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  #1 (permalink)  
Old 01-28-2007, 12:53 PM
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Russian Easter Recipes

There are several very traditional dishes served for Easter (Pascha) among the Russian Orthodox. I'll be posting some here. I hope you will like them!

Traditionally,on eve of Easter people cook special dishes, they bake rich Easter cakes, make Easter cottage cheese cakes and paint eggs. Usually eggs are painted on Saturday, and then on Saturday night are brought to the church to consecrate. There are a lot of different Easter cakes. All paschal week (the week after Pascha) people feast with rich meals with meat, eggs and other meal that were not allowed during the 40 day Great Fast. Celebratory tables burst with many different dishes.
Egg is the main paschal symbol of resurrection as and egg brings new essence. There is an old Russian Easter tradition - in this day people greet each other with three times kisses and with words "Christ arise!" At paschal greeting and salutation believers give each other red eggs. This custom comes from old times. When Maria Magdalene came to emperor Tiberius, she brought him as a gift a red egg with salutation "Christ has arisen!" Red color " is color of blood on the cross that Christ shed for atonement sins of the world.


*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~ *~*
~*~ Now let the heavens be joyful,
Let earth her song begin:
Let the round world keep triumph,
And all that is therein;
Invisible and visible,
Their notes let all things blend,
For Christ the Lord is risen
Our joy that hath no end. ~*~
~*~ Saint John of Damascus ~*~
*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~ *~*
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Old 01-28-2007, 01:15 PM
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Easter Bread I (Kuliche)

I found this one in an old Time-Life Russian Cuisine book, and I've been using it ever since!


This is the recipe I have used for years. If you don't like the saffron-flavor, leave it out! You can add some yellow food coloring to get the yellow color, or just leave it at the mild yellow-ish color from the egg yolks. The basic recipe was originally from Foods of the World. Recipes: Russian Cooking, Alexandria, VA: Time-Life Books. I modified it some to suit our needs. -- Windy

2 c. milk (110 - 115)
11-14 c. unbleached flour
4 pkg yeast
24 egg yolks
1 tsp sugar
1 lb softened butter, in bits
1 Tbsp vanilla extract
1/2 c. dark raisins
1/2 c. golden raisins
1/2 c. currants
1 c. candied fruits and rinds
1 tsp powdered saffron
1/2 c. softened butter
3/4 c. mixed dark rum and cognac-type brandy
1 c. chopped almonds (toasted)
6 c. powdered 10-X sugar
1 Tbsp salt

Put raisins, currents and candied fruits & rinds into the rum-brandy mixture. Refrigerate.

Remove raisins, etc. from liquor. Save the liquor. Let raisins, etc. drain on paper towels. If using saffron, put it in the liquor and set aside.

Mix milk and sugar in a bowl. Add yeast. Let soften. Stir. Set aside, covered, to "proof" (about 10-15 minutes). Mixture should about double in volume.

Sift 10-X sugar and the salt with 9 c. of the flour into a gigunda bowl. Make a big depression in the middle of the flour mixture and pour in the yeast mixture, the vanilla, the egg yolks and the liquor (with or without the saffron). Use a big wooden spoon (metal makes the bread taste funny) gradually mix the dry ingredients into the liquid. Stir until smooth. Gradually add the 1 lb. of butter bits and beat it until the dough is "doughy" and can be made into a medium-soft ball.

Place dough on floured surface and knead (KNEAD YOUR BREAD! YOUR BREAD NEEDS YOU!!), adding up to 4 more c. flour (about 1/3 c. at a time) until dough isn't sticky anymore. Continue kneading until dough is smooth and elastic (baby-bottom consistency!). Takes about 30 minutes.

Butter large bowl. Set dough in bowl and brush with more softened butter. Cover with kitchen towel and place in warm, draft-free place to rise until double in bulk. Sometimes it takes a LONG time, other times it takes much less time. One trick to shorten time is to have all ingredients warm, or at least at room temperature to begin with. When it is cool, I have had to rise this stuff overnight!

While dough is rising, line empty coffee or juice cans with baking parchment or plain brown paper (I use cut-up grocery sacks - I cut away the glued part and the ink. Cut a circle slightly smaller than the bottom inside diameter of the can. Cut a rectangular piece about 4 inches taller than the can. Cut a 2" deep "fringe" at each end of the paper. Fringe pieces should be 1/2 - 3/4" wide. Fold each fringe in direction opposite the other. Thoroughly butter insides and bottoms of coffee cans (1 1/2 lb size is good, but you can use the big ones. I also use the large V-8 or Hi-C juice cans.) Roll paper rectangle into a tube with fringes at ends. Insert into can so bottom fringe folds in and covers the bottom. Butter bottom fringe. Butter one side of the paper circle and put it on the inside bottom of can and butter surface. Butter the inside of the paper. Fold top fringe out and over the edge of the can. Tie down with kitchen twine (I use cotton packing string).

