Welcome to the April 2013 Carnival of Natural Parenting: Family Recipes
This post was written for inclusion in the monthly Carnival of Natural Parenting hosted by Code Name: Mama and Hobo Mama. This month our participants are sharing their recipes, their stories, their pictures, and their memories.
Uhm, I'm a little embarrassed. I've been keeping this little blog for over a year and I have not once posted a recipe about pierogies. For shame!!
If you are unfamiliar with what the heck a pierogie is, you've come to the right place. In this blog's context, The Pierogie is my daughter, Penelope. That was what we called her before learned that she is a girl. For the rest of the world, a pierogie is a Polish dumpling. Kind of like ravioli, as the dough is very similar to pasta dough (with the exception of salt and olive oil). It is by far my most favorite food in the world and brings so many memories to mind each time I make them.
I am Polish by heritage - both of my parents immigrated from Poland, I grew up speaking Polish and all of my family still lives there. Growing up, I gained "aunts" and "uncles" via my parents' Polish friends and those sort of became my extended family. One of which is the lovely mama behind The Perogy Project - where she concocts both traditional and pretty-freaking-amazing off the wall renditions of pierogie fillings. Although pierogies are definitely made year round, my mom and I go into a pierogie making frenzy each year for Christmas Eve, Wigilia in Poland, and make several hundred...all of which are eaten. During my last visit to Poland at the age of 16, I got to make pierogies alongside my maternal grandmother and great-grandmother.. A memory I will always cherish. Those ladies make pierogies the old fashioned way - completely by hand. For me, although I love the old-worldedness of crafting your food with your hands, I confess I am often too rushed to take the time to knead out the dough by hand. Instead, I ensure this important task to the workhorse of my kitchen - my beloved KitchenAid.
The recipe I'll be sharing with you today is one of the easiest ways to prepare pierogies. It is one of my favorite ways to eat pierogies - with sweet strawberry filling.
You will need:
3 cups of flour + 1/2 a cup in case
a tall glass of cold water
3 cups of chopped strawberries
1/2 teaspoon of cream of wheat
1 teaspoon of sugar
1. You can use a KitchenAid or your hands for the dough, but truth be told even if you start out with the KitchenAid, you will eventually switch over to kneading with your hands so be prepared (take your rings off). Mix the 3 cups of flour, egg and about 1/2 cup of the cold water. The goal is to get the dough into play-dough consistency. So add more flour or water as you see necessary. Eventually you'll see the dough come mostly together, so remove it from the mixer and start kneading by hand until it is well incorporated. The dough should not be sticky or overly dry.
2. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and set aside to rest for about 10 minutes. Meanwhile, prepare your strawberry filling by chopping the strawberries. I used frozen organic strawberries today because strawberries are not in season. Transfer the strawberries into a bowl, sprinkle with the cream of wheat and sugar. The cream of wheat is to help keep the filling together a little. If you don't have any on hand, it is not absolutely vital.
3. Working with a little bit of dough at a time (and keeping the dough you're not using covered so it doesn't try out), roll it out on a floured surface. Keep both sides of the dough and your rolling pin lightly floured. Roll it out to be about as thick as you would see ravioli dough being. You can see that I can almost see my fingers through the dough, but you don't want it too thin (the pierogies will break) or too thick (the dough flavor will overpower your pierogies). It's sort of a learning process.
4. Using a raviloi/pierogie press (I bought mine at a kitchen store) or a large cup, press out circles in your dough.
5. If you are using the pierogie press, lay a circle onto the press and fill the center with filling. You don't want to overfill it, because that will cause the pierogie to break when you boil it. If you don't have a pierogie press, you can easily do this by hand. I go back and forth between how I like to make mine - I enjoy putting the time and effort into hand pressing these pierogies together, but using the press is faster and they tend to seal better. It's up to you.
6. As you press each pierogie together, lay them on a well floured baking pan. If you leave them on an unfloured surface for too long, the dough will stick and you will have a ruined pierogie. Sad!
7. You can freeze these immediately (see below for freezing instructions) or cook them up right away. Prepare a pot of boiling water, dunk 5-6 pierogies at a time and boil until they float.
8. To serve, lay them on a dish and slather in unsalted butter with a sprinkle of sugar! Sooo good. These remind me of summer afternoons visiting with my babcia in Poland.
9. To freeze: Arrange the pierogies on a floured baking sheet, as instructed above. Freeze in your freezer until they are solid. Transfer them to ziplock bags for up to 3 months - if you can practice enough self restraint not to eat these morning, noon and night!
