Sunday, January 8, 2006

Z Rizdvom Hristovim

Merry (Orthodox) Christmas! We celebrated today by making our first ever homemade Ukrainian dinner (even though it's supposed to be eaten on Sviat Vechir - Christmas Eve), and it was fantastic, if the chef does say so herself. We had stuffed salmon and varenyky, and for dessert we had Pillsbury out-of-the-freezer-at-Super Target cookie dough pie (not so Ukie, but sooo yummy). Yes, we know the pysanky on the table are for Easter, but they make such beautiful decorations!

We stuffed the salmon with a mixture of lemon juice and zest, salt, pepper, onion, celery, and rice and covered it with the remainder after rubbing it with garlic and butter. The rice came out a little undercooked, but overall it tasted and smelled fantastic.

The varenyky (pierogi) were a little more tricky. We made the dough from scratch, and it was super sticky. We went through an enormous amount of flour to keep it from sticking to the wax paper. We made the filling from mashed potatoes (from the box, it was a very late dinner and besides, we're not that anal!), onions, and cottage cheese, with a dash of salt and pepper. After doing only a couple, we got the hang of it and made the rest pretty quickly. Not a single one opened up while cooking, so we're pretty proud of that. After they were drained, we tossed them in butter and P added a good dose of smetana (sour cream) on top of hers. They were perfectly cooked - nice and firm - and they expanded nicely, and the dough, which was pretty tasteless uncooked, developed a really nice flavor. We'll never eat pierogi out of a box again.

We were so proud of how well the dinner turned out, and we're very excited to be keeping Ukrainian cultural tradition in our family. With Chip in bed, we were able to sit in the dining room, have some wine (Ecco Domani pinot grigio) with dinner, and (gasp!) talk for once! Here's a photo of the proud chef:

We also did some house shopping for the future Georgians, Patty's mom and dad, today and found a really great one, but it's too far from everything. We have a couple more to see tomorrow, and hopefully we (along with Mom and Dad) can choose one by Monday. Anyway, Merry Christmas! Here are a couple of links that you might enjoy:

Ukie Christmas Eve

Ukie Christmas and why it's celebrated 13 days "late"

More of the same but with some great pictures