When I was growing up, Christmas Eve was a great day. Lots of fun traditions and, most of all, a trip to our grandmother's house (aka "Bub") for the traditional Slovak meal. If you'd like more background, go read this first.
Since my dad's death, my siblings have been gracious enough to travel here to celebrate his life, including the traditional Christmas Eve meal. Sort of, anyway. Enough people have been added to the family that the meal is now quite watered down from the soup, pagach and bobalki of my youth. We now have pierogi, fish, shrimp, cheese and crackers...all sorts of yummy stuff. I can't help but think it's making my children soft ;0)
So, now that we've braved Slovak culture for a full week and learned to eat non-traditional fare (they have always been game for Indian, Chinese, etc. anyway) it's time to go old school. Tomorrow, on the actual day, we will enjoy the actual meal along with my mom, aunt, and Uncle D. I'm really hoping to continue this every year so that they can one day carry on the tradition (and if not, at least they will have fun memories).
Today, in preparation, was a day of cooking. My aunt is kind enough to make the mushroom soup tomorrow, my mom was kind enough to take #s3&4 for the day and #5 was kind enough to take a long nap so I grabbed my two sous chefs and we were off.
Mine will not look all flaky and good like this. My only goal is that it be edible. This is my first time and there are lots of little people around ;0)
Next comes the bobalki (or "sweet" and "sour" balls as they were known in our time)
First you make little balls of dough (yes, I used frozen bread dough since I was short on time. I do hope, one day, to actually make it from scratch). Then you bake them and there is this crazy thing about dumping boiling water on them and then adding the topping, poppy seed or sauerkraut. Get the nicknames now? I'm not a huge fan but, since we're going old school, they have to be there!
We are blessed. Have a quiet and blessed Christmas Day!