It is the day of Resurrection! O people, let us be enlightened by it! It is Pascha, the Lord's own Passover, since Christ our God has brought us from death to Life, and from earth to Heaven. Therefore, we sing the hymn of victory!
CHRIST IS RISEN FROM THE DEAD!
This is the Resurrection day! Let us be enlightened by this Feast and let us embrace one another. Let us call "Brethren" even those who hate us, and in the Resurrection forgive everything; and let us sing:
CHRIST IS RISEN FROM THE DEAD,
CONQUERING DEATH BY DEATH,
AND ON THOSE IN THE GRAVES
To view your on-line Paschal greeting, click here.
"Do the Orthodox do anything but eat?" :?)
On Pascha, it is customary to bring a basket of the foods abstained from during Lent to church to be blessed at the conclusion of the Liturgy. I have included some of our favorite family recipies, as well as a list, description and meaning of the "traditional contents" of a Carpathian and Eastern Slovak basket. Enjoy!
Paska - Traditional Sweet Bread 4 cups scalded milk
2 cups honey
2 cups melted butter
6 beaten eggs
4 packets active dry yeast
1/2 lukewarm water
approximately 5 lbs. flour
six 7" pans
In large bowl, combine milk, honey, butter and cool to lukewarm. Save 1 egg white, and add the rest to the milk mixture. MAKE SURE THE MILK IS NOT HOT!!! You will cook the eggs and ruin the recipe.
Dissolve the yeast in the water. Let stand for 10 minutes.
Add yeast to the milk mixture.
Add flour to the milk mixture, 2 cups at a time, until the dough can be handled.
Knead for approximately 10-15 minutes. Place in greased bowl and rise for 1 1/2 hours Puch down, knead again, and let rise a second time for 45 minutes.
Shape into six 7" loaves. Place in pans and let rise for 45 minutes. Take 1 tbsp. of water and the reserved egg white, mix together, and brush with it the tops of the loaves. Bake at 350* for 30-45 until golden brown and until "done" (With all bread recipes, "done" means when you tap the bottom of the loaf, and you get a "hollow" sound.)
This is THE most popular recipe with our family. My mother usually doubles this recipe and gives loaves to our family, friends and neighbors. They look forward to getting their loaf each year. Try this with your family, and it is sure to be a hit!
Hrutka-Sirek (Egg Cheese)
1 dozen eggs
1 quart milk
1/4 tsp. salt
24" x 48" cheese cloth
Beat together all ingredients. Put in a large, heavy pot and cook over medium low heat, stirring constantly, until the eggs begin to solidify, and look like scrambled eggs in liquid.
Double cheese cloth to form an approximate 24" x 24" square. Place cloth in large collinder. Place collinder in sink, and pour the mixture into it. Gather the corners, tie together with string, squeeze to remove excess moisture and hang up to drain overnight. Should form a ball about the size of a large grapefruit.
As you may have noticed, I have hyphenated the name of this recipe. This is for the sake of familial diplomacy. Every year, there is a slight disagreement between my mom and dad over the name. His family always called it "Hrutka", while my mom's called it "Sirek". I tend to side with my father, while my sister with my mother. The rest of the family who have eschewed most of their ethnicity just calls it the "scrambled-egg cheese". By whatever name, it is just as delicious!
2 14.5 oz. cans beets
1 6 oz. prepared horseradish.
Finely grate the beets. Mix with the horseradish.
Hrin is a simple dish, mainly to help in the digestion of the meat and cheese.
Ham & Kolbasi
There is really no "recipe" for ham or kolbasi. A wonderful place to get gourmet smoked meats, including ham and kolbasi, isNew Skete,an Orthodox monastery. All the meats are prepared, cured and smoked by the monks at their hilltop monastery in Cambridge, NY.
Eggs are the universal Paschal symbol. They are one of the popular customs that we as Orthodox share with American culture.
The egg is a symbol of resurrection. In many areas, the egg is the one food that breaks the Great Fast. Traditionaly the eggs are dyed red, a color to denote the sacrifice made on Calvary for us by our Lord Jesus Christ. Tradation states that it goes back to the time of Saint Mary Magdalene, equal-to-the-apostles. When she was summoned before the emperor Tiberius, she handed him an egg and exlaimed to him, "Christ is Risen!" He of course expressed great disbelief, and said he would not believe her unless the egg whould turn red. As he was speaking, it did!
All these items are placed in a large basket along with salt, butter and a blessed candle. It is all covered with an ornate cover, many times embroidered with a cross and/or the text "Christ is Risen!" It is then ready to be brought to the church and blessed.