Pierogi Party!

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

My Nanny has been making pierogi for a LONG time. Ever since I can remember, pierogi has been part of  our family. We wouldn't have it every weekend at Nanny's, but certainly often enough for it to be a favourite. And I've only ever assisted Nanny with making it.

Until a couple of weekends ago.

A few girls at college, including Aleks from Poland, were keen for a pierogi party and they made it happen! I was SO excited, but very nervous. What if it was a disaster? What if I couldn't cook pierogi? The pressure was intense!

We got together on the Saturday morning and with some tunes in the background, we got straight to work. We first mixed up the pasta dough and did a bit of kneading. Because we are non-discriminatory pierogi-makers, and there was a vegan amongst us, we made a few different types; the traditional pork, traditional spinach and feta, spinach and feta with rye dough, and spinach with rye dough (vegan).

 Wifey making the dough

Getting ready for kneading (with the tongue poked out in concentration)

And then there's the rolling!

The rye dough was coming along very nicely as well! It was much more difficult to roll but Aleks did a super job!

Then cutting out the circles:

And the fun part! Filling the little friggers! I made up a traditional pork filling, but in hindsight I should have used more flavouring (salt, pepper, garlic, onion). I'll do that next time.

This part is actually quite tricky. You want to put in enough meat to not have an "empty pierogi" once it's cooked, but not so much that you can't seal it, and susequently have the filling fall out during cooking. Easy does it...
Success! They look like Nanny's! 
(Okay, so this wasn't my first attempt - I think it was about number 6, but that's not too bad!!)

We had quite a production line happening!

And the rye pierogi were looking fantastic also!

Next up, you boil them for about 10 minutes to cook the meat and pasta.

In the mean time, we were heating the butter in the pan ready for the final stage - frying! (Obviously we didn't use butter for the vegan variety - oil worked well too). 
This is my "oh-my-goodness-they-look-like-Nanny's-pierogi" look!

It seemed to be a success! And now for the taste test!

 Winners all round! They were SO GOOD. As I mentioned, the pork filling needed a bit more flavour, but the spinach and feta ones were just delish!

This was such a great day for me. I felt so good afterwards, knowing that this is something I can continue with my own family. It might take another 40 years, but maybe one day my pierogi will be as good as Nanny's. Thanks Aleks, Alyssa and Chelsea (who didn't make it into the photos cos she was too busy taking them!) for organising this. It really meant a lot to me and I had a GREAT time. 

Mmmmmmm...... pierogi......

Spy vs Spy

Monday, March 29, 2010

We recently went up to Bribane for my good friend Ah-del's 30th and she had a spy party! Hubs and I threw around a few ideas for costumes including a "Get Smart" combo and "Mr and Mrs Smith" and then Hubs suggested "Spy vs Spy". (Actually, he wanted to dress up with our friend Nate, but I had a little tanty and got my own way! Ha!) Of course, not being a nerd myself, I had to ask what it was, and after reading into it and looking at some pictures, I decided it would be a fun project to undertake!

Cos, you know, when we visit Brisbane we always have plenty of time to kill...

So I got to work and with the help of my cousins and Godson and Billy-Bob's Mum (mainly direction from her!) I put it together. Through all of this, Hubs was helping a friend of his put finishing touches on his bar, so it was a solo effort by yours-truly. I did, however, ring Hubs just as I was leaving, to tell him I had worked very hard on our costumes and that he needed to go ape-sh*t over them. Cos if you know my Hubsband, you'll know it takes a bit for him to go ape-sh*t over anything, so it was just a friendly warning that I needed a VERY enthusiastic response from him!

And I got it, of course, cos check out these costumes:

My favourite bit was the dynamite, also home-made! I was quite worried that no one would know what the heck we were but we had quite a few people recognise the characters, so I fel that all my hard work had paid off. The party was a great success with the birthday girl looking absolutely spy-a-licious!

In both costumes!

And here is Bethie, Ah-del and Myself. We have celebrated 18 years of birthdays together! Incredible!!

We had a great time catching up with friends and celebrating this occasion. We hope you had a great night birthday girl (I know you did!) and looking forward to celebrating many many more with you. x x x

We're going to Sorrento!!

Friday, March 26, 2010

As you may recall, Hubs and I went to Sorrento for Easter last year and had a really great holiday. Yes, that's right, a HOLIDAY. We did nothing but read, go for walks, and bbq our meals outside. It was bliss! So you can imagine my excitement when the possibility to do it all again this year came up. We jumped at the chance! And we've also invited a couple of friends which will be nice.

