You'd have to live in a cave to not know that the University of Oregon's football team is going to play Auburn for the national championship. That's nice, but what has us (and by and large the rest of the neighborhood) excited is the U of O's a cappella group "On the Rocks". They just got a spot on NBC's The Sing-Off", a limited run holiday season series. One of their members is an old swimteam coach at the local pool. (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cTFh8LCBZeQ&feature=related) Teigh Bowen is the blond guy to the right of the main singer in most of the videos. He was an awesome swim coach.
With all sorts of talented Oregonians in national competitions Cy decided to make a dish that baffled us when we first made it, but now we're good enough at it that it could win a national championship. Pirogi. The cheese has been grated and mashed into the potatoes, now the cheese potato mixture is being mashed into small balls for the filling, and the onions are sizzling away filling our house with their fragrant buttery, greasy, wonderfulness. The dough is done resting now, and the onions are almost caramelized.
Last time we had pirogi for dinner it wasn't the best. The dough was tough, you couldn't taste the cheese in the filling and the onions were over done. The time before that was, I think, Super Bowl Sunday.
Cy is now assembling the pirogi. After rolling out and cutting the dough into small circles he puts one of the small cheese-potato balls into the middle, then crushes the edges together into the classic dumpling shape. Meanwhile on the stove sauerkraut and some venison sausage our neighbor Andy gave us are heating up together on the front burner. Andy had been hunting this fall and got a buck in Eastern Oregon. Otto's , the little German deli/butcher shop in our neighborhood smokes game for the hunters in the neighborhood. These sausages were super smoky and super delicious. On the rear burner of the stove, the pirogi that have already been made are boiling away in a big pot of heavily salted pirogi water.
While we're waiting for all the pirogi to finish cooking we've been snacking on the leftover cheese balls. We have probably 20 extra cheese balls. On the outside they are slightly greasy and slippery. They look to be just orange tinted mash potato balls. The light glints off of them in such a way it appear they are sweating. When you bite in at first you just taste the potatoes. Then the cheese sneaks in. Sharp and cheddary you get a wonderful taste of the cheesiness (which the government wants us to eat more of) and the fattiness (which they want us to eat less of). The pirogi are ready, we eat!
That was really good. The pirogi were by far the best we've ever made, in fact, it was good enough to rival the pirogi that Eastern European immigrants sell on Saturdays from the basement of the Ukranian church in our neighborhhod. Next time though, more onions. And the sausage, that was good. It was really good. Imagine the best venison sausage you ever had, the multiply it by 10. After we had finished eating Mom said, "Thanks for the wonderful meal Cy and Dad, and Andy," then Dad broke in "and Smith&Wesson."