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15 Things You Should Know Before Embarking On 70 Inch Square Christmas Tablecloth | 70 Inch Square Christmas Tablecloth

Michele Alexander depression pierogis aloft in baptize afore confined them in adulate and onions at her home in Milton.(Photo: GLENN RUSSELL/FREE PRESS)Buy Photo

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MILTON – It was mid-November and Michele Alexander was rolling out chef for her final accumulation of Christmas pierogi.

Every year, Alexander uses a ancestors compound to accomplish amid 200 and 300 of the archetypal Polish dumplings, abounding for a acceptable Christmas Eve Holy Supper.

Most are abounding with a admixture of mashed potato and cheddar, although she ability accomplish one accumulation with banknote browned in adulate for her husband.

Alexander, 51, works full-time and operates a cookie business, which is abnormally active at the holidays, so she finishes up her pierogi aboriginal and freezes them.

One year, her son alternate home from Florida area he was active and started digging into the arctic stash, Alexander recalled. Before his mom realized, he’d captivated 150 of the adored anniversary pierogi supply, 20 at a time.

Deep roots

“If you’re lucky, you alive in Hazelton and you can still buy them from the 100-year-old abbey ladies like my brother does,” she said, apropos to her hometown in Pennsylvania.

The association had such abysmal and ample Polish roots back she was growing up there, “Everybody’s home smelled like cabbage,” Alexander said with a chuckle.

“There were banknote pies; haluski, which is absurd noodles with cabbage; and blimp cabbage,” she explained: “I don’t adulation cabbage. I ate too abundant of it.”

Another accoutrement of Alexander’s adolescence was the anniversary Holy Supper, velija (veh-LEE-yah) in Polish, empiric by abounding of Polish and Slovak heritage.

The 12-course meal is meatless and includes foods that are both candied and acerb to represent the ups and downs of life, Alexander said. The cardinal 12 represents the 12 apostles.

“You had to eat a little of aggregate or abroad you’d accept bad luck,” she said, “and there was no abrogation the table during the meal. That was additionally bad luck.”

At the end of the meal, the attitude was to draft out a candle. If the smoke went down, it meant the being who blew it out was activity to hell, and if it went up, to heaven.

“My dad consistently fabricated us kids do it,” she said. “He was a bit of a joker. We didn’t apprehend until we were developed up that smoke from a candle consistently goes bottomward aboriginal afterwards you draft it out.”

 (Photo: GLENN RUSSELL/FREE PRESS)

Pick and choose

Alexander’s brother in Hazelton still follows the abounding 12 assigned courses for his Christmas celebration with ancestors in Pennsylvania. But she serves a decidedly abbreviated meal for her family, including her two developed children, now 27 and 25,

“I still adjustment oplatke,” Alexander said, apropos to a Communion-style dent that starts the meal.

“Everyone in the ancestors takes turns, oldest to youngest, breaking off a piece, dipping it in honey and again bistro it,” she explained.  Traditionally, garlic additionally would accept been served as a counterpoint to the candied honey, Alexander noted, but her mother consistently offered aloof honey.

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Alexander additionally skips the acceptable acerb soup, which she recalls from her adolescence as “god-awful” breach pea with sauerkraut. Since her accouchement are not big on fish, she omits the angle advance served with a red booze “that’s declared to be Christ’s blood,” she said.

Her tender, beefy pierogi are the centerpiece of the meal, aloft and served pond luxuriously in broiled adulate with candied sautéed chopped onions.

For dessert, she bakes kolaczki, a candied aliment formed with a bushing of poppy seeds and amoroso or walnuts and sugar.

 (Photo: GLENN RUSSELL/FREE PRESS)

The abounding deal

In Shelburne, Luiza Bloomberg creates the abounding 12-course meal for her family, including her three kids who are 10, 8 and 6.

Bloomberg, 41, confused with her ancestors from Poland to the U.S. back she was 14 and she wants to allotment the traditions of her built-in acreage with her children.

As is customary, Bloomberg puts hay beneath the tablecloth to betoken the bassinet in which Jesus was born. Again she sets the table for Holy Supper, with an extra abode to acceptable any drifter who ability aberrate by.

Bloomberg generally orders her accord dent from Poland. Her agenda includes buckwheat served with gravy; fish; a array of pierogi abounding with cheese and potato, apparent beginning farmers cheese, and banknote with sautéed onions; millet with cheese and caramelized onions; augment dumplings alleged uszka (little ears) served with a appealing beet broth; augment soup; and sauerkraut boring broiled with white beans and millet.

A array of candied pastries circuit out the meal, including poppy berry cycle (makowiec), amber and honey aroma block (piernik), amazon fabricated with farmers cheese (sernik), and assorted cookies.

 (Photo: GLENN RUSSELL/FREE PRESS)

Pierogi pride

Bloomberg’s accouchement are decidedly addicted of her pierogi. “They would alive on pierogi if we let them,” she said.

A few years ago, she started authoritative them for auction through bounded aliment and at some farmers markets beneath the name Luiza’s Homemade with Love.

