January 30, 2013

Koliva or Kutia

I put 4 cups of wheat berries in water yesterday and let them soak overnight.  This morning, I drained off the water (which smells bitter) and poured on fresh water.  I turned my stove on and let the wheat berries and water come to a boil, then turned it to medium-low and let it cook for almost 3 hours, when I noticed that all the water had been soaked up...and then I added a bit more water.  The berries were not like grains of rice any longer, but almost round, full of the water.  I ate a spoonful and found that they were a little rubbery and let them cook a little longer.
All water must be soaked up or drained.  I added organic Thompson raisins, cinnamon and honey.  Mixing it up really well and then put it in a nice bowl and arranged some raisins in a cross shape on top and put a candle in it.
We are taking this to church tonight.  It has been 1 year since Yuliya departed. She was only 42.  Cancer.

4 cups of wheat berries
1 cup raisins
1/2 cup honey
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1 cup finely chopped walnuts (optional)

This is made for "Commemoration of the Dead,"  as well as Theodore Saturday, the first Friday of Great Lent.  Here's the beautiful story: 

"The tradition of blessing and eating Kollyva at the end of the first week of Great Lent is connected with an event in the reign of Julian the Apostate in 362 AD. The tradition states that the Emperor knew that the Christians would be hungry after the first week of strict fasting, and would go to the marketplaces of Constantinople on Saturday, to buy food. Therefore he ordered that blood from pagan sacrifices be sprinkled over all the food that was sold there, making it "polluted sacrificial food" (food "polluted" with the blood of idolatry), in an attempt to force upon the people the paganism of which he was an ardent supporter.
However St. Theodore the Tyro appeared in a dream to the Patriarch of Constantinople Eudoxios, ordering him to inform all the Christians that no one should buy anything at the market, but rather to boil the wheat that they had at home and eat it sweetened with honey."


Jennifer said...

Neat Wheat Berries idea!

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Michelle M. said...

Thanks for sharing this!

GretchenJoanna said...

Thank you for the story!
Does anyone make koliva for the 40th day mark after a death?

Martha said...

Yes, we made it for the 40th day and yearly anniversary, and the priest blesses it with the pannihida. We also make it the 1st week in Great Lent.