Merry Eastern Orthodox Christmas

Merry Christmas to all who celebrate Nativity on January 6 & 7! by fusion-of-horizons

I think it should be a rule that everybody celebrate everybody else’s happy holidays so that every month the whole year long is filled with festivities and happy holiday cheer. Now that Christmas and New Year’s Eve and day as most people- at least in the Western world-  celebrate is over, we can now start preparing for the Eastern Orthodox Christmas which comes on January 7th.

Traditionally Eastern Orthodox Christmas was celebrated with vegetables making up most of the foods served.  Orthodox Christmas food may include:

  • Nuts and fresh dried fruits.
  • Vegetables and herbs such as potatoes, peas, and garlic.
  • Mushroom soup.
  • Slow-cooked kidney beans with potatoes, garlic and seasoning.
  • Bobal’ki (small biscuits combined with sauerkraut or poppy seed with honey).
  • Bowl of honey.

Which vegetables were mostly available at this time of year before refrigeration was available? A lot of root vegetables like potatoes, carrot, beets and turnips or the cruciferous vegetables like cabbage could be stored for long periods in a cool place that didn’t freeze. They call these storage places root cellars. These were cellars dug in the dirt underground.

TheGardenLady’s parents’ house had a root cellar under the house- the basement was hard packed soil with a door that led to it through the kitchen floor, like a trap door, (which is a hinged or removable panel in a floor, ceiling, or roof) where my mother stored all her canned goods and root vegetables.

You can make your own root cellar which is an economical way of storing your homegrown produce.  (see here) If you do find an area in your home to build a root cellar or if you have an area in your yard to build one, you can then store the produce you will grow in your garden and harvest next fall. Here is how one blogger created his root cellar in his yard.

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