Srpska Slava


Although it appears easy to prepare the wheat, it is not that simple. Boil it this way: obtain white wheat which is white and big, separate the outer tusk of a bran, soak it in a pot with clear water two days before the slava, in the evening, and leave it overnight in that water. There are hostesses which make the wheat by grinding it when it has been cooked, and there are those who crush the wheat before the cooking. If a hostess does not want to grind wheat but to knead it, then the next day, after the wheat has stayed in water overnight, she sifts wheat to get rid of water and crushes it bit by bit in a brass mortar using a pestle. When the hard coat is off the grains, rinse wheat a couple of times in cold water, put it in a pot, pour over with cold water just enough to cover it and stem for two hours, that is until the water is white and wheat grains completely soft.

In the case the hostess wants to grind the wheat grains she needs not crushing it, but put it on heat in the morning, after the wheat spent the night soaked in water, in the same water and the same pot. When made like this, it takes longer to cook the wheat. Do not add more water; especially do not stir during the cooking. The wheat burns easily, therefore stem it constantly in low heat. Put cooked wheat in a sieve and rinse it under a tap until the white foam disappears, and the grains are completely clean and white. Sift it until there is no more water in the wheat. Spread a clean tablecloth over a big table and spread the wheat across it in one thin layer not thicker than one grain. Cover it with another clean tablecloth. Leave the wheat overnight, and tomorrow early in the morning put it in a deeper bowl and knead it if crushed, or crush it if not (sometimes it takes two times to crush it) in a well-washed meat grinder. It is necessary that the hostess makes the sign of the cross before she begins to knead the wheat.

On a kilogram of wheat measure a kilogram of powdered sugar with vanilla flavour, and a kilogram of ground walnuts, or scalded, peeled and ground almonds, they apply a thin coating of powdered sugar and take heed the ground walnuts and sugar cover the wheat everywhere equally. Finally, take a clean napkin, put it over sugar, and press the sugar lightly across the napkin so it does not fall off the sugar. Some hostesses adorn the wheat with different other adornments (which is not very pretty nor very tasty). If you really want to, you can decorate the wheat with scalded and peeled almonds. Wipe the edges of a plate first with a wet napkin, and then with a dry one. It is recommended that you often wipe the plate after the serving of the wheat.

For patarice (the second day of the slava) separate some boiled wheat on the Eve of the slava, and prepare it on the day of the patarice.

The wheat is made by a priest or the host.

It is the hostess’s duty to prepare everything needed for the priest in the morning of the slava day, and it includes: the slava cake, a candle, a knife, a glass of wine, a censer with myrrh and a list with the names of the people celebrating the slava. The candle is lighted by the host or his son. It is a custom that the person who lighted the candle be the one to extinguish the flame in the evening with the wine remained in a glass after the pouring over. In case there is no man in the house, the candle is lighted by the priest. Sons inherit the slava. While the father lives, even if the sons are married, no second candle shall be lighted. If the father permits it, than the son shall also be able to light a candle in his own home.