Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Pierogi Hijiks


So for those of you who don't know my maternal grandmother is Ukrainian. If we wanted to get more specific (and really why not? says the East Central European Regional Studies major) she is Ruthenian (for details:en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rusyns). The Ruthenian versus Ukrainian business isn't really that important, mainly has to do with which side of the Russian/Austro-Hungarian border you ended up on, what matters are the pierogies.

When I was younger my grandma made the most diliscious potatoe perogies entirely from scratch. They were light, wonderful, and disproportionately easy to eat compared to the amount of time it took to make them. The things is when I was growing up I didn't know what a peirogi was. We always ate pedahare. For me even now perogies are the fat frozen dumplings you can buy at the super market, versus the fresh and wonderful pedahare.

Fair enough you might think, pierogi is Polish so pedahare, which I have no idea how to spell by the way, must be Ukrainian but no, no, no. In Ukrainian they are Вареники (vareniki), which is not similiar at all. Well wait I said she was Ruthenian? Maybe that is the Ruthenian word? No. The Ruthenian word is 'pyrohy.' So where on earth did my grandmother's word come from? I found two relevant google entries, only confirming that the word exists and that nobody know how to spell it. I must know the answer to this pierogi mystery!

And now a fun pedahare related Ruthenian story: A thief breaks into a house and steals a man's wife and the pot of pedahare she was cooking. Her husband sees the thief running off with his wife, runs after him and corners him. He says, "you can keep my wife just give me back the pedahare!" You see, it's all about the pierogies.

3 comments:

ruth said...

a) potatoe pierogi (not the frozen ones) are one of the things i miss about russia. b) i totally wrote a paper on ruthenia for abrams' class fall semester. mainly because, come on, there is a country named after me. who wouldn't write about that?
c) does said grandmother want to give me a recipe?

Barbarossa said...

Goodness Ruth I never even realized you had your own nation! Yeah Abrams was helping me do some geneology work, it was going pretty well until we found out the Soviets abolished village my grandmother's father was from. Still if the Soviet's abolished it it had to be pretty cool. I'm pretty sure I can get the recipe though apparently it is hard to do right, as my grandmother kept taking over for my mom and not letting her do it.

Jillers said...

You are the only person outside of my family I have seen that refered to pierogis as "pedahare"! What is up with that?
My grandparents were Ukrainian, so maybe it was a regional thing?