If you like tangy flavored soups, you will love Sorrel Borscht (Shchav). My first experience with tasting this dish was in a Polish restaurant, while visiting my family in Poland. My husband really liked the slightly tangy taste of this soup, so I have been preparing it during the sorrel growing season. The main ingredient is sorrel, of course, a simple herb but not easily found in a grocery store, but rather in a specialty food shop, or a garden (your own or your friend’s).
You can find a ready-made Shchav Borscht, in the Kosher section at your favorite grocery store, but its taste does not measure up to the fresh, homemade version. Once you make it at home, you most likely will never want to buy it pre-made.
Easter is such a beautiful holiday, but here in the US, it does not get even close to the vast recognition that Christmas is showered with.
My family and I feel very lucky to be familiar with, and able to practice the Ukrainian Easter traditions. Besides the 40 days of the Great Lent, and the different church services from Holy Thursday through Easter Sunday, there is the traditional Easter Basket Blessing, which takes place at our church on Holy Saturday, or right after the Sunrise Easter Sunday Liturgy in other parishes.
The Easter Basket of special foods (described below) is arranged on Holy Saturday and taken to church, where a special blessing ceremony with prayers and sprinkling with Holy Water, is performed by the parish priest. The blessed food is served on Easter Sunday Brunch, once the fast is broken after the morning Easter Liturgy.
Easter is one of my favorite holidays, because of its rich traditions. One of these is the blessing of a basket of special foods which becomes the Easter Sunday brunch, being the first meat meal, after a strict fast on Good Friday and Saturday. One of the special foods in that basket is a round shaped Easter Bread, called Paska in Ukrainian, or Babka in Polish. The top of this bread is elaborately decorated with fancy dough ornaments, having a cross as the central motif. Here is my family Paska recipe, which makes two large loaves, or several small ones.