Thursday, September 9, 2010

To Tell the Truth Thursday

I often look forward to this challenge, maybe its a leftover of the sleep-over games we used to play at Denise's? Those were some interesting times, summer stays in New Bedford. I say interesting because I am really not quite sure how I survived them. We used to sleep on the wrap around porch so that we could sneak off it in the middle of the night. There was a city wide curfew if you were under 18 and so getting from point A to point B without detection was the challenge, as was staying up all night. Most of the time we just went down to Timmy's house on Arnold St or maybe Lisa's. This was an even greater challenge because we had to negotiate getting across Union Street and down about 4 blocks. Union Street is a major thoroughfare. Sometimes though we would pull of a more major stunt, like going all the way down to the wharf. There was a building that was burned out and had become a hangout spot. If we could survive that without being caught... or KILLED. Its funny, I remember spotting that gorgeous stone building, still abandoned, when I went to Eric Kao's MFA show. I was stunned to see that some things never change/.

Before I get myself into too much trouble though I will post this week's question:

What is your favorite food/best recipe??

This is a difficult question. I am not sure I have a favorite food, though ice cream seems to be my trigger food. I love altering recipes, which is probably why I can never get any of my ceramic glazes to come out the same twice. I have to resist the temptation to do this in the studio, and its a MAJOR ordeal to do so. My favorite recipe to ALTER is any pie recipe. I have always felt like pies never have ENOUGH fruit in them, and I cannot stand the sugary sweet fillings. Often I will make an apple pie, double the apples called for and 1/4 the sugar, or eliminate it all together. I will pile the apples into a peak until they start to fall down on each other (I do this with peaches too). This is the ONLY way to ensure you will have enough filling when the fruit shrinks. I also like making things that have a sense of nostalgia and there are two favorites, my babci's pierogies (I never met her so I always felt that this was a way of connecting ever since my Cioci Mary gave me the recipe) and my great grandmother's (NaNa) peach cake.

For pierogies: (makes about 25-30)

3 or 4 potatoes boiled with 1 onion (reserve the water)
8 oz farmer or pot cheese

3-4 cups of flour
2 eggs
about 1.5 cups of sour cream

A stick of butter
scallions or chopped onion

Bowl the potatoes and onion in a LARGE pot until done, remove from the water so that the water can be reserved.
Mash together with cheese. Allow to cool.

Fill the pot with more water if needed and bring to a boil. (the onion/potato water is reserved to add more flavor. Most times I have to add a considerable amount more to fill the pot) If you are making soup that day too- then start with fresh water and use the potato water for your soup.

Place the flour salt and pepper into a mixing bowl and make a well for the eggs and 1 cup of the SC. Start mixing in the eggs and cream until you get a stiff roll-able dough, add more sour cream if needed.

On a pastry board or other floured surface roll out the dough and cut into rounds using a drinking glass or coffee cup, or a boring old biscuit cutter.

Place a tablespoon or so of the filling on each of the rounds and fold over and seal with a wet finger and pinching. You should have crescent shape dough pockets (looks sort of like large ravioli). Continue until done. (freeze any pierogi that you are not using at this step - unless they are for a party - then continue to next step)

Drop these 5 at a time into boiling water until they float. Drain and place in a buttered pan (if the pierogi is all going to be used at once, ie. its for a party, then the pan should be an oven proof one - I use a 13x9 glass pyrex that has a lid- as you add the boiled pierogi add butter and scallions or chopped onions. When all the pierogi are boiled place the pan in a 350 degree oven and bake until golden brown. (you can freeze at this step too-before baking them)

If you are only cooking a few- boil them until they float, then transfer to a frying pan with butter and onion and fry until brown.

Peach Cake?
I am thinking this was a depression era cake, or at least one that was used during lean times. Sometimes my Grandma would use other fruit, like plums or blueberries.

Try this:
grease a small square pan and layer it with peaches, sprinkle with a cinnamon and sugar to taste, place your FAVORITE biscuit dough on top and sprinkle with cinnamon and sugar to taste. Bake in a 350 degree oven until golden brown and tests done.

OK - now for some serious time in my studio...
I am hoping my kids don't tell me their crazy heart stopping stories anytime soon, or if they ever do it will be before I am too old and decrepit to handle it.


Anna said...

It's 5-6 potatoes; although, if you use cheese also you can probably use fewer potatoes, and 3 eggs. I usually don't even measure the flour and sour cream, I just add then together until the consistency of the dough is perfect. Also, I put the salt and pepper in the potatoes not the dough; although, I'm sure it doesn't matter.

I found a recipe that has sauteed onions and mushrooms in with the potatoes! we should try that sometime!
love youu!

4W said...

Its funny to have my daughter correct me BUT then again she has been making them since she was 11 or so.

eof777 said...

This is delicious! Why didn't you add it to the TTTT page so everyone else can find it and support you?
I found you through the comments. I love your recipe and do the same thing when I make pies. I dont like starchy fillers so the more fruit the merrier.
I wrote about a very popular African rice dish that I grew up enjoying. It was made with a creative twist. Stop by and read it.
I am now following you.