Pierogies are a staple of my family’s Christmas Eve dinner, and like any other holiday dish, it has good years and bad. In a good year we’ll have potato and cheese pierogies from the polish bakery in Pulaski, and in a bad year our aunt will sauté dessert pierogies with onions and garlic and no one will notice until they take a bite. For years my family has been at the mercy of other pierogi makers, and, like I said, sometimes it goes really well, and sometimes it doesn’t. Well I won’t stand for it any longer. This year for Christmas Eve I attempted to set my family free from the store-bought pierogi monopoly… my grandma brought frozen sauerkraut and potato pierogies, just in case.
I turned to my great-grandma’s parish cookbook, written by women affectionately called Bubba and who apparently were fine with a frosting made of whip topping and jell-o mix, but wouldn’t be caught dead with store-bought pierogies. It all seemed to be going really well, I got the dough really thin and the cheesy potato filling was nice and creamy. I even fluted the edges with a fork. Then, knowing we weren’t eating for at least two hours, I stacked the dumplings in a bowl and put them it the fridge. I stacked the dumplings. In. A. Bowl. I stacked them! Needless to say by dinner time the pierogies had formed a big doughy blob that would’ve probably absorbed the whole kitchen into its potato-y orifices had I released it. Surprisingly, I was able to dismantle the monster before it overtook my kitchen like a 50’s horror movie. I even salvaged most of the dumplings. After boiling them and frying them they turned out pretty decent. I’d say this is an okay pierogi year, with signs of better years ahead… at least they weren’t dessert pierogies.
Pierogi (Courtesy of the Carpathian Cookery)
2 cups Flour
1/2 tsp salt
1. Mix flour eggs and salt. Add enough water to make a medium soft dough
2. Knead until blishers appear. Divide into two portions
3. Roll out one portion thin and cut into 2 in. squares
4. Place 1 teaspoon of filling on each squre, fold in half and pinch edges to keep filling from escaping. Repeat 3 and 4 with second portion.
5. Drop into boiling water until pierogies float to the top (10 min)
6. Drain and saute in a sauce with butter and onions
2 large potatoes cooked
1 heaping tbs butter
1/2 tsp salt
2 oz. sharp cheese
Mash together all ingredients until smooth