Friday, October 8, 2010

National Pierogi Day!

Hello all. For all of my Pittsburgh and Polish friends it is National Pierogi Day. And in honor of National Piergogi Day I made our own pierogis for dinner tonight. They turned out really good. We haven't eaten them yet but they look and smell delicious.

First you need your ingredients to make the pierogi. I like to use the King Author flour. Its pure flour without Bromide( BAD stuff, in most breads unless the ingredients on the bread bag says unbrominated(Wegmans has these)burger and hot dog rolls etc. Bromide is BAD stuff for your body). You want 2 cups of flour in your bowl. Next you want some salt. I like the Himalayan and Celtic Salts, these are REAL salts, not refined garbage. So you want 1/2 tsp of salt. Next you want to mix those two together. Add one egg, your soften butter 1/4 tsp cut up in little pieces and 1/2 cup of sour cream. I had forgotten I had some plain Greek style yogurt in my fridge. You can use that too and actually its more healthier than the sour cream. Mix it all together. I used my hands if you have a food processor with a hook you can use that too. You want to keep mixing it until the dough is NOT sticky anymore. This can take up to 5 to 7 minutes.
Once your done with the dough , wrap it in some waxed paper and let it sit in the fridge for at least 20 to 30 minutes. You can make this a day ahead of time too and use it the next day.

While your waiting for your dough to settle. Cut up about 3 to 5 potatoes. I cut 5 russet( that I had here in the house and it made A LOT! I even made 2 batches and still had some left). Wash, and cut the potatoes and boil them til their nice and soft.

So while I was waiting for my tastey spuds to cook I choppped up some onion(shhhh, don't tell hubby HATES onion) and chopped up half of my lovely garlic that I got from my mother in law's garden. Yum. I sauteed the onion until it wasn't much of an onion. Sauteed the onion first as the garlic cooks up much quicker. Once the onion started looking 'softer' I added the garlic to the pan.

Once the potatoes were done and the onion. I got my trusty mixer out and started to mix those puppies up for about a few seconds. Then shut off the the mixer, added my onion/garlic mix to the potatoes and mixed those puppies up again. Shut if off, added some cheese to the mix. I thought I had some cheddar in the fridge but I didn't. So I settled for the taco cheese I have. Still tastes pretty good. Mixed that up , there really isn't a set amount of cheese. Just add to your taste. You can add a little salt and pepper to your liking too. To top it off I cut up the parsely I had in the fridge and ended up with that yummy mix. MMMM.

Okay so the mix is all set and by the time your done doing all of that your dough is ready to take out of the fridge. Assuming you are doing this all in one day like I did. I used my favorite rolling pin, a pastry/bread cutter that I had gotten from Pampered Chef, but you can use a cup , jar or anything that is circular to make your pierogi.

Roll your dough to about 1/8 inch thick. If your super human. If your not and your like me try to roll it as thin as you can. Then cut out your circle to make your pierogi.

Add your mix. About a tablespoon or so to the middle of your pierogi. I used a fork to hold the dough and slide when I folded the pierogi. It really worked well in keeping it from squishing out of the pierogi when you fold it in half.

After folding them in half, use your fork to press the edges together. It gives the pierogi a more interesting looking look. Plus it keeps that darned filling in there too. If your pierogi isn't sticking together then your using to much flour to roll out your dough. If you did, that's okay. Just use a little water on the fork and then press.

Then viola'! Your pierogi is all done. If you plan on making them for dinner after your done. Go ahead !Boil these babies for about 8 to 10 minutes or when they start floating at the top of your pan. You can boil them , bake them, fry them. A true Polish person does not fry their pierogi though, they boil them. You can also eat them with a side of sour cream. If your like my dad who is the human 'garbage can' you can eat them with sour cream and salsa(which is pretty good by the way). Add a little butter to them. Be creative.
If you want to eat them later like me. I used my bread pan and put waxed paper in it and added my pierogis to it then wrapped them up nicely. I wrapped up some to put in the fridge for dinner and then the other half in the freezer for another day.
So there you go. Have a great National Pierogi Day!!

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Missing my life

The one thing about thyroid disease is that it takes your life from you.
I once had a wonderful life. One that was full and vibrant and enjoyable. Along time ago I had energy to enjoy life and have fun. I felt on top of the world and enjoyed doing everything and anything with my family. Especially my children.

Now I am not enjoying life like I once did. Its a sad, lonely and horrible road for me. Not to mention very scary. If I could talk to my thyroid I would tell it to leave me the heck alone. Go away! Let me live my life and be the best me I can be and the best mom I can be.

I so miss my life. I miss being the fun loving, always going everywhere and doing fun things mom I was. I still am but not to the same extent. I miss homeschooling my girls. I sent them because, one, they wanted to give it a try and two because I was losing my energy to even do it anymore. I wasn't being an effective teacher like I once was. It makes me sad to even think about it.
I miss spending my days on homeschooling boards reading about the latest curriculum and trying to decide whether it would be a good fit. Instead I spend my days on thyroid yahoo groups in hopes that I can get this all figured out, and trust me I wonder some days if I need to become a chemist to figure it all out. The complexity of thyroid disease is sometimes so above my head that I miss those simple days of just worrying whether we had the right math program or not.

Of course I'm doing something about it. I'm trying to find an actual physican that will help me heal my thyroid. I really don't want to take it out. I really don't. I read everyday the heartbreaking stories of those who have. I am very fortunate this time that I was able to start researching before even agreeing to any type of surgical procedure. This one out of a couple that I've already had myself , would of been the one I most regretted if I had gone ahead and done it.
I can't stress to anyone who reads this how much you NEED your thyroid. It controls all of your body organs. It controls your metabolisim , in a strange sense its almost to compare to your soul.

Once taken out your energy levels are never the same. No pill on earth can replace your thyroid gland. Its as if your soul is taken from you and you are left as a shell of a person. Its also very sad that many doctors don't take the time to really read, research and do what really and truely helps the patient. They'd much rather take out the gland so they can line their pockets to pay that next bill. Forget the fact that you may start out feeling better, and then later down the road it catches up to you, or forget the fact that there are high risks such as losing your parathyroid glands, or their function. Losing your vocal cords and the ability to read well. If those things happen its not the doctor's fault. Its all par for the course risks that you signed up for.

Its sad really. To know you can lose so much when you get sick. I hope and pray that the path I take is the right one. The one that will get me back to feeling like the awesome momma I was.