Saturday, January 16, 2010

Polish dumplings and what I learned about baking soda!

What started out with looking for a good homemade drain cleaner yesterday ended up with me trying to dye my hair with coffee. Why? I don't know. As I told my boss the other day, “You are a person who asks 'Why?'; I am a person that asks, 'Why not?'”
I did find a good drain cleaner. It's amazing what some baking soda, white vinegar and a wire coat hanger can do. I also learned that baking soda can be a decent hair cleaner (not technically a shampoo), so I tried that out too. The measurements are one tablespoon of baking soda to one cup of water. After dousing your wet head with this and scrubbing for a bit, follow up the rinse
with one tablespoon of cider vinegar plus one cup of water for conditioning.
Guess what? My hair was definitely clean, very soft and quite poofier than normal. Unfortunately for me, I don't like poofy hair. I need those heavy, unwanted additives in regular shampoo so my hair will remain un-poofy and somewhat sleek. Then of course I use some volumizer to put the exact amount of poofiness that I want back in. Yeah, it's silly, but I really think that all human beings are silly, and we're simply trying to prove most of the time that we're not silly. It usually doesn't work, so I just go with it.
The coffee dying thing didn't work as well. I believe that my coffee simply wasn't strong enough, and if I try it again, I'll probably make a triple strength pot. All you really need to do is rinse your hair with coffee over the sink, then let it sit for about 20 minutes, or longer. Supposedly it stains your hair and will wash out gradually over a couple of weeks, sort of like henna. That's good news for me, since I hate the maintenance that is required with hair dying. It's simply too much for me to keep up with.
What has been on the menu this week? Well, I made a frittata with my leftover spaghetti squash and some more broccoli. Frittatas are very easy – just put your veggies/meat in a pan, then pour an egg mixture over. I used eggs, milk, sour cream and some shredded cheddar. Then I topped it with some crushed cracker crumbs and melted butter and baked it all for about 45 minutes. Super easy and yummy!
My sister and I also made pierogies this week. A pierogi is a Polish stuffed dumpling of sorts, sort of like a Chinese dumpling. I believe there are similar Russian dumplings called piroshki. The dough for the pierogies (or is 'pierogi' the plural form?) is like a basic pastry dough, but it is more rich and less crumbly, due to the addition of one whole egg and one egg yolk. By the way, are you making pastry dough in your food processor? If not, you should be! I learned this about a year ago, and it has changed my LIFE. Sooo much easier and faster than doing it by hand!
Anyhoo, after kneading the dough into a ball and letting it rest for about fifteen minutes, roll it out!

Rollin' like a river!

Then, cut the pastry into circles, and fill each with about a teaspoon of filling. I don't have a pic of this, but we used a potato and cheese filling that included cooked potato, cheddar cheese and ricotta. Once you have the filling in place, fold over one side of the circle and seal it with a fork.

Fork off!

Finally, the perfect pierogi

When all the pierogies are ready, you boil them as you would a Chinese dumpling, then saute them in butter to finish them off.

The butter makes it shiny!

Thanks to Meg and her fabulous camera for the awesome photos!

We had a lot of fun doing this, and Owen the beagle behaved himself enough that no pierogies were snarfed (except by us!). Serve the pierogies with sour cream and/or caramelized onions.

Any other news or views this week? The earthquake in Haiti. Apparently they made a pact with the devil. Somewhere, hidden in a deep, dark cave near Port au Prince, is a very large document that is not only signed by every resident of Haiti, but also by Satan himself! Did you know that?

Enough snarky sarcasm. It is a terrible tragedy, and I urge everyone to do what you can to help. If I weren't already planning on taking a trip to China in the next couple of months, I would be tempted to hie myself down to the Caribbean. However, I hear that they've already stopped planes from coming in because it's too congested.

Well, enjoy the fabulous weather and thanks for reading....

1 comment:

  1. your pierogis look super cute. I would love them with caramelized onions...and sour cream...and more pierogies...