Having a Christmas Feast with a Ukrainian woman

Have you ever had a taste of Ukrainian cuisine on Christmas eve?

Just a heads up. If you’re spending your holiday season in the country — their Christmas dishes often don’t have any meat or poultry in them because of religious beliefs. However, that doesn’t stop your average Ukrainian woman from enjoying them.

If you plan to spend Sviata Vecheria or Christmas Eve Supper with a special Ukrainian lady, anticipate putting your culinary skills to the test.

Christmas feast Christmas in Ukraine is celebrated on January 7 based on the Gregorian calendar.

There are 12 dishes that you need to prepare for Christmas eve — you read that right. It’s customary that you do so in honor of the 12 apostles.

To help you get started on your Sviata Vecheria, here are the dishes you need to prepare:

Pickles

Pickles are a popular snack or side dish in Ukraine.

There are many different fruits and vegetables that you can use — cucumbers and tomatoes, mushrooms, watermelons, zucchini, sweet pepper, garlic, and even corn are the most popular choices in Ukraine. For a saturated taste, locals recommend that you mix the brine with herbs, greens, coriander, and horseradish.

Baked apples

This delicious baked apple is one of the most-loved Ukrainian desserts. The apples are stuffed with walnuts, raisins, and dried apricot mixture and scented with cinnamon and vanilla.

You can easily adjust the recipe to accommodate the number of guests attending. It is merely a matter of increasing the quantity of the filling. Flavorful baked apples are a great way to end a Christmas supper.

Patties

Patties come in different shapes — round, square, three or four-cornered, pentagonal or heptangular. They can either have crimped or pinched edges. This dish is commonly filled with curd, carrot, potato, porridge, or mushroom.

Buckwheat

Buckwheat is one of the main dishes at Sviata Vecheria. It is easy to cook, tastes great, and can be eaten even in the morning after the feast.

Buckwheat leaves are abundant in Ukraine, so this dish is ubiquitous yet still beloved by the people.

Stuffed cabbage rolls

The name for stuffed cabbage rolls in the Ukrainian language is holubtsi.

It’s best to prepare this dish a day before — it’s known to be rather time-consuming.

This dish consists of cabbage rolls stuffed with meat and rice and cooked with a sauce of your choice. You can also choose a different filling for your cabbage rolls or even combine meat, veggies, and grain altogether.

Vegetable stew

The colorful vegetable stew makes an excellent snack or side dish. It’s a mixture of soup with various roasted vegetables.

It is essential that all the components retain their shape and do not turn into a puree. Your vegetable stew can have a variety of different ingredients and can be prepared according to your preferences.

Vinegret

Make no mistake. In Ukraine, vinegret is an actual salad and not a dressing. Ukrainians eat this dish a lot during the winter holidays. This vibrant, healthy, and nutritious bowl of vegetables is cooked from boiled potatoes, beets, carrots, and beans. It is eaten as an entree rather than as a side dish.

Kapustniak

Kapusniak is a traditional Ukrainian dish whose main ingredients are sour cabbage and sauerkraut.

Many variations of this dish exist across different regions of the country. Some don’t have any sauerkraut added at all, just sour cabbage. It is sometimes made vegetarian-style with only mushrooms, carrots, potatoes, onion, and millet.

Borscht

It is important to prepare borscht in a rich broth for it to be fragrant, but it can also be prepared lean. Instead of meat, you’ll have to prepare it with beans or vegetables. Borscht is also served with bread or patties, along with twenty other ingredients. It sounds complex, but once you get a bite of it, you will be blown away.

Vareniki

Vareniki is a traditional Ukrainian dish and for sure can be named the favorite one of the locals. It is a kind of dumpling with filling that you may find at many feasts, especially Christmas dinner. It is cooked from unleavened dough and stuffed with chopped vegetables, mushrooms, fruits, cottage cheese, or berries. Vereniki is usually served with smetana (sour cream), baked salo (pork fat) with onions or varenje (jam), and sugar, depending on the filling.

Kutia

Kutia is a special dish consisting of grain, honey, and poppy seeds.

Each ingredient of the kutia has a sacred meaning behind them. Grain represents resurrection. Honey represents a healthy and prosperous life. Poppy seeds symbolize wealth in the family.

After everyone has had their share of kutia, the leftovers are left on the table. This is the Ukrainians’ way of sharing their kutia with their ancestors.

Uzvar

You can’t have Kutia without Uzvar — it’s like not having milk with cereal.

Uzvar is a traditional Ukrainian drink made with dried fruits, berries, sugar, and honey. Because this drink is a rich source of vitamins and nutrients, it’s popular among Ukrainians who are fasting.

Your body is very susceptible to micronutrient deficiency during the 40 days fast before Christmas. In turn, this negatively affects your physical appearance, emotional well-being, and mental health. A glass of Uzvar after the Christmas fast allows your stomach to become accustomed to eating heavy meals again, making it not only a staple but a necessity during the feast.

The Feast Before Christmas Day

couple baking Ukrainian women love it when their man lends a helping hand without being asked.

With Yuletide season coming in, preparations can often get hectic. Hence, it would only be natural that you give your partner a helping hand in the kitchen.

You can’t leave it all to her to make all the dishes — how is she going to enjoy her Christmas when she has far too many things on her plate?

As a gentleman, it is your responsibility to look after your lady. Nothing can make a Ukrainian woman swoon more than her man coming in to save her day.

Besides, it’s best to have all hands on deck for this. This way, you’ll both get things done much quicker and spend a romantic Christmas Eve together.


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