Cooking with grandma

I cooked a lot of good stuff this week that I was planning to share with you guys.  But I am only going to share one that meant a lot to me, but was less than delicious.  (However, you should really cook this bacon-herb wrapped pork tenderloin.  It’s delicious.)

Growing up, my mom and I lived with her brother and her parents.  My grandparents were Polish, so some of the first curse words I learned were in Polish and we had lots of Polish food in the house.  Some of it I still hate (like tongue and cabbage), but I have always had a soft spot for pierogies.  I can still see my grandmother making them from scratch with the table covered in flour.  They were the size of saucers and light and fluffy.  She didn’t make them often, but I was always thrilled when she did.

For some reason, even though she did most of the cooking in the house, she never taught me how.  I guess I wasn’t interested in helping back then, and frankly, there isn’t much I regret not learning.  My grandfather had heart problems and couldn’t have any salt, so everything my grandmother made was horribly under-seasoned, with Mrs. Dash being the only type of seasoning that was ever used.  But I do wish I learned how to make those pierogies.

I have thought about teaching myself how to make them many times in the past.  I even bought pierogi making tools.  I threw those guys out long ago, but at my friend-Christmas, I got a cookbook by Nadia G.  I have no idea who this woman is, but hidden in this book was a recipe for pierogies.  My grandmother has been on my mind lately, because of the holidays, because of my book, lots of reasons.

So there I sat with this seemingly easy recipe and three more days off before I had to go back to work.  I decided it was now or never.

The kids and I gathered in the same kitchen she used to make them in (because I still live in her house) and we put together a bunch of homemade pierogies that were not awful.  They “helped” like I remember doing – mostly by watching and playing with the dough.

As I have mentioned previously, dough and I are not friends, so the dough was thick and sort of leaden, but I am hopeful that with practice I can make it work.  And I can picture her making them from scratch each time I try, even though our kitchen is no longer lime green and the table is no longer an orange formica.

You can find the recipe in her book, Cookin’ for Trouble or you can google Nadia G’s pierogies.  I didn’t think the recipe was  great, but I don’t know if it was my fault or Nadia G’s.  Suzie the Foodie seemed to like the recipe just fine.


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