Sunday, December 21, 2008

Pierogi Making With Grandma Ruth

Today my grandma and I made 106 pierogi. We're Ukraininan so we call them Pedeha or Vereneke. (well we actually don't call them vereneke but a lot of Ukranians do)

Anyway, we made 106 of these and it took us 4 hours to do it. It was a slow process and it's a slow food as you roll out each piece of dough into a small circle. My grandma can't stand while she does it anymore so we sat at the table. And talked and talked. About all kinds of stuff. Funny stuff and sad stuff and meaningful stuff and gossip about her sister who is going all over the US with a new beau.

It reminded me that for eaons women have been huddled around tables or fires making Pierogi or tamales or homemade pasta or roasted wolly mammouth. More than just food was made around those community tables or fires. Now, in this time, in this place, cooking together is done so infrequently. (Heck, sometimes eating as a family is done infrequently) Last year I made them alone so its been 2 years since I've really cooked WITH my grandma. She's 85 this year, who knows how many more of these moments I get. How many times do I really get to slow down and talk to my grandma for 4 hours? When was the last time you talked with anyone for 4 hours? ( Leighanne and I talked for 4 hours at Starbucks the other evening and I'll tell you it was just as satisfying and less work.)

My grandma lives not far from my parents and I took them a plate for their dinner this evening. My father called both my grandma and I to tell us how much they loved them. The food of his youth made by his momma and daughter. How better to feel taken care of?

The ingredients for this meal are cheap, the experience is priceless.

Here are my two pierogi posts from last year if you are interested in my first attempt making them alone or the recipe.

Lonley Pierogi Maker
Pierogi Recipe


Krista said...

Sounds like a lovely day!

We used to get fresh pierogi from the little old Polish women in Cleveland. There is nothing better!

The Fine Art of Motherhood said...

Sounds like a really nice (albeit hardworking!) afternoon! It's so nice to get to visit like that, especially when the kids aren't around and you and Grandma have each other's undivided attention -- I'm sure she appreciated the time spent just as much as you did! Sweet of you to bring some to your parents -- I take it you got home ok after that!

Christine said...

Deanna-You know you are right, I visit my grandma frequently but I always bring my girlie whom they adore and love to visit with. However, it is a completely different visit when you are watching and talking to a 4 year old the entire time. I hardly ever see my grandma alone.

And yes, I got home fine, despite the wishes of others.

Unknown said...

Okay I found that to be a very touching post. I specially love that your father called to thank you both. How sweet.

Christine said...

Thanks! I know, it was sweet that he called. Truth be told, we only made them for him anyway. My brother, who loves these is away, and will miss out this year. Everyone else who comes on X-mas eve likes them but no one loves and appreciates them like my dad.

The Fine Art of Motherhood said...

My daughter had them for dinner with Gramby and Grandpa last night (Monday) and she loved them! So did Grandpa - he told Bridgett that they'd have to get you to teach them how to make them sometime, but B thought maybe they could just be real nice to you and you'd share again in the future! Speaking of being nice and sharing - tell your hubby, I will start meeting him in front of Redbox in Wegmans in exchange for him making a batch of those cannolis shells he made the other night - that was the best appetizer ever!

Christine said...

The shells are easy (for Will!) But I'm sure he would tell you how if you met him at the Redbox!

Yeah-B and your dad will need to learn to make them.... The next time I feel like cooking for 4 hrs I'll call them! Maybe with 3 people working it would go quicker. They aren't hard to make though.

I'm glad they liked them and THRILLED that your girl, the picky eater, liked them as well!

Anonymous said...

This is SUCH a touching post.

You are so fortunate to be spending time with your grandmother, really getting to know her as a person, not just as a family figure. I wasn't smart enough to do this, I was off in the military, then busy in college whilst working, and then traveling for work. I missed out, my priorities were skewed, and I regret it deeply.

My grandmother was a fabulous baker - pies, breads, cinnamon rolls. She could never give a recipe - it was a dash of this, a pinch of that. I didn't care as much at the time, but I do now. She took it all with her. You are so blessed, and you're smart enough to realise it!

And btw, thank you for the recipes! I've been buying these at Trader Joes (west coast store), and they are absolutely delicious. But I'd like to try a homemade recipe!

I am hopeful that slow cooking/home cooking will grow. We need to get back to the kitchen, it's often great quality time with our family, and for many of us, a very satisfying activity.

*thank you*

ChicChick said...

That is so awesome! Something that I definitely am building into my new year is more meaningful time spent with family and friends. Those are the experiences which make such great memories--no money in the world can by experiences.

Christine said...

Thanks for your nice words DebinPortland and ChicChick!

bridgett said...

Ok, those were the best pierogi EVER! Rick and I would enjoy spending 4 hours making them with you. Let's plan on a cold day in January or February when nothing else is going on. What a way to overcome the winter doldrums! Yum!

Christine said...

I really am thrilled you liked the Bridget! We will so do this some afternoon this winter! I can't wait!