Thursday, December 21, 2006


I was reading a blog about food we love to hate! Stuff served on the holidays that people think are gross and disgusting.

And all I could think was that they never had a Russian Christmas!!!!! For a few weeks before, family would put salt, pepper, butter, and other things out on a table, and the parish priest would come around, and bless the stuff.

My mom's thing was Blessed Salt and pepper.

So she would hardboiled eggs, slice them nice and pretty, and sprinkle them with the blessed salt and pepper. First thing you ate at Christmas was the salted hard boiled eggs. This was back when I wasn't allergic to eggs, and I just loved them...But you could have only one piece. (guess you couldn't have too much blessings)

then, as every one sat around the table, this wafer thingie was passed around! It was a blessed communion wafer, but big and square. You would break off a piece, hold it out, and people around the table would break off pieces of everyone's, and say "good luck, or god bless" and then eat the pieces they broke off. Not Yummmy at all, had no flavor, and heaven forbid you should miss someone, they would chase you down for their piece of wafer. Never understood that!!! Or why!!!! But you did as tradition said you did!

Then after like 3 weeks of cooking, dinner was served.

But first, a piece of waxed paper was set on your plate, and a small pile of Pickled herring with onions was put down. (I still LOVE them, I buy jars of them whenever I can, but I do prefer the ones in cream sauce!) You ate the herring, and the rest was ready. (Mom told me the waxed paper was to keep the plates from smelling like fish)

Pot roast, chicken, stuffed cabbage, fresh kelbosi, and smoked kelbosi, maybe some turkey, or duck. (YES, all of that in ONE MEAL! I have no idea why so much meat, but that's how it used to be)

Sour Kraut, fried with onions and butter

there were mashed potatoes, mushrooms, cold green bean salad (cold cooked green beans mixed with sour cream and chopped onions) Carrot salad (fresh carrots grated up, with sour cream. and raisins and a little sugar added)

Rye and pumpernickel bread, butter, hot rolls, and damn if I can think of any other things, but I knew there was more!!!

My Mom must have KILLED herself cooking!!!!! I know for a fact that she cooked for weeks before the dinner. So much work for like 10 minutes of eating!!!!!

Now the family stuff: We went to my Mom's Mom for Christmas Eve. Grandmom had an early dinner in the store front attached to her home. It hadn't been a store in years, but she didn't have a dinning room, so we ate on a huge table set up there. There was no heat, but I guess she left the door to the house open the whole day, so while chilly, it was semi comfortable.

Same food, with some extra's, and lots and lots of drinking! Everyone got a little silly..... and yes, the kids drank also, but just a little, but a little is enough for a small child. Vodka being the drink we got. Just a shot or two, but it warmed us up, and kept us happy. GIGGLE

Then home for a nap. We napped while the grown ups got ready for Midnight mass, I remember laying, dressed up in a frilly dress, on my mom's be, dozing on and off while she got ready. The wonderful smell of Topaz perfume in the air!!

Then off the midnight mass. and back home for bed.

Next morning, opening gifts, and then the big dinner.

I guess in a way my Mom had it good, because her parents were Russian and polish, but they observed polish Christmas, the December 25th one.

Then 2 weeks later we did it all over again for the Russian Christmas with my fathers parents. So she had time in between to prepare. And the Russian Christmas was at my dad's mom's house, so Mom got a break from cooking!!!!