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Ukrainian Christmas

January 6, 2007
Once again it is Ukrainian Christmas Eve.  Chrystos razdayet’sia!  That is how you say Christ is born in Ukrainian and is the greeting you give others who partake in the feast of 12 meatless dishes tonight.  Unfortunately I am at work, so I won’t be doing the traditions including cleaning of the house. ( Aww, too bad.)
Anyway, here is a recipie for Kutya, which is one of the traditional dishes.
1/2 cups wheat berries, soaked in warm water for 24 hours,and then strained (kernels)
4 1/2 cups water or milk (or more)
3/4 cup poppy seeds
2/3 cup sliced roasted almonds or walnuts
1/2 cup honey, to taste
2/3 cup chopped dried apricots (optional)
1/2 cup raisins
1 pinch salt, to taste

dash ground cinnamon


In a medium pot, combine wheat kernels and milk.
  1. Bring to a boil.
  2. Reduce heat, cover, and simmer 3 hours.
  3. Add more liquid as necessary to keep kernels covered.
  4. Scald the poppy seeds with boiling water, drain, and add lukewarm water to cover.
  5. Soak 30 minutes, drain and grind in a food processor.
  6. Set aside.
  7. Drain water from wheat kernels and keep 1/2 cup of the liquid.
  8. Add the honey to the liquid and mix well.
  9. Mix kernels, honey, ground poppy seeds, almonds, apricots, raisins, and salt.
  10. Bake in a 2-quart casserole dish, uncovered, at 325 degrees for 20 minutes.
  11. Kutia may be served warm or chilled, and sprinkled with cinnamon, but it is best when prepared several days ahead of time in order for the full flavor to develop.
  12. Kutia can be refrigerated for up to two weeks.

And here is a website with info on Ukrainian Christmas.

So, Veselykh Sviat everyone! Or happy holidays!
With the birth of Christ
and the New Year
Sincere wishes
for strong health
much fortune
clean water in the well
in the fields robust wheat
bread-salt on the table
and harmony in the soul.
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