Sviata Vechera with Iryna Shumanska
Marion Ohio, USA January
The sacred bread is formed of three strands and baked as a round loaf, representing the perfect and eternal Trinity.
It graces the center of the table and a second loaf is broken into small pieces, dipped in honey and shared with each member
of the family before the meal starts. The honey has ancient meanings in the Ukrainian land. In the Christmas Eve meal it represents
the soul of Christ. Bread is otherwise not part of the meal.
Borsch Meatless Borsch This is a Ukrainian national dish made without meat
for Christmas Eve. Borsch is based on beets and in this recipe it is made with a beet “broth,” kvas, and contains
beets and other vegetables. The broth was lightly fermented for about five weeks using rye bread.
Mushroom Soup This is a simple, clear mushroom
soup made in its own mushroom broth which is light and easy on the pallet.
Little Ears The shape of these mushroom filled dumplings explains their name. There is no
substitute for them, especially on Christmas Eve and with mushroom soup.
This ancient, traditional and symbolic Ukrainian dish is made of shelled wheat in the same way oatmeal is cooked and
contains poppy seeds and honey. It sometimes introduces the meal with the announcement that Christ is Born. Iryna completed
the dish with honey and poppy seeds.
Shrimp as provided by Norma.
Fish Homemade with white fish using an authentic Ukrainian recipe.
Pisni Holubtsi Meatless Cabbage Rolls
These cabbage rolls are an important part of the Christmas Eve menu. They are made in Iryna’s household with
rice only filling and some tomato juice for cooking. Recipe made by Norma.
Stuffed Dumplings Mashed potato filling is used without adding the usual onions
because we are cooking for Iryna.
Kapusty which we know as sauerkraut is used in the second version, again without onions included.
Pampushky Yeast-raised fried rounds of dough
which have been a part of Ukrainian celebrations for centuries. For Sviata Vechera they are a sweet doughnut type pastry.
Iryna said that her Mother and Grandmother typically do not use a filling. These, with apologies to the Shumanskas back in
Ukraine, use a Ukrainian recipe apricot filling.
Salat with Vinegar and Oil Dressing
This excellent salad has been prepared by Iryna and is made of several cooked vegetables, primarily beets, potatoes,
Uzvar For the
meal the beverage is a time honored Ukrainian recipe that is the liquid from stewing dried fruit. Iryna’s family uses
dried apples only and that tradition was honored.
The intent has been to first honor the birth of Christ and then Ukraine’s ancient traditions.
has been to please Iryna and prepare the dishes as close as possible to those she would have had with her family this Christmas
The meal has been prepared with prayer and is offered with love.
Transliteration of Ukrainian has been used when available with the recipes.