Seasonal Flavors: A Vote for Pierogis

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I’ve been saving this recipe for election season. I picked it up in 1972 during the McGovern-Nixon presidential campaign. It was my first time voting. Things were different then. My father was the chairman of the Sears & Roebuck Democratic Party. That’s right—-his workplace sanctioned these meetings, held before the store opened, and most employees were members of one or the other political party. It’s hard to picture that happening today.  Another thing hard to picture is having a recipe on the back of your campaign literature. But hey, whatever works! And if your name is Ed Kaminsky, and you’re running for Clerk of Court, having a Polish recipe to distribute might just get you the votes. I’ve tried to find out if he was elected way back when, but I think not, so maybe the recipe didn’t work as intended.

Fun Fact: My maternal grandmother was elected Clerk of Court in a neighboring county.

Pierogis are Eastern European dough packets filled with potatoes/cheese, sauerkraut, or even mashed prunes. They are assembled, boiled and then finished in a frying pan of onions cooked in butter.

You can buy frozen pierogis and they are okay, but making them is a lot of fun (and a lot of work, so set aside a Saturday for this).  My intention here is to provide you with something great to cook and also to remind you that we have an important election this month, so exercise your citizenship and get out there and vote!

There might not be two more satisfying November activities than cooking and voting. God Bless America.

Pierogis

  • 4 medium potatoes
  • ½ lb. grated sharp cheddar cheese
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 cups flour
  • 2 T vegetable oil
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 4 T butter

Cook and mash the potatoes.  Reserve one cup of potatoes for the dough.  Mix the grated cheese with the remaining potatoes.a

Prepare the dough by mixing the potatoes, eggs, flour, oil and salt.  Roll the dough to ½ inch thickness and cut in circles with a 3-inch biscuit cutter.  Put a small amount of filling in the center of the dough circle, then fold and press the edges together.  Seal by pressing gently with a fork.

Bring a large kettle of water to boil and gently drop the pierogis into the boiling water.  Cook for about 10 minutes until they rise to the top and the dough is cooked.

Melt the butter and gently cook the onions until soft. Add the pierogis to the pan of cooked onions. Toss gently and serve.

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