On Saturday my grandmother and I made what my family calls puhdahu. These are Ukrainian potato dumplings. These are similar to Russian pelmini. Most people in the United States call them pierogi, their Polish alias. My grandmother, who is 90 years old, was born in America but her parents were Ukrainian-born. Her parents only spoke Ukrainian at home. The neighborhood was made up of mainly Ukrainian and Polish immigrants, so she had a very Ukrainian upbringing.
My great-grandmother would make these dumplings regularly, and taught my grandmother how to make them as well. My mother recalls how these dumplings were the highlight of her visit to her grandmother’s house. My mother almost never got them at home, because they took a great deal of time to make.
To make these dumplings, we boiled and mashed potatoes. Then we mixed in a can of rinsed and drained sauerkraut. This created the filling of the dumpling. To make the skin, we made a simple dough consisting of flour, egg, water, and a dollop of sour cream. Then we let the dough rest until it was ready to roll out. Once it was rolled thin, we cut it in circles and put a large spoonful of the potato mixture in the middle. After crimping the sides, we boiled them until they floated to the top of the pan. After they were done boiling, we sautéed them in butter and onions. They were magnificent!