Category Archives: Come to the Table

Share our wonderful journey as our Canadian family shares our amazing feasts with our sponsor sites and we discuss local food, local crops, and the table of mercy

Ukrainian Christmas Kutia

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Kutia at our Pochaiv Sponsor Site

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Children making Christmas Kutia – a traditional Christmas Recipe

Kutia is the main dish on Ukrainians’ Christmas table. It has a special significance and Holy Dinner begins with it. Kutia is also called God’s dish. It is cooked of decorticated wheat grains, poppy seeds, honey, walnuts and raisins. This dish is a symbol of unity of generations: past ones and coming ones. Also, it is a symbol of life victory over death. Wheat grains are life which comes to the end and revives. Poppy seeds are souls of deceased ancestors. Honey is an ancient symbol of Christianity and it becomes a symbol of the Good News that Jesus, World Savior, is Born. Therefore, kutia is a very ancient a symbolic dish on the festive table. The tastier kutia is the higher prosperity will be at your home. A soup plate with kutia is to be placed in the middle of a table. Entire family should taste kutia from one plate as this is a symbol of a family unity. A separate small plate with kutia is to be placed on a window sill for deceased ancestors whose souls come for Holy Dinner this night.

Ingredients

1½ cups decorticated wheat (wheat berries)

1 cup poppy seeds

4 tablespoons honey

½ cup raisins

½ cup decorticated walnuts

½ cup boiled water

4 tablespoons sugar

Salt

  • Soak wheat berries for few hours in cold water. After that, pour the water out. For 1 part of wheat we take 2 parts of water (1:2 proportion). Put wheat into boiling water, add ½ teaspoon salt and 2 tablespoons sugar. Do not mix wheat while boiling. Simmer wheat under lid.
  • After water boils way, put wheat into hot oven for 30 minutes.
  • Rinse poppy seeds and steam it with boiling-hot water for few hours. Push the poppy seeds through a food grinder. Add sugar and honey.
  • Grind walnuts, steam raisins and strain off.
  • Add some boiled water into cool wheat, add poppy seeds, raisins and walnuts. Mix everything and put into clay bowl.

Recipe from our Pochaiv Site Director, Halyna Mykytiuk 

Christmas treats for our children in our Pochaiv, Ukraine site

Christmas treats for our children in our Pochaiv, Ukraine site

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Children at our site praying for their sponsor

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Stews You Can Use – Functional Food in Nairobi

Since 2015, Chalice has been partnering with Inverness County Cares, a Nova Scotian community group, to support the daily operations of St Charles Lwanga Secondary School, near Nairobi, Kenya.

St Charles Lwanga secondary school, just outside Nairobi, Kenya.

St Charles Lwanga secondary school, just outside Nairobi, Kenya.

I was visiting the school, and my colleagues went into a meeting while I walked around the school to take pictures – I am the photographer, after all. I had made my rounds and returned to the headmaster’s office to wait for my colleagues to come for lunch. It became clear that lunch was going to be a while yet. So I went back out and hung out with students while they took their lunch break. Still no sign of my colleagues. But I realized the cooking staff were getting under way with preparing our meal. Thinking of those popular ‘recipe videos’ like on Mashable and Buzzfeed, I pulled out my camera and tried to capture the process of making…whatever it was exactly that they were making.

Chopping onions. Chopping tomatoes. Boiling water… aha! They’re making a stew! So, I got completely underfoot for the next hour or so while they prepared stew, rice, greens and other delectable items for my colleagues and me.

When I got home, I made my very own “recipe video” – but good luck trying it at home, because there aren’t exactly precise timings and measured ingredients.

Our meal that day represented many Kenyan staples. It included:

  • Beef stew – beef, tomato, onion, garlic, oil
  • Rice – classic and white!
  • Ugali – a staple for Kenyan cuisine – it consists of cooking either cornmeal, millet or sorghum flour in boiling water or milk until solidifies into a thick, doughy ball.
  • Stewed or braised mixed (collard) greens
  • Topped off with a beautiful, sweet, creamy local banana for dessert.

I had noticed that the students were also eating ugali that day, and theirs was paired with githeri, another ubiquitous staple meal, which really means any kind of combination of boiled beans and corn. It’s understandable why it’s popular – it’s highly versatile with flavouring, and it’s filling and nutritious when served with a starch — like today’s ugali, or perhaps a chapathi (a soft flatbread similar to tortilla or naan).

Serving plates of lunch at St Charles Lwanga

Serving plates of lunch at St Charles Lwanga

And with full bellies, we continued onto a highly productive day. My colleagues completed their meetings, and the students conducted a school-wide debate. Powered on nutritious food, there’s no stopping these young people!

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To learn more about the Chalice Children Nutrition Fund and how you can help, check out http://www.chalice.ca/get-involved/chalice-children

— By Kate Mosher, Creative Specialist and Photographer at Chalice