traditional food and a good book

11Jan11

These photos were taken just before Christmas.  We made traditional Latvian buns for the festivities.  I seem to blog about these a lot.  I am starting to think I am neglecting my own Scottish and Norwegian heritage.  Though, I can’t say I am in any big rush to put together a Haggis.  Maybe it is time to celebrate Robbie Burns Day with my loves?  Cock-a-leekie soup and oatcakes are yummy.  And, as I get older, I can appreciate a good scotch (now that I have stopped trying to mix it with Pepsi, for a teenagehood-night on the town with my friends).

It is so great that my babies can finally help with assembly!  Even W.  Though, he got tired pretty quick and just made bun blobs, without filling.

Piragi

Dough:
¾ cup milk
¼ cup soft butter
1 tsp. salt
2 tbsp. sugar
1 envelope dry yeast dissolved in ¼ cup warm water
1 beaten egg
3 ¼ to 3 ½ cups all-purpose flour
1 egg (for glaze)

Method:
1. Scald milk and add butter, salt and sugar. Stir until butter melts.
2. When milk mixture is lukewarm, add the yeast mixture and beaten egg.
3. Add 2 cups of the flour and beat well (2-3 minutes).
4. Slowly add the rest of the flour (if necessary), beating after each addition. The dough should be pliable and not too stiff.
5. Cover and let rest for 10 minutes.
6. Spill dough onto floured board and knead for 5-6 minutes, until smooth and elastic.
7. Place dough in lightly oiled bowl, cover and let rise until doubled.

Filling:
4-5 slices bacon, chopped
1 medium onion, chopped fine
1 cup chopped, lean ham
¼ tsp. nutmeg (optional)
freshly-ground black pepper
Method:
1. Saute bacon and onion on medium heat until slightly browned. Drain off most of the fat.
2. Add the ham and heat through. Let cool.
3. When filling is cool and the dough has risen, form the piragi into crescent shapes.
4. Roll out a portion of the dough until it is quite thin.
5. Place a scant tsp. of filling in the center and fold the dough over. Cut the dough with a round cookie cutter and carefully press the edges closed. Shape into crescents, and place seam-side down on a lightly greased baking pan. Brush with a beaten egg.
6. Bake at 400 F for 13 to 18 minutes, depending on the size. Makes about 40 rolls.

I thought I would put in another plug for my mother-in-law’s book.  I reread it over the holiday and I highly recommend it.  It is packed with history, folklore, entertaining anecdