here and there

Saturday, December 29, 2012

12 dishes of Ukrainian Christmas Eve

"Khrystos Rodyvsya" (Christ is born). The reply is "SlavimYeho" (Praise him). 

 Christmas meal starts with the first star, believed to be the star of Bethlehem
After the singing of Boh Predvichnyi ( God Eternal) the meal begins.

The Twelve Traditional Dishes starts with Kutya, a wheat berry dish with poppyseeds that has been simmering in a saucepan all day, flavored with honey..

The next dish served is a soup.  My Grandmother always served Lenten Borscht or Pisnyy Borscht with tiny dumplings called 'Vushka" or small ears. However, my Mom served Cream of Wild Mushroom soup.

Appetizers such as Pickled Herring, Pickled Mushroom and Marinated Salmon(Gravlax) is served next. 

The main Meatless Entrees served are Pyrohy or dumplings with  two different filling; Sauerkraut and potato with cottage cheese.  A wild mushroom sauce is also served to be a topping for the pyrohy 

Meatless Holubtchi or cabbage rolls, Cabbage rolls, 2016Nalysnyky or crepes with cottage cheese filling, Mushroom sauce and pan seared Haddock or Salmon.  Fish Balls are delicious and popular with the young children.
A sweet Pyrohy are delicious with a fruit filling like, Prunes, Plums or Cranberry!

For dessert, assortment of Christmas baking with fruitcake and pampushky are served.

I am posting my recipes as I prepare the dishes for this year's Christmas Eve meal.
Here is another beautiful site to check out on 12 Ukrainian dishes for Christmas Eve 

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Peroghies,Pyrohy, dumplings by any other name!

 My Mom's dumplings have become legendary as everyone remembers how tender, pump and delicious they were.  As a young kid, I could never understand why anyone would want to eat potatoes and dough!  Even the homemade cottage cheese that was part of the filling with the potatoes was not to my liking! Pyrohy were a common dish especially at holidays and during lent.

Everyone in my family especially my Irish husband loved them the first time he tasted them at my Mom's house!   My Mom kept my deep freeze filled with these dumplings! Until that one Christmas, I no longer had any and mixed up my first dough!  Yes, only water, flour and oil are the three ingredients in the basic recipe! I realized I was in trouble.. I had never really paid any attention to how they was made.  My aunties and Mom's friend came to my rescue! However, everyone had different recipes from adding an egg, adding sour cream, adding Baking powder,  lukewarm to cold water, the list goes on!!

For a couple of years, my sister has been visiting in November and it become a pyrohy bake off using different dough recipes.. All the different recipes of dough seemed the same, difficult to roll out,  yet the results tasted the same!

This year after reading the article about Baba's Beauties from the Edmonton Journal and how the ladies had to adjust the basic recipe and going by feel, I decided to increase the amount of water used in the recipe and also to use hot water almost boiling water!  To my surprise the dough was tender, especially easy to roll out and work with! Although the dough was a little sticky, a little flour corrects this.

 Here is my Mom's basic recipe, that has been tweaked.

6 cups of flour
2 3/4 cups lukewarm water
pinch of salt
1/4 cup of oil

 I increased the amount of water to 3 cups and used very hot water. I also increased the amount of oil to 1/3 cups

In my head as I rolled out the dough, I kept hearing "By George I think she's got! from my Fair Lady in "The rain in Spain"

Yesterday I ran into an elderly woman who was widowed last summer and was telling me of her preparation for the traditional Christmas Eve Dinner and how difficult it will be without her husband.  I mentioned to her that I had finally had success in making the dough for the dumplings.. Without even batting an eye, she asked if I had used hot water! Interesting!