There's nothing like perogies, boiled, baked or fried. With onions or without. With bacon bits or salt. Definitely with sour cream.
Ukrainians are credited with creating the potato dumpling. In the Ukraine, farmers cultivated grains on their rich humus soil and always having a bountiful supply of high grade wheat flour, developed a variety of distinctive national breads and pastries, including perogies.
Once in North America, perogies became even more important to Ukrainians and Germans. Many became farmers but the land they were given did not always provide plentiful harvest. Perogies became the poor man's food. Since salt was the preserving seasoning, it was also used widely with perogies.
In the last 40 years many have adopted perogies in a similar way to pizza or the baguette.
But perogies are a lot of work to make. The basic dough of flour and water now includes oil, egg, milk or sour cream. After the dough 'rests,' there is filling to make, usually a potato mixture. The dough is cut into circles, traditionally using the rim of a glass, the mixture is added and the dough folded and sealed.
To facilitate this, Ukrainian Hunky Bill Konyk developed the Perogy Maker (inset photo). It takes some of the work out of making perogies while remaining true to the art of perogies. The original perogy maker makes 18 full-sized perogies and includes easy recipes. It sells for $15.95. Hunky Bill can be reached via email Hunky Bill or by snail mail 9260 Saunders Road, Richmond, BC. V7A 2B1
A simple food staple for farmers survived the tastes of time and remains a powerful family tradition for many.
This article appeared in the May 1997 issue of Hot Chocolate.