Paska, Easter Bread, Kulich

paska class 001Paska brought the Mennonite Girls Can Cook together and it continues to play a big role in our cooking story. This past Tuesday we taught a cooking class at Lepp Farm Market in Abbotsford, British Columbia (Canada) on Paska and a traditional Mennonite Easter meal. My daughter Katie had a ticket for the class and she was able to be our photographer as she watched.

So much was going on this evening at Lepp’s and I’ve created some collages of the different parts of the class.

2014-03-26 paska class1Paska, it’s what’s for Easter!

Paska is a slightly sweet Easter yeast bread that is traditional in the Ukraine and Russia. My Russian relatives call this bread Kulich. My mother and relatives always made dozens of loaves in the cylindrical shape using coffee cans or large juice cans.

2014-03-26 paska class9Lots of work goes on behind the scenes right up until Lovella introduces us to the guests and gets the evening going. Judy and Kathy helped coordinate this class and had all the timing and shopping lists ready ahead of time along with recipes to hand out to our guests.

2014-03-26 paska classLovella showed us her process in getting the dough ready to rise for her Paska.

2014-03-26 paska class3Julie talked about the products that make gluten free baking easier these days. She prepared her gluten free Paska and brought it to the class to share. She also demonstrated a delicious mustard sauce for the Easter Ham we would be serving.

2014-03-26 paska class5Kathy demonstrated her Cheesy Scalloped Potato recipe and also showed the ingredients she uses for a gourmet scalloped potato recipe.

2014-03-26 paska class2Judy demonstrated her delicious coleslaw dressing and mixed up a large batch of fresh coleslaw for the class. My daughter Katie is not fond of store bought coleslaw. She really enjoyed Judy’s homemade variety!

2014-03-26 paska class4Bev demonstrated how to make Pluma Moos or Plumi Moos. This is a traditional fruit dish served in Mennonite homes at Easter and other holidays, too. It can be served cold or warm. People use different varieties of fruit for the dish.

2014-03-26 paska class8Bev also demonstrated how to carve a ham with the bone in. She really did a great job.

While we started plating the food for our guests Lovella started working on her dough that had been rising during these demos.

2014-03-26 paska class7She showed us a variety of pans that you can use and how to pinch off small portions for sweet little petite paska buns made in muffin tins. She also showed a loaf variety and a twisted loaf.

2014-03-26 paska class6I had brought a completed Seernaya Paska, sweet cheese spread from home since it has to sit in the refrigerator having all the liquid pressed out for at least 24 hours. I plated it and showed one of the flower pots I use to mold the cheese and the heavy stone wrapped in plastic wrap to weight the cheese and force the liquid out. We used fresh viola blossoms to decorate it. I made an error in the pronunciation of this dish in our first cookbook. It is called seernaya paska not seerney paska . I’ve always had a hard time with Russian grammar. Growing up we always had this spread to serve with our Easter bread.

Lovella finished off the demonstrations showing us how she makes the Paska Icing.

2014-03-26 paska class12

While our guests ate their main course of ham with mustard sauce, cheesy scalloped potatoes, and coleslaw. We started plating the paska, sweet cheese spread and a dollop of frosting to serve. We also served up a small bowl of pluma moos.

paska class 309

paska class 311These classes are always so much fun to participate in. The wonderful thing is knowing that the profit generated from our classes goes to Matthew’s House in Abbotsford. Lepp Farm Market partners with us in donating the profits from our classes to this worthy non-profit that is a respite home for children with complex health care needs. You can see and read about Matthew’s house here.

2014-03-26 paska class10

paska class 005Because the class was all about Easter I have to explain what the X and B on my Russian Sweet Cheese Spread is all about. On Easter the greeting that we always express to one another is

Christos Voskress! Voistinu Voskress!

Христос Воскрес!

Воистину воскрес!

Christ is Risen!

Truly He is Risen!

So the X (the first letter of Christ in Russian) stands for Christ and the B (the first letter of risen in Russian) stands for Risen, Christ is Risen. This is what Easter is all about.

2014-03-26 paska class11I stole this next photo off of Kathy’s blog. Hope it’s ok, Kathy. If you click here you can see Kathy’s post about our time. Here’s Katie getting ready to take photos of the class.

Lepp Kt

Katie and I wrapped things up and hit the road back to the U.S.A. at about 9:30 P.M. We were happy to make it home at 11:40. I’ll admit that I was a zombie on Wednesday and I might or might not have spent the whole day in my robe.

All the recipes for these dishes are in our cookbooks or on our blog.

15 thoughts on “Paska, Easter Bread, Kulich

  1. What a wonderful post, Ellen! I would have loved to be there. Everything looks so good!
    I think of you every time I hear the news about Russia and the Ukraine. I am very concerned.
    How about you? What do you hear from your relatives?

  2. Best post ever about one of our cooking classes. Next time I’ll pay for Katie to come and take the photos. You put them all together in such great collages. Thank you Ellen and Katie.

  3. So well documented, Ellen and Katie! Katie did an awesome job of photographing everything. Thank-you both for making the long trek up to join us. It was a good evening!

  4. I enjoyed reading about the evening from your perspective. Your seernaya paska looks so beautiful. I will make the edit in my cookbook with a note about this post to source the edit. What a delicious meal to share all together!

  5. What a great report on the class Ellen!! Love the pictures and the way you put them together – it looks like you had such a great class! What great organization and effort it takes to put something like this together! I can imagine that you were tired from the trip and work. I LOVE zombie/in my robe days!!! Thanks so much to you and Katie for sharing this event – such a great cause too!

  6. Your meal looks delicious, Katie’s photographs are lovely, and your collages are the perfect way to highlight the evening! I knew I was going to enjoy your road trip! :D

  7. Looks like a great evening! Beautiful food and Katie did a great job photographing it! Hope you raised lots of money for Matthew’s House!

  8. Ellen, this looks like such a fun class to attend, and it looks like all of you did an expert job of teaching the class. I love that thing you made in a flowerpot. If it tastes as good as it looks, I’m afraid I’d eat the whole thing! I would love to attend a class like this. When are you girls going to take this show on tour? laurie

  9. What a great class plus a wonderful meal for everyone to enjoy! I love your cheese spread – so pretty and meaningful. A long drive at the end of a long day – I’m sure you were glad to crawl in to bed!

  10. Great recap…and make sure to give high reviews to Katie for all those great shots…still and action! Loved this post….and being in the kitchen together.

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