Me Versus Turkey Versus Family

Today I will embark on the battle royale that is my family’s Christmas dinner. We’re hosting it, and I’m cooking most of the meal. I started cooking yesterday, making the cranberry sauce, and fighting a pile of dough until I figured out how to make pierogis.

Did you know how elastic and stubborn dough can be? I do now. The handles on a rolling pin aren’t on there for esthetic reasons: You have to lean into the dough and teach it who’s boss. My first batch of pierogis were ultra-doughy, thick slabs of dough with a hint of filling inside. I was suspicious at the small amount of pierogis I was going to get out of a batch of dough that was supposed to make 50, so I tried an experiment.  I took one of my little circles of dough, and rolled it out further, and by doing so I found out that my first batch were about twice as thick as they needed to be. Oh well. They are still edible.

So, two and a half hours later, I had a pile of pierogis, a sore back, and achy knees.  Keep in mind that I could have bought the same amount of machine-made pierogis for about 5 bucks. Of course, we did spend a little of that time cooking together as a family, and that was nice.  If anyone out there is going to a festive meal soon, show some love for cooks. A round of applause for all of the grandmas, grandpas,babcias, babuskas, nonas, gam-gams, gammys, dziadeks, and bubbes who roll up their sleeves and cook up a storm.

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