Friday, December 24, 2010

Pierogi and Christmas Eve Polish Traditions


We decided to form the pierogie in advance. This way on Christmas Eve we would not be hurrying to get it done. We could relax and enjoy the day a little more.
It was perfect. The kids were at school for their last day before Winter break. Just my Mother and I, I call her Mamushka (a term of endearment for me). We talked about Christmas past. Memories of loved ones who have passed on. We talked about pierogi failures and pierogi triumphs. We talked about the kids, the relatives and anything that passed through our minds. I really enjoyed this time with my Mom and will lock this nice memory safely away in my head and my blog.
I have been very fortunate in my life to be blessed by loving family, on both sides, my Italian side and my Polish side. I have come to know that other people do not have it so good. While it may have its own dysfunction as most families do, it is my family and I see it in gratitude. I have seen it shrinking as the years go past. People passing on. They live on in our memories, still and bringing tears to our eyes as we miss them especially around the Holidays. I will keep them in my mind as I create more memories with my new family. My husband, my children, my parents, my brother and his family. We will create more memories this season to last for years to come. For me and my children.

We will celebrate our Polish holiday tradition of the 12 dishes.  We have mushrooms, barley, boiled prunes, sauer kraut, pierogi (usually two kinds potato variety shown here and deep fried sauer kraut filled), herring, fried white fish, a vegetable, boiled potatoes and mushrooms with onions and butter.

We break Holy bread before the feast begins.  And after the feast we eat sweets, talk and play games.

We will pass both Polish traditions and Italian traditions on to our children as best as we can. So they can keep them dear to their hearts with memories of all of their Christmases.

Pierogi
We used a different recipe this year for the dough.  We added a bit more egg to keep the dough lighter. Rolling it thin before stuffing is also key to lighter pierogi. As you can see my Mother is quite good at stuffing them to the gills with potato filling.


This recipe makes about 90, depending on how big your pierogi are.

dough

6 cups flour
1 teaspoon salt
3 eggs
2 cups (more or less, I really don't measure) water to form dough

Make a pile for flour and the salt.  Make a well.  Place eggs inside the well and add water pulling flour from sides.  Add water and mix until you have a smooth dough that just sticks a little to your hands.

Let dough rest for thirty minutes.  Break off small pieces and form small balls, about half the size of a ping pong ball.  Roll out into thin rounds and fill with potato mixture. Make sure none of the filling touches the edges as they will not stay closed when boiled.

After pierogi are formed, drop into salted boiling water to cook.

filling

8 cups mashed potatoes
24 ounces sharp cheddar cheese
salt and pepper
1 cup cottage cheese

Cook potatoes and mash thoroughly smoothing out lumps. Add in cheddar while it is still hot, combine.  Add in cottage cheese and salt and pepper.  Cool completely.

Wesolych swiat (veh-SOH-wik SHVYOHNT)! Merry Christmas!

6 comments:

Kathleen said...

I cannot wait to try this.

I love them and cannot get them in stores here.

thanks so much and Merry Christmas!

vanillasugar said...

what a nice tradition. never made these, made pork dumplings though.
i wish you and your family a merry christmas Lori. thanks for being such a great blog-friend.

Mary said...

I just stopped by to wish you a Merry Christmas and was seduced into reading your beautiful post of Christmas past and present and yet to come. Have a wonderful holiday, Lori. Blessings...Mary

grace said...

what a wonderful and delicious tradition! i hope your holidays are terrific, lori! :)

La Table De Nana said...

Such a nice post:)

Tracy from Rah Cha Chow said...

We had pierogi, too, but my mother-in-law makes some with cheese and some with sauerkraut. I'm thinking I need to do them with her next year to learn how. Hope you have a happy new year!

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