National Pierogi Day is observed every year on October 8. But what's a pierogi? When I first moved from Tennessee to Ohio 35 years ago, I'd never heard of them. They seemed like a kind of Ravioli without sauce or a strange version of an Asian pot sticker or even a little pie.
Pierogi is the plural form of the rarely used Polish word pierog. The word Pierogi can be found spelled several ways including perogi and pierogy. However you choose to spell it, pierogi are dumplings made up of unleavened dough that are first boiled then sometimes baked or fried in butter. Usually semicircular in shape, they are traditionally stuffed with a mashed potato filling, potato and cheese, potato and onion, cheese, cabbage, sauerkraut, ground meat, mushroom, spinach or fruit.
Pierogi are often served with melted butter, sour cream, fried bacon crumbles, sauteed mushrooms and onions and/or green onion. The dessert variety, those filled with a fruit filling, can be enjoyed topped with applesauce, maple syrup, chocolate sauce and/or whipped cream.
There are other similar types of dumpling-like dishes in other ethnic cuisines.
It was the Eastern European immigrants that popularized pierogi in the United States. At first, pierogi were a family food among the immigrants and were also found in ethnic restaurants; Freshly cooked pierogi became a staple fundraiser for ethnic churches in the post-World War II era.
By the 1960s, pierogi were being marketed for the frozen food aisles of grocery stores in many parts of the United States.
While pierogi are eaten as a main dish in other countries, Americans typically consider them to be a side dish.
The Pittsburgh Pirates hold a pierogi race at every home game. Six pierogi costume-wearing runners (Potato Pete, Jalapeño Hannah, Cheese Chester, Sauerkraut Saul, Oliver Onion, and Bacon Burt) race to the finish line between innings.
Whiting, Indiana celebrates an annual Pierogi Fest each July.
Glendon, Alberta, Canada is home to a 6000-pound pierogi which stands 25 feet tall and is made of sturdy fiberglass and steel. Piercing the giant pierogi, which was build in 1991, is an equally giant fork.
HOW TO OBSERVE
Have some pierogi and use #NationalPierogiDay to post on social media.
My son (editor, formatter and cover artist) Thom Woldering's favorite food growing up was instant mashed potato. When he discovered the pierogi had mashed potato inside, he was delighted. It was fun, he told me, to play with the crescent shapes by peeling the dough back, piercing it and "vampiring" it or nibbling it bit by bit. It was food he could play with.
Don't we all have a favorite food to play with? Mine was any coated candy, sandwich cookie or cracker.
But that's another story.
Last week Geoffrey Porter gave us information about his writing life. This week he brings us a character, Ash.
First, here's a blurb and a review.
Book 1 of Blood of Lynken
The old gods are trying to erase humanity and recreate it in a new image. Juxta doesn't want his friends uncreated. Treated fairly by the king and his family, Juxta dominated at magic and can beat the best of the realm.
When his country goes to war with a strong aggressor, he holds the line. But how is a
mortal supposed to face gods?
Enjoyable action packed novel May 1, 2015
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Juxta, Magi by Geoffrey Porter is a fast-paced novel about a boy who becomes a master wizard.
Juxta becomes an apprentice to the wizard Hebron at an early age, and embarks on his training. Juxta is very talented, and soon he is battling alongside his friends William and Simon all manner of creatures with ill intent.
One thing I especially liked about this book is the pace. Instead of creating tension and taking forever to resolve it, Porter creates plenty of tension but gets right to it. I found this refreshing. Overall, very enjoyable book which kept my interest the whole way through. I highly recommend it.
Ash, I trained with my mother to become a female ranger. The rangers were 100% a boys' club before I joined.
2.Tell us where and when were you born.
I was born in Lynken, kind of in between the capital and the Drakkar estate. In my life, things were simple enough we weren't counting years on a calender, maybe the Church of the One True God could answer that question.
3. How would you describe yourself?
4. Tell us about where you grew up.
Lynken is a rich country with a great climate for growing food, there were a few lean years, but we always had 2-3 cows and chickens. War seemed to come to us a lot more often than I'd like.
5. How old are you?
17 years old.
6. Did you have a happy childhood? Why/why not?
No siblings, no father. Train or work the fields every day. You live on a farm you work.
7. Past/ present relationships? How did they affect you?
Emmy was great, but true is Jeffrey is the love of my life.
