Tag Archives: varenyky

Svjata Vecherya / Holy Supper – Ukrainian Christmas Eve

7 Jan

Varenyky (dumplings)

Whole Roasted Stuffed Fish

Last night we had our twelve-dish meatless Christmas Eve meal.  I’ve invited over some of my friends as my daughter and  I don’t have any family here.  What a great night we had!  One of the Russian girls said that it was a blast from a past, in a fun way 🙂  We all stay until 2 am and if it wouldn’t be a Sunday night (many had to go to work today) we could have easily stayed another hour or so.

This is what we had :

  1. Kutya 
  2. Herring
  3. Pickled mushrooms
  4. Sauerkraut
  5. Roasted Peppers
  6. Salad “Vinegret”.  Sounds like “Vinaigrette”  but it’s not the oil-and-vinegar dressing in this case.
  7. Borsch /  (no, this is not a typo.  There is no “t” in this word in Ukrainian, Russian and Polish! Here is the actual word written in Cyrillic:  Борщ)
  8. Cabbage Rolls
  9. Whole roasted stuffed fish
  10. Potato-Fried Onion Varenyky
  11. Cabbage Varenyky 
  12. Uzvar 

Herring, pickled mushrooms and sauerkraut were store-bought.  Everything else my daughter and I made from scratch, including Kolach.  I will be sharing some of these recipes in my posts.

2012 Toronto Ukrainian Festival

27 Sep

Вітаємо / Welcome!

For the last three years my daughter and I make a point of attending Toronto Ukrainian Festival held in September on Bloor West, between Runnymede and Jane.  We always look forward to sampling traditional food, listening to live bands and people-watching.

Roasted whole pig.  We are pork eaters!

I love food and am open-minded while trying different foods however when it comes to traditional Ukrainian fare – varenyky, kapusta, borsch (by the way, it’s not “borscht”, there is no “t” in the “borsch”!), holybtsi, I become super-critical.    Let’s start with varenyky, a.k.a. perogi.  Canadians and some Ukrainian Canadians love the potato-cheddar cheese variety.  This variety is unheard of in Ukraine!  It has to be some crazy North American invention as cheddar cheese was not available  in Ukraine.  I lived there until 1993 and can assure you that nobody made those.

We like to visit different vendors and marvel at their displays.

Rushnyky (towels)

These are the traditional Ukrainian embroidered rushnyky (towels).  They are used to decorate religious icons, during wedding ceremonies or just to decorate a Ukrainian home.  They are also used as table runners, panels to make pillows or any other place that needs a little embroidery.

My family is from Bukovyna, a region in the Western Ukraine. This is a partial shot of the hand embroidered Bukovynian blouse.  We believe that this kind of embroidery is protecting against the bad spirits.  The blouse is heavy, up to 20lbs because of all the tiny beads that are sewn on it.  It’s not cheap, $600 CDN and I couldn’t it get it cheaper even in Ukraine.  My aunt make these blouses and they go for $500 US.

Keptar, a fur-trimmed Bukovynian vest

Me in my embroidered blouse, trying on a Bukovynian headpiece 🙂

Another traditional costume from a different region in Ukraine

My boyfriend joined me on Saturday and got to sample some Ukrainian beer:Brewed since 1715!

I don’t think he liked it too much so Lvivske Pyvo didn’t get his stamp of approval 🙂

My daughter and I participated in the vodka tasting.  We had to compare “Slava” to “Stolichnaya” and Zirkova” to “Absolut”.

Well, Ukrainian vodka won, hands down.  Absolut is too harsh and Stoli has this “chemical” aftertaste.   Zirkova has a clean, crisp taste and Slava trickles smoothly down the throat.

Interesting piece of trivia:

Canada has the world’s third-largest Ukrainian population outside of Ukraine.  Ukrainian Canadians represent the ninth largest ethnic group in the country.

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