When dough has risen, combine almonds, and raisins, etc. and add to flour in a bag. Shake until fruit and nuts well coated.

Punch down dough with your fists. Put fruits and nuts into the depression, and begin to knead dough again. Knead energetically until the fruit and nuts are pretty well evenly distributed.

Divide dough. Place in cans so that dough is about 1/3 from top. Drape with kitchen towels and set aside in warm, draft-free place to rise until dough is just at the top of the cans.

While dough is rising, preheat oven to 400. When dough is ready, gently place cans on lowest shelf in oven and bake for about 15 minutes. Reduce heat to 350 and bake about another hour. Kuliche is done when a tester slides out clean. Top of loaf should mushroom up and (often more than) slightly go over the edges of the can. Tops will be dark. Remove when done and cool in can for about 15 minutes.

Unmold by turning the can on its side and removing its bottom with a can opener. I find I can often remove the Kuliche by cutting the string and gently shaking the can upside down until cake is about 1/3 out, then tugging gently (so it doesn't tear!) on the outer fringe of the lining paper. Be careful not to tear off the mushroomed top of the Kuliche!

Drizzle with white icing: Mix together 6 c. 10-X sugar, 1/2-3/4 c. cold water, 2 Tbsp well strained lemon juice. Pour over mushroom top of warm Kuliche and let it drizzle down the side. (Let the Kuliche cool quite a bit, or the icing all runs off and nothing sticks!!) While icing is still "tacky," sprinkle with multi-colored sugar non-pariels.

To serve, cut mushroom cap off and place in center of a large, round platter. Cut Kuliche in half lengthwise. Cut each half into crosswise slices about 1/2-1 inch thick. Arrange slices around top of Kuliche on platter. Spread slices with Cheese Pascha!!

This Kuliche can be frozen and will keep well for several weeks. Only keeps about 1 week refrigerated. I have started making Kuliche on Holy Thursday so my Holy Saturday is free for resting up for Pascha!!


*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~ *~*
~*~ Let God arise, and let His enemies be scattered.
Today a sacred Pascha is revealed to us
A new a Holy Pascha
A mystical Pascha
A Pascha worthy of veneration
A Pascha which is Christ the Redeemer ~*~
~*~ (From the Paschal Matins) ~*~
*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~ *~*
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  #3 (permalink)  
Old 01-28-2007, 01:34 PM
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Easter Bread II (Kuliche II)


I got this from Cinda C when we were both teaching at Clemson University. Then I lost it about 3 times. Cinda VERY kindly and VERY patiently gave it to me again, and again, and again . . . . (Thank you, Cinda!) It is very quick and very easy!! I use it when I am in a rush and Pascha has "sneaked up" on me!!

1/2 c raisins
1/4 tsp saffron
1/4 c warm water
1/4 c sugar
3 1/2 c flour
1/4 c chopped almonds
2 Tbsp rum
1 pkg yeast
1/3 c butter
1 tsp salt
2 eggs + 1 egg
1/4 tsp almond extract

Soak raisins in rum.

Soak yeast in water with 1/4 tsp of the sugar. Let it bubble until doubled.

Lightly beat 2 eggs. Sift flour, rest of sugar and salt together. Make a hole in the dry ingredients. Add egg mixture, rum mixture & yeast mixture. Gradually stir dry ingredients into the liquid.

Knead dough 8-10 minutes. Let rise 1 1/2 hours or until doubled. Punch down. Divide into 2.

Prepare 2 juice or coffee cans as above. Put dough into cans. Let rise 45 more minutes. If desired, lightly beat additional egg & brush tops of the loaves with the egg. (Makes top shiny.)

Bake on lowest shelf in 350 oven for about 40 minutes. Prepare as desired with glaze or icing.


*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~ *~*
~*~ Having beheld the Resurrection of Christ,
Let us worship the Holy Lord Jesus
The only sinly One.
We venerate Thy Cross, O Christ,
And we praise and glorify Thy Holy Resurrection
For Thou art our God
And we know no other than Thee.
We call on thy Name.
Come, all ye faithful,
Let us venerate Christ's Holy Resurrection.
For behold! Through the Cross joy has come into all the world
Let us ever bless the Lord
Praising His Resurrection
For by enduring the Cross for us
He has destroyed death by death!
Jesus has risen from the tomb,
As He foretold
Granting us eternal life
And great mercy! ~*~
*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~ *~*
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Old 01-28-2007, 01:39 PM
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Cheese Pascha I


Cinda C gave me this recipe, too, one year when we were both teaching at Clemson University. Then I lost it with the other one about 3 times. Cinda VERY kindly and VERY patiently gave it to me again, and again, and again . . . . (Thank you, Cinda!) It is very quick and very easy!! I use it when I am in a rush and Pascha has "sneaked up" on me!!

