Christmas in our family didn't always mean lots of family gatherings. Living far away from most of our relatives meant our holiday time often included family friends rather than family.
However, that's not to say there weren't lots of traditions that we could count on each year, even if each year wasn't exactly the same. We always had a tree and a decorated house. We always had lots of 'special' desserts in the freezer. We always had a few items in the stocking that were the same each year. Wes always played Santa with the stocking stuffers. We always had company for Christmas Eve dinner and that dinner always, always, always included perogies....as did Christmas morning.
Now, I don't believe there is such a thing as a perogie unless it is made by one of my relatives. The stuff you can buy simply doesn't compare, you cannot call those things perogies. And although I know perogies can have different fillings, in my family the perogies is filled with potatoes, cottage cheese, butter and onions......and something extra special. Also, the dough is very very very tender.
I know I've assembled perogies before with my Mom but it's been a very long time. This year, when we spoke about it, we determined we'd do it together and for the first time ever, I was responsible for ingredient!
This is a huge step. Me, responsible for how these little pieces of heaven, these tasty harbingers of Christmas, these little Christmas miracles will taste! Gah! The pressure was almost too much and I wasn't even doing the hard part.
I was responsible for the filling, the potatoes. And in gaining that responsibility I became privy to the secret ingredient. Hold onto your hats people because I'm not afraid to share it: cream cheese!! Hello! Cream Cheese Potatoes! That's right, included in the potatoes with cottage cheese and butter and wrapped in dough. TRUST the Ukrainians to know how to maximize the fat and cheese content of any food. Unbelievable!
And I now understand why I never seemed to take enough lactose pills with Christmas eve dinner.
Regardless, I'm pleased to say, after sacrificing two onions, perogie-palooza 2010 was a success. I have 200 little beauties safely packaged in my freezer and after a little taste-testing, I can safely say they pass muster....even if they are a little under-salted. (Note to self for next year)