Gourmet Pierogies

When I was a university student at McMaster I would often make a dinner out of frozen supermarket pierogies topped with some diced tomatoes, green onion and sour cream. It was cheap, filling and easy to make. And somehow, the fresh produce on top made the meal more wholesome, or something.

On a recent weeknight I decided to pick up these toppings in order to use up some frozen pierogies we’ve had on hand for months and months. We get them in our neighbourhood at a Polish bakery/deli called Benna’s. I prefer the simple cheese and potato variety while the Beast opts for the slightly more exotic mushroom and sauerkraut version.

So, I cooked up two batches separately.

And because I didn’t feel like hearing the Beast go on about this not being a real dinner since there was no meat I took out a couple of Merguez sausages from Kensington Market’s Sanagan’s from the freezer that morning. Quite a bit of fat came out of those sausages. Not wanting it to go to waste, I fried the Beast’s pierogies in that sausage fat.

Here’s a fun game to play? Guess which plate belongs to whom.

Foodie: I think this is a pretty good dinner, when all is said and done. I mean, it’s not fancy but it was pretty easy to make for a weeknight meal.

Beast: It’s okay.

Foodie: Just okay? You have sausages and everything though!

Beast: It’s good. I just know I’m going to be starving.

Foodie: I cooked you a dozen pierogies!

Beast: Don’t get mad at me because I have a healthy appetite.

Foodie: Oh I almost forgot: I made dessert! Remember last night when I brought home those little store-bought cinnamon rolls and you asked me all those questions about how to make icing and how to make whipped cream because you wanted to top them with something? And I just told you not to bother because you’d only make a mess? Well I felt really bad about that today. I’m always asking you to come up with ideas for dinner and that’s kind of what you did, although it was a dessert idea, and I shot it down. And it was a good idea–a creative one. I wasn’t being very supportive. So we’ll heat up those cinnamon rolls and top them with the whipped cream I made earlier.

Beast: (Shock and Silence.)

I’ve decided to try out a new parenting relationship technique with the Beast: on top of being more open-minded to his mind-blowing dessert ideas, I also want to try to not be such a smug, manipulative, nag when it comes to household chores. Did you notice that I did all the laundry? Did you see how I took down the Christmas tree? I swept the stairs you know. I changed the bed sheets. I took out the contents of the green bin. The very idea of my own shrew-like, bossy-bitchy voice makes me cringe! And the one that really gets me: I cleaned the washroom. I hate cleaning the washroom but I hate having a washroom that’s dirty. The Beast always says he’ll do it but it’s never soon enough. This week though, I decided that if a disgusting washroom didn’t bother him, it wouldn’t bother me and I’d just wait it out–wait until he succumbed to the filth. (Funny thing is, he’s a much better cleaner than I am. I’m careless and sloppy and as long as everything looks clean from a distance, I’m fine with that. The Beast gets out brushes and tools and things to clean. It’s quite impressive.)

And then, after our gourmet pierogi dinner, which also happened to be about Day 15 of having a filthy washroom, an extraordinary thing happened.

Beast: I’ll clean the washroom tomorrow.

Foodie: Oh, okay. Thanks. I’d really appreciate that.

And that was it. I didn’t say, What do you want, a medal or something? Or It’s about fucking time. Or, I’m sure as shit not going to do it, AGAIN.

And sure enough, the next day he cleaned the washroom. He also washed the dinner dishes. Mind you, he washed them later the next day, which usually drives me bonkers because I hate waking up to a sink full of dirty dishes and just end up washing them in a big huff even though the Beast has promised that he’ll do them when he wakes up–which is usually later than me. Still, he did two chores without being asked and there were no white wine-fueled passive aggressive melt downs involved.

Shit got done–maybe not as quickly as I would have liked, but it got done. And I’m done with the above-mentioned style of meltdown because I’m too young to go mental over such average domestic squabbles, aren’t I? Right? Am I right? And I’m too young to be such an average pathetic cliché–you know, like I’m living the life of an Everybody Loves Raymond episode, or worse, an episode of Two and a Half Men.

Oh God I feel terribly depressed right now. Waiter, get me a Jameson’s please. (Sound of studio audience laughing.) Make it a double. (Sound of studio audience laughing AND clapping.  Freeze frame.  And roll credits.)

Foodie: **

Beast: *

9 responses to “Gourmet Pierogies

  1. Perogies (Ukrainian spelling) are one of my favorite foods!

  2. I would love to make perogies a regular part of my diet (I need a break from grilled cheese sandwiches, although I acknowledge that the perogy is basically all the ingredients of a standard GCS with a side of potato chips, just reorganized in a different form factor) but my freezer is just too dang small for the family-sized bag they seem to come in. It’s a really small freezer. Does anyone make upscale perogies that come in packages of, let’s say, 24, rather than 196? I am willing to pay a little bit more for fancy ingredients and a resealable bag. Yes, as a semi-Ukrainian I am embarrassed that I just don’t make my own, but let’s face it. I am just too lazy.

    • Stephe and Stephen, I’m tempted to edit my spelling of pierogi in order to reflect your preference and/or roots for/to the Ukraine. And what are the chances that you’re both Stephens and you both reference “Ukrainian” in your comments?! A quick Google search shows that there are too many spellings to choose from: perogi, pyrogy, perogie, perogy, pirohi, piroghi, pirogi, pirogen, pierogy, pirohy, and pyrohy.

      I think I’ll leave it the way it is. I hope I haven’t offended either of you chaps.

  3. I can so relate to the boycott bathroom cleaning. I remember once at our place in Vancouver, I waited it out so long that I actually slipped on the layer of bathtub slime that built up from not being cleaned for so long.
    I never make it that long in the game……….I also love pyrohy (proper ukrainian spelling) they remind me of my 4 foot 5 inch grandma zahrybelny and her insanely large bosom covered in flour after standing in the kitchen all day kickin out like 1000 of those homemade bits of carbohydrate deliciousness.

    • And now there’s this! Pyrohy?! How do you even say that? Patti, when I saw your name I nearly misted up as a flood of memories washed over me: namely, your own mother’s pyrhy/pierogies/perogies/etc. Do you remember us teenage girls in your old kitchen dunking them in full-fat sour cream and wolfing them down like they were potato chips? I’m weak in the knees now.

      How many Ukrainians read this blog? Holy smokes.

  4. Oh don’t get me wrong.I am hardly Ukranian, just a boy from Winnipeg.

  5. have you tried the perogies from granowska?? i love them.

    • No! I didn’t realize they sold them there (I just buy the donuts filled with the red jelly.) Will definitely try them.

  6. Here’s a real live (half) Uke to get in on the action. I actually feel like a failed one this year cause I didn’t get my act together to prepare Ukrainian Christmas. But I have no idea where I could buy perogies here in Italy and was not about to make my own with the infant around. So your post made me feel awfully wistful.
    And then I can’t believe all the similarities between our beasts in terms of cleaning! Mine also takes forever to get around to it but then we he does he even polishes the floors and shit.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s