Thursday, January 5, 2012

Ukrainian Christmas Eve

Tomorrow is our Ukrainian Christmas Eve and I'm feeling melancholy. Back home, New Years is all about gifts and joy and new beginning, and Christmas is a family affair when you gather together and remember why we celebrate the Birth of Christ. We do not exchange gifts in the morning and Christmas for me remains untainted by the commercialized-must-buy-more-stuff affair of December 25th.... Although we give gifts on the 25th, those are from Santa Claus aka Saint Nicholas and have little to do with Christ.

So why the melancholy? Ukrainian Christmas has a tradition of a twelve-dish supper. However, for a family of four, one of us being a three year old such amount of food is impossible to eat. The joy of cooking for the big family for a big Christmas celebration, when all the nieces and nephews, grandmas and grandpas come together under one roof is incredible. And today, as I put together my menu for our small Christmas supper I feel more sharply than ever how alone we are here, across the ocean from my parents, my mother in law, my brother in law and his family.... I miss our Christmases together. I miss them. I miss having 5 people in the kitchen that can really only fit three. I miss cooking together with someone. I miss being able to ask a question if I don't know how to cook something (as opposed to Google search).

I will cook tomorrow for my kids and my husband. I will put my soul into making it special. I will do what I can and carry on a tradition, so that when my kids grow up and bring their own families to my house we can cook together and love the crowded kitchen and eat together.

And finally the menu:

- Kutia
- Holubci (cabbage rolls)
- Mashed potatoes
- Trout patties
- Salmon deviled eggs
- Pickled mushrooms
- Uzvar (compote from dried fruit)
- Poppy-seed roll
- Medyanyk (honey cake)
- Dark rye bread
- Apple cider

The last two items are on the list to make it twelve ;) Wish me luck....

1 comment:

  1. What a wonderful wonderful meal !
    I never had such Christmases in Ukraine, so I can't relate completely. plus my family is here ...even my brother is in the same city I am, however he hardly will cook in the same kitchen with me (life has separated us on many levels). I wish your dreams will come true and you will have a large loving family round the table some day! cheers for keeping it live !