Christmas Pierogi

December 26, 2010 § 9 Comments

Christmas pierogi waiting to be fried in butter (I think they look a pod of albino stingrays...)

It’s a Polish tradition! For Christmas and Easter every year, my family makes (and eats) Pierogi. Many people have never heard of this delectable doughy treat, but I have grown up with these little guys and can’t imagine Christmas or Easter without them. We typically make two types: Sauerkraut and Potato with Cheese (farmers cheese).

Typically, a few dozen are made the week prior to the holiday and they are boiled and then frantically fried in butter just moments prior to sitting down to dinner. The frying process gets them just a little browned and a little crispy. You don’t HAVE to fry them, but it does add a little crunch and a few calories which is always nice.

Making them is fun, especially if you have a wacky sister to help and an understanding, patient mom to guide you. The night before the pierogi manufacturing event,  you get the filling ready (otherwise the process takes TOO long and you will get crabby and start fighting with your kitchen mates). I know this.

Rolling the dough correctly is important—you must get the dough to be just the right thickness (or thinness) and then you punch out a bunch of circles with a little template, like maybe a tuna can (a clean one of course). The most fun is plopping a small wad of filling in the center of the dough circle, folding the dough in half and pinching the edges to close/seal. Then you laugh, laugh, laugh at how peculiar shaped you managed to make the finished sealed pierogi and hope you sealed it well enough so that the filling doesn’t come spewing out in the boiling process. If you want to be a little fancy, you can press a fork along the edge to seal it around the  perimeter which gives added reinforcement and a cute decorative edge treatment. My mummy doesn’t like the fork thing, but I do.



my life with crooked bangs

December 22, 2010 § 3 Comments

me with my perfect 1960s bangs

For most of my childhood, I had crooked bang syndrome. It’s because my mummy used to cut my bangs with paper shears. The ghastly uneven bangs weren’t done intentionally, that’s just what they did back then. We all had crooked bangs in the 1960s. To complete the look, the bangs were chopped to reside at least 2 inches above your eyebrows and were sculpted to extend far into your hairline on each side of your face.

The cutting technique was simple— mom would just rest the scissors on my forehead, catch as much hair in the middle of the scissors blades and chew across, just as you would through a sheet of paper, crunch, crunch, crunch and TA DA ultra-short CROOKED BANGS.

Early signs of crooked bang syndrome

I didn't even care that I walked around with crooked bangs

By this time, the crooked bangs were well established

kindergarten--sporting "the bangs" (a little long, aren't they?)

if only I could get a La Femme

December 20, 2010 § 11 Comments

I think I should have a 1955 Dodge La Femme. It’s beautiful. It’s unique. It comes complete with accessories to match the interior—a gorgeous purse, coin purse, comb, lipstick, compact, cigarette lighter, umbrella, raincoat and hat. What else do you need?

The year is 1955, American families are becoming 2-car families. Mom needs her own special car that she would LOVE to be seen in. Something to call her own, to showcase her independence from relying on “the husband” for everything. Dodge introduces the La Femme. I am not overly-thrilled with that name, it means woman in French. La Femme sounds like some kind of lady product that sits shyly on some grocery store shelf, but the vehicle is stunning. It doesn’t sit shyly anywhere, it screams for unbridled attention.

Unfortunately it didn’t do much screaming for Dodge, only 2,500 were produced. It seems women just weren’t interested in this “girly” car or maybe it was the husbands that didn’t want such a feminine machine residing in their garage. Sadly, the La Femme is, for the most part, a memory tucked away deep in the Chrysler archives. Most Americans today aren’t aware that she ever existed.

Here’s my little tribute to this rare beauty, gone, but certainly not forgotten.

I never really liked santa

December 19, 2010 § 8 Comments

I never really liked Santa. In fact, I couldn’t stand him. That’s just the way it was and still is.

Me with Santa in 1963 (who wouldn't be terrified of this sour-looking guy?)

Think of it from the perspective of a 2-year old. You are persuaded to get near this massive old guy wearing a ridiculous outfit. He has a long scraggly, white puffy beard—facial fuzz that you’ve never seen before on the men that surround you during your short duration on this good earth. To make matters worse, you are encouraged, by your parents no less (who you thought loved you), to get super close to this odd stranger. They plop you down on his oversized lap, and then somehow, engulfed in your horror and fright, you are expected to have an overly up-close and personal face-to-face conversation with this freak. Oh, and it’s not TOO intimidating that he is very aware of what a horrible kid you are, thanks to some secret mysterious crystal ball he’s looking into constantly.

Santa is scary. Merry Christmas anyway.

computer face

December 14, 2010 § 10 Comments

Staring at Computer Apple Man

Wonderful. On my long, horrid, snowy, icy drive home from work this evening, I was listening to a cosmetic surgeon on the radio and he mentioned a new cosmetic “issue” that is affecting both men and women. It’s called, believe it or not, computer face.

As if there isn’t enough to worry about thanks to varicose veins, saggy body parts, wrinkles and fat rolls—now we need to worry about the dreaded computer face.

According to this doctor, office workers and those using computers 6 or more hours a day (that would be me) are likely to show premature signs of aging and can develop computer face (CF).  CF is characterized by sagging jowls, second neck (due to your head position during computer use, aka turkey neck), and deep set wrinkles around the forehead and eyes.

As you sit in front of your computer, you tend to think hard and will often put on a “grumpy face” without even realizing it. (Put a mirror by your computer you might be surprised to see your intense, mean facial expression.) Remember when your mother used to say “don’t make that face, God will punish you and your face will stay like that?” Well we’re finding that mom is right, day after day of grumpy face is causing computer face, and the cosmetic surgeons couldn’t be happier.

What can you do to prevent this? Raise your computer screen so you aren’t looking down at it all the time, take breaks from the screen periodically and do neck muscle stretches. Most importantly, wipe off that God awful devil-like expression on your mug. All else fails, hello botox.

we’ve come a long way

December 12, 2010 § 4 Comments

Cute, just too cute. Good thing we were able to figure it out.

all I want for Xmas?

December 6, 2010 § 5 Comments

Tempting… A robotic vacuum. A little round robot that vacuums your house on a pre-set schedule while you aren’t even home. There’s even a new model designed for homes with pet hair “concerns.” And it’s cute! It looks like a baby flying saucer that doesn’t fly. I need this. Plus… I’m a gadget freak. I wonder if it really works—I’d be happy if it just sort-of worked.

I have a dog—I vacuum constantly. Everyday. Well usually everyday. If I had a iRobot Roomba 560 Pet Series Robotic vacuum it could clean for me while I’m at work. What a deal.

It comes with a remote control—the husband will love it and much much cheaper than hiring a maid. He could even use it out in the garage. He’ll love that. If only it could clean snow… and leaves…

Not sure what my dog will think as he watches it whirl and twirl past him as he’s trying to sleep. Who cares what the dog thinks—he might enjoy it. Hopefully the Roomba would still be intact when I return home from work. And will the Roomba be able to keep up with the amount of dog hair that is continually released from this creature before the batteries drain out?

Hmmm, massive time saver or the ultimate demonstration of unbridled American laziness?

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