Monday, May 19, 2014
The Best Pierogi
I will never forget the taste of Alexandra's pierogi. It was the best pierogi every. Alexandra lived on a small farm on the eastern border near the Bug. She was born in today's Ukraine; in fact, somewhere in the Caucasus. Her father came across the plains 'steppes' and settled near the Bug with his family in tow. They farmed simply... potatoes and beet roots, apples and plums along with having a cow for milk, chickens for eggs and soup and a pig for meat. I met Alexandra when she was in her late 70's. The only family member left besides her was her husband Michal who came there years ago during WWII. He was originally from Poland but after the war, his country became today's Belarus. He could never go back as he had no paperwork on him, being a partisan. Together, they stayed on the farm and lived simply never having any children. Even near 80, Alexandra would still get up at the crack of dawn, milking and tending the animals. She would make butter in a wooden churn and she took the cream to set out for sour cream. She could grab a chicken by the neck and make it into soup by midday. She also made the best pierogi as big as the palm of your hand. I loved the ones stuffed with homemade cottage cheese. I would eat them after they cooled and just dunk them into a jar of homemade sour cream washed down with a class of buttermilk. For dinner, we had creamed chicken soup with rice, scrambled eggs with pork and plenty of grease, potatoes and sweet bread and tea for desert... the best food in the world and all organic.