhouse and grows tomatoes and cucumbers for sale. One little Borshchiv area is supplying many big cities of Ukraine with fresh tomatoes and cucumbers. People of Borshchiv district make a living out of their greenhouses for years. And the village of Horoshova is called Tomatoes and Cucumbers Capital of Ukraine! Which means greenhouses business is really well developed is the village!
Another big attraction of the village of Goroshova is famous annual Malanka Carnival on Old Style New Year (January 13-14). This is a costumed event, with lots of humor, music, stage plays, and, of course, a good food!
Back to the food we are talking about – an Easter food – time to show you how Tania D’Avignon’s book about Ukrainian Easter baskets from Horoshova is look like:
Ukrainian Easter Baskets Book by Tania D'Avignon
You know, I can get a feeling of Ukrainian Easter just looking at this cover! I can FEEL the festivity of Easter baskets blessing – the feeling is very familiar from my life in Ukraine: opening up an embroidered cover of the basket; lighting up the candle; looking at the neighbors baskets – how it is decorated, what is in the baskets; waiting for the priests and sprinkles of Holy Water on your basket and your face :) And aromas of freshly smoked meats in your basket and freshly baked egg bread Paska… It’s Ukrainian Easter!! Yay!
Well, as I told you, I saw a lot of beautifully decorated Easter food baskets in my life. I am decorating my own Easter Basket, every year. But what I saw at the Tania’s pictures from the village of Horoshova, made a big impression even on me, a girl who is born in a small Ukrainian town – I have never seen something like this before! Must be one creative village, this Horoshova!
For example, normally, when Ukrainian woman of the house is preparing her Easter food basket for a blessing in a church, she just put butter and a cottage cheese in a pretty dish – that’s about it. But ladies from the villages of Horoshova definitely run an extra mile in their baskets designs – take a look at this tiny fuzzy ram made out of… butter! Wow! What a work!
Ram Made Out of Butter in an Easter Basket in Goroshova, Western Ukraine
Or the boiled egg-chicks and egg-piggy on a next picture:
Ukrainian Easter Basket Goroshova village
Did you notice also a cucumber and tomato in the basket? They are not really “must have” items of Ukrainian Easter basket; but they are local food staples and local pride of Horoshova, so why they shouldn't be blessed as well?
And next picture, I would say, the next basket on the picture, for my opinion, is a masterpiece! A masterpiece of a culinary art and of an Easter festivity! A cold-cut sausage rose; a cottage cheese and cold-cut flower; a ram made out of butter; another rose made out of smalets (pork fat) with beet sprinkles; poppy seeds and sunflower seeds hedgehog’s family (what the hedgehog made out of, I don’t know but I bet it’s tasty!):
Ukrainian Eastet Basket, Photo by Tania D'Avignon
More of these beautiful pictures from Horoshova are in Tania D’Avignon’s book Ukrainian Easter Basket.
To order the book, please contact Tania D'Avignon directly.
And if you are really passionate about Ukraine, Ukrainian life and traditions, here is another Tania’s book, a very popular for many years – Simply Ukraine