8. What do you value above all else in life?
9. What are you obsessed with?
10. How do your beliefs make life better for yourself and the people you care about?
Hard work is a benefit. Being a soldier is critical in a nation almost always at war
11. Biggest fear?
Losing Kitta or Jeffrey.
12. What line will you never cross?
I don't kill women & children
13. What is the best thing that ever happened to you? The worst
Emmy was the best thing, but kind of temporary. The worst was almost losing a leg to an arcane blade.
14. Most embarrassing thing that ever happened to you?
All the times in ranger training that boys showed me their penis.
15. Biggest secret?
I'd kinda like to get Emmy and Jeffrey into the same bed.
16. What is the one word you would use to define yourself?
17.What is your current goal?
Get drunk and help rebuild Lynken, most of it was burned to the ground
Today, as my time with a son's family in California comes to a close, I introduce the next author.
What made you want to be a writer?
I blame Monica Hughes, Stephen King, and George Lucas for fueling my desire to tell stories, at least in some form. Becoming a writer was about finding the form of storytelling that I could work in since I can't draw and my acting skills barely would rate as an extra on a SyFy original.
When is the release of your next novel? Name genre or if it’s part of a series. If your book is part of a series tell the readers about the others that are out for sale.
There is no pending release date, but I’m shooting for this fall for a novel titled The Caretaker (I’m not even going to commit to that title yet).
I just released a dystopian collection of short stories authored by myself and seven other authors called Trumpland: An Alternative History Of The Future.
How important is it to read books when you want to be an author?
I’m trying to work out if I need to breath, or read more. Reading both in and out of
your prefered genre is both education and inspiration.
Do you remember the first book you read?
No. Though I know that the book that pushed me towards science fiction was Devil on
my Back by Monica Hughes. I also read The Stand very young and it was one of the early favorites in the horror/suspense world.
What book are you reading now?
I usually have two going (an ebook and a print book). Right now it is Stranded by Bracken MaCleod and Moments of Darkness by Jason Nugent.
How did you come up with the idea for the book or series, especially the title?
The title for the one just published is due to each story being a look at the possible futures from our current political climate. Of course the subtitle was a play on the “alternative facts” sound bytes that ran through the news. The work in project has the working title (The Caretaker) from a major character and what he does to protect our world and the “other” world.
Which character do you identify with most in your novel?
If we talk about The Caretaker, I would say I identify most with Jayson or Ben. Between the two there is a sense of adventure and exploration, but a desire to observe without interacting with the people of the world.
How much of the book is realistic and are experiences based on someone you know, or
events in your own life?
The setting is based on a real place. My wife and I worked as caretakers for a mining ranch and I even use the layout in the setting.
To craft your works, do you have to travel? Before or during the process?
Only because this is the way we live. We are full time RVers and spend our days roaming this beautiful country and chronicling our travels.
Tell us how the atmosphere needs to be for you to be able to write. Example, music on or quiet etc.
All depends on my mood. Sometimes I need the quiet and still of an early morning or late night. Others times I can be sitting in a busy restaurant or bar and doing my thing
(a.k.a. the weird creepy guy watching everyone).
What is one goody you must have at your desk when you’re writing?
Something to drink. Usually coffee... or a soda... or the aforementioned beer.
Which part of the publishing process do you detest most?
The marketing. I keep thinking about take some psychology courses to learn the art of convincing everyone to buy 10 copies each.
What is the worst thing you’ve had to overcome before publishing your novel? IF it’s too personal just make a generalized statement if you can.
Fear of it sucking. I still haven’t beat that one down yet.
When you need some extra encouragement who do you turn to?
My lovely First Reader, my Wife. She is my biggest fan and most honest critic.
How do you market your book?
Generally I threaten people with some form of blackmail if they refuse to buy my book, but I am looking for my positive approaches everyday.
Have readers ever contacted you? If so, tell us the best thing they’ve said to you.
The best thing said to me was actually by another author who beta reads for me. After he did his first reading for me he responded by telling me he enjoyed my writing enough that I “had a beta reader for life.”
Who do you trust to read your finished books before publication?
There’s a reason I call my wife my First Reader.
Tell us all about your very first book signing. Take us there with your description of people, place, food, décor etc.
The only book signing I’ve done was not meant to be one. A group of people I play cards with a few times a year all purchased a paperback copy of my first release, The Ghosts Between, and then they all asked my to sign. So we ended up with a book signing poker game night.
Is there a message you’d like to send through your book?
