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Dariia Tsvek

Dariia Tsvek

Dariia Tsvek was born on October 10, 1909 in Ternopil region and lived for 95 years. Dariia inherited active attitude to life from her parents. They provided their children with good education, and paid special attention to the daughters` education: they were taught proper housekeeping, cooking, entertaining guests and respecting the customs. As a schoolgirl Dariia began to note the recipes she heard from her family. Her father, Iakiv Markiewicz, was an inspector of the Ministry of Treasure in Warsaw; he often took his daughter with him to grand receptions. Mother of Dariia Tsvek was the chairwoman of the Union of Ukrainians, and tried to educate her children socially active and intelligent. As a result, the daughter showed enthusiasm through her life - playing the flute. Dariia successfully played in symphony orchestras. After graduating from high school she entered the teaching seminar of Ukrainian Pedagogical Society (1923-1927, "the Native School") in Kolomyia. Later she worked as a teacher: more than 35 years she taught biology at school and worked at the Station of Young Naturalists. Dariia got married, and then had children. Dariia Tsvek lived with her husband, who was a philologist, for 47 years. Many family friends remember him to be a sensitive and sensible man, who appreciated his family most of all.

The postwar period was difficult for the family: they had hardly recovered from the horrors of the Second World War, but the new government threw them into the street. Many families in Galychyna had such a fate - they were forced to leave their accommodations for families of party leaders. Dariia Tsvek was forced to quit the teaching and work in the kitchen at the hospital for the “high-ranking” people.

This work helped to feed the family: in hungry years her husband took their younger daughter to the “back door” of the hospital, and Dariia took out her a cup of milk. Meanwhile a culinary talent of Mrs. Daria was noticed by the “high-ranking” people. They began to charge her with cooking meals for receptions, and the first secretary of the party even had a habit to send a car for her when he had guests from the capital: she surprised them with culinary exotic with local flavor. So Dariia Tsvek became city’s well-known cook. The local leaders liked her dishes so much that they invited her to conduct cooking courses for officers' wives. Her constant companions – cooking notebooks with recipes of many dishes on weekdays and holidays were useful there.

Mrs. Darka could teach both how to cook delicious and nutritious meals with a limited number of products and to serve the festive table with something interesting. “Women, you do not have a holiday every day, so don’t save”, she liked to repeat. Of course, Dariia Tsvek was for trainees of her courses not only a teacher but also an adviser - she taught how to bake, fry, as well as how to keep the house well, to maintain order and comfort in the house. That’s why after some time Mrs. Darka was also invited to the regional radio – she was an anchorwoman of the “Family Cooking” section. Despite her popularity, which eventually grew, Dariia Tsvek was a very modest woman. Her friend from high school and the writer Iryna Wilde advised Dariia to publish her recipe book. And when the writer heard objections from Dariia Tsvek that she was not able to do this, she gave her some advice, “Write down as you say it.”

Thanks to Irene Wilde, in 1961 the Lviv publishing house “Kameniar” published her first recipe book “Sweet biscuits.” Over time this book has been reprinted nine times. The next books of recipes were “On Weekdays and Holidays”, “On a Good Night”, “Holiday Cookery”, “We All Celebrate” and others. The collection of her recipes and tips “For Kids and Their Parents” was recognized as “The Book of the Year 2002.” A total circulation of Dariia Tsvek’s books is five million copies - her collections became real bestsellers. The secret of her huge popularity is simple: the author put her heart and soul into those books and everything she did.

Even in old age Dariia Tsvek didn’t waste her life inspiration. At the age of 90 she continued to cook and entertain, prepared manuscripts for publication, gladly met journalists and her readers.  She had grandchildren and great-grandchildren, for whom she remained “granny”. Mrs. Dariia died in 2004. Her book of recipes “Holiday Table” was published before this, she was very happy.

Dariia Tsvek was able not only to preserve Ukrainian family traditions, but also to promote them – even in the time of Soviet hatred of all the individual and national. “Traditions - is not only the past but also the future”, said Mrs. Dariia. Her cookbooks, at first glance, are collections of recipes, but in fact these are the encyclopedias of creating Ukrainian homeliness.



 1)      http://uk.wikipedia.org

2)      http://www.umoloda.kiev.ua/number/190/116/6690/

3)      http://vsiknygy.net.ua/person/5436/ - auth. -  Tetiana Symchynska

4)      http://dyvensvit.org/articles/100084.html- auth. -  Halyna Dobosh

5)      http://www.day.kiev.ua

6)      http://muliarova.if.ua/9-biohrafii/31-dariia-tsvek