Monday, June 20, 2011


Rich's mother was smiling down on me today. For the first time in more than seventeen years, I made pierogi. Not long after we were married, Ma taught me how to make these and also her white borscht which has a sausage-water base. All the years that we lived in California, we celebrated Christmas Eve with the Polish traditional dinner...Oplatki blessings, no meat, an odd number of dishes and even a bit of straw under the tablecloth. I loved doing this for Rich and I loved that the kids got to experience this part of his heritage.

After moving to Chicago, Ma made the pierogi until she was no longer able. Since then Rich's sister, Marianne, has always made them for our family Christmas and Easter dinners. This week I decided that I would like for our grands to experience this too.

We have always made them days ahead, often freezing them, because they take time to make and the kitchen becomes a disaster area. There are many variations but, in our family, we make cheese-filled pierogi and sauerkraut-filled pierogi. The sticky dough is simply flour, salt, and milk combined and then rolled fairly thin on a flour covered surface. Three to four inch circles of dough are cut out, filling is placed in the center, the dough is folded into a semi-circle. The seam is pinched closed, then you pull and twist to make the braid-looking edge seen below.

The filled pierogi are dropped into a large pot of rapidly boiling water to cook for about 10 minutes.

Using a slotted spoon, the boiled pierogi are removed from the pot, placed in a bowl, and drizzled with melted butter.

After this step, I put them in the freezer for another time. When we have our dinner, the thawed pierogi will be lightly browned in butter and served hot.

I am pleased to say that I remembered how to finish the edges without hesitation and that not even one was too thin or not completely sealed which means that none of them fell apart in the boiling water! Not bad, huh Ma?
Lovin' Life ~~ And Family Traditions

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