Cooking for Christmas!

One of my favorite things about Christmas is spending a day, a weekend and sometimes even a week cooking up stuff for the Holiday season. It has been a tradition in my family (as with a lot of families) for as long as I can remember. This year we have made, 21 1/4 dozen cheese, onion and bacon perogies (that’s 255 perogies), 6 1/2 dozen macaroons (78), and 6 1/2 dozen (78) ginger snaps.

I decided to post pictures and the recipe that my family has used for a long time. It was passed from my Aunt to my Mom years ago when my Mom and Dad got married. My father thinks it’s the recipe that his mother, passed down to my Aunt and that her mother most likely passed down to her so it’s been in the family for generations I think. I took the pictures so I’m not in any of them my Mom is. But since we made like 5 batches of dough I did to a lot of it myself too.

I’ve never really written out a recipe before so I hope it’s not too bad. We mostly do them by memory and I don’t think mom even has a recipe written down. So forgive me for not putting the amounts of the filling. If we make to much filling we just fry it up for breakfast the next morning or make more dough.

Perogie dough:
– 4 cups of all purpose flour
– 1tsp lard or oil (canola oil will do)
– 1 1/2 cups of warm water (almost hot)
– 1tsp salt.

Potato Filling (mashed potatoes):
– 5 Medium sized potatoes
– Milk
– Salt
– Pepper
– Margerine

Optional fillings:
Grated Cheese (cheddar, romano, mozella, etc)
Onions
Bacon

Start out with making the mashed potatoes. Kinda use your own judgement on this. Using the potatoes, milk, salt, pepper, margarine and any other option fillings such as onion, grated cheese, bacon, etc make your potato filling. Basically make it the consistency of regular mashed potatoes (not super creamy but more chunky). We often use the leftovers and fry them up in a hash.

The in a large mixing bowl, add 4 cups flour, 1 tsp lard or oil, 1 tsp salt and 1 1/2 cups of warm water. Using a fork mix until the water is mixed in, it will still have a lot of loose flour and not be fully mixed, that’s okay and then using your hands knead it till it looks like the image below.

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Spread flour on the counter and take it out and keep kneading until it is fairly pliable and ready to roll. Spread more flour if needed and roll with a heavy wooden or marble rolling pin:

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Until it looks something like this:

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Using a glass or round cookie cutter (about 2 1/2 to 3 inches in diameter) cut out the dough like below. How many you can get depends on the thickness/thinness of the dough you rolled out. We got about 20 to 25 perogies out of one batch of dough. Fill a 6 or 8 ounce mug 1/4 with milk.

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Take one of the dough cutouts and fill it with about a tsp of filling in the center leaving space at the outside edges:

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Dip two fingers in the mug of milk and wet around the outside edge of the perogie and fold it in half and using your fingers press the edge together till it looks like this:

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Bring a large pot of water boil with a dash of salt and drop the perogies 10-12 at a time into the pot, when they float they are ready to pull out.

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Place them into something to cool down.

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Once cooled place them in ziplock bags and store them in the freezer until you are ready for them.

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When ready pull out however much you need and you can either fry them in a pan with a bit of margarine, button or oil. I sometimes add seasoning salt. Fry till light golden brown on both sides. They will have a slightly doughy and rubbery texture but they are so good!

Alternatively you can bake them, deep fry them (careful not to leave them too long or all the filling will come out), or boil them further. They taste great reheated in the microwave.

Mom and Dad make the dough and put sauer kraut in as a filling right from the box, don’t need to do anything else with it, instead of potato sometimes. I’m not a sauer kraut fan but other people I know say they are pretty good.

Enjoy!

3 more days…

Until December! It’s my favorite month besides July (summer and Birthday gifts, nothing can beat that!), I love the festive lights, the snow, candy cane hot chocolate , cinnamon, peppermint, holly and the smell of a fresh christmas tree!

I decorated my blog before I decorated the apartment. I couldn’t help it. I was looking for some inspiration and found this free theme and I love it! I figured I couldn’t have done better myself right now so why bother. Plus it features an adorable snowman. I love snowmen! I also added a math captcha, I was tired of sorting through the spam akismet stopped for the occasional legit comments that it caught.

