Jeremy’s family started a tradition years ago to spend an entire day in the kitchen making hundreds of pierogies for Christmas time. For those of you who are unaccustomed to Polish fare, pierogies look like this:
Jeremy and I arrived at his parent’s house at 3:30 in the morning. Between Atlanta traffic and car trouble, it’s a wonder we made it at all. By 8:30 almost all of the pierogi-making crew had arrived and sleeping any later wasn’t an option for me.
I traipsed downstairs to see rolling pins, balls of dough and bags of potatoes all over the kitchen. Not only was the pierogi-making station covered with preparations, but Jeremy’s mom Joanne also covered all of the bar stools around the island with sheets. At this point, I had no idea what I was getting myself into but I was too curious and delirious to come up with a reason to get out of it.
Grandmas, cousins, neighbors, aunts, girlfriends… everyone was there hard at work with their own perfected part of the pierogi process (yay, alliteration!). Some rolled the dough, some stuffed the dough, some folded and pinched the dough. Needless to say, I tried my hand at every station and failed miserably. I can’t roll a circle evenly, I stuffed the pocket too much, and my folding and pinching techniques aren’t up to par. In my defense I wasn’t given too much time to try. This was an assembly line and I was seriously slowing down the process.
Finally the ladies decided to let me watch the water boil. I put their finished pierogies in boiling water, waited for them to rise to the top, then moved them onto a cookie sheet. Once handed a glass of champagne, my station was flowing just as smoothly as everyone else’s.
Around 3:00 I was relieved to see that we were running out of mashed potatoes to stuff inside the pierogies. I quietly rejoiced, thinking this could be the end, then I turned around just in time to Jeremy’s mom swiftly peeling another full bag of potatoes. We finished about three hours later.
Although I had a great time with the ladies in the kitchen, the best part of the whole weekend was spending time with Jeremy’s niece Holly.
She’s 4 1/2 months old and I’m quite sure she’s my favorite baby ever. As we played, I imitated that old school “see-n-say” toy where you pull down the handle and the arrow spins to an animal then it makes the noise of that animal.
I didn’t have the toy with me, so by memory I went through the animals with Holly. “The cow says… MOOOOO!!!” “The piggy says… SNORT SNORT SNORT!” and she just laughed. Then I got to the rooster noise, “Errr errr err errrrrr” and she squealed back at me just the same! I continued to do the rooster noise over and over and she continued to squeal back every time! I taught Holly something!! I taught her the rooster noise!
Maybe one day I’ll be the cool aunt (sorry, Shelly) who buys Holly her first high heels and paints her nails and gets her ears pierced, just like that Friends episode. Either way, I now have my own special memory with Holly and she will forever be my little “Rooster.”