A vacation what is that?
It has been awhile since I took a vacation. What I take are moments in life to share and experience activities with the people (family and friends) that are most important in my life.
One such moment is perogie feast!
A little background
I grew up eating my mother’s perogies, I remember her dutifully making them on the kitchen table. The amazing part is she would make the dough and roll it out in one fell swoop across the table. Then proceed to cut lines across the dough, making this pattern of triangles that were perfect but not perfect. The potato cheese mixture filling would be ready and cooled, like wise the sauerkraut filling … (never really like this … yuk). Then just as quick as she prepared everything she would make the perogies and they would ready to be eaten that day or frozen for the next family get together. The tradition was that we had perogies for the big three meals Thanksgiving, Christmas and Easter when family and friends would fill the home in Toronto.
The perogie feast is born
Fast forward to the summer of 1983 in Ottawa, my niece and nephew, Fiona and Chris came up for a weekend visit from Toronto. While sitting around and chatting in the living room with my wife Roxane (their) aunt … Fiona says “Uncle greg can you make perogies?” … i said “uh NO, but i had seen my mother make them many times can’t be that difficult” I asked “why” Chris pipes in “we haven’t had them for awhile and we are dying to eat some”. So I called my mother and she proceeded to give me the recipe to make the dough (making cheese potatoes filling is the easy part). What happened next was an a moment … that would begin 34 years of memorable moments. We went to the store bought 5 lb’s of potato’s, a brick of cheddar cheese and all purpose flour, followed the recipe my mother just gave me, and proceeded to make perogies over the next four hours. Then in one hour we ate all the perogies and experienced an food coma (a millennial term for eating WAY too much).
Since that fate full moment in the summer of 1983 when my Fiona, Chris, Roxane and I made perogies for the first time … We have been making perogies every year since, at Thanksgiving, Christmas and Easter.
The moment has really become a string of them over the years. Since 1983 Christmas the moment initially this was confined to family and on occasion the odd friend of the family would join helping make perogies. Along the way, as my little family grew, we have two sons, Myles and Nicolas, it became a tradition for us to make perogies with Myles and Nicolas beginning to help … not much but they tried.
The moment that began Perogie Feast
Sometime between 2005 to 2008, our sons began inviting friends for supper when they heard we where making perogies … and we only made perogies at Thanksgiving, Christmas and Easter.
Over the years their friends from school and or work, have come and gone, however, there remains a core that continues to joins us for what has been dubbed Perogie Feast, some one coined that phrase I believe in 2010. Our son’s friends, became a part of out extended family, and as a result Roxane and I became surrogate parents and now subsequently surrogate grandparents.
In essence the day for Thanksgiving, Christmas and Easter is decided and we inform everyone, we all have our assigned tasks Myles and Nicolas make the dough, I cooked the potatoes, Nicolas adds cheese and what ever makes sense, Simon (Nicolas best buddy from grade school) cuts up the onions. The day of the feast, people show up around noon/ 1 pm the dough is rolled out, I cut the triangles and we make a couple hundred of perogies. As perogies are made I cook them and put them in various containers and slather fried onions in margarine over them. Of course around 5:00 pm we still down and eat the perogies along with the main course that Roxane has made (we have had lamb, brisket, turkey, ham pulled pork … depends what we fell like making as the main) … and the best part desert … home made ice cream.
These are NOT cookie cutter perogies, each and every of them is hand made. The key to why perogie feast is a moment … what make these perogies so special, besides the fact that we make them from scratch … is what we put into them … different types of cheese, beer, garlic and other herbs .. our perogies are to die for.
At the end of the day … everyone leaves with a bag of 12 or so perogies.
This moment is something we all look forward to because it is when we bond as family and friends and make the best perogies each and every time and share what is new in our lives.
Below is a short video of last time we made perogies around the island in the kitchen Christmas 2016.
As special request for January 29th a group of my wife’s friends want to make perogies, so they are coming over, i will make sure to take a picture of a plate of perogies and post it to this post.