Friday, December 23, 2016

Fresh Pierogies in the Neighborhood!

We were so excited to see that the European Market moved up Rosewood Drive closer to us.  I mean, I get it, where it was wasn't far, but now I can walk to it in no time flat. And, now they are right next door to another of our neighborhood faves, The Local Buzz. 

I was out tonight for some last minute boxes and wrapping paper when I noticed their "open" sign was still on.  I popped in hoping they might have Kinder eggs, being European and all.  Happy of happy days, they do!  The Vivver will be most pleased to see that Santa once again picked up a couple of these Euro-gems for her. 

Since I was alone, I took some time to browse around. I discovered all kinds of cool stuff in this little market, but one of the first things to catch my eye was that the clerk was unpacking a couple big boxes of containers of pierogies. I kind of lurked over her shoulder checking them out. Not having much experience with pierogies, I was curious but also clueless. 

Fast forward to check out.  I started chatting with the clerk and somehow the pierogies came up.  She told me that they are made fresh by the owner and that I should try them.  She recommended the ones filled with sweet cheese; those are her favorites.  I had also notice some were labeled as stuffed with kraut. Neil loves sauerkraut, so she said, "oh, you must get him some!"  So, I did.  I got them home and we dove into one of the kraut ones right out of the package.  They have caramelized onions on top; added bonus!  Then, I warmed and browned one of each type in some butter so we could sample them as intended.  OMG.  These little dumplings are so fantastic! The cheese pierogies are slightly sweet, kind of like lightly sweetened ricotta.  But, we both agreed the sauerkraut ones are our favorites. 

I've read tons of recipes over the years for pierogies but have never attempted them.  They are soft dumplings with (probably) as many types of filling as one could imagine.  The ones I bought tonight were fully cooked, so all I had to do was warm and brown them up. They were just delicious.  And, apparently, you can special order them from the market if you need a specific quantity for a party or get-together. 

The European Market is right next door to The Local Buzz at the corner of Shandon St. and Rosewood Dr.  I highly recommend you patronize both!

Friday, December 16, 2016

Mom was Right...Again!

By the time my sister and I got to high school, my mom was running a full-swing real estate business and was working a lot.  We had already begun learning to cook simply because quite often, mom got home late. My dad began to specialize in awesome stuff like Veal Oscar and his famous Kiwi Shrimp.  It was around this same time that Mom turned over the grocery shopping to us girls.

We would make the list, decide on dishes for the upcoming days and then Mom or Dad would hand us a blank check and off we'd go to the old Winn Dixie in Irmo.  Y'all remember that place?  When they built that grocery store, it was monumental.  No more trucking up Broad River Road to the old Big Star for us Irmese anymore!  The cashiers all knew us, so we never had any issues using our blank checks. And, we never abused it either. We stuck to our list, for the most part. Every now and then we'd find something that jumped out at us and we'd indulge.  But overall, we were good little shoppers.

So, here's today's lesson:  Mom told us something very important. She said, "It's ok to buy generic.  It all comes from the same factory. They just put different labels on it."  Now, we all know that sometimes there is a difference.  For instance, Aldi's brand of Cheetos just isn't worth the time of day.  Folger's coffee is crap, no matter what label you slap on it.  But for the most part, Mom is right.  Take this example that I noticed just today:

See this butter? The stick at the top is Publix brand.  The bottom one is Aldi brand.  The difference in color is because I just took the Aldi stick out of the freezer. You'll notice that the fonts look exactly alike, right?  Well, look at this:

Good ol' Plant # 55-360 packed both sticks!  See?  It IS all one big factory, just like my mom said all those years ago!  The only difference is that a pound of butter is about $2 less at Aldi than at Publix.  And, if you're one of those people who think you need to pay even more than the Publix price for something like Land O'Lakes, well...


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