The family is also having a memorial service for Grandad so we'll get to say some goodbyes to old Harry. The family will be there too which will be so lovely, as we haven't seen some of them since last Easter.

Gosh I really can't wait!! Bring on the relaxation...

A drinking game - the results!

So let's review the 6 South African drinks:

And the order of preference overall, went something like this:
1. Savanna (yay!)
2. Klipdrift
3. Windhoek
4. Black label
5. Archers
6. Castle

Well, that's how I saw it anyway! I hope you enjoyed the purely scientific experiment!

A drinking game - Archers

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Until we started this experiment, I didn't realise that Archers was a South African drink. (I can't find any good links to the drink, so let me know if you do!)

We tried the peach variety with mixed results.

Come on Clayton. Bring it home.
Hooray! A different reaction! Maybe not a great one, but a different one!! (Clayton wasn't a fan!)

Unlike Anne!

One of her faves

I gotta say I was expecting big things after all the hype!

But I gotta say, I wasn't overly impressed

And last but not least, Hubs

 Hubs = not fussy (read: will drink anything!)
I think the results for this drink were a bit mixed. Anne loved it, I didn't mind it, Hubs would drink it, and Clayton wouldn't. An interesting result for the last drink! I'll have a wrap-up tomorrow.

A drinking game - Klipdrift

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Klipdrift is a brandy when, mixed with cola, is known as a "Klippie".

And the taste?
Right. Same face. I give up!

Give me something to work with, Anne!

I think she likes it!!

And I gotta say...

I loved it! (that's a happy face, just in case you can't tell!! (What a shocker!))

In fact...
We wanted to go and buy more!!! 

We did leave some for Hubs

And lucky we did too! Thumbs up from Hubs!

Klippie was a favourite across the board, and to be honest, I'd never tasted anything like it so it was extra exciting! Not sure if I could drink more than one - it is quite a strong flavour and quite high in alcohol if I remember correctly (which is unlikely!) Only 1 more drink to go!!!

A drinking game - Savanna

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Mmmmm Savanna. Just thinking about it now takes me back to the long, warm summer days, lazing around the braai, shooting the breeze. This was a big part of our trip and a great one at that.

Clayton, what did you think?

What does that face mean?????

Let's see if I can get more of a reaction out of Anne...

Ooooooh yeeeeaaaahhhhhh

Well we already know how Wifey feels about Savanna

And just to show you that I don't take myself too seriously, here is possibly the WORST photo of myself I'll EVER post on the internet!*

And Hubs? Well he was the one who introduced me to this delicious drink!

He loves it!

So I would say that Savanna is the clear winner at the moment! And I think it's still my favourite! I need to find somewhere in Melbourne that sells it...

*I realise other people will put embarassing photos of me on the internet, but what I can't see, can't hurt me!!

I drink green tea

Monday, March 22, 2010

I don't know how it happened! I just started having green tea in the evenings while Hubs and I watch Boston Legal. I usually make him a herbal tea of sorts (rooibos, cranberry, chamomile, green) and I'd often have a chai tea, but lately I've just been making him a green tea then chucking the tea bag in my cup with some hot water to sip on. And it's extended to my workplace! Now I'm drinking a cup in the morning AND in the afternoon! It's funny cos I've always thought "I wish I liked green tea" and now apparently I do. I hear it's good for you or something, so that's even better!

Now I'll just concentrate on my "I wish I liked running" thoughts and who knows what might happen!

A drinking game - Windhoek

(Prounounced Vintook). The last of the beers in our experiment, Winhoek Lager is actually imported in from Namibia and is the beer of choice amongst Hubs' South African relatives. And it may have been the beer of choice amongst these 4 Aussies too! Let's see...

Drink 3 - Windhoek

Clayton was looking forward to this one

Not that his reaction was any different to the first 2 beers!!

Anne liked the 2nd beer better than the first, but what about this one?

Hmmmm... take or leave it?

Let's hope Wifey has a better facial reaction to this one at least!

Not great, but certainly better! And the beer? I seem to recall I liked it!

And what about Hubs?
Oh so classy...

It kind of looks like he didn't really like it, but maybe he still had traces of burp in his mouth! Gross!

I believe this was Hubs' favourite beer, even if his face doesn't show it! I seem to recall it was generally liked by all involved, and certainly the favourite of the 3 beers.