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Thursday, November 30, 2006


On Saturday I went to my aunt-in-law's in Sayreville to take part in her annual Pierogi Party. They've been doing it for years, but it was my first time. It's a very festive occasion, though you have to show up ready to BRING IT. (You also should wear old clothes, preferably white, because you'll be covered in flour.)

The objective is to make many dozens of pierogis in two varieties, potato and saurkraut, to be served at my aunt-in-law's huge, raucous, Santa-visited Christmas Eve party.

There are three jobs: Rollers, Fillers and Boiler. The Rollers roll the dough thinly on a table, and then use cups to "cut" out circles which are put on cookie trays. The trays are then delivered to the Fillers, who put the circles of dough on pierogi presses (which are little folding plastic devices). The Fillers add a bit of filling, snap the press closed, peel off any excess dough, coax out the resulting raw pierogi and place it on another cookie tray. (I was a Filler, and if I say so myself, I got those babies looking like works of art.) The Boiler then drops the raw pierogis into a huge pot of boiling water. The pierogis are boiled until they float to the top. The Boiler butters the cooked pierogis and places them on yet another cookie tray to cool. Once they've cooled, the pierogis are placed in plastic bags to be frozen. Workers at the Pierogi Party also get to bring a dozen or two home.

When ready for use, I'm told, the pierogis are not thawed. You just throw them straight from the freezer into a frying pan with onions. Once the onions "carmelize," I'm told, the pierogis are ready to eat.

We listened to polkas during most of the production. The music really got you psyched to crank out the pierogis. (So much so, I now want to do a couple of polkas with The Burners; wish me luck talking THOSE guys into it.) We got to eat our "mistakes." They were ambrosia! Kathy would have been laughing and snapping pictures the whole time.

After the last bit of flour was wiped up, my little niece -- the one who played Alegra Sacrimoni's flower girl on "The Sopranos" -- played "Twinkle Twinkle Little Star" on guitar. (Her teacher is the guitarist for Sugar Ray. She recently played a gig that Dick Dale played at.)

Maybe I'm still buzzed from all of that dough and polkas, but if I spot those little plastic pierogi presses at a department store, I'm BUYING a few.


Anonymous gail jeanne mcgillicuddy said...

DOH!!!!!! Oh man, don't buy those pierogi makin' thingys, Marky. I think "Santa" might be bringing you some.............(you're always on our case about NOT spending money on you for Christmas). Just pretend you didn't just read this.

And what's with the idiots hawking car insurance on your site? Get a life, LOSER.

12:42 PM, December 03, 2006  

It was the best pierogi making time since Aunt Dolly. I loved every second of it. It was fun with everyone, but having you, Gail and Kevin there made it special.

10:03 AM, December 05, 2006  
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