Santa Cruz Good Times

Apr 16th
Text size
  • Increase font size
  • Default font size
  • Decrease font size

Pierogi Party

dining hotplateRecently, friends invited us over to make pierogies; butter-fried, empanada-like peasant food stuffed with potatoes, onions, and cheese. It became an opportunity to connect with my lost heritage. 

The recipe is from Mike's grandmother who, like my great-grandparents, lived in Russian-occupied Poland. At the beginning of the 20th century, as Jewish persecution escalated, they emigrated to the United States. Peel and slice 1.5 pounds of russet potatoes 1/2-inch thick, and cook in boiling water until soft, then drain and cool. 

Meanwhile, make the dough. Dig a well in the center of 2 cups of flour, and add three beaten eggs, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1/3 cup water. Mix with a fork, and then knead lightly. If too sticky, add more flour. Shape into a log, cover with waxed paper and let rest long enough to enjoy a beer. Thinly slice 6 ounces of salt pork, and cook in a large skillet until dark brown. Discard the pork. Dice two brown onions and cook in the hot pork fat until beginning to brown. (Optional beer break.) 

Farmer's cheese is expensive, so Mike quickly made his own. (Recipe from Crumble 12 ounces of cheese into the potatoes; add the onions and 1 teaspoon each of salt and pepper. You can also add minced meat or herbs, such as dill or chives to taste.
The four-station assembly line was like a ballet. Roll dough into 1.5-inch balls. Press each with fingertips into a disk on a well-floured surface, then flatten with a rolling pin to into a thin circle. Place flattened dough into the cupped palm of your hand, add potato mixture, moisten the perimeter of the dough with a water-wetted finger, fold to make a half moon and firmly press edges together. 

Drop a few packages into a pot of simmering water until they rise to the top. Remove with a slotted spoon and sauté in plenty of butter until brown. Serve hot with sour cream. We spiked ours with garden-fresh garlic chives. | KP

Comments (0)Add Comment

Write comment
smaller | bigger


Share this on your social networks

Bookmark and Share

Share this

Bookmark and Share


Growing Hope

Campos Seguros combats sexual assault in the Watsonville farmworker community Farm work was a way of life for Rocio Camargo, who grew up in Watsonville as the daughter of Mexican immigrants. Her parents met while working the fields 30 years ago, and her father went on to run Fuentes Berry Farms.


Cardinal Grand Cross in the Sky

Following Holy Week (passion, death and burial of the Pisces World Teacher) and Easter Sunday (Resurrection Festival), from April 19 to the 23, the long-awaited and discussed Cardinal Cross of Change appears in the sky, composed of Cardinal signs Aries, Libra, Cancer, and Capricorn, with planets (13-14 degrees) Uranus (in Aries), Jupiter (in Cancer), Mars (in Libra) and Pluto (in Capricorn), an actual geometrical square or cross configuration. Cardinal signs mark the seasons of change, initiating new realities.


Sugar: The New Tobacco?

Proposed bill would require warning labels on sugary drinks Will soda and other saccharine libations soon come with a health warning? They will if it’s up to our state senator, Bill Monning (D-Carmel). On Feb. 27, Monning proposed first-of-its-kind legislation that would require a consumer warning label be placed on sugar-sweetened beverages sold in California. SB 1000, also known as the Sugar-Sweetened Beverages Safety Warning Act, was proposed to provide vital information to consumers about the harmful effects of consuming sugary drinks, such as sodas, sports drinks, energy drinks, and sweetened teas.


Animal Magnetism

Bear, mouse dare to be friends in charming ‘Ernest and Celestine’ It’s not exactly Romeo and Juliet. It’s not even a romance, although it is a love story about two individuals separated by prejudice who find the courage to form an unshakable bond despite the rules and traditions that keep them apart.
Sign up for Tomorrow's Good Times Today
Upcoming arts & events

Latest Comments


Foodie File: Red Apple Cafe

Breakfast takes center stage at Gracia Krakauer's Red Apple Cafe Before they moved to Aptos, Gracia and her husband Dan Krakauer would visit friends in Santa Cruz County and eat at the Red Apple Café all the time. Then they moved up here from Santa Monica five years ago, and bought the Aptos location (there’s a separate one in Watsonville) from the family who owned it for two decades.


How would you feel about a tech industry boom in Santa Cruz?

I feel like it would ruin the small old-town feeling of Santa Cruz. It wouldn’t be the same Surf City kind of vacation town that it is. Antoinette BennettSanta Cruz | Construction Management


Best of Santa Cruz County

The 2013 Santa Cruz County Readers' Poll and Critics’ Picks It’s our biggest issue of the year, and in it, your votes—more than 6,500 of them—determined the winners of The Best of Santa Cruz County Readers’ Poll. New to the long list of local restaurants, shops and other notables that captured your interest: Best Beer Selection, Best Locally Owned Business, Best Customer Service and Best Marijuana Dispensary. In the meantime, many readers were ever so chatty online about potential new categories. Some of the suggestions that stood out: Best Teen Program and Best Web Design/Designer. But what about: Dog Park, Church, Hotel, Local Farm, Therapist (I second that!) or Sports Bar—not to be confused with Bra. Our favorite suggestion: Best Act of Kindness—one reader noted Café Gratitude and the free meals it offered to the Santa Cruz Police Department in the aftermath of recent crimes. Perhaps some of these can be woven into next year’s ballot, so stay tuned. In the meantime, enjoy the following pages and take note of our Critics’ Picks, too, beginning on page 91. A big thanks for voting—and for reading—and an even bigger congratulations to all of the winners. Enjoy.  -Greg Archer, EditorBest of Santa Cruz County Readers’ Poll INDEX


Trout Gulch Vineyards

Cinsault 2012—la grande plage diurne The most popular wines on store shelves are those most generally known and available—Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot, which are all superb for sure. But when you come across a more unusual varietal, like Trout Gulch Vineyards’ Cinsault ($18), it opens up a whole new world.