The Saga of the Militant Pierogies  

Just recently I was shopping at my local Costco. Now, keep in mind my family is tiny – just my husband and I, and three cats – so there’s no need for the massive packages of toilet paper and gargantuan tubs of laundry soap.

But I like shopping at Costco, partly as it’s a great people watching experience. Plus, I’m a big fan of the Costco rotisserie chicken (there was a lineup when I got there) as well as the book selection. I’m not a big fan of lining up for freebie food treats (it’s awkward, to say the least. Like – do I look like someone who needs extra snacks while grocery shopping?)

That said – I noticed this nervous excitement around a particular food table where free samples of pierogies were being given out. It was such a popular spot two people were in charge. I walked by – and the woman behind the counter handed me a serving.  “Try!” It was a pierogie and, good lord, it was delicious.

Pierogis, for the uninitiated, are small doughy dumplings with fillings that include mashed potato, cheese, fried onions, mushrooms, even blueberries. They are the quintessential comfort food, especially when served with a side of fried bacon and sour cream.

So – I bought. I had to buy two bags as nothing comes small in Costco.

The day was extremely hot but I managed to get home in record time and place said frozen pierogies in the freezer. Next day, I decided to make them. First, I fried up a package of bacon until crisp, drained the bacon fat from the frypan, filtered it and returned it to the same pan (see how good I’m doing?) Fresh sour cream in the fridge was waiting for its cue.

And then I put a big pot of salted water on the stove to boil. The package instructions looked simple enough: drop pierogies in boiling water until they floated, boil an additional 3-4 minutes and remove to fry pan.

WELL! I opened the package and to my horror the pierogies had all melded together into one monster ball of gunk. It was Attack of the Killer Pierogies (I’m sure coming to Netflix in time for Halloween). I noticed a few had in fact fled for their lives into the upper corners of the packaging, and kept their distance as well as their shape, but the majority of the pierogies had decided to band together and form some type of militant pierogies union – if we must be boiled, let us all be boiled together sort of philosophy. I gotta give it to these pierogies – they were loyal to each other.

You could tell they were out for trouble. My heart sank, as I felt a few were Trump supporters – they had that arrogance about them. With the boiling water waiting for no one, I frantically started plying them apart and rolling them up to look like deranged meatballs. Their identities were quickly being obliterated under my deft fingers. Panic was taking place as many refused to part from their comrades. The more I rolled the weirder they looked. What the heck type of flour was used in the makings of these militant pierogies? They looked freaking POSSESSED! 

And they weren’t going down quietly – many purposely splashed me with boiling water, hollering out swear words on their way to their fates.

Anyways, I finally pried and rolled the new pierogies, who glared at me from the boiling water. I couldn’t take the drama any longer, and threw out the remaining monsters, hearing their cries of victory while they landed in the garbage can.

Even frying them up proved to be difficult as they were round instead of flat. I had to keep turning and turning them until  they were golden all around. I sprinkled the crumbled bacon on top, hoping they’d look pretty, but it was akin to putting lipstick on a pig – these were pretty ugly pierogies.

I’m sure pierogie protests were being organized across the globe over this culinary travesty that had just taken place in my kitchen.

I ended up dividing them up and, with a side of sour cream, giving them to my neighbours to try. 

I left a large serving for my next-door neighbour Frank, a wonderful guy who helps me assemble Ikea furniture and put pictures on the wall for me. I left Frank a note explaining the drama that had just taken place in my kitchen.

“Frank – these pierogies look like Godzilla’s ugly baby sister, who never got invited to the prom!” I could hear him chortling through the walls of our condo.

He later emailed and said the pierogies, although odd looking, were rather delicious – “even though they had never been invited to the prom,” he snickered.

“So sad!” He wrote. And sad it was –  what I told Frank is these particular pierogies were militant because of the fact they had never been invited out with the cool kids. Yet what no other comfort foods knew is they were considered the best dancers.

Moral of this story? Don’t judge a book, um, a pierogi, but its cover. And always always carry a freezer bag when grocery shopping on hot days.

It’s the only way to keep the pierogi revolution at bay.