Monday, January 3, 2011

Monday Moments - Ukrainian Christmas Edition

  • This post is for Diana, well sort of, she asked for recipes and I cook by feel and taste and so I thought I would lead her to some things that would be good recipes sources but then I thought that others might be interested as well so here it goes.
  • There are lots of links in this post, they all go to good places.
  • Ukrainian Christmas or Svait Vechir also referred to as Orthodox Christmas is celebrated on January 6 and 7. It is tradition to celebrate it on the Eve of the feast which means that we celebrate on 6th and sleep it off on the 7th. It works well.
  • Traditionally you prepare a 12 course vegan meal to celebrate the birth of Jesus. Each course is eaten alone and a Christmas carol is sung in between each course. It takes a long time to eat this way but that is okay because there is so much food that things have time to digest in between each course.
  • There are a variety of traditions that go along with all the meal like putting hay under the table to represent the manager and hiding candies in it for the children to find, waiting for the youngest child to see the first star in the night sky before the meal is begun, the singing of carols in between each course and setting an extra place at the table for a guest/stranger should it be needed.
  • There are many ways that the meal is prepared and there are a variety of options for the 12 dishes but in my family it usually goes like this
  1. Bread and Honey
  2. Kutia - boiled wheat kernels with nuts, raisins, poppy seeds and honey. I add pecans or almonds and maraschino cherries to mine
  3. Borscht - with or without mushroom filled dumplings
  4. Cabbage Rolls - with 2 different fillings rice and buckwheat, scroll down the linked page for the recipe for these.
  5. Mushroom gravy - I use 1 package mixed dried mushrooms ( soak overnight and save liquid), garlic, margarine and 1 package Simply Organic Mushroom Gravy Mix. Saute 3 cloves chopped garlic ( or more) in margarine, add drained mushroom, add gravy mix and liquid from the mushrooms. Dead easy and so good. There are other ways to make but they are not gluten free and I do not like them as much.
  6. Perogies - we cheat here and make them with potato, onion and cheese ( not vegan) I also make gluten free ones.  
  7. Beans - white mashed beans with garlic is traditional but we have green beans with garlic and onions.
  8. Breaded Fish - again we break tradition here and have salmon because we like it better
  9. Jellied fish or pickled herring  - again only for people like P and my father who love it.
  10. Stewed fruit/fruit compote - I don't like this and as a result do not make it but buy oranges instead.
  11. Poppy Seed Loaf - sweet bread dough rolled around a sweetened poppy seed mixture.
  12. Technically we count the 2 kinds of cabbage rolls as 2 dishes and that brings us up to 12. If I am motivated I also bake buns with mashed potato in them, they are super good. There is no recipe, make your favourite bread dough, make mashed potatoes, take a ball of bread dough, flatten it out, put a scoop of mashed potato in the center, pull the dough around it, pinch closed, place seam down on a cookie sheet, repeat till you have as many buns as you want. Bake till they are golden brown, eat them warm if you can.
  • I do not have the energy to type out recipes tonight, besides my Baba taught me and I don't really use recipes but just go by how it looks at tastes. I have looked some up for y'all though and linked them as I went.  I would make the ones found here and if you look around the site a bit there are lots more good ones and good ideas to to round out your meal.
  • With that I am off, good luck and happy cooking.


Diana said...

AWESOME! Thanks for sharing! I'm pretty sure I won't be doing a completely authentic meal or celebration this year for many reasons...time and the fact that my boys would never tolerate the full version of it, but we'll do some of it and probably won't serve it in separate courses.

Can't wait to try some of these recipes!

Essie the Accidental Mommy said...

Do you ever use kasha in your pierogies? That's what we use. By "we", I mean the other people in my family who cook them, lol. My mom is 100% Polish and that's where our recipe comes from.

Incidentally, Genea hates them. Go figure.

K- floortime lite mama said...

very very happy new year
Thanks so much for outlining those recipes
The white beans and garlic sounds amazing
as do the perogies
( ADORE carbs )

Penelope said...

Wow! Makes me tired! And hungry! Happy New Year!

Janell said...

That sounds delicious, and wow, a lot of cooking! In our family we choose a different country or culture every Christmas Eve and make food from there. We did France this year. It's fun to hear about other people's food holiday traditions.