The rain in Amherst has been freezing cold and has driven me inside, never venturing out unless an emergency strikes or something worthwhile comes my way, like an opportunity to make pierogi with Fleeper and Erik.Fleeper's mother has been making these for years, as has her grandmother, for a Christmas tradition, and they've filled them with all kinds of things, but we used the quintessential Polish filling- farmer's cheese and potato. Sauerkraut if you're feeling adventurous, but we were not.

Ingredients (serves 2-10, makes about 4 dozen)

4 cups of flour
1 1/2 cups of water
1 egg
Salt to taste
1 1/2 lbs of farmer's cheese
2 potatoes, boiled and mashed or riced
2 cups of sour cream

1. Peel and chop the potatoes into even chunks. Boil them for 15-20 minutes until they can be mashed. Let cool and drain.
2. While those are boiling, get the pasta dough ready. Sift the flour and salt and make a well, and crack the egg in that. Mix together with your hands and knead. Let that sit for a while and mash your potatoes with your farmer's cheese- yes, the whole loaf of it, in the same pot that you mashed the taters in. Salt to taste and let it cool.
3. Roll the dough out to about 1/4-1/8th of an inch thick and with a tart cutter or a glass, cut rounds for the pierogi. Keep cutting until there is no dough left.4. In each tart round, spoon one and a half to two tablespoons (it's okay to have a lot!) of filling into the middle of the dough and fold over into a crescent, sealing with a little warm water around the edges and crimping with a fork. Trim the excess dough off. Start boiling water and heating a medium-sized saucepan as well while you are doing this.5. When all of these are finished, drop into the water, making sure that they are sealed carefully so that the filling doesn't leak out while they're boiling. When they float to the top, they're ready.
6. Transfer the floating pierogi to a buttered and hot pan and fry until golden brown and crispy on each side. Serve hot with sour cream.Pierogi are very hearty and delicious with soup, sandwiches, pretty much anything and are easy to keep as leftovers. Delicious! Thanks, Fleeper!

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