When I was a boy we used to make hundreds of perogies in preparation for the big Christmas eve party my parents held every year. We would make so many that we froze a bunch of them to eat for the rest of the year.
We made potato, potato and cheese, sour kraut, and blueberry ones. Our little
fingers were busy filling and folding and squeezing. Filling and folding and squeezing...
My father always liked to be the one with the cool job of flattening the dough
with the rolling pin and making little circles with the cup, while my mother would boil them and place them out on the counters to cool down.
We had a real assembly line happening and the kids as usual being the lowest
life-form in the room got the most laborious part of the job.
We weren't stupid and we weren't going to be taken advantage of. Walking
off the job was impossible. Dad wasn't very quick but he had a rolling pin in his hand. Mum would've seen our scheming anyway and made it impossible. There was no way we would have ever made it out of that door.
Sometimes the only recourse a worker has is sabotage! I filled every perogy
I made that year with dough. In Canadian-Ukranian parlance these clumps of dough were referred to as 'sucker perogies.'
My brother and sister were on board for the revolution but they didn't commit with the full hearted intensity that I did. I only made sucker perogies and made them really fast because it was way easier to make them when you didn't have to worry about the filling falling out.
When Christmas eve came about, Dad instantly knew who the instigator was. It was obvious. I made no secret of coveting his rolling pin.
That year, I spent the whole Christmas eve hiding behind chairs giggling and
spying on the angry adults trying to eat their perogies. They had to eat every one of those balls of dough. Every last one of them.
Ukranians always finish everything on their plates. We can't help ourselves. It's in our D.N.A.
All the adults hated me that year, except for Mike Wolynski.
He liked them!
My punishment was that I had to eat every last one of the sucker perogies that remained. My mother put a lock on the freezer so I couldn't throw any away when they weren't looking. I wasn't finished until February.
Perogies are serious business for Ukranians during Christmas.