Wednesday, 3 February 2010

Tradition meets Technology

I've probably gone over my family's traditional Christmas meals on some other web page of mine but it's worth repeating.  After the traditional turkey dinner on Christmas day, there are three dishes that are absolutely necessary to make the holiday season complete.

Before the turkey leftovers are all gone, there must be Roll-ups.  Roll-ups are basically leftovers stuffed in crepes.  Diced turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes wrapped in an unsweetened crepe and then baked in the oven.   Pour some gravy over them and yum.

Next we have meat sticks.  My dad's birthday is a couple days after Christmas and this has been the go to meal for that occasion.  The name is pretty self explanatory.  It's meat...on a stick.  Specifically, cubes of marinated pork, impaled on a wooden stick, wrapped with seasoned ground beef, dipped in an egg wash, rolled in bread crumbs, fried, and then finished in the oven.  It's an elaborate process but so worth it.  Probably my favourite of the three and the only one I've consistently made at home.  There's been some dissension amongst some of the "hippie" contingent in our family who would apparently rather chew bark and pine needles or whatever Oprah's latest fad is.  But these things, for me, are happiness on a stick.

And finally we have the reason for this entry, Pirshki.  Pirshki is fried bun dough stuffed with a ground beef, cream of mushroom soup, green onion, and shredded hard boiled egg mixture.  May sound dicey but trust me, this stuff is Slavic crack.  You can not stop at just one.  And until last weekend I have never made a successful batch at home.  The problem for me has always been the dough.  I hate working with dough.  Seems more like some whacky voodoo than actual cooking.  I've tried several pre-made, frozen, and Pillsbury substitutes but they have all been failures.  Obviously my talents do not lie in baking.  When it comes right down to it, my only real talent lies in purchasing and fiddling with gadgets.  Realizing I just had to buy my way out of this problem, I went and got a bread maker.  The bread maker would take care of all the mixing, kneading, and freaky dough rising stages, leaving me to just stuff and fry the little buggers.

First batch, not so good.  I was all excited.  Invited my brother and his family over to partake in the awesomeness of the Pirshki.  Should have realized something was up when the dough never actually grew in size.  As I said, I'm no baker but I do know that dough is supposed to rise at some point.  Turns out active dry yeast isn't so active and you actually have to give it a kickstart with water and sugar before adding to the dough.  Ok, my bad.  Back to the store and picked up some actual bread machine yeast.  I also ditched the dough recipe that came with the machine and went back to mom's undisputed champeen mix for pirshki dough.

Second batch, touchdown!  So good.  Without a side by side comparison it's hard to be 100% but I'd say these were at least a 9 out of 10 compared to mom's.

Glad they worked out cause time was running short.  Had a deadline to get these straightened out by the Super Bowl.  But all is well.  Technology saves the day yet again.


  1. HEY! It's nothing to do with Oprah! I just don't particularly like having a meal of meat. Sheesh.

  2. Can't wait to try them!!! While I tend to shy away from a meal of meat - pretty much anything stuffed in dough is a-okey with me!!!

    That is all...