Sunday, 6 January 2019

Ukrainian Christmas Eve


Under the old Julian calendar still used by the Orthodox Christian Church, today is Orthodox Christmas Eve or, as we refer to it here on the Canadian prairies, Ukrainian Christmas Eve.

And as long-time readers know, My Rare One's heritage is 100% Ukrainian and mine is 0% Ukrainian but I am a major wannabe. So this evening I am making a celebration for her, as I always do, in my half-assed, pagan, non-Ukrainian way.

The traditional 12 meatless dishes to be eaten on Ukrainian Christmas Eve are far, far beyond my culinary abilities to prepare, so I'm just going to pan-fry up some cheese perogies with butter, onions and bacon. See? I can't even make one dish meatless! And I'm not making borscht this year either. Are my standards slipping?


Every year I buy My Rare One a small Ukrainian-themed gift and give it to her in a culturally appropriate gift bag. In the past, for example, I've given her a chocolate bar from the Ukraine, an art print of a pre-Christian Ukrainian goddess, a beet candle, design books and dyes for making Ukrainian Easter eggs, and an assortment of Christmas decorations, a tea towel and a golf ball all decorated with traditional Ukrainian designs.

Here is this year's gift --


Shhhh . . . don't tell her, but inside is a bag of beet chips! That's why I'm not making borscht this year. Don't want to risk a beet overdose!


I bet they'll be quite tasty with the perogies! At least, here's hoping.

54 comments:

jaz@octoberfarm said...

too funny! hey, your perogies look good! we celebrated this when i was little. we got oranges in our stockings.

anne marie in philly said...

EVERYTHING is better with bacon!

DEZMOND said...

isn't it offensive calling it Ukrainian when you have at least half a million Serbs living there and who knows how many Russians? They all celebrate it too.
Happy Christmas to your rare one!

Bob Slatten said...

Beets and bacon!
Well, at least bacon.

Liz Hinds said...

What a lovely thing to do for your Rare One. As for twelve meatless dishes, well, there's cake, cookies, cheese - with and without macaroni - ice cream, more cake, fruit (so it's a healthy meal), apple pie, dessert, and um ... three other types of cake.

mxtodis123 said...

Those perogies look delicious. Now I want some.

Sooo-this-is-me said...

Nothing makes a vegetarian meal taste better than bacon! ;)
Merry Christmas... again!

Liz Hinds said...

And on the day that the Ukraine Orthodox Church is granted independence from Russia!
https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-46768270

Guillaume said...

One of my colleagues is from Georgia and she celebrates it today and tomorrow I think.

Linda deV said...

Wonderful traditions. I may borrow that some day.

Joanne Noragon said...

I live in pirogi country. So many Ukrainians, so many stories. We have the Pirogi Lady, who makes pirogis for every occasion. Corned beef and cabbage, ham and cheese, on and on and on.

^.^ said...

Awesome dish of perogies, friend D … Wishing you peeps a very merry greek orthodox xmas. Much love says this cat and her cat Theo.

Rosemary said...

I really love beetroot lots but I know that others do not. I bought a bunch of beetroot today which I shall look forward to eating once they are roasted.
Hope that your Rare One enjoys her Ukrainian treats.

Jono said...

Perogies! Now I feel a strong urge to drive up to Thunder Bay for lunch! There is a strong contingent of Ukrainians there! Merry Christmas to your Rare One!

mshatch said...

Pretty bag! And I thought I saw bacon...

mistress maddie said...

What a fun and great tradition for you both! Perogies!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
My weakness!!!!! In the winter I go to a polish ladies stand at the market every week. Mind you, I keep this up...im going to need a gridle.

Magic Love Crow said...

You are adorable! LOL! Happy Ukrainian Christmas Eve! Big Hugs to you and your Rare One! I love the gift and the perogies look yummy!!

Shammickite said...

You are inspiring me to buy some perogies and cook em up with bacon, just like yours. Looks delicious. Wish this computer had smell-o-vision installed.

lady M said...

How thoughtful - beet chips always say "I love you". The perogies have my mouth drooling.

Marie Smith said...

Enjoy! Love the tradition and your efforts!

CraveCute said...

Have a wonderful celebration! Perogies just went on my shopping list!

Magaly Guerrero said...

I love this insight into how you celebrate your Rare One.

Also, now I'm craving beet chips.

Sandy said...

Sounds like fun and a cool tradition. Love the pretty bag. So you say you're 0% Ukrainian, what is your ethnic background? Do you include any of that in your celebrations?

NanaDiana said...

Too too funny! My mother was a beet overloader. I think she served them with just about every farm meal we ever had. lol I no longer eat them thank you very much.

Several years ago I did paint a few Ukrainian eggs and still have them and pull them out around Easter.

Have a wonderful celebration!!! xo Diana

Debra She Who Seeks said...

