Vareniki, Christmas Tradition

These are photos from over 5 years ago on two separate cooking days before Christmas. I got the photos from my nieces.

This photo above is from 2012, the last Vareniki day with our mom.

It’s been 5 years now since my sisters and nieces have been able to have Vareniki cooking day with our mom. This event usually happens the weekend before Christmas. Our mom left this earth in September of 2013. I’m proud of my sisters and nieces for keeping this tradition alive without our mom’s guidance. It’s our family tradition to have these filled cheese dumplings for dessert on Christmas Eve. The cheese filling is a lightly sweetened Russian style farmer’s cheese. These filled creations are enjoyed after dinner on Christmas Eve. After making the dough, filling them with cheese, pinching them just right like our mom taught us, they are simmered until they float, cooled, and stored for Christmas Eve. To serve they are placed evenly in a glass casserole dish and baked with butter and half and half until bubbly. They are served hot topped with sour cream and syrup.  I’m going to have to have a breakthrough and try making these with my girls. We also enjoy them for breakfast.

Today my two older sisters, one of my brothers and sister in laws and 3 of my nieces are getting together to continue the Vareniki tradtion.

I received this next photos from my nieces at their Vareniki making today at my oldest sister’s home. I loved the hashtags my nieces used like #webelongtomoisiandnadia #newkitchenhelpers #makingbabaproud

My sister Kathy with her grandson, Jackson.

My sister Vera, niece Debbee, sister Kathy, grandniece Avery, niece Melissa, niece Michelle, and sister in law Letty.

My niece Michelle teaching her daughter, Avery, the pinching skills.

My grandnephew, Jackson. Two new helpers this year from the next generation!

The Five…

Today is Friday and I’m joining Susanne at Living to Tell the Story for her Friday’s Fave Five. It’s good to think back over the past week and see the good things in life that God has blessed you with to enjoy.

1. Vareniki have become traditional for my family to prepare together before Christmas and then to serve on Christmas Eve for dessert. My mom’s version are larger and fancier than these but when I don’t get my mom’s these are the next best thing. I can buy them at a European Deli not too far form my home. They call them perogies but the Russian on the upper left translates to Vareniki with cheese. After they are formed, filled with cheese and sealed they are boiled cooled and frozen. We like to serve them hot out of the oven after they are cooked from their frozen state with butter and 1/2 and 1/2. Then we plop some sour cream on top and cover them with good maple syrup. Delicious! We had these for breakfast last Saturday before we started in on cleaning out the garage loft.

2. When we crave a good meatball sandwich we drive to a pizza joint in Lynnwood. We’ve tried to find a good one closer to us but they always disappoint. These were delicious as usual. I brought half of mine home for another day. All my favorites aren’t about food but it seems the freezing snap we’ve had since last Friday made us seek out some of our favorite comfort foods.

3. Our favorite sons both have birthdays this week. We are so thankful that God blessed us with them. Each one is unique and appreciated!

4. I’m thankful for the local library where I can put books on hold and then check out to enjoy without spending lots of money. The book in the middle is co-authored by our friend Lela Gilbert. Lela has a new book out that I’ve ordered from Amazon called, Saturday People, Sunday People. I’ll share more about it after it arrives. Without Reservations was recommended to me by Susan in Switzerland after she read about our upcoming trip to Milan. The Unofficial Downton Abbey cookbook is just for fun.

5. We are excited about finally sending our chairs out to be reupholstered. They were in sorry shape after 36 years or so of wear and tear. We are looking forward to their new look and feel.

In the meantime the table is very lonely.

Looking forward to coming around and seeing your favorites this week. What’s in store for your weekend? Some of us in the U.S. get a long weekend since Monday is Martin Luther King, Jr. observance. Dear’s company doesn’t give him the day off. We hope to celebrate with Josh and Laura on Sunday if they are well enough. (Lousy illnesses gripping our world!) We also are plowing forward to try to  finish the clean up in the garage. Blessings!!