Would you like to make an authentic Eastern European meal? Or, would you like to support your local restaurants? On Saturday, September 12, join us on Zoom at 5:30 pm to eat borscht and pierogi (also known as varenyky in Ukrainian and Russian) and hear about Eastern European traditions from Natalia Peterson and Lee Ann Pomrenke.
If you’re inclined to purchase these before the meal, Moscow on the Hill at 371 Selby Ave in St. Paul has these two items on their menu, and if you want to try other items, Kramarczuk’s Deli at 215 E. Hennepin Ave in Minneapolis also serves pierogi as well as tasty Ukrainian sausage and cabbage rolls (holubtsi). Zikora Grocery, also in NE Minneapolis is another great option. If takeout isn’t your thing, Mrs. T’s Pierogis can be found in the freezer section of many Cub Food’s grocery stores.
Also, in Woodbury, there’s a bakery that makes paczki (Polish filled donuts for Fat Tuesday) every Friday of the year! They do lots of flavored fillings.
Don’t know how to make borscht or pierogi? Watch these video tutorials: Make Pierogies for Second Saturday, Make Borscht for Second Saturday by Natalia Peterson and her daughter Tanya. It’s as much fun to make as it is to eat!
From the Polish side, Lee Ann Pomrenke recommends that you include any of the following as possible menu items:
Beet soup – barscsz/borscht
Cucumber/sour cream/dill salad
Kielbasa (can substitute bratwurst)
Pierogies (labor-intensive! Lee Ann’s grandma used to make all kinds of fillings: cheese, potato, meat, sauerkraut and even prune!) boiled, then sautéed in butter and onions. There are exclusively pierogi restaurants in Poland! And according to Natalia, the word pierogi (which is actually plural of the singular pierig) is generally called varenyky in Ukrainian and Russian, although she grew up with the term pierogi.
As for desserts – apple pie and cheesecake are common in Poland. There are also such things as “dessert pierogi” filled with cinnamon apples or blueberries!
From Lee Ann:
“At Christmas (in Poland it should be on Christmas Eve, the Vigil) we celebrate Wigilia with a special meal, and sharing oplatek. I wrote about the oplatek tradition here.
Many of the traditions are tied to being Roman Catholic, which 99% of the population of current-day Poland are. There’s a small Lutheran church in Poland, mostly people of German descent where borders have changed. On Christmas Eve they often put straw under the tablecloth, to remind them of the setting of the nativity.
On Holy Saturday, the day before Easter, there is a blessing of the basket. We do this every year at Holy Cross RC Church in NE Minneapolis, but in the spring that we were in Poland for 7 weeks to adopt 2-year-old Vikta, we put together the basket and took it to church there too. Below is a picture of the Easter basket.
The priest says a specific blessing for everything: bread, butter carved into the shape of a lamb, horseradish, kielbasa, eggs, even sweets.”
We hope to see you Saturday, September 12th, at 5:30 pm on zoom, sharing a meal (virtually) and storytelling from Natalia Peterson & Lee Ann Pomrenke on Ukrainian and Polish culture.