1 lb butter
2 c sugar
3 lb dry cottage cheese
3 egg yolks
1 6 oz can undiluted frozen orange juice

Mix all ingredients together. Wrap in cheese cloth. Put in a strainer or flower pot. Refrigerate for 24 hrs. Pour off liquid. Decorate and serve!!

You can mix dried fruit or candied fruit and/or chopped almonds in it if desired.


*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~ *~*
~*~ Thy Resurrection, O Christ our Saviour
The angels in Heaven sing!
Enable us on earth
To glorify Thee in purity of heart! ~*~
~*~ (Processional of Pascha) ~*~
*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~ *~*
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Old 01-28-2007, 01:47 PM
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Cheese Pascha II


This is the recipe I have used for the most part. It comes, with a few adaptations, from Foods of the World: Russian Cooking. It takes all day, but I have found it can be made a few days or even weeks ahead and frozen. Watch the Jewish calendar. If Passover falls within 2 or 3 weeks of Pascha, you need to get your farmer's cheese EARLY. Otherwise, it won't be available!! I usually triple the recipe and make 3 or 4 for family and friends.

3 lbs farmer's cheese (Friendship Farms or Breakstone are good brands)
1/2 lb softened, unsalted butter
1/4 c. rum and brandy, mixed
4 egg yolks
1/2 c. chopped candied fruits and rinds
1 c. heavy cream
1 c. sugar
1/2 c. chopped blanched almonds

1/4 to 1/2 c. whole toasted, blanched almonds
1/4 to 1/2 c candied fruits and rinds

Set cheese in a colander, covered with cheesecloth or kitchen towel. Weight down with a heavy pot or several cans of food. Drain for about 24 hours in refrigerator.

Combine candied fruits and rum/brandy mixture. Stir thoroughly and let rest for about an hour. (I keep some brandied fruits at all times and use them. -- Windy)

Rub drained cheese through a sieve into large bowl with the back of a wooden spoon. (Processor doesn't work, but grinder will. -- Windy) Thoroughly beat softened butter into cheese. Set aside.

Heat cream in small saucepan over high heat until small bubbles form around the edge of the pan. Set aside.

Drain candied fruits and rinds in a strainer, reserving the rum/brandy mixture.

Beat eggs and sugar together with a whisk or beater until they thicken enough to run sluggishly off the beater when it is lifted out of the bowl. Still beating, slowly add the hot cream in a thin stream. Return mixture to pan. Cook over low heat, stirring CONSTANTLY, until mixture thickens to custard-like consistency. DO NOT ALLOW TO BOIL - IT WILL CURDLE! Remove from heat. Stir in the drained candied fruits and rinds.

Set pan in a large bowl filled with ice cubes covered with 2 inches water. Stir constantly with a metal spoon (conducts heat away) until it is completely cooled, than mix it gently but thoroughly into the cheese mixture and stir in the chopped almonds.

Fix up a pascha mold or use a 2 qt clay flowerpot, the kind with a hole in the bottom.
(NOTE: If using a flowerpot, be sure to wash and dry it thoroughly - I run mine through the dishwasher on the hottest setting, then bake them on 200 deg for a few hours to be sure they are dry)
Set the pot in a shallow soup plate and line it with a double thickness of cheesecloth (cotton works best). Cut it long enough that it hangs at least 2 inches over and around the top of the pot or mold. Pour in the cheese mixture, and fold the ends of the cheesecloth lightly over the top. Set a weight directly on top of the cheesecloth. (I use the bottom dish for the flowerpot, and set a large can or two on top of that. - Windy) Chill 24 hrs, or until firm.

Unmold by unwrapping the cheesecloth from the top, and inverting a plate or platter over the pot or mold. Holding them firmly together, turn them over. The Pascha slides out easily. Carefully peel off the cheesecloth and decorate the top and sides as you want with the almonds and candied fruits. Traditionally, "Xb" is put on the side of the cheese. It stands for the initials of "Christos Voskrese," in the Slavonic alphabet, and means "Christ is Risen!"

Once unmolded, you can simply wrap it carefully in plastic wrap or foil and freeze. Get it out and let it thaw about 3 hours before decorating to take to Church for Pascha!!


