My hometown of Whiting, Indiana is one of the finalists in “Mrs. T’s 2009 Pierogy Pocket Capital of America”. Pierogy have always been a tradition in my family, I really didn’t like them as a kid, but I do enjoy eating the potato ones now. I can remember when I was little, my mom would go to my grandmother’s house and they would spend the whole day making pierogy; potato, cheese and sauerkraut. It was one of those Polish traditions. They would then freeze them and we’d have pierogy whenever we wanted. As my grandmother got older, my mom would do this at home and would enlist my older sister to help. But over the years, even my mom stopped making them. I never actually made them, when I got old enough, I didn’t want to spend my time making something I didn’t really like to eat. As I got older, and realized I missed out on a tradition, I asked my mom why she stopped making them. She said it was a lot of work. It is a lot of work, it’s not like you can just whip up a batch of 1 or 2 dozen. When my mom made them, she usually made about 350 of them, that’s almost 30 dozen. The way to do it is the old traditional way; you make goo-gobs of them!!
Let me clarify something here, my mom does still make them, she just stopped making them at home. She now volunteers at one of the Catholic churches in town every week, with about 5 to 10 other woman and they make pierogy for about 6 hours. These are some experienced women, they make about 80-90 dozen during that time. That’s over 1,000 pierogy!! These pierogy are sold throughout the year. Last year, around the time of the Pierogy Fest, these same ladies helped make pierogies to sell at the ever-popular Pierogy Fest.
Pierogy Fest is about as big as 4th of July. It is the last weekend in July. There’s Pierogettes (pierogy cheerleaders), Mr. Pierogy, a Pierogy Toss, and a Pierogy Eating Contest. They even have a parade, which my dad participates in each year. This has been going on for the past 15 years. Each year it seems to get bigger and bigger, or maybe it’s just the world’s largest pierogy that gets bigger every year. Last year’s 78-pound pierogy was topped by this years 96.5 pounds!! This fest is a big deal in Whiting and it’s a nice way to spend a summer weekend with the family, there’s usually over 50,000 people who visit the Pierogy Fest. If Whiting is named “Capital of the Pierogy Pocket”, they will build a 10-foot statue of their dancing pierogies and place it at the entrance of the town’s business district.
So if you’ve ever been to Whiting, or you just love pierogy, please go and vote at the link below. Let’s make Whiting “2009 Pierogy Pocket Capital of America”, so every time I go back home I can see that 10-foot statue of the dancing pierogies.
Click on “Meet the Cities & Vote”
on the ballot, select Whiting, IN
You can vote everyday until October 24!!