By: Katharyn Chaks
My Grandfather is Latvian and he used to always tell us about the “old country”. He grew up on a farm where the men did the work in the field and the women stayed home and cooked and cleaned. When I was younger, he took our family to a Latvian community in old Montreal. It was around Christmas time and it was an early celebration. The foods were vast and all homemade by the older Latvian ladies. They told us about growing up in Latvia just as my grandfather had done. They told us about making their own food from scratch and how different things were in America compared to Latvia.
There was one hors d’oeuvre that my sister and I absolutely adored. It was a type of bread pastry that was wrapped around finely chopped bacon. The ladies that had made it said that it took them hours to make the bread, cook the bacon and chop it so finely. They also said they felt as though they were back in Latvia since they hadn’t made something from scratch in a long time. They said that they were called “perogies”. There were different types of them. Some with just fresh bread wrapped around and others were boiled for the pastry to become softer.
We began making perogies a lot at home, but of course it will never be as good as how the Latvian ladies had made them. Living in a place where you can get crescent rolls all ready to put what you’d like in them, we began using those. This is the same concept but it will never be the same as something made from scratch.
- 8 cups of all-purpose flour
- 4 eggs
- 1 container of sour cream
- ½ teaspoon of salt
- warm water
- cooked bacon chopped up to your desire
1. In one large bowl, beat eggs together with sour cream and salt. Add in flour and warm water. At warm water until dough feels like velvet. Once that’s done have a cutting board lightly floured and knead until smooth.
2. Roll out till about 1/8 to ¼ inch thickness. Use a glass or circle cookie cutter to cut out circles. (Be sure to cover them with waxed paper if not using them right away to fill so that they don’t dry out.)
3. Place as much bacon as you like into the circle but be sure you can close them. Once the filling is placed, fold over and seal by pressing down with a fork around the edges so it doesn’t open.
4. Get a large pot of boiling water, place perogies into the water, and wait until they float to the surface. Take them out and enjoy.