Poland and Pierogis

This weekend’s shelter in place destination, Poland.

My son and I pulled up a world map and I showed him where Poland was in relation to San Francisco where we live. We then looked at a map of the country of Poland and some pictures of boats on the Vistula River and castles. If my son were older, (he’s just shy of 5) perhaps I would have talked to him about the Holocaust and Aushwitz, where tragically many of our family members lost their lives, but we will cover that when he is mature enough to grasp and understand the gravity of that part of history. Today we focused on where Poland is located and a little about it.

You might wonder why we picked Poland, the answer is simple, because we wanted to make Pierogis. We turned on Chopin, (who in case you did not know it was born in Poland), and got to work making some delicious beef and cheese pierogis for our Sunday lunch.

During the week my husband and I continue to work full time remotely while trying to keep our almost 5 year old entertained so we have agreed, that on the weekends we will not work and instead focus on our son. So Sundays have become the day to pick a food to cook, learn about the country the food originated in and spend some quality time learning cooking and then enjoying the fruits of our labor for lunch or dinner

Pierogi are fairly easy to make a good thing to cook with toddlers. Their ingredients are also likely things you already have around the house. There are 4 parts to making pierogi, making the dough, making the filling and then cutting and shaping the dough and finally cooking it

To make the dough you need 1 egg, 1/4 cup of milk, 1/8 cup of greek yogurt, 1 teaspoon of salt and 2 cups of flour. My son loves t crack eggs so he cracked the egg in the bowl and then dumped the milk, yogurt and salt in the bowl after measured each ingredient. He then used the whisk to mix them all together while I measured out the flour. Once the flour was measured he dumped it in the bowl and we used out hands to mix everything together adding flour util is resembled dough. He loved the squishy texture and to see the ingredients turn into dough. Once everything came together into a doughy consistency we rolled it into a ball and place it back in the metal bowl which we covered with plastic wrap to rest 1 hour.

While the dough rests you can make the filling. We did beef cheese and onion. We cooked 8 ounces of ground beef in 1 Tablespoon of oil. Once cooked we poured that into a bowl and then used the same pain to cook 1 onion that we chopped very well. We cooked the onion about 10 minutes until very soft and translucent and dumped that into the bowl with the meat. We then grated 1 cup of cheddar cheese and added it to the mixture along with salt and pepper. We mixed everything together and then put the filling in the fridge.

After an hour we cut the dough into 4 pieces. Taking one piece at a time we rolled it out with a rolling pad on a silicon mat that we had floured. We then used a coffee mug to cut out 6 circles from each piece. My son loved pushing down on the coffee cup and using a knife to trace around it to make each circle. We then spooned 1 teaspoon of the filling onto each circle, folded it over the filling and pushed the sides together to seal them and then pushed down on the edges with a fork to make lines and ensure each pirogi was sealed. We ended up with 25 total dumplings which we put on a cookie sheet.

We then boiled water and put in 5 at a time for 2 minutes until they were wrinkly and floated to the top of the pot. We then took them out with a slotted spoon and out then in a flying pan that we had melted 1 tablespoon of butter in we cooked 5 at a time on each side until golden brown and crispy

They turned out delicious and both parent and toddler really enjoyed them. So we managed to learn something about Poland, occupy ourselves for a few hours and create something delicious to eat.

Stay tuned for next weeks shelter in place travel destination…………..

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