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Old 10-14-2010, 11:19 AM   #1
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Red face Ukrainian Christmas Eve Dinner!

Hi! I'm starting this now because I've decided to go on a grand endeavor, and I'm starting to realize I can cook! lol.

My Dad was Ukrainian. One year my aunt made this fantastic dinner for christmas eve! I'd like to to that this year, for all 20+ of us! But having never done this before I need some help! Information really, I've scoured the internet, but info of the food, what types and why, decorating ideas, festivities, music, oh desserts! Anything like that would be greatly appreciated! I live in western Canada. Dad's family lives back east! Well, Manitoba, but to us that was always back east! lol.

SO any help information would be SO appreciated! Thank you! Just wish I had spent more time and asked a few more questions when they were still here!....ah well. lessons learned!

Take care and Thanx T n T s mom

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Old 10-14-2010, 12:01 PM   #2
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I can't wait for our very own CharlieD to see this. He'll be a big help to you.

Welcome to DC, and good luck on your project!!
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Old 10-14-2010, 05:25 PM   #3
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Do you remember what she had for dishes, I mean your aunt? I doubt I'd be a big help with decorations, but food, food we can talk about.
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Old 10-14-2010, 11:11 PM   #4
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tntsmom, are you talking about decorations as are seen in modern Christmas? Or are you talking about the old genuine Ukainian style for Sviata Vecheria? For information about the old traditions check this link. Ukraine and Ukrainian Christmas at BRAMA

Otherwise, Christmas decorations now follow the European norm - things that we know on this continent. Christmas trees with decorations, etc. If you are going to prepare Sviata Vecheria try the old form - meatless with twelve dishes. Fish aren't meat for reasons I have never understood.

Like Charlie D, I'm wondering what type of food your Aunt served. And yes, Charlie D can indeed talk food!! By your use of the word "fantastic" I'm guessing the meal was a fusion of cusines and cultures. Meatless borshch you must have, and mushroon soup with mushroom filled little ears. Varenyky are necessary - two different fillings I would think. Kasha is so traditional you gotta have it to start the meal. Fish? I hope you like fish - your choice of type and preparation. Two different kinds are very appropriate. My my, I'm making myself hungry.

For "decoration" the Kolach in the center of the table. The link will tell you about it. Time now to start practice if you haven't made yeast bread. The Kolach isn't eaten but it is a vital part. This is a Christian celebration, very old in the land and somewhat serious. The old traditions are being lost in the cities, but in rural western Ukraine, different matter.

Let us know how it goes!! Best to you.
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Old 10-15-2010, 02:11 PM   #5
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I'm going to love watching as this thread unfolds. I know nothing of the Ukranian traditions, and this interests me.

My Grandfather was from Kiev, but he died before I was born, and he wouldn't have celebrated Christmas.
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Old 10-15-2010, 02:41 PM   #6
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Ukraine Christmas

ChefJune, I'm curious how it will go. Twenty people is a big gathering when one is cooking unknown food. I guess how close to Ukrainian it must be will make a different. I would wish for an experienced varenyky maker to teach and help me there. Varenyky for 20 is a big chore, expecially if two different kinds are contemplated. I think I would make a fusion meal - some from the old Ukrainian traditions and some from the new land. The history of the meal goes way back into pagan days in Ukraine.
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Old 10-15-2010, 03:34 PM   #7
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I remember an old Savuer article on Christmas in Kiev or Russia.I can't remember exactly.

I went to their site and searched russian and kiev and found sound great dishes.

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Old 10-15-2010, 04:52 PM   #8
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Are you doing the traditional 12 meatless dishes for the meal?
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Old 10-16-2010, 09:34 PM   #9
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Hello David. You are sure a rare guest nowadays here. But he sure is a wells of information. Please let us know what help we can give you. BTW, vareniki is not that big of a deal. I have a really simple recipe for them.
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Old 10-17-2010, 06:04 AM   #10
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David, CharlieD is correct. I just did a search on varenyky and saw they are similiar to the Polish pierogi and the Lithuanina virtini.

They will be easy to make. I made my first virtini when I was in my 20's and only had a recipe to follow. Hmmm... I'm thinking I need to go find my grandmother's recipe for virtini and make some soon. It has been far too long!
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