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Koliva Recipe from Indiana List

Date:         Sat, 10 Mar 2001 15:08:37 -0600
Reply-To:     Orthodox Christianity <ORTHODOX@LISTSERV.INDIANA.EDU>
Sender:       Orthodox Christianity <ORTHODOX@LISTSERV.INDIANA.EDU>
From:         Ivan Cabler <Hermitage@INFOAVE.NET>
Subject:      Pankosmios Cuisine, Kolyva
Content-type: text/plain; charset=us-ascii

I don't think I have posted this on-line yet either. Hope some find it useful.

In Christ, John, monk SC


Preliminary Notes: Kolyva is used during the Orthodox year in 3 primary applications:

In commemoration of the Miracle of the Kolyva, the first Saturday of Great Lent. In commemoration of the Saint(s)of the day. Any day of the year, in general. In commemoration of the Departed (specifically at 3 Saturdays in Great Lent, Soul Saturdays before Great Lent and Pentecost, Trisagion services, Funerals, and anniversaries of repose of the Faithful) Any day of the year except the Lord's Day(s) and Great Feasts.

Consult Book of Needs, Evchologion, etc for specifics.

*Whole wheat berries are the base ingredient. Dried fruits, honey, sugar, spices, etc are allowed additions.

*Once sugar comes in contact with boiled wheat berries they begin to toughen because of the dehydrating action of the sugar. Keep this in mind, eating tough wheat berries is not a pleasant experience.

*Boiled wheat berries can be made in quantity and frozen for later use. Very convenient to so do.

There are two main types of preparation and presentation, the Simple (useful when Kolyva is to be served a considerable time after blessing) and the Ornate. Below are basic steps for each.

Common to both methods is the following step: Boil wheat berries until tender (this can takes upwards of an hour+) in generous amount of water. The berries should NOT burst entirely, which indicates overcooking, but should be just at the stage of bursting, skin slightly split. When tender, drain and spread out berries on thick towelling to cool and dry till stickiness is gone from surface of berries. (Freeze extra portions at this stage)

For Simple Preparation: Place desired quantity of dry-ish wheat berries in attractive recepticle. Decorate top with raisins in the form of a Cross. After blessing in Church, serve as follows: Add sugar/honey/apple pie spice to taste, mix well and distribute as soon as possible.

For Ornate Preparation: (Takes some practice to get it right) "Saute" unbleached white flour in non-stick, or cast iron, saucepan (no oil) 'til it attains the colour of hazelnuts (noisette), stirring constantly. Remove from heat and allow to cool. (Note, pan retains heat after removal from element and further browning occurs at this time, so stirring should continue. Extra browned flour can be stored for later use in tightly lidded container.) Mix desired quantity of dry-ish boiled wheat berries with apple pie spice to taste. Place boiled, dry-ish wheat berries in attractive recepticle. Sift browned flour over top to a thickness of about 1/4 inch. Brush off excess from edges of dish (I use a flat round glass dish, or silver platter, and make a convex mound of the berries before sifting on the flour). Place waxed paper over top, smooth surface with the back of spoon. Re-brush excess away. Remove waxed paper. Sift confectioner's sugar over top to about 1/4 thickness. Brush excess. Repeat wax paper cover and smoothing. Re-brush excess away. Decorate with a design in the form of a Cross (carefully, using tweezers if necessary for placement). Possible decorating materials can include: Raisins, almonds, sliced dried apricots/pineapple/papaya/mango, whole pomegranate seeds (very attractive), parsley, sesame seeds, etc. NOTE: Assembly of this Ornate presentation of Kolyva should be done at the LATEST possible moment. The browned flour layer prevents the seepage of moisture from wheat berries to the confectioner's sugar layer (which seepage causes "wet spots" and cracking), but will not prevent it for an unlimited length of time.

After blessing in Church, serve as follows: Mix entirety thoroughly (honey can be added at this time) and distribute as soon as possible.