Ukrainian Christmas Eve is not only very rich in traditional foods prepared freshly that day (today in our busy lifestyle most of us prepare many food items ahead of time), and shared by the family during the Christmas Eve 12-course meatless dinner, but also myriad traditions are practiced before and after the meal.
During the summer months when fresh fruits and berries are in abundance I like to cook a fruity drink called Kompot.
At Christmas time I prepare a similar drink called Uzvar, which contains mostly dried fruits and berries, plus a few fresh apples.
Kompot and Uzvar may be sweetened with honey, however, I like to use a packet of Strawberry Jello powder for flavor, sweetness, and color.
The abundance of fresh strawberries from my garden, and succulent rhubarb stalks from my daughter’s garden, prompted me to cook up a delicious fruity compote, and create a batch of refreshing popsicles, for my grandchildren to enjoy during this hot weather.
Christmas is my favorite holiday of the year. Everyone is rushing around to get shopping done, attend parties, put final touches on holiday decorations, and plan holiday meals.
The Ukrainians have many rich traditions associated with the celebration of Christmas. Many of them have been modernized to accommodate everyone’s busy lifestyle, but others are still kept original, and passed on from generation to generation.