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Thursday, December 10, 2009

Polish Christmas

It just really wouldn't be as good a Christmas without some Polish soul food, as my Dad would say! Last year, at this time, we had a full house, with Ashley, and two of the sweetest little packages anyone could hope to find under their tree or anywhere else, for that matter!! Let's just say it was busier than the quiet Christmas Dan & I have become accustomed to! Summer was also living a short distance from us, with little Miss Adorable, & was about to become engaged that Christmas Eve to Nathan, a bright star upon our tree. Travis was in Japan,always missed, but a happy phone call away on Christmas.

Okay... you're saying ....and...hmm..the point of memory lane? I don't actually remember baking or shopping or did we have the Family Christmas Tree Party??

Well, I sure know I did not make Pierogi's last year! I think Summer or Summer & Ashley made them. But this year, drum roll, please, I did!!! And it is quite the process & I thought I'd share my recipe. Before you begin, it's alot of work, but I do a few things to make it a little easier on myself, ala fibromyalgia. ( Yes, my back & knees are still burning but it could be worse) Are you ready for my big secret?! I cut the dough recipe down to a third. Which means two-thirds less of the time on my feet, while mixing,rolling,cutting,filling,sealing,boiling & clean up. Okay,the clean up in the same no matter what!
Microwave 1/3 c. milk till warm enough to melt 3/4 tsp. Crisco. Add 1/3 c. cold milk & a pinch of salt. Let cool. Beat 1 egg into cooled milk mixture. Mix in approx. 2 c. flour. What you're looking for is a noodle dough consistency. Too wet, & it will stick & tear & be terrible to work with. Too dry & it will be hard to roll thin & be tough & be terrible to work with. How it usually goes for me is the first bit I roll out is too wet & I add more flour.
I rolled my dough on floured parchment paper, which I think helps to keep it from sticking & I pretend, makes clean up easier(Normally, this works theoretically only). Taking only about 1/3 of your dough,roll thin. And cut in rounds. I used to use the cottage cheese lid & a knife for this part. Now, I use a handy dandy cutter type tool thing from Pampered Chef. Do I hear a woohoo?!
Now that you have them cut out-Oh,didn't you make your filling? What's that? You didn't know the recipe? Let me help- Peel, cut & boil 3-4 medium-ish potatoes till tender. Drain. Mix with an equal amount of cottage cheese. I used large curd this year because that's what my store had on sale. Season with salt & pepper. No,that's right,there is NO Milk, just the cottage cheese.
Now, take a spoonful of filling & put it slightly off center in the middle of a dough round.Have a nice little bowl with cool water & dip your 2 first fingers in the water. Yes,the whole recipe hinges on your dip-piness! Dot with water the rim of your rounds. Now,fold your dough in half to make a little turnover. Seal the edges with drier fingers, pinching all around the rim. Viola', you've made your first Pierogi!!!!! Make the rest now till there ain't no mo' to make.
Put a pot of water onto boil. Slip a few pierogi's into the boiling water & let boil for 5 minutes. I scoop out with a strainer/spoonish thing. This year, I put them on parchment covered platters to drain.

The next step is to pan fry them in butter, till they are a golden,crispy brown.


M and A said...

we did have the christmas tree party last year. I took a nap instead of going to get the tree! I remember it perfectly. It was a GREAT nap!

Marlene said...

Hi, Jill Your mother made 4 Doz. pierogi yesterday and she isn't sharing with anybody, ba humbug! I ate 4 last night and they were good. Dad