I’m heading home to Mom and Dad’s tomorrow. I would have left today, since I have a 4 day weekend (Thursday,  Friday,  Saturday and Sunday) but I have to do a sleep test tonight and bring the thing back tomorrow morning. I’ve always had issues sleeping but since I was diagnosed with fibromyalgia my Doctor(s) have been concerned with my sleep and the fact I wake up as tired as when I go to bed. So I’m leaving tomorrow.

Mom promised me we would make some perogies for me to freeze and bring home. I love perogies and I love making them but when you make as many as we do when we make them its an all day affair and it gets messy! I’ll try and remember to post pictures and maybe post the recipe if she doesn’t mind. It’s fairly likely we’ll go shopping in the valley or even back here in Halifax as well.

I can’t wait!!!

Where did November go?

Wow it’s almost over already. I can’t wait to put up our Christmas tree soon. I wanted to do it this weekend but I am going to visit my parents for American Thanksgiving. Odd I know. No one in my family is American (not immediate family anyways).  However our client at work deals with mostly US citizens and because of that made the decision to close our phone lines over American Thanksgiving . For those of you that do not know Canadian Thanksgiving  was Monday October 14th this year, it’s always the second Monday in October… Just a little Canadian tidbit  So anyways I guess I will have to wait till the week or the next weekend to put it up.

November really did go by fast, I spent half of it sick and at home so I suppose that’s partly why. I was doing so good in September and October money wise and got so much paid off. My last pay check was a measly $77 lol. Oh well. I saved $100 from the one before and got the bills paid for the month and Cory kinda picked up the rest. It’s gonna be a struggle to get Christmas shopping done. It’s times like this I wish I was more pro-active and had most of it done already. But I am such a procrastinator when it comes to Christmas shopping. I have always been one to wait and then rush the week before Christmas to get it all done on a limited budget. If I planned it better I would not feel so stressed about it. Every year I say I am going to start early and never do.

I’m trying to figure out what to do about a Christmas theme for my blog as well. Should I just take this theme, copy it and change it to make it Christmasy or should I just download a ready made one from somewhere… and where?? I’m gonna look tonight, maybe I’ll find something I like. I would love to make a theme from scratch but I just don’t have the time and I also just don’t feel like it. So who knows… I just know I want it changed by December 1st so I better hurry up!

What will the New Year bring?

In the span of 2 1/2 weeks I paid off my bankruptcy, got the internet back, lost my uncle and got pneumonia. So the end of October was a little bit hectic… so many ups and downs. All I can say is I am looking forward to Christmas and the New Year.

I got a call on the Tuesday my Uncle died as I was getting ready for work from my mom, I did not get to it in time and the voicemail picked up, it was her and she was sobbing and asked me to call her back. I called and she let me know my Uncle had passed away. He was 51.

I went in to work, let them know what was going on and then grabbed the car and headed home to Digby. Cory had to work and I was not sure what was going on so I left him in the city. My uncle had passed away early Tuesday morning, the funeral was Sunday.

It’s hard loosing a loved one, and to be honest I still am not really ready to face that he is gone. It’s too hard to think about it. So maybe I’ll talk about that more in a while. For now I am just not ready.

While in Digby I payed off my bankruptcy. I should be getting the conditional discharge papers soon and I am really looking forward to starting to build my credit back up and getting on with my life, financially.  I still have about $500 outside the bankruptcy I owe but that’s going to get paid before the New Year. I have everything else paid up. All my bills are current, what a feeling!

We made the decision to get internet back. Cory wants cable and I wanted internet but we could not get both for at least 6 months (cause of the bankruptcy). I paid the first bill, 2 weeks before it was due by. My next goal is to put aside some money over the next year or two for a down payment on a place to live. We want to own. Have a yard, our own place.

Just as I was getting somewhere money wise, I get pneumonia, and so does Cory. Our next pay’s are going to suck. But we still have enough to pay all bills and have tons of food so we will be fine. I can’t believe I have missed 2 weeks (one for my Uncle and one because of pneumonia) and money wise it has barely affected us. This is where I have been hoping to be. I am finally here.

Time to get Cory in the same shape.