Ukrainian Christmas Eve
Shortly after we moved here to Cambridge, we met the Boyds. Sharon Boyd comes from a family with Ukrainian roots and decided it might be fun for our two families to get together for supper on Ukrainian Christmas Eve. That was the beginning of many years of such suppers, but now, instead of just our two families, the guest list has expanded to 25 or more friends. Sharon’s two daughters may not be here each year, but occasionally, one will come from British Columbia for the event as Kelly did this year when we celebrated last week. Our daughter, who lived in Bermuda for almost 12 years, did happen to be here last year, and our son, who lives in Cambridge, still comes every year. It is one of our most important social events, and we know the food will be delicious…and always the same. I help make the Varenyky or Perogies; we call ourselves the “Cambridge Perogy Swat Team”. But Sharon takes at least a week making the rest of the 12 dishes which include Blini with Creme Fraiche and Caviar, Kutya, Borscht, Pickled Herring and Mushrooms, Varenyky, Mushroom-Stuffed Crepes, Sauerkraut, Cabbage Rolls, Baked Beets, Fruit Compote and Medivnyk or honey cake. Sometimes guests will make one or two dishes to help her out. This year a gentleman neighbour made the crepes and cured some fish for her. I made an easy baked beet dish and I will post it on my recipe page now. It is from Savella Stechishin’s Traditional Ukrainian Cookery, and is merely a guide; you will have to use as much sugar, salt, pepper and vinegar as you like.
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