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In Celebration of the Pierogi

Comments from the Kitchen Office

I credit my sister-in-law for my understanding and love for the pierogi. On this National Pierogi Day, it's about time I told her thanks.

When I first entered their family, she was already married to a Polish-American. His mother had taught her the joys of the pierogi; she, in turn, passed them on to the rest of us. I was a hard one, though. Where I came from in the middle of the Midwest, we didn’t end our words with letters such as “i.” We had very little ethnic food at all, and even trying one was a bit of an effort.

My sister-in-law carefully explained them to me. “I stuff mine with potato,” she told me. “But you can use almost anything. Hamburger, cheese, anything you have leftover.”

Turned out that pierogi’s were sort of dumplings (although, again, dumplings where I came from were made with Bisquick and dropped into a pan of bubbling gravy). In this case, the dumplings were filled, then boiled, and then fried.

It seemed like a lot of work for something made with leftovers, but once I tasted her pierogis I was hooked. More than potatoes, she had onions, a little cheese, spices in there, and she fried them with butter and served them with sour cream. What’s not to like?

So, in honor of National Piergi Day, I salute my sister-in-law and thank her for the recipe she provided, as well as for one of my early lessons in ethnic food. May everyone have an influence in their lives who helps them branch out to taste new and interesting food items.

Try it. You’ll like it.

To read more about pierogis, check Wikipedia.