"Everybody comes for the food" — Valentina and Vera work the stoves at St. Andrew Ukrainian Orthodox Church on Saturday, Nov. 14. Credit: Richard Heath.
The annual St. Andrew Ukrainian Orthodox Church holiday bazaar opened on a magnificent Saturday this weekend.
A Forest Hills landmark since 1958, St. Andrew Ukrainian Church has held its holiday bazaar for the past twenty years.
Parish President Jane Yavarow told the News that the bazaar is organized by all the women of the church many of whom knit and sew and bake items for sale on the over a dozen tables. There were books and kitchen wares and Christmas decorations and scarves and clothes — and even a raffle. There are no vendors.
"All are volunteers who do this for the church," she said.
While many in the hour the News was at the bazaar are from the church membership. there were neighborhood people too. One Bourne Street resident bought books for her mother. An Orchardhill Road resident bought some glassware.
But its the food that brings them in; "if we only had food the place would be crowded, said Jane as she led the News writer into the kitchen where the three cooks Valentina Vera and Jhanna were rushing to fill orders. It's all Ukrainian food.
"We have borscht and soups and stuffed cabbages," she said. "[The food] is the real draw."
Yavarow herself sells cards made from her nature photographs and she also makes bird houses. Her mother, Cornelia, is the pastry chef. Cornelia made cookies and the best chocolate fudge in North America. (The News, ever a stickler for accuracy, did a taste test.)
Yavarow introduced the News to another mother-daughter team, Tanya and her daughter Lizzie, who made crafts, knitted goods and sold a wide selection of second hand books.
The church members live all around New England; Tanya and Lizzie are from Halifax, Mass., the cashier Pearl is from Cohasset and two of the cooks come from Maine. Yavarow lives in Norwood.
The church pastor Rev. Roman Tarnavsky lives behind the church in a former doctors house.