While Catholics have already celebrated Easter, Eastern Christians are still waiting for the holiday this Sunday.
In many Eastern European countries, including Ukraine, the custom of celebrating Orthodox Easter includes church visits and the consecration of the Easter basket.
Every person fills in the basket with different things, undoubtedly including candles, salt and water for consecration. Some people also do not hesitate to put fried meat, sausage, candy and everything that enriches the holiday table after the fasting period.
But what Easter can Christians celebrate without Easter eggs? At least a few dyed eggs (also called pysanky, krashanky, dryapanky and krapanky in Ukraine) should always be in the basket. Modern manufacturers offer artificial paints and stickers for decoration. Lovers of natural dyes can entertain themselves with an almost alchemy of turning ordinary products into the needed colour extracts.
A single Easter basket can not go without a special Easter bread. Each country has its own name for it: Easter cake, babka, kulich or paskha.
The week before Easter, one will not find an Eastern European store that does not have this pastry on the shelves. Most shops also sell baking forms, raisins, decoration toppings and icing for customers who prefer making Easter cakes for themselves.
Just as there is no general pattern for pysanky, one won’t find a common recipe for an Easter cake. Every, absolutely every family prepares it due to the unique family tradition.
Every chef has a few tricks for making Easter bread.
Ievgen Klopotenko, one of the most famous Ukrainian chefs, offers his list of improved recipes for Easter cakes. On Klopotenko’s website, a reader can find recipes of classic babka, but with orange juice and cognac; cheese paskha, “which is not baked but cooled”; chocolate kulich and “Easter cake with raisins for those who are bored from traditional baking ideas”.
Fans of more uncomplicated recipes may look for youtube videos in different languages.