Roads We Have To Walk Are

In January, I’m scheduled to have surgery, followed by a month of nothing but sleeping, eating and stretching. It’s so exciting! I get to hibernate for once! So I’m all aflutter, stocking pantries and stacking decks, which always has something to do with soup. A vat of borscht the size of most towns’ water towers is simmering on the stove as we speak. For the last two nights, I made pirogies. You know, for when I can’t stand up and can stand soup no more.

Turns out to be easy, even without an Eastern European grandma.

Pirogy dough, courtesy of the Fair Siobhan


* 4 cups all-purpose flour
* 1 teaspoon salt
* 2 teaspoons vegetable oil
* 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
* 1 cup warm water
* 1 egg, beaten


1. In a large bowl mix together the flour, salt, and baking powder. Make a well in
the center.
2. In a separate bowl mix together the vegetable oil, warm water, and beaten egg.
Pour into the well of the dry ingredients. Knead dough for 8 to 10 minutes.
3. Cover dough and let rest for 2 hours. Roll out and fill as desired.

The hardest thing about this recipe was getting Spellcheck to accept a spelling for pirogy.

Rolling this dough with a rolling pin was as much fun as a three-day toothache, so I put gobs of it through the pasta machine. It’s a hand-cranked affair, so I felt good and rustic. I imagined Cossacks tearing into the village and going, “Let’s sac later. I feel a bit peckish. Ivan! What do you say we break for some lunch?” A coffee cup saucer served as the round template for half-moon pirogies.

For filling, I boiled two russet potatoes and gave them a whirl in the old food mill, added grated cheddar, smoked some-cheese-or-other, some diced, browned beef sausage and very buttery sauteed onions for moisture and a light crunch. Salt, pepper, dried basil. (You can mix just about anything you like with riced potato for filling as long as you dice it fine and taste it. Is it super fantastic? JACKPOT.) Finally, I sealed them with a basting brush and a gentle swoosh of water and popped them all into the freezer. Later, they join the others of their kind in a freezer bag for the duration.

Pirogies are your friends.

When dinnertime comes, boil in salted water for two minutes after they float to the top, then saute in melted butter. Serve with applesauce and sour cream or good, tart yogurt. Easy, cheap, completely awesome.

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