Friday, January 07, 2011

Merry Christmas all over again!

Today is Christmas day all over again! The Ukrainian Christmas celebration began last night at the sighting of the first star in the evening sky. This represents the trek of the Wisemen. I think that in itself is such a wonderful tradition.

The Christmas feast then begins with 12 meatless dishes that represent the 12 disciples. The first dish is Kutia (Kutya), a sweet pudding made with boiled wheat berries, honey and poppy seeds. We sell quite a bit of wheat prior to the holiday season for this purpose. It is very tasty, but as with most dishes, there is good Kutia and there is bad Kutia. Here's a good article on the dish There are myriad variations for preparing Kutia so I think it is one of those dishes that falls under the category of "add whatever you like" similar to the old English puddings.

I guess its worth mentioning that this Christmas date is not limited to Ukrainian culture, but anyone who traditionally follows the old Julian Calendar. Greece was the last country to adopt the modern Gregorian Calendar in 1924. The Julian calendar continues to fall behind the Gregorian by a full day approximately every 100 years. on Monday, March 15, 2100 the Julian calendar will be exactly 2 weeks behind at March 1.

Merry Christmas!


  1. Hey John,
    Merry Christmas to you and yours too! This is hilarious--I am also writing a little piece on Kutia--because it uses honey! Did you make some with your own wheat?

    I hope your house is snug and warm and that you are on the way to being settled in there.

    We'd love to come by! Give me a call.


  2. Hi Patty! where will you publish your article? Would love to read anything you write. We are sitting in the little house on the prairie in the middle of a blizzard along with you I suppose. We are more than snug...we have to keep cracking the odd window open. We stoke the wood stove once a day and then once right before bed with the settings on the stove as low as they go...still too hot.

    Why everyone doesnt build one of these houses is beyond me. Can't wait to have you guys over! Let us get organized and expect a call. See you soon.

  3. Hey John, I just check out your product on Eat Local First- it was a great prod in the derriere to finally purchase stuff from the Good Food Box. I've been thinking of buying a mill to make my own flour, but don't know which model is best. What would you recommend? We use about 2- 3 kgs of flour per week. I have a kitchen aid mixer and know they have an attachment, so I could get that if you've heard good things.

    Thanks, and cheerful greetings to you in this blizzard!

  4. Thanks for your contribution to our blog Carissa! So happy to see you following now too. Milling your own flour can be very satisfying. My mom uses a least I think that's what its called. It is a high performance blender and it works well. Another thing to consider is perhaps giving me a shout for some bigger containers of flour. If you supply me a container I can mill your flour and we can make flour/container exchange once a month somewhere in town. Just a thought.

  5. A good supplier of small mills is Fieldstone Granary out of BC. I know that they can get you a mill and they are good quality, German made stone mills.

  6. Hey John,
    Have you ever met MaryAnn Barnett? She live in Oyen and she has been milling grain from their farm for her own family since the 1970s and is extremely knowledgeable about small-scale milling for home use. She is a Bosch representative but I think she is a supplier for other kitchen mills too. She does workshops for people who want to start milling their own flour....I always though we should get her up here. It's a bit of a hike from Oyen but maybe she comes to town now and then? Maybe Gold Forest Grains and a couple of other groups (Slow Food? Eat Local First?) could set up a different workshops? Here's her info:
    I'll give you a call this week, okay?

  7. Thanks, I had not heard of MaryAnn. I will give her a shout and maybe try to set something up.