*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~ *~*
~*~ Christ is risen from the dead,
Trampling down death by death!
And upon those in the tombs bestowing Life! ~*~
~*~ Troparion of Pascha ~*~
*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~ *~*
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Old 01-28-2007, 02:00 PM
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Herb-Stuffed Leg of Lamb

I got this from

Herb-Stuffed Leg Of Lamb

Most Russian Orthodox families roast the meats the day before the feast so that preparation can be kept to a minimum when they come home from church. The baby lamb is symbolic of Christ as well as an ode to the arrival of spring.

Lamb can be roasted 1 day ahead and cooled, uncovered, then chilled, wrapped in plastic wrap. Slice while cold, then rewrap and bring to room temperature before serving.

1 1/2 cups coarsely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
3 garlic cloves
1 Tbs finely chopped fresh chives
1 (2 1/2-lb) boneless leg of lamb*
1 Tbs plus 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
3/4 tsp black pepper
2 Tbs olive oil

Put oven rack in middle position and preheat oven to 350F.

Finely chop parsley and garlic together and transfer to a small bowl, then stir in chives.

Open lamb like a book, fat side down, on a work surface and sprinkle with 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Spread herb mixture evenly over lamb, then fold lamb back into original shape and tie with string at 1-inch intervals. Pat lamb dry and transfer to a small roasting pan. Rub lamb with oil and sprinkle with remaining tablespoon salt and remaining 1/4 teaspoon pepper.

Roast lamb until thermometer inserted diagonally 2 inches into lamb averages 135 to 140F for medium-rare (test in several places, as different parts of leg cook at different speeds), 40 to 50 minutes. Transfer to a plate and let stand, loosely covered with foil, 30 minutes before slicing. Cut off and discard string and serve lamb warm or at room temperature.

Yield: 10 servings (as part of larger meal).
Preparation time: 30 minutes
Ready in: 1 hour


*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~ *~*
~*~ This is the day of Resurrection.
Let s be illumined, O people.
Pascha, the Pascha of the Lord!
For from death to life and from earth to heaven
Has Christ our God led us
As we sing the song of victory"
Christ is Risen from the dead! ~*~
~*~ (Canon I of Paschal Matins) ~*~
*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~ *~*
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Old 01-28-2007, 02:14 PM
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Kolbasa (Non-Traditional)

This is not a traditional Russian recipe, but is wonderful, nevertheless!

2 Polska Kielbasa sausages
1 8 oz jar Welch's Grape JAM (not jelly)
Water to cover

Cut kielbasa into 1 1/2 - 2 inch portions with diagonal cuts. Place in crockpot. Add water to barely cover. Put grape jam in a bowl and stir well. Add to the kielbasa.

Cook on high for about 1/2 hour, then on low for about 4 hours.

Serve as is.


*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~ *~*
~*~ Before the dawn Mary and the women came
And found the stone rolled away from the tomb.
They heard the angellic voice:
"Why do you seek among the dead as a man
The One Who is everlasting Light?
Behold the clothes in the grave!
Go and proclaim to the world:
The Lord is Risen!
He hath slain death - as He is the Son of God,
Saving the race of man." ~*~
~*~ (Hypakoe of the Paschal Matins) ~*~
*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~ *~*
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Old 01-28-2007, 02:29 PM
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Drunk Lamb (Non-Traditional)

This is my own recipe.

Leg of lamb (whole)
2 bottles fortified Concord Grape Wine (Manischevitz is good)
garlic to taste
rosemary to taste
mint to taste

Trim about 3/4 of the fat off the leg of lamb. Pierce and stick small pieces of garlic about 1 inch down into the lamb and about 2 inches apart.

Add rosemary and mint to the wine.

Place leg of lamb in a large pan and pour wine and herbs over. Marinate in refrigerator for 1-2 days.

Remove lamb from marinade. Place on roasting rack and cook uncovered in 350deg oven until done (about 3 hours - but check with meat thermometer - should be about 145deg F).

Remove from oven and allow to set about 15 - 20 minutes before carving.

Serve with mint sauce if desired.


*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~ *~*
~*~ Christ, the crown with which we are blessed,
hath appeared as a yearling lamb
Freely hath he given Himself as our cleansing Paschal sacrifice,
From the Tomb he hath shown forth once again,
Our radient Sun of Righteousness.
Christ is Risen from the dead! ~*~
~*~ (From Canon 4 of Paschal Matins) ~*~
*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~ *~*
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Old 01-28-2007, 02:44 PM
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Ukrainian Easter Eggs

Ukrainian Easter Eggs are a special part of Pascha.
Here are some sites that describe them and the methods for making them:
Learn Pysanky
Ukrainian Gift Shop
Ukrainian Egg-cessories
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Old 03-30-2007, 12:15 PM
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Several of these sound really good, thanks for sharing!
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