hello there


This blog belongs to me, that is Kristen A. Hartman, a Returned Peace Corps Volunteer just trying to readjust back to life in the US of A.

Borscht and Babushkas began in 2011 as a way to document my life as a Peace Corps Volunteer in the bread basket of Europe. Throughout my Peace Corps TEFL service in Ukraine (2011 – 2013), I took my blogging hobby a bit more seriously than I think anyone predicted and published 200 blog posts, accumulated 530 typed pages in a word doc, and filled two paper journals. Let’s just say, I had a lot of time to think and write while living in a village of Ukraine.

Village life was simple and beautiful, not to mention the perfect opportunity for me to test-out my “Little house on the Prairie” passions and Amish aspirations. As I re-acclimate back to living in America, I’ll try to hold fast to the lifestyle I came to appreciate — everything homemade, eating seasonally, and savoring time at the table with family and friends (though, I might forego the tradition of drinking homemade vodka, eating mounds of mayonnaise or any form of meat jello).

So as my journey has now shifted from being in the “there” to the “back again” (nerdy Hobbit reference alert), my blog shall too. Here you will find a melange of Ukrainian memories and new adventures.

But never fear, you can still find my original Peace Corps musings on this site in the “archive” section.

When I’m not outdoors frolicking in fields or blogging, you can spot me running, reading, doodling — though rarely all at the same time. In addition to being a book doctor I’m a freelance artist.

Beautiful typography makes me swoon, I’m terrible at delivering jokes, there’s nothing like a good book. I’m most happy outdoors, camping, and traveling, oh and eating. I also find maps to be an art form, dinosaurs to still be cool, and I’m fairly certain that there’s no such thing as too much coffee.

Unless otherwise stated, all recipes, photos, and illustrations are those of my own so please do not use or share them without proper citation. Thank you kindly!

I hope you enjoy my “there and back again” Borscht and Babushkas blog and the stories, recipes, photos, videos and doodles that come with it.

Thanks for reading!

Screen Shot 2013-07-30 at 10.53.37 AM

Peace Corps Ukraine Group 41 March 2011-June 2013 photo credit to Jeffrey Ball

Peace Corps Ukraine Group 41 March 2011–June 2013
photo credit to Jeffrey Ball

4 thoughts on “About

  1. Hi Kristen, you have a fantastic blog here! : ) I’ve really enjoyed reading through it and have nominated you for the Liebster award over on my site. Keep the posts coming!!

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