Thursday, March 7, 2013

The Mysterious Joseph Koshuba

This is a blog about family.  I will be posting weekly about a family member and will include a  family recipe as well. 

My first post on this blog is about my Great-Uncle Joseph Koshuba. He is a mystery to me, since I know so little about him.  He died about 2 weeks after my mother was born.  All I know about him is what she told me, which was told to her as a child.

He was born in Ouzurnaya--or Jerzirna, Ukraine about 1880.
I'm not sure when he immigrated to the USA, but he was living in St Paul, Minnesota in 1913.
He married Florence Elizabeth Holmberg on February, 4, 1913.  He and Florence had 3 children, Fred, who was born in 1914, Marie Olga and Catherine. The family lived on Central Ave in St Paul.  
Joseph was the President and owner of  a window washing company,  National Window Washing Co. in St Paul.
Then tragedy struck, Joseph died suddenly in 1919 at the age of 33 of heart disease.  He left Florence and three young children.
The family continued to live in St Paul until 1939.  I have been searching for information about them, and  the trail stops in December, 1941, when Fred Koshuba was killed in a car accident.
I have no idea what happened to Florence or Catherine.  I have found a death record for Marie Olga in California.  That's it.  So, does anybody in the blogosphere know what happened to the Joseph Koshuba family? 

This is the wedding of my grandmother and grandfather, Pauline Rychlyj and John Koshuba, who was Joseph's brother.  They are the bridal couple in the center of the front row.  My great-grandfather, Sylvester Rychlyj is behind the bride.  Anna Rychly, Pauline's sister is in the top row next to Stephen Koshuba.  Dymtro Popko, and Pelagia Rychlyj Popko are on the far left. Pelagia is Sylvester's sister. Paul Popko is probably the baby on Dymtro's lap. Their daughter,Sally,(Stefania) Popko is one of the little girls, but I'm not sure which one.  There are several people in the picture who are unknown to me. 

Joseph Koshuba, is in the second row, on the right.  Florence Holmberg Koshuba is in front of him, and Fred Koshuba is the little boy next to her.  Joseph's hand is on Florence's shoulder.  Other Koshuba family members in the picture are Stephen Koshuba, brother of Joseph and John, is in the third row, on the right.  Anna Koshuba, sister of Joseph and John is in the second row, third from the left, with the white flower in her hair. The other woman, next to Joseph in the second row may be Teckla Koshuba Wons, the other sister in the Koshuba family.

Now for the recipe!
This is a recipe for Borscht Ukranian Style.  My grandmother Pauline showed me how to make this soup, but never gave me a recipe.  I have made it several times, and it tastes like the soup she made.

Borscht Ukranian Style.
3 fresh beets diced.  Save the greens and stems.
1-2 medium potatoes, peeled and diced
1 large onion chopped
1 clove garlic minced
1 tbsp olive oil
2-3 stalks of celery, chopped
1-2 carrots chopped
1 bunch Swiss chard or 1 bag of fresh spinach
1 large container beef or chicken stock ( I use Swanson, without salt)
1 large can diced fire roasted tomatoes, with juice
2 tsp Kosher salt.
1 box Pomi brand strained tomatoes
1 tbsp lemon juice ( fresh is recommended) 
Salt and pepper to taste
Fresh or dried dill
sour cream or Greek Yogurt

1. Peel and dice the beets and set aside.
2. Wash and chop the beet greens and stems, set aside
3. Heat the olive oil in a large pot, add the garlic and onion and cook until  onions are transparent
4. Add the celery, carrots to the  put and cook until wilted
5.  Add the beets, potatoes  and the stock
6.  Add the strained tomatoes and the diced tomatoes and salt.
7. Bring the soup to a boil and then lower the heat and simmer for about 30 minutes.
8.  Add the lemon juice, add more to taste.
9.  Add pepper and salt to taste.

Garnish with sour cream or Greek yogurt and fresh dill.