I remember that in the Polish Catholic tradition, we always had fish, pierogies, some sort of cabbage dish, a million kinds of cookies, and of course the communion wafer printed with a Christmas image that we'd pass around the table, each of us breaking off a piece and mindfully thanking God for family and health (or toys, in the kids' minds).
I'm planning on making them again on Thursday, but wanted to revisit last year's post, where I made them for the very first time.
I dug out her recipe, which she wrote down for me before she died. I really should frame it, or at least make photocopies for my cousins to have.
I'm always amazed at how beautiful her handwriting was, and how much pride she took in it. I guess that was typical of women of her generation, as Chris' great aunt is the same way. A lost art...
But I digress. I made pierogies once or twice with her, and she was always very particular about getting the dough thin enough. Mine of course were quite thick, but her dough was so thin that it was nearly translucent. While my brothers and I preferred the potato/cheddar-filled pierogies, she often made versions with prunes, farmer's cheese, and cabbage inside.
So now that I've fogged up the kitchen windows with steam from the boiling pot of water, I'll sit down and share the recipe with you. The first part is her recipe, while the second are my steps and photos for making it.
Pierogi with Sour Cream Dough
~~6 cups flour
~~3/4 cup water
~~1 pint sour cream
~~1/2 tsp. salt~~
~~4lbs. cooked potatoes mashed with butter
~~1/2 lb. American or sharp cheddar cheese
~~2 onions sauteed in butter
~~juice glass or round cookie cutter
~~pot of boiling water
Get your helper, and clear a work surface.
Make your mashed potatoes, using peeled potatoes, butter and either the cheddar or American cheese.
I like to run my mash through a hand mixer to get a smooth consistency.
Set aside your potatoes, and make your dough. Before you make it, get out a big pot, fill it with water and a tablespoon of oil, and start boiling the water for cooking the pierogies.Mix eggs, sour cream, water and salt thoroughly.Add in the flour, 1 cup at a time.
I had to knead mine on the counter to incorporate all of the flour.
Let dough rest for 5 minutes. Roll out thinly, flouring the surface lightly to prevent sticking.
Using your juice glass or circular cookie cutter, cut circles out of the dough.
Alternatively, you could cut squares if you don't want circles. Then fill them with a teaspoon of the mashed potatoes
Fold over the dough and press it together along the edges, making sure there are no holes for the filling to leak out.
Once you have them made, take them over to the pot of boiling water and drop in about 10 of them. They're ready when they float to the surface
Pull them out with a slotted spoon, and lay them on a plate or in a baking dish to cool.
When you've made them all, saute 2 onions in butter (I used 1 stick, but you could use more or less) and toss the pierogies in it.
If you want, you could also serve them with sour cream. Not necessarily health food, but tis the season.
I miss my grandma, and I'm glad to carry on her Christmas tradition. Biting into these delicious carb-laden pierogies is certainly bittersweet.