One of the things that Cava has wanted most from his homeland is brown Kasha. This is something he ate frequently for breakfast. Kasha is a porridge that's typically made of buckwheat groats.
Thanks to the kindness of our friend Yulia, Danelle and Cava went with her and her mother into Charlotte to an international market that sold Russian and Ukrainian food.
Danelle said that it reminded her so much of the markets we shopped in while we were in Kiev that it made her want to cry.
Once inside, Cava tried to get Danelle to buy lots of different items that he claimed were his "favorites," something he does at our regular grocery store.
This was especially true of all of the sweets.
They had Roshen cakes and the same brand of candy bar that we bought and took a bunch to give to the children in the boarding school where Cava came from. It's Olehka, which is the one with the little girl on the wrapper in the photo below.
Something we have wanted to incorporate more of into our family is Ukrainian food, especially for Christmas. One reason is that we want Cava to see that there are many delicious things to eat in his homeland.
Here Cava stopped to take a photo with Mrs. Yulia.
In the end, Danelle bought Kasha, dumplings, sunflower oil (something we had in Ukrainian Ramen noodles), honey gingerbread cookies, and, of course, sweets.
Danelle said going there made her nostalgic for that period of our family's lives that had such a huge impact on all of us. A lot of emotions were tied up with the whole experience and they came back to her as she walked the aisles. Ukraine is a part of our family now and all of us have missed that country as we have come to the time of year when we were there.
She and Cava were so grateful to Yulia for taking them there as they experienced old memories and created new ones.