As a kid, I tried pierogi once. I was probably 11 and my mom’s family got together that one time everyone wasn’t fighting and worked all day making dozens upon dozens of them. That day I knew three things: my mom’s family was insane, sauerkraut was gross, and I did not care for pierogi.
I still don’t really talk to my mom’s family, and sauerkraut still grosses me out, but I’ve come around to pierogi in a big way—if it’s the kind filled with mashed potatoes, onions, garlic, or spinach. When I was living in Brooklyn, there were a few kinds in the refrigerator case at every grocery store. I wasn’t vegan then so I’m not sure if they were, but there was definitely no cheese involved. It was just dough filled with mashed potato and onion. Score. Big score.
After New York, I found myself in a pierogiless Los Angeles, and eventually I forgot about them. It’s OK—that’s where I discovered my love for the avocado and learned to like tofu. Now here in Portland, perhaps due to the little pocket of Russians, I’ve seen pierogi here and there. And now I’ve found my first vegan one. It’s frozen, but whatever. The old flame is back, and it might even inspire me to make some from scratch and freeze them myself.
Depending on who you talk to, there are a gazillion “right” ways to prepare them. I throw them in a little Earth Balance and lightly brown them with the lid on, so they’re steaming themselves a bit too. This time I added some thinly sliced onion and it was perfect.
European gypsy mutt represent!