This dough recipe can be used for all flavors of pierogies. The Perogy Project features a recipe for Saskatoon berry filling (for you Canucks), or you can replace blueberries in my recipe above, meat fillings (such as beef, pork, chicken, turky), potato and cheese ("Ruske," my favorite!), sauerkraut and mushroom.. Oh yes, the possibilities go on.
And as we Poles say,
Please take time to read the submissions by the other carnival participants:
- German Red Cabbage: A Family Tradition — At Living Peacefully with Children, Mandy shares her favorite dish and a part of her family's history.
- Rotisserie Chicken Recipes for Meal Planning — Becky at Crafty Garden Mama shares a new recipe that is in her family's meal-planning rotation. Check out how she uses a rotisserie chicken to get through the week.
- Grandma Wicken's Sugar Cookies — Jana Falls at Jananas talks about how special her Grandma's sugar cookies made her feel.
- Recipe: Seed and Bean Burgers — ANonyMous at Radical Ramblings shares one of her favourite frugal recipes that is also super-healthy and totally delicious.
- PULLING Dinner Together For the Kids – Crockpot Pulled Pork — Lisa at The Squishable Baby PULLS dinner together for the kids.
- The Best Banana Muffin Recipe (Gluten Free & Vegan) — Dionna of Code Name: Mama's adventures in gluten free baking have not been 100% successful. But today she is guest posting at Fine and Fair to share a banana muffin recipe that will knock your socks off!
- The Pierogie Mama Whips Up Strawberry Pierogies! — Bianca at The Pierogie Mama shares her family's recipe for strawberry pierogies…a sweet, summery version of the Polish dumplings that she affectionately named her daughter after.
- Mom's Cookbook — Tree at Mom Grooves digs into the big book her mom created for her six daughters and shares a favorite family recipe.
- Crispy Duck Confit — Jennifer at Hybrid Rasta Mama takes the liberty of starting a family recipe tradition with this super simple, totally delicious crispy duck confit.
- Stovetop BBQ Chicken — Amy at Me, Mothering, and Making it All Work shares a yummy BBQ chicken recipe that you can make on the stovetop in less than 25 minutes, fridge to table!
- Twice-Baked Sweet Potato Casserole w/Bacon — Martine at Whey Beyond the Naked Truth shares a naked food twist on an old family favorite!
- Strawberry Panna Cotta — KerryAnn at CookingTF.com shows you her favorite dessert, a quick and easy Strawberry Panna Cotta that she enjoys so much, she had it instead of a birthday cake this year.
- Special crepes for a special day — Mikko at Hobo Mama is learning to cook his grandma's signature holiday meal alongside his dad.
- Three Favorite Family Recipes: To Eat, To Wash, To Play — Kristin at Intrepid Murmurings is back with three family favorites: gluten-free vanilla orange sugar cookies, DIY powdered laundry detergent, and something fun for the kids: homemade "Flubber"!
- Black Bean Soup Forever — Mercedes at Project Procrastinot shares a soup recipe that's been around forever.
- Do you want to know a secret? — SRB at Little Chicken Nuggets lets go of her mac and cheese recipe, a comfort food favourite for friends and family for years.
- Creating Our Own Family Recipes — Emily at S.A.H.M. i AM shares how she's trying to create meals that her girls will want to pass down to their own children some day.
- Vranameer Chicken: A Family Recipe — Luschka at Diary of a First Child shares a recipe that reminds her of childhood and more specifically, of her mother. It's a South African take on sweet and sour chicken and what it lacks in healthy it makes up for in tantalising to the taste buds.
- One Recipe, Three Uses: Dishwasher Liquid Detergent, Dish Soap, and Hand Soap — If you love saving money and time, you'll love this green recipe from Jennifer at Hybrid Rasta Mama, guest posting at Natural Parents Network.
- Our Family's Favorite Pies — Abbie at Farmer's Daughter shares recipes and tutorials for the quintessential American dessert.
- Deliciously Easy Crock Pot Chili — Lactating Girl shares her crock pot chili that is not only quick and easy, but awesome.
- All-Purpose Crock Pot Pork — Crunchy Con Mommy's simple "recipe" for cooking perfect pork in the crock pot is for whatever mood her family is in!
- Family Rules: A Recipe for Harmony — Cooped-up kids + winter weather + frazzled parents can all blend together into a recipe for disaster. Dionna at Code Name: Mama shares what brought back the peace in her house.
- Favorite Healthy Family Recipes — Deb Chitwood at Living Montessori Now shares her family’s healthy eating experiences along with links to free printable vegetarian recipes that her family has created with love.
- Grandma's Banana Bread — Megan at The Boho Mama has early and fond memories of her grandma's banana bread. It's love in a loaf!
- Family Comfort Food — Jorje of Momma Jorje shares a recipe handed down that moms have made for their kids, for regular meals as well as to comfort.