I thought it was time to share a little story with everyone so here we go.
This is the story about the first time I ever wanted to make perogies on my own.
In case you don’t know …. I am the youngest of eight. When we made Perogies as a family it was a huge social event. Mom and dad would both make the dough – no machine used in those days. A gigantic canning pot was used to cook the potatoes in. While the air filled with steam and smelled like warm comfort as the potatoes boiled gently a top the stove other elements of the process would begin. Dad would be chopping about a 10 pound bag of onions never complaining about how much his eyes teared up … just getting the job done! Mom would be shredding the cheese. And soon the house smelled of the mixture that to this day I use in our recipe of potato, Cheddar and onion.
The day came when I got married and I wanted to make Perogies on my own. I phone my Mom and said hey I want to make perogies her reply was “So good for you. Make perogies!”
I laughed and said “Mom I never made Perogies by myself.”
She replied “What are you talking about you never made perogies?!”
I continue to reason with her and say “Mom I never made them by myself I want to make them for my husband.” She replies “Bring the baby!!”
What the baby had to do with me making perogies to this day I’ll never know but I did as I was told. So off I drove to Mom’s house with baby in tow.
Arriving at the house Mom greets me at the door and says “Hello give me the baby. “ “Hi Mom” I reply. She says so go to the kitchen and get the flour. I’m thinking to myself “Hello to you too Bella…” I open the pantry door and there inside not so tucked away is a huge green garbage bin filled with flour!
I know exactly where the bowl is to make the dough, middle top shelf. I gaze around and remember, right I’m at Mom and Dad‘s house there are no measuring cups to be had.
I yell from the pantry “Hey Mom how much flour do I put into the bowl?”
Heavy footsteps approach, “Take the baby,” she says. Grabs a plate second shelf right hand side and begins to count in Ukrainian to five while filling said plate with flour and emptying it into the bowl. Her task is complete and she says give me the baby. Of course give you the baby it’s all about the baby, I laugh to myself, thinking how am I going to figure out how many cups she put into this bowl ….remembering my Dad telling me “Garlic-crushing cup is about 1 cup, so if you ever have to measure that’s your cup to measure.”
Excellent! I think to myself, garlic crushing cup it is and I take it and start measuring into another bowl so I would have an amount that I could use when I got back home to try to replicate this recipe. Oddly enough (or probably not) The measurement was 5 cups!
Once all things were “measured“ we began making the filling. Everything I explained above was repeated with not-so-precise perfection. My Mom then wanted to teach me how to season the onions for the mixture.
As she took me into the kitchen she told me that this was her favourite part I didn’t understand until she opened up the pouring section of the pepper shaker.
She told me to tell her “chekaty” (“Wait!” “Stop!”) As she began to pour the pepper on top of the pan lined with onions. After seeing a whole bunch drop down and my eyes are popping out I yelled “chekaty!” She laughed!!! She didn’t stop pouring that pepper until the top of those onions were black! Today that is still the measurement method I use when adding the spice to my mixture.
That was how Bella Baba Perogies learnt how to make Perogies as a young adult. I hope you’ve enjoyed storytime Number 1925, representing the year my Mother was born.
Perogie Pinchers of Victoria was created out of necessity and a desire to share the Ukrainian culture. Our recipes have been handed down since 1863 from both Bella’s Mother and Baba. To be a part of the sustaining community, all of our vegetables are products are Canadian. Starting with Canadian products grown in B.C. allows us to showcase our families traditional fillings bursting with sensational flavours! Bella sells her product online & through local stores like the Market Garden in Esquimalt and the Artisan Kitchen in Saanich.