What do perogies have to do with Santa Lucia Day? Well, I like perogies and I have a Swedish friend, so that's a good enough excuse to have a big perogy-building and eating partay. Luckily, my friend Jean and her daughter have perogies in their DNA, so they shared their awesome mad perogie skillz with us. See how Jean cuts the dough into squares so there is no wasted or re-rolled dough? Awesome!
I put on my best perogie princess hair do and I preheated the oven to bake the Lucy buns and gingerbread. We boiled up the water for the perogies. The day before I had roasted sweet potatoes and defrosted some pumpkin I had in the freezer. The morning before, I boiled and drained medium waxy potatoes and roasted garlic. Peter riced the potatoes and sautéed garlic and leeks. Our Swedish friend made a lovely traditional spiced red wine.
Jean brought some poppy seed filling she prepared earlier from ground poppy seeds and a bit of sugar. We put the guests to work, cutting out ginger bread shapes and making our Swedish friend's dough into S-shaped Lucy buns. We sautéed mushrooms, garlic and leeks, and onions. Jean says onions are usually sauteed an hour or so. We cheated. We also cheated on the braised red cabbage, which I don't cook for nearly as long as the recipe calls for.
So we had poppyseed filling; potato, leek, and garlic; dry cottage cheese, potato and dill; mushroom, potato and garlic; and sweet potato, sage, leeks, and garlic. I could have done with a lot less of the sweet potato ones, but one or two are nice. Now Jean had the idea of mixing a bit of potato in with the other fillings to help it stick together, which was brilliant. She showed us how you put the onions with a half cup of melted butter in a roaster with a lid and then as you add the cooked perogies, you give the roaster a shake to mix and coat them with butter.
It was fun to share the labor of cooking and then at 6:30 pm, I insisted we all sit down and eat. Everything was delicious. We talked about how mushrooms could save the world, which filled us all with a sense of hope.
For the first time in my life, I feel the approaching turning of the solstice deep in my gut. I feel a longing for the light and warmth to return. In the mean time, a special thanks to friends and family who share their spirit and warmth with us this season.