Christmas is a Christian holiday celebrated in commemoration of the coming into the world of Jesus Christ. A child appearing in real reality fills all people with a feeling of peace and joy. It is one of the family holidays, thanks to the Christmas Eve custom, preceding the first day of Christmas during which all family members gather at a common table, to spend time together and taste the dishes prepared for the ceremonial supper with special care. Traditionally, twelve Christmas Eve dishes are prepared in Polish homes. In different regions of our country there are housewives who cook a variety of dishes. Due to the Old Polish custom, meat is not allowed on Christmas Eve, therefore, the tables are most often visited by fish (carp and herring), cabbage, pea, mushrooms, dried fruits. These ingredients fill the whole house with their aroma, which takes on a unique character thanks to them.
Except for carp (fried, in jelly or in Yiddish) and red borscht with dumplings, cabbage is cooked on Christmas Eve in line with the centuries-old tradition, which though sterile, it tastes best this evening. Christmas Eve cabbage soup is a specialty of Polish cuisine. It belongs to the one-pot dishes, therefore it is easy to prepare:
The day before, we prepare dried mushrooms, which we pour boiling water over and leave it for the night. Squeeze the sauerkraut out of the juice, pour water over it and cook. To this we add a shredded head of cabbage, chopped carrot, onion and mushrooms in brine. We cook red peas separately. Season it with broth cube or vegeta. Cook, covered, approx. 2,5 hours. Finally, mix with the peas and it's ready.
Another Christmas Eve dish is just as easy to prepare: groats with prunes. Pour barley groats with four glasses of water, we cook approx. half-hour. Add prunes to medium-soft porridge, apples, pears, raisins. Cook everything until it is ready, until the groats are completely soft and slightly livid. Season with a pinch of salt and sugar, lemon juice. You can eat porridge sweet with milk.
In many regions of Poland, kutia is prepared for Christmas Eve. It is made of wheat, which we cook in water over low heat and poppy seeds combined with dried fruits and nuts (raisins, walnuts, almonds, cool me, typing) and sweetened with honey. It is delicious, sweet dish, which everyone likes. Kutia can be combined with pasta.