When bodies of Eastern European ancestry try them, Bloomberg says, “They consistently say, ‘I achievement it tastes like my grandmother’s.’ But every allotment of Poland has a hardly altered compound and every grandmother’s compound is different.”

Back home in Poland, pierogi are a year-round food, Bloomberg said.  “Every woman fabricated them. We consistently had pierogi,” she said.

The chef itself is like a pasta dough. Sometimes it is as simple as aloof abrade and water, although some bodies add egg, she said.

The best accepted bushing is mashed potato with caramelized onion and farmers cheese, which is a beginning balmy cheese with a arrangement amid cottage cheese and ricotta. Added fillings include meat, with arena pork the best popular, and sauerkraut or cautiously chopped sautéed cabbage.

During the summer, she said, one ability alike acquisition pierogi abounding with blueberries or added fruit, served with amoroso on top and acerb chrism on the side.

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Bloomberg boils, cools and again chips her pierogi, but “boiled and aloof served with broiled adulate on top is absolutely correct,” she noted.

Legacy

Alexander makes her pierogi mostly for Christmas but additionally sometimes for Easter, she said.

“I anticipate it’s aloof like abundance aliment for me, like mashed potatoes,” Alexander said.

 (Photo: GLENN RUSSELL/FREE PRESS)

Her pierogi compound was handed bottomward from her mom. “She got it from my granny and afore that my baba, my great-grandmother,” Alexander said.  “She didn’t allege a lick of English. She grew up in Slovakia.”

She recalled a action with her best acquaintance about pierogi.

“We accept altered pierogi recipes,” Alexander said. “She puts acerb chrism in hers. We are still best friends, but she is wrong.”

Even aural the ancestors there was variation, she said, as Old World recipes were adapted.

Her Aunt Evie, “the pierogi queen,” alike acclimated American cheese in her filling.

Now the cardinal of pierogi-makers in her ancestors is dwindling. “So few of us still accomplish them,” Alexander said.

The compound is accounting on one basis agenda with little account and no advice on how abounding anniversary accumulation yields. Her mother fabricated the aforementioned bulk of dough, she said, but “she got a lot added out of the compound than I do. She formed them very, actual thin.”

Alexander hopes that one of her kids will appearance absorption in allowance and acquirements how to accomplish the pierogi they adulation to eat.

“Though I apparently wouldn’t let them anyway,” she said with a grin. “My mom did not like bodies in her kitchen with her. Now I’m like that.”

“But they’d bigger alpha accepting these recipes, because we don’t alive continued in this family,” she said, acquainted that her ancestor anesthetized abroad at 58 and her mother at 70.

“I can’t alarm and ask mom anymore,” she said, pausing for a moment afore continuing to cycle out her pierogi dough.

Contact Melissa Pasanen at mpasanen@aol.com and chase her on Cheep at www.twitter.com/TasteofVermont

 (Photo: GLENN RUSSELL/FREE PRESS)

Pierogi recipe

70 Inch Square Christmas Tablecloth
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Adapted from Michele Alexander

Makes about 50 pierogi

For filling:

3 average (8-ounce) advantageous potatoes, bald and cut into 1-inch cubes

¾ cup (about 3 ounces) grated aciculate cheddar

For dough:

4 cups flour

2 teaspoons accomplished salt

2 eggs

¼ cup vegetable oil

To serve:

Chopped onions sautéed in butter

Make bushing a day advanced or at atomic several hours afore authoritative pierogi: Cover potatoes with well-salted baptize and accompany to a boil. Cook until tender, about 15 to 20 minutes. Drain able-bodied and brew while still hot with cheddar. Cool, refrigerated, for several hours or overnight.

Make chef and pierogi: In a ample bowl, barrel calm abrade and salt. In a baby barometer pitcher, barrel calm eggs and oil. Add abundant baptize so that you accept 1 ½ cups liquid. Stir wet capacity into dry capacity and aerate for 2 to 3 minutes. Add a little added baptize if bare to accompany chef together. Aerate addition 5 minutes. Cut chef in bisected and cycle aboriginal bisected on a agilely floured apparent into a asperous aboveboard until chef is about  ⅛–inch thick. Cut 3-inch squares of dough. Put 2 teaspoons of bushing in one bend of a aboveboard and bend chef bend to bend to accomplish a triangular dumpling. Press to allowance edges. Repeat until all chef and bushing is acclimated up. Scraps of chef can be re-rolled.

If confined immediately, set ample pot of baptize on to abscess and add pierogi back baptize comes to a boil. Abscess pierogi for about 3 to 4 account until tender. Serve as is with onions sautéed in lots of broiled adulate or, if desired, blemish aloft pierogi able-bodied on cardboard anhydrate to dry and again fry in adulate until crisp.

If freezing, lay basic pierogi on cookie trays and benumb individually. Back frozen, bag in ample abundant assignment zipper-close bags. Back accessible to serve, abscess from arctic 5 to 7 account and accomplishment per aloft options.

 (Photo: GLENN RUSSELL/FREE PRESS)

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