Sunday, February 23, 2014

A day trip to Poland

Frank's Godmother and Aunt, Irene, is coming over today to teach me how to make Kruschiki.  That is one spelling. I have also seen it spelled Chrushiki, Cruschki, Chrust, and Chruscik but what you probably have seen them called is Angel Wings.  They are a fried pastry dusted with powdered sugar and traditionally made before Lent along with Paczki.  The idea was to clear the larder so that you were better able to fast during the Lenten season.

Aunt Irene was a strong vital woman.  Very opinionated and loved a debate.  Now she suffers from emphysema and is frail and getting forgetful but she still loves a debate and was hoping Mom Klik could be here so they could make both recipes and see which was the best.  Unfortunately for us, but fortunately for Mom, she and Roz have headed north to spend a few days at the casino.  I am looking forward to spending the day with Aunt Irene even if I won't get to listen to her and Mom Klik argue about different ingredients and techniques I should use when cooking.

The plans with Aunt Irene got Frank thinking about foods of his childhood and he started browsing through my cookbooks.  He found a recipe for Easy Pierogi in "Treasured Polish Recipes for Americans"  and thought that he would make them to go along with our chicken tonight.

Please join us as we take a trip to Poland......

We call Aunt Irene, Ciocia. Polish for Aunt.
Here Cioch is showing me how to mix the ingredients to get the right consistency.
It is all done by touch, not by measurement.

When the dough is the right consistency we roll it out to about 1/4" thickness.
Cut it into strips and slice a slit down the middle of each.

Then you insert the bottom half of the pastry through the slit.

And you fry them in lard, crisco or cooking oil until the are brown and crisp.

Cioch normally used a fork and a toothpick but I gave her some wooden skewers.
She thought they worked much better.

Then it was my turn.

Once they are golden brown remove them to newspapers covered with paper towel.
After they drain and cool, move them to a paper towel lined baking sheet.
Sprinkle with confectioners sugar.


Angel Wings
2 lbs. Flour
1 t. salt
1 stick Butter, melted
1 1/2 T. vinegar
2 T. Whiskey
1 t. vanilla
6 egg yolks, beaten  (reserve whites for another purpose)
16 oz. Sour Cream (you may not use it all)

Mix flour and salt in a large bowl, make a well in the center.  Mix butter, vinegar, whiskey, vanilla and egg yolks together in a small bowl and pour into well of flour.  Combine with hands.  Add sour cream a little at a time and continue to combine with your hands until the dough loses it's tackiness and starts removing the dough clinging to your hands.  We used about 3/4 of the carton of sour cream.  

Turn the dough onto a floured surface and roll to about 1/4" thickness.  Cut the dough into long strips and then cut each strip into about 5-6" lengths.  Cut a lengthwise slit in the center of the strip of dough.  Open the slit and push the bottom half of the dough through the slit.  Place the strips in hot oil, in batches, 4-5 at a time, and fry until crispy and golden brown.

Remove from hot oil and drain on a newspaper covered with paper towel.  When cool, remove to a baking pan covered with paper towel and sprinkle liberally with powdered sugar.  Print Recipe

When we were done with the Angel Wings, Frank started working on his Lazy Pierogi. 

He made a double batch.

I helped him to roll the dough into long, thin logs.

Cut the logs into 2" pieces.

Drop into boiling water that has been liberally salted, in batches.
When they rise to the top continue to cook for another minute.

Place in a bowl and top with melted butter.

Lazy Pierogi
adapted from Treasured Polish Recipes

2 cups Farmers Cheese, grated using the food processor
1 T. butter, softened
4 eggs, separated
1/2 t. salt
1 t. sugar
1 c. flour
1/4 c. butter, melted

Place butter, egg yolks, salt, sugar and flour in the large bowl of a stand mixer and beat until light using paddle attachment.  Remove bowl and paddle attachment.  Using small mixing bowl and whisk attachment beat egg whites until frothy.  Return large bowl to mixer with paddle attachment and gradually add in the beaten egg whites.  Turn out onto a floured surface and knead, adding more flour until it is no longer tacky and able to be formed into a long narrow roll.  Flatten and cut slantwise into 2" pieces.  Cook in salted boiling water until they rise to the top and then cook for one minute longer. Remove from water with a straining spoon and place in bowl.  Pour 1/4 c. melted butter over Pierogi and serve with sour cream.

I served the Pierogi as a side dish to my Roasted Chicken with Root Vegetables.

When I was cleaning out my freezer the other day I found a package of 4 leg quarters left from a chicken that I had cut up before freezing.  I pulled these out and decided to roast the pieces instead of a whole chicken this time.

Roast Chicken with Root Vegetables

8 pieces of chicken
2 T. olive oil
salt and pepper to taste
Root Vegetables of your choice I used:
2 Rutabaga, peeled and cut into 1" cubes
4 carrots, peeled and cut into 2" pieces
1 red onion, cut into eighths.

Heat oil in large saute pan.  Season chicken pieces with salt and pepper and brown on all sides in hot oil.  Remove chicken into a roasting pan.  Put prepared vegetables into the same saute pan used for the chicken and cook, tossing them in the oil for about 5 minutes. Add vegetables to roasting pan with chicken pieces.  Bake at 350* , uncovered for about an hour or until chicken juices run clear when pierced with a fork and vegetables are tender.  Print Recipe

Thrive at Home with us!


  1. Thank You Wendy, for these recipes and for sharing your day. Love stuff like this. :) Glad you had a fun day!

    1. Thanks Kneena, let me know how they turn out for you if you try them.

  2. I love reading this and seeing all of you in the kitchen. There is nothing that makes my heart pitter patter more than a man who knows his way around a kitchen. I so miss having Richard in there doing the cooking.

    1. Yes we had a good time. The best part, for me, of having Frank in the kitchen is that he does most of the clean up duty LOL


I enjoy getting comments and feedback from my audience. Please let me know what you think, keeping in mind that we are all entitled to our own beliefs and opinions. I am happy to hear yours as long as they are stated nicely.