Sunday, March 26, 2006

MY PEROGI-TIVE

JRW: KJJ is still under the weather, as the saying goes. When are you ever "above" it? I mean, how high and mighty are YOU? You know? Whatevs. We made perogis last night, with some fried-up 1015 onions. Woo! 1015's are THE BEST. They don't make your eyes water, and they are SWEET and TASTY. Perfect for fajitas. Oh, and more salad. We've been on a cesar dressing kick, and any chance we seem to get, we do it up right, pecorino style. This was a real gut-filler: KJJ said it was "like eating a bowl full of pasta, a plate of cheese and a side of potatoes". My lady speaketh das truth. I actually want some more right now. Go buy some, they're good. KJJ: Sometimes my Eastern European roots come out and I crave a good perogy. There aint none in Austin. Aint no Cheemo brand perogies. (See photo below).. "WE'RE SO COOL... WE'RE FROZEN!" So, chew on that image for a minute. I'll wait. ...Done? Okay, good-- there are a few things about perogies I'd like to share with you. First of all, how do you know they are cooked? Simple! If you are boiling them, they are done when they rise to the top. Frying them up is friggin delicious, they get crusty on the outside and brown. You need to boil them a bit before you do that to thaw them out. Making perogies is simple, but should be a collective effort. Whether you are a 75 year old Babushka granny, or a punk-rock bartender like my old friend (who shall remain nameless), who made trays and trays of "pierogi"... try to at least dig out some blue dickies communist issue work-pants, get your collective together, put on some perogy-making music (hmmm... maybe some Weakerthans? Fuck, I dont know! What the hell is perogy-making music?...) and get get get to it girl! Freeze those puppies up and you are eating well all winter. Did you think I was done talking about perogies? Well I wasn't. Here are some possible fillings: potato, cheese, sour cream, saurkraut... Hey don't put meat in them, thats not cool. What you have then is a "pilmeni"! And we are not talking about pilmeni today. Today is perogi. If you are smart you will marry someone with Eastern European heritage who will introduce to you perogy, borscht, home-made jam, babka cakes, dumpling soups, pickles, and a stern attitude toward laziness. The perogy, pierogi, pyrohy, vereniki... is a food item of uncertain origins. Some say it was brought to Italy from the Orient as a pasta pocket food by the famous explorer Marco Polo. Its introduction to eastern Europe may have been through Poland over 500 years ago. At that time Queen Bonna of Italy married King Zygmut of Poland and the pierogi was introduced to Poland around that time. From Poland pierogi found their way to other Eastern European countries such as Ukraine and Russia. In Ukraine the word "vereniki" - the boiled ones - is used to refer to these delicious pasta products. In Russia, meat filled pasta pockets are referred to as "pilmeni". Whatever their origins, perogy are now enjoyed all over the world by people of all ethnicities. Go ahead, try some, you'll love them.