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78 Years In This World and Polish Potato and Cheese Dumplings (Pierogies)

(post, Annie Witkamp)


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Today is my grandpa’s 78th birthday. Happy birthday, grandpa! It seems like just yesterday he was playing basketball and chasing us grandchildren around him and grandma’s place. Actually, it could’ve been yesterday because he is so vibrant and young at heart, running around; he seems not to age. I hope he remains my aggravation partner for a long time! I need to find my hat or win it back…my mom made a hat for aggravation (marble game) that the champion gets to wear and rub in. Rub in we do, this is some serious gaming. See you at Christmas!

Last week I mentioned that I was making my first batch of pierogies. I did so, they turned out pretty tasty but more biscuit-like than dumpling. I was a tad disappointed for the amount of time it took to make them, almost 3 hours. You can make many different fillings for these but I stuck with cheese and potatoes. I think I will try a different recipe next time. Don’t get me wrong, this one turned out but I was hoping for more authentic dough. The recipe stated that I was supposed to end up with 12-3 inch but instead had giant 18-4 plus inch pierogies. I’m talking monstrous after cooking in boiling water, much bigger than I expected. I definitely would pair this with sauerkraut or something with a tang. I did make a mess just as I thought but it was manageable and nothing too disastrous.

Pierogi- Polish Potato Dumplings
Makes 18-22

Ingredients:

Potato Filling
3 tbsp butter
½ cup chopped cooked onion-optional
2 cups cooked mashed potatoes
½ cup sharp cheddar or your choice of cheese-optional
salt/pepper

Dough:
3 eggs
8 ounces sour cream
3 cups all purpose flour
¼ tsp salt
1 tbsp baking powder

Side: optional
2 or 3 slices of bacon
sauerkraut
1 medium onion
1 or 2 sautéed green/red peppers
sausage

Prepare mashed potatoes (enough for 2 cups) and melt the 3 tbsp of butter and ½ cup cheese into them (optional). Fry onions in a bit of butter and add to potatoes as well, if you want onion in the filling. Add the salt/pepper. Set aside.

Beat the eggs and sour cream together until smooth and sift the flour, baking powder and salt, then stir into the cream mixture until dough forms. Don’t overmix, then knead slightly on a floured surface. I used a lot of flour in this. Roll the dough out and cut into 2 1/2 inch rounds with a biscuit cutter or ramekin. You could also roll the dough in balls and roll them into rounds.

Place a small spoonful of potato mix on one side of the round, moisten with water, fold and press together with a fork. If you end up with too many, you can freeze them for a few months. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil, add pierogies and cook for 5 or so minutes until the float to the top, allow to cook a bit more at this point. Remove with a slotted spoon. I, at this point, fry them in butter over low/medium heat. Fry the bacon, peppers or sausage and heat up the sauerkraut to serve over the top and side. I recommend onion, sauerkraut and onion with bacon or sausage.