Of all the cooking that I do, I have a couple of recipes that are staples in the kitchen and really bring me back to my childhood. Growing up in a Polish-American family, pierogi were always one of the dishes that was served along any big event. For Christmas and Easter, they were there, and each year at the church festival, they were also there, golden and crispy on the outside, warm and gooey on the inside.
After my grandmother Zosia(Sophie)’s passing 6 years ago, no one in the family really had an interest in continuing the labor-intensive tradition of pierogi making. And then there was this weird little gay boy who liked getting dirty in the kitchen.
To celebrate my mother, the sheeny herself, coming for a DC visit, I decided to role out the cabbage-lined carpet and create a feast that would please even the frumpiest Stasho at the PLAV.
The centerpiece was a behemoth platter of pierogi. And in full disclosure, I have to confess, that in the heat of the day of cooking, I somehow managed to forget to take photos of much of the end results. Not sure how this happened exactly, but I’ll blame the wine.
Happy Fat Tuesday to all, or as I grew up knowing it as, Paczki Day!
Yes, that's 16 paczki
Each year, my dear Polish relatives needed to find a way to use up all of the sugar, lard and butter in the house before lent started. To do this, they developed the paczek. A dense, fried doughnut stuffed with fruit, cream or anything else you can think up. The original mixture was prune, but then moved to raspberry jelly, custard, and all sorts of other fruits like lemon, blueberry, strawberry, cherry.
Like everything else in America, Paczki Day has been eaten up by Corporate America, and in midwest neighborhoods, you can find paczki at any Kroger, Meijer or other chain grocery store. But of course, just throwing an “authentic” label on the box doesn’t mean a whole lot. And frankly, they suck and are a waste of calories.
Apparently posting regularly was not a New Year’s resolution. Alas, I have returned and am hunkering down to the world of writing once again.
The last week or so, I’ve been in a bit of a lul in the kitchen. With Gabe out of town, and me finally working on some of that whole relaxing thing, I just haven’t had much motivation to get crazy. But today, it all changed. Maybe it was my welcome home cocktail today, or maybe it was my third cup of coffee in the office. Either way, I worked it out today.
Knowing that my CSA order is coming tonight, I figured it made sense to use up as much of the produce in the fridge as possible. I bought a head of organic red cabbage a few days ago waiting for the special moment since who doesn’t love some good cabbage? Ok, maybe I’m weird, but it’s comfort food for me. My good ol’ Polish Catholic roots raised me on this stinky, sour delicacy, so devouring a heaping plate always brings me back.
So I started by shredding it up.
Then after getting a good shred, I moved onto **tears** shredding a red onion. And just my luck, this guy was right on the edge of getting bad so was extra pungent.