20. Plastered Pierogies

PierogisI left Burton at his door while he waited for a cab to take him to the bus station. I walked home quickly, frustrated that I was drunk and still had to make pierogies by six o’clock even though I’d never made pierogis before.Pierogis

It was difficult. I mixed the flour, egg and sour cream together, kneaded it and rolled it out. It fell about. I had to start over.  I think it had something to do with the sour cream in the dough, but I didn’t know for sure. I was too blinded by booze to contemplate it. It was painfully difficult to do after countless whiskey drinks. I put the potato cheese mixture inside pockets of dough and boiled them. They were ugly. I made as many as I could. I was already late.

When I got to Lena’s, I was greeted by Chris and his baby, Bryan, Ford, and Lena with a glass of wine in hand.

I was not sober at all and I told Lena just that. Chris didn’t seem notice — he handed his baby to me immediately. Despite my wonky brain, I knew I should not have been cradling an infant in my noodly arms.

Pierogis I passed him off to Bryan.  I didn’t tell Lena that I had such a difficult afternoon with Burton. Had she known, she probably would have been OK if I had just gone to Kasia’s and picked up pre-made pierogies. She would have been OK with that even if I didn’t have a shitty afternoon. All I told her was that I was out drinking with Burton. I was hammered for the entire meal which helped disguise my shame for not following through adequately on our plans.

I didn’t last long at Lena’s. I passed out by 9:00pm, but not before texting Burton to tell him that he had to decide if we were to move forward or not.

 *****

PierogisI didn’t hear from Burton until Sunday night when he had returned from Madison. It was all conveniently written over text. I was on my way home on the bus from Pots et des Casseroles when I received the first missive.

“I can’t make that decision. It’s yours,” he wrote.

“It’s not fair for you to burden me with that,” I responded as I switched buses.

After I boarded the second bus and was seated, I added, “I will say that the smart and safe thing to do would be to leave you alone and let you get over it.”

“Do you mean that?” he asked.

Fighting with myself to lie, I wrote, “Yes.”

“Thank you for your honesty.”

BaconI didn’t sleep much but the anger at myself provided the energy I needed to scramble my Monday morning eggs and lay out my bacon.

I planted a logical seed. I was hoping he wouldn’t be logical. He was. As I beat the eggs, I vacillated between the idea of the breakup being for the best and the sad reality of not getting to see the person that made so happy for a brief amount of time. I wasn’t done with him. Our relationship was half-baked. In my history of dating, the only heartbreaks I’d experienced were situations in which the relationships ended before they could get bad. This one was far from bad. This was heartbreak. I wasn’t prepared.

BaconI went through all five stages of grief during breakfast. I realized my breakup with Burton was not unlike my breakup with bacon six months earlier.

Denial: I wasn’t meant to stop eating/seeing Bacon/Burton.

Anger: How dare Bacon/Burton make me fat/sad!

Bargaining: Oh dear Bacon/Burton, if I can just have one more piece/see you one last time, I’ll let you go forever.

Depression: I can’t believe I will never taste your fatty goodness/see your disarming smile again.

Acceptance: Huh. Maybe Bacon/Burton wasn’t all that tasty/great. Maybe I didn’t like Bacon/Burton all that much to begin with.

BaconThe only difference was that I faced bacon every day and no longer feared the temptation to eat it. I even had an entire pound of sublime bacon from The Brooklyn Kitchen in my freezer that I was resisting. If I had to see Burton every day, I’d probably crumble.

After breakfast, I felt like I was OK. The over-communicator in me took over and I texted to tell him that I had been through the five stages of grief and that I was ready to let him be. I wasn’t actually trying to let him be. But he was kind in his response and expressed disappointment that he had missed the bargaining stage with offers of an afternoon delight. I wasn’t expecting the texts to take that kind of a turn. They increased with frequency and got more graphic, ending with a real-life afternoon-into-evening-into-morning delight. The breakup only lasted eighteen hours.

****

Pierogis

Pierogis

Dough:

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 egg
  • ¼ cup sour cream

In a large bowl, mix together the dry ingredients. Make a well. Crack the egg into the well. Using a fork draw the flour to the center of the bowl and work the flour and flour mixture together to make a dough. When it’s sandy, add the sour cream and mix well. Knead the dough until it’s smooth. On a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough until it’s 1/4″ thick. Don’t try to make it thinner — it will fall apart. Using a 3″ biscuit cutter, cut out 21 circles.

PierogisFilling:

  • 1 russet potato, peeled, cut into pieces and cooked
  • ½ yellow onion, dices
  • ¼ cup shredded mozzarella
  • 1 pat of butter
  • 2 TB milk
  • salt to taste

Sautee the onions until they are soft and translucent. In a bowl, combine all the ingredients and mash them together with a fork.

Assemble:

Spoon about 1 1/2 tsp of the potato mixture into the center of each circle of dough. With water and a pastry brush, moisten the edges of the dough. Fold over the dough and press on them to seal.

At this point, the pierogis can be frozen for future use. If you plan on eating them immediately, add them to a pot of boiling water for four minutes. Drain the pierogis. Fry them in a little bit of butter until they’re lightly browned on each side. Serve with sour cream.

Pierogis

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