In the most recent release-just that if we are not careful, and do not learn from our mistakes, we will find all new and inventive ways to ruin our futures.
If your book was made into a film, who would you like to play the lead?
For my contribution to Trumpland I’d want to see Tom Holland as Chase. In my current work in progress, I haven’t decided yet, but I think there is a place for Bernard Hill and Charlie Heaton.
Is there one person, past or present, you would love to meet? Why?
The inventor of caramel and then can I hang out with Stephen King for a few days?
Do you have any hobbies?
Take pictures, travel, and annoy my wife --I’ll let her tell you which I am best at.
What TV shows/films do you enjoy watching?
Stranger Things, Black Mirror, Doctor Who, and any Marvel or Star Wars films.
Caramel ice cream and chinese, but not together because that’s just weird.
What’s your sign, lucky number.
I think virgo, but I didn’t bother to verify that with Google. And maybe 12 -don’t really have a ‘lucky’ number.
What’s your favorite color.
What music do you hear in your latest book.
A lot of slow dark creepy classical music. In the one I just released, loud angsty rock.
Imagine a future where you no longer write. What would you do?
Keep traveling and taking pictures, and still annoying my wife.
You only have 24 hours to live how would you spend that time?
With my wife, my kids, my dogs and the best view I can find.
What do you want written on your head stone?
Are there any mistakes you made with your first book?
Yes, and I am not going to list them all because ain’t nobody got time for all that.
What kind of advice can you give to other aspiring authors?
Read. Write. Drink coffee (tea is allowed) and don’t feel bad when you cry yourself to sleep after a bad review, but don’t you dare let that stop you.
When in doubt, who do you trust to help you out?
My wife (I’m beginning to sense a theme here).
Tell us how we may get a copy of your book. (Kindle, Amazon, Barnes and Noble, paperback etc.)
Both that have been released -The Ghost Between and Trumpland: An Alternative History of the Future are available on Amazon in paperback and ebook versions. The upcoming book, The Caretaker,
I’m unsure still, but I’ll be letting you all know soon!
Social media links and websites?
NOW THAT SUMMER IS OVER, TIME TO SETTLE DOWN WITH LOTS OF NEW READING MATERIAL
Camouflage Scott Spotson, Ivy Keating September 23, 2018
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07HHNJJ1B/ref=dbs_a_def_rwt_hsch_vapi_tkin_p1_i4 Four Simple Words: A Badass and the Billionaire Contemporary Romance (The Sisters Quartet Book 4)Mary J. Williams September 26-2018
RELEASING THIS HALLOWEEN
OVER 20 INTERNATIONAL AUTHORS PRESENT THEIR SHORT STORIES IN ONE SPOOKY ANTHOLOGY
GHOSTLY WRITES 2018
by Plaisted Publishing House
Each week through November I'll be posting trailer bits and links of some of the authors you'll meet and the titles and blurbs of their story plus links to their pages. You already know about my contribution "Raemkai's Stairs" a spinoff from Children of Stone so check out these: Mary R. Woldering: https://www.amazon.com/Mary-R.-Woldering/e/B00OND7QMU/ref=dp_byline_cont_ebooks_1
Mara Reitsma - internationally acclaimed illustrator, author, editor and so much more. Her link: https://www.amazon.com/Mara-Reitsma/e/B00S47P1J6/ref=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_2?qid=1539003102&sr=8-2
Karen J. Mossman - All Karen's books are in collections - The Decade Series, The Themed Collection, Electric Eclectic and Just Stories. Her link: https://www.amazon.com/Karen-J-Mossman/e/B00JJY69OO/ref=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_1?qid=1539003504&sr=8-1
Jane Risdon - Jane writes Crime/Mystery novels, short stories in all genres - including humour, and she has dabbled in flash fiction.
Her link: https://www.amazon.com/Jane-Risdon/e/B00I3GJ2Y8/ref=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_4?qid=1539003998&sr=8-4
Chandra Trulove Fry - A poet and multi-genre author says of herself: As a writer, it is my hope to bring fascinating worlds to life for readers of all ages! Her link: https://www.amazon.com/Chandra-Trulove-Fry/e/B075NSC2ZQ/ref=sr_tc_2_0?qid=1539004345&sr=1-2-ent
NEXT WEEK: MORE AUTHORS IN THIS FABULOUS SPINE-TINGLING ANTHOLOGY
National Cheese Curd Day
Michael Parker Character
Yvette Bostic Interview
October Releases More Ghostly Writes Authors and links