The Something Russian Festival has not been held as an autumn event for a number of years due to the pandemic, but volunteers from the Orthodox Church of St. Nicholas in Mogadore continue to share their Slavic specialties with the community as part of a monthly drive-thru.
Next is Tuesday, and a kielbasa and sauerkraut dinner ($16), pierogi dinner ($14), and Natasha’s honey cake ($6) are on the menu. The smoked sausage is an old country recipe served with sauerkraut or kapusta braised in bacon and onions. There are also parsley potatoes, applesauce, a bun and butter.
The pierogi dinner consists of six homemade dumplings filled with fresh mashed potatoes and cheese, topped with butter and onions. Side dishes include sour cream, green beans, applesauce, bread rolls, and butter.
National Pierogi Day is October 8, so in case you want more pierogi later, the church sells a dozen frozen homemade pierogi for $14.
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To top it off, the layered honey cake is made with caramelized honey and a frosting of sour cream and whipped cream.
It’s all lovingly homemade by volunteers who share their ethnic fare. Also available is homemade chicken noodle soup for $13 and frozen vegetable and beef soup per liter for $14.
The drive-thru, which replaces the food portion of the Something Russian Festival, takes place on the first Tuesday of each month, except during Lent when the church offers fish fries on Fridays. Ordering is now available at Marketplace.stnickoca.org/food/. New customers must create an account to place an order.
Online orders are accepted until 8:00 p.m. Monday for Tuesday’s drive-through pickup, which is 4:30 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. under the portico of the Banquet Center at 755 S. Cleveland Ave., Mogadore.
The menu changes every month, with a cabbage bun (halupki) dinner and a halushki (cabbage, homemade noodles and onions) dinner on November 1st. Pierogi Dinner and Kolachi Nut Buns will be offered on December 6th.
Other ethnic specialties on the changing monthly menu include chicken kiev, borscht soup, blini, poonchki, potato pancakes and cevapcici sausages.
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As a bonus, on December 20th, community volunteers will be selling trays of a selection of homemade Christmas cookies, including lady curls, cream cones, Russian tea cookies, kifli cookies, embellished cutouts and more.
Longtime volunteer Mia Rohweder will be making Halushki in November, which she says often sells out. Desserts also tend to sell out.
Rohweder’s mother, RoseMarie “Ruza” Vronick and Hope Zemlansky, co-chaired the church’s first Something Russian Festival in the early 1970s when Rohweder was 4 years old. Rohweder reports that her mother’s dessert, Ruza’s rice pudding, is “an absolute delight.”
Parishioners take turns preparing the desserts, which often pay homage to beloved family recipes and those who passed them down.
“Some of the (dessert) items that we offer are a nod to our own parishioners,” Rohweder said.
25 to 30 church volunteers make sure the Slavic Food Drive-Thru takes place each month.
The public has not been able to see the ethnic goods, dances, balalaika games or pysanky egg-making demonstrations live at the festival for a few years. But St. Nicholas also sells pysanky eggs, Russian tea, church choir CDs, cultural gifts, religious items and books on its online marketplace at marketplace.stnickoca.org/products.
“We’re trying to build more online presence and online branding,” said Rohweder.
Arts and restaurant writer Kerry Clawson can be reached at 330-996-3527 or [email protected]