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Are You Proud of Me?

August 24, 2009

Dear Caitlin,

Ta da!

Rogi Close Up

I made pierogi tonight, following your delightful recipe! This was my first time ever attempting the Polish dumplings, and I can’t say they were perfect, but I still had a lot of fun making them and even more fun eating them!

I have more to report on from today, but I’ll start with the rog-sters, since I think they’re the most exciting, and the most photo-filled. Also, maybe you can critique my rogi-making and help me figure out how to improve for next time.

So to begin, I didn’t follow your recipe exactly, as I didn’t have any normal potatoes on hand. I did have, however, a couple of the delicious sweet potatoes I got from the farmers’ market, and I was excited to see how they would taste mashed up and stuck in a pocket of dough. So I set myself to peeling and cubing the two medium sweet potatoes I had left. As it turned out, these two sweet potatoes were in fact not the same kind of sweet potato, so I ended up using one standard Beauregard & Covington (the orange cubes) and one Japanese Kotobuki potato (the white cubes).

Sweet Potatoes

These got boiled and then mixed up with onion, garlic, dill and the other stuff you recommended. I decided to use my food processor because I thought that would give it an easier-to-work-with consistency. Here’s what it came out looking like:

Sweet Potato Mixture

It tasted wonderful! Of course, I am no small fan of mashed sweet potatoes, so my delight should come as no surprise.

Next up was, of course, the dough. This is where I think I started to have some problems. I don’t think I rolled the dough out thin enough, and perhaps the cup I used to make my circles was too small (I used a normal-sized glass tumbler). At any rate, here’s the plate of my dough circles; I got I think 19 in total from your recipe:

Rogi Dough

Next I had to load up these babies, and I had a little trouble here as well. I just wasn’t able to get much filling into these without it smushing out when I tried to seal them. Perhaps this was because of the size of my circles or the thickness of my dough; I don’t know. In the end, I easily had more than half my filling left over (which I happily munched on as I waited for the rogi-bears to cook). Anyway, I pressed on; here are my rog-leaders before they entered the water and oven…

Uncooked Rogi

…and here they are after!

Rogi

Now, as I expected, the dough was a little too thick and the filling was a little too minimal with these guys. Still, I greatly enjoyed my pierogi feast. One more picture:

Rogi Inside

Any tips you can give me for how to improve my pierogi-meisters would be greatly appreciated!

Anyhoo, the rest of the day was also filled with great food, which I’ll briefly report on. First, ever meal I ate today included a side of last night’s cornbread, which is now all gone (Not all my doing! My housemates ate some too!). Breakfast included the rest of my leftover miso soup along with the cornbread, and lunch was a delicious rapini greens salad. So basically, everything I ate today was great, and my tummy is very happy for it!

I also did some food scouting today, checking out a couple of the other health food stores and groceries that I still hadn’t seen, and I was impressed by both of them. First I went to Baldwin Naturals, a cute little store with all sorts of stuff I love, much like Taste of Nature (my other favorite health food store). I probably won’t go there as often, since it’s a little farther away, but I really like the layout and some of their prices are better. And while I was there, I found this awesome agave nectar sweetened ketchup (I wanted to find some to use in VeganDad’s Malaysian Sweet & Sour Tofu recipe)!

Ketchup

The other store I went to was Essence of Life Organics, a larger health food store and grocery. This store was definitely less cute and less organized and kind of a pain to navigate around, but their prices can’t be beat. First, they have the lowest prices on Nature’s Path eco-packs I’ve seen anywhere—$6.99 for a bag like the one below, which I’ve seen go for $10.97 elsewhere!

Mesa Sunrise

They also had good prices for soy and other non-dairy milks, so I decided to pick up a few brands that I’d never tried before (I think you’ve tried Pacific Almond milk—was it O.K.?). Here they are, French side facing:

Milks

Last but not least, they had an amazing deal on pita bread that I just couldn’t pass up: 6 big whole wheat pitas from a local Ontario bakery for just $1.15! Wow!

Pita

So, in conclusion, I wouldn’t be surprised if I came back to this store again.

And that’s all for today. I hope you enjoyed reading about my experiments and expeditions!

Until we eat again,

Willie

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