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IntroductionExplore the Communities

Section title: Doukhobor
Introduction |  History |  Daily Life |  Culture |  References

Daily Life


An outdoor bake-oven, an example of the first structures the Doukhobors built when they arrived at their settlements  

Most of the Doukhobors that settled in Canada were vegetarian. They believed that it was wrong to kill and this included animals, so it was not right to eat meat. They ate Russian dishes such as borscht, a soup made of many different vegetables to which cream is added. Vareniki and piroshki were also popular dishes. Vareniki were bread tarts filled with potatoes and vegetables. Piroshki were baked tarts filled with fruit.

They did not smoke or drink alcohol. But they drank a lot of tea with lemon and sugar.

The Doukhobors made their own bread, often in large outdoor ovens. Enough bread could be made for the whole village in these ovens. Most Doukhobor settlers had large gardens to grow vegetables and herbs. The Doukhobors of British Columbia planted orchards for fruit. They preserved vegetables, made jams and pickles and stored root crops for eating over the winter.

No matter what was being served, the Doukhobors began and ended every meal by saying grace.


Fruit Piroshki
(makes 26 tarts)


3 eggs
1 cup evaporated milk
1 cup whole milk, and a bit more
6 cups flour
1 pound margarine
4 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoon salt
extra flour for rolling out dough

Fruit filling: choose from grated apple, blueberries, raspberries, strawberries and chopped rhubarb, Saskatoon berries, cranberries. One heaping tablespoon per tart (frozen fruit is fine).


  1. Preheat oven to 350º F.
  2. Break 3 eggs into a large measuring cup. Add the evaporated and whole milk and top up with whole milk, to make 3 cups of liquid.
  3. In a separate bowl, combine flour, baking powder and salt. Cut in margarine. Add dry ingredients to liquid and mix well.
  4. Roll out egg-sized pieces of dough into a circle, ¼ inch thick and 6 inches in diameter. Place about one heaping tablespoon of fruit in the middle of the circle. Pinch edges up and around the filling, leaving an opening. (This is the tricky part. You actually pull the dough out and overlap it one bit at a time, pinching the dough together each time.)
  5. Place tarts on a cookie sheet, 1 inch apart. Bake for 12-15 minutes, until very pale brown on top.

Recipe submitted by Tamara Tarasoff, and comes from Tamara's Baba Luba. (Baba means grandmother.)

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