@ Sandy -- My ethnic heritage is the traditional British mix of English, Irish, Scottish and Welsh, along with a big dose of German-speaking Swiss and a little dash of historical Anishinaabe blood. I often celebrate the Swiss heritage by eating lots of Lindt Swiss chocolate.

bill lisleman said...

I'm often culturally confused but I thought perogies were Polish. I learned on New Year's eve that a town in northern Indiana started a tradition of a Perogy drop.

^.^ said...

Please phone me if U have time, friend D. Love tears. cat.

Frank said...

Years ago my husband and I lived next door to a Polish lady who would make pirogies with her church group to sell after mass on Sundays. She would always give us zip-lock bags filled with all the supposedly not quite perfect ones. They were perfect enough for us. And that photo of yours with onion and bacon...yum! How I miss those tasty bites here in New Mexico...

Debra She Who Seeks said...

@ bill lisleman -- Perogies are found all over Eastern Europe but were invented in the Ukraine. At least that's how the Ukrainians tell it!

Martha said...

Perogies? I'll be right over with my BIG fork :)
Have fun celebrating!

Bea said...

Yum! It sounds like those from Ukraine know how to celebrate right. :)

Kirk said...

Perogies? Living as I do in ethnic-infused Cleveland, I sure know about those!

Adam said...

Hopefully Stalin didn't drop by and try to ruin it with mass starvation. That pesky asshole.

Janie Junebug said...

Knowing how much you love Your Rare One makes me happy. Recently, I was visiting with the nice lady who lives across the street and a friend of hers. The nice lady across the street mentioned that her daughter is a lesbian. Her friend said that her daughter is a lesbian, too. I said (sadly), My daughter is not a lesbian. The friend said, Then you can't join the club!

We all laughed.

Love,
Janie

Miss Val's Creations said...

A bunch is meatless dishes is right up my alley! I hope you ladies had a fun holiday. Beet chips sound intriguing but I have yet to try them.

Susan Kane said...

I have been told that there can never be enough butter and bacon in any recipe (almost).

Rawknrobyn.blogspot.com said...

Mmm, beet chips are yummy. Who needs borscht?
You and Rare One are sweet and fun.
Happy Ukranian Christmas (or the day after, whenever you read this).

JACKIESUE said...

the old farts at vfw want me to make a czech chicken soup..it's called kapunka.I call it kerplunka..it's kind of like egg drop soup...ask your rare one if the Ukraines have anything similar..if they do ask her to send me recipe please..supposedly the name of the soup is to mimic the sound of the noodles hitting the hot chicken soup.

Moving with Mitchell said...

Oh, perogies. I love perogies. And the only beets I have ever, ever in my life enjoyed have been beet chips I would have been very happy at your house!

Susan said...

Since perogies MUST be served with bacon, you are off the hook. What a great tradition - and I am sure that your Rare One knows that it is the thought that counts.

Missy George said...

Your perogies look delish!! Bacon is the perfect topper..enjoy

MrsDuncanMahogany said...

I too am 0% Ukrainian and I LOVE perogies. No bacon for me but LOVE them just the same.

John M said...

I can't remember how borscht tastes. I'll have to try it.

Jenn said...

Those beet chips are delish!! Happy Ukrainian Christmas!

e said...

My Ukrainian sister-in-law makes pelmini instead of (or in addition to) perogies. Delicious! I just hope the kids are learning to carry on the tradition.

Gia said...

Aww happy ukranian christmas eve! She's very lucky to have you!

Jill said...

This is so neat! Also I've never tried a beet :-)

Blessings,
Jill

Leanna said...

Pretty bag with a bag inside. So that golf ball, was it a neon color so she could find it in the snow? Just askin.

Infidel753 said...

Hope you have a good Christmas! Interesting about the traditional meatless dishes -- I've been to Ukraine (well, just Kiev) and I didn't get the impression that meatless dishes play much of a role in the culture. It was nowhere near Christmastime, though.

Mica T said...

Oh yum, that food looks delicious! I hope you had a lovely time celebrating Christmas! :)


Hope that you've had a wonderful start to 2019 so far! :)

Away From The Blue Blog

Hula La said...

That looks yummy...and I have a friend who celebrates right along with you, and I've had my share of borscht for now! And of course, bacon goes with anything...or nothing at all! BACON!!!

The Happy Whisk said...

Debra! This post was so fun. I'm only part Ukraine but I'm 100 percent pierogies!!!!!

Happy Christmas to you both. My mom used to keep all her xmas up for the real Christmas she said. But she stopped over the years. I dunno why? Now that I think of it.

She's half Ukraine and half Polish Jew. Lots of good food in that house for sure!

LL Cool Joe said...

Love the attention to detail. Everything tastes better with bacon!

Rommy said...

I've had beet chips before and they are yummy! I hope you and your Rare One had a terrific celebration.