They aren't well-known down here in the South, unlike up North, where there are many more Polish and Serbian influences in kitchens.
They were a staple in my dad's house growing up with 4 other siblings and sometimes boarders.
They are one of the unique recipes that my "Baba" has always made, along with her nut-roll and cabbage rolls.
I decided about a week ago, after my family made Thanksgiving plans, to surprise my parents and my brothers by making a batch of beloved pierogies. None of us grandkids had ever attempted the day long task of making the pasta, rolling and cutting it out, stuffing it with the freshly mashed potato mixture, forming the cresent shaped pockets, boiling and then finally sauteing the little bundles...
Until today! I spent most of the day doing my best to re-create her technique, hearing her words as I added the eggs to my flour. I could just see her hands, wrinkled and gnarled from years of hard work, as I pinched the sides of the pasta together. I carefully counted each batch, just as she did, knowing why she was so proud of the 80+ that she would make from her dough. I only managed 64...but made another batch to ensure plenty to share tomorrow.
My dear Baba, you see, is 97. I don't see her often and wish my kids could spend more time with her. She is quite a remarkable lady, my grandmother. Still living alone, still bowling and gardening...stubborn, strong, and beautiful.
I am determined to keep these pierogies going...even if it takes me an entire Saturday, and my whole kitchen, including the dog, is dusted with flour, and even if they don't look nearly as pretty as hers do...