Apr 17, 2012

Pierogies Recipe

When my grandmother's mother died young as the result of poisoning from the shoe factory in which she worked relentlessly, the story's told, a nanny of Polish descent stepped in to help my grandmother's father help raise his five beautiful daughters a/k/a The Crocker Sisters.

This Polish nanny became like a grandma to my mother through the years and left a considerable hint of Polish culture in my ancestry, commonly exhibited via culinary traditions like kolaczkies and ciastka kurchas at Christmas or pierogis or kielbasa or pigs in the blanket (stuffed cabbage, please, not mini hotdogs in crescent rolls as the young moms today prefer).

More on pierogies:

I had a ton of potatoes left over from Easter dinner so I decided to mash them up with some garlic and cheddar cheese and make pierogies for the first time in years.....
  I enlisted my 6 year old granddaughter to help and, ultimately, so I could pass down the tradition to the next generation.  Guess what?  She inherited the knack for it!  She did almost all the work herself, she was awesome! 

I invited all my children and children-in-law over to sample this old family tradition. Sadly, they are not interested in carrying on the tradition, but I have set high, very high hopes on my granddaughter-with-the-knack.

Here is the recipe, enjoy!  Allot 2-3 hours to complete this and the fact that your kitchen will be a mess when you've finished.  Your back will hurt, your face will be flushed and you will feel like a genuine Polish -- hardy -- farmhouse wife who is trying to make her family feel full on the least amount of money and food.

Prepare your filling.  Mashed potatoes with garlic and cheddar cheese is my favorite.  Leave the potatoes chunky for best results.  You can add bacon or onions.  Some people use mushrooms and other ingredients instead of potatoes.  Google it.

Prepare your dough.  Combine 3 c flour and 3 eggs, adding water until moist enough to roll.  Roll out on floured surface.  The thinner you get the dough, the better it will taste.

Cut the dough into square pieces.  Put some potato mixture filling in the middle of the square.  Fold up the dough in a triangle shape, pinching your edges securely to keep all the filling inside.  This is important, the edges must be very secure.

Toss the triangular shaped pierogies into a pot of boiling water.  Boil for about ten minutes.  By the way, I have to ask, what do you think of my penguin tiles in my kitchen?  I've always been very happy with them but recently one of my adult daughters commented that the penguins are kind of odd, meaning, by default, that I am kind of odd.

After they've boiled for ten minutes, put the pierogies in a frying pan and saute' them in butter and onions, tossing gently for maybe ten minutes - til tender and a little browned.  (see photo at top)

Serve and enjoy.

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