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Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Pickled Mushroom, Traditional Christmas Eve Dinner

Christmas Eve dinner in my home is steeped in tradition, religion and wonderful memories of past Christmases.
Pickled Button Mushrooms

Here is one of the dishes  I will be serving as an appetizer after the Kutia, the wheat dish and a meatless soup. The soup my Mom served was usually Cream of Wild Mushroom.  My grandmother on the other hand always served Pisnyy Borscht or Lenten Borscht with tiny dumplings called "Vushka" or small ears.

The supper my grandmother prepared was strictly vegetarian, no meat or dairy products, whereas in my mom's time this meal was vegetarian without meat, but dairy was allowed.  Yes, I know there are those that believe that it should still be dairy less.  However, the beauty of this meal is the tradition and  religious significance around dishes that are served after that first star shows up in the sky on Christmas Eve.  I have fond memories of all my grandparents' children and their family being present for this very special meal.

Pickled Mushrooms

Pickled Mushrooms is a very easy dish to prepare and enjoyed by everyone.  The recipe follows the Traditional Ukrainian Cookery by Savella Stechishin but I usually use the canned whole mushrooms in place of the fresh mushroom.

3 cans Whole Mushroom
1/2 -1 onion, sliced
2/3 white vinegar, this year I used Cider vinegar
2/3 cup water
1 T peppercorns
1 bay leave
1 tsp sugar, I left out the salt as the canned mushroom are salty
1 T of oil
I also added 1 Tsp  mustard seeds and 1 dried apache hot pepper.

Mushrooms with chopped onions

Fill a clean jar with the drained mushrooms and chopped onions.  Combine the rest of ingredients except oil and bring to a boil, simmer for 5 to 10 minutes.  Pour over the mushrooms and top with the oil.  Marinated for at least 12 hours before serving. Keep refrigerate!

Last year, I tasted pickled mushroom, where my friend cooked fresh mushrooms, but she peeled the skin off the mushroom and added 1 tsp of Chicken soup bouillon to liquid.  These mushrooms looked and tasted very different.

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