Connect with us

My Favorite Polish Christmas Tradition!

Written by Joseph Holevinski, Converge multimedia journalism intern and Senior at Gwinnett School of Math, Science & Technology (GSMST)

My family spends every Christmas with my Polish grandparents on my mom’s side. A few days before Christmas Eve, we make dough for perogies. Perogies are a traditional Polish dish that is very similar to dumplings, but they are usually filled with potatoes, cheese or meats.

We make the dough then knead it until it is the right consistency. After letting the dough sit for 24 hours in the fridge, we roll it out thin and use a circular cookie cutter to cut out the circles of dough for the perogies. We then prepare the filling.

We usually do three different types of filling. The first filling is essentially mashed potatoes but smoother. The potato perogies are always my favorite. Then, we make the potato and cheese pierogi filling, which is the potato filling but with melted cheese mixed in. Lastly, my dad makes the filling for the meat perogies. For this, he grills up kielbasa, a traditional polish sausage, and puts them in a meat grinder with caramelized onions.

Once we have all three fillings, the fun part begins. We take the individual dough circles and take a spoonful or two of the pierogi filling and add it to the center. Perogies are normally just folded over and crimped but we like to have fun and crimp the perogies in fun and creative ways. Once they are formed, we put them in the fridge until they are ready to be eaten.

On Christmas Eve, we have a big Polish dinner at the end of the day. This is when we eat our homemade perogies. We boil the perogies till the dough is cooked. Then, we pan fry them to brown them and crisp up the sides. We drizzle them in some melted butter and top them with more caramelized onions. We eat them with kielbasa and horseradish sauce. It is one of my favorite meals and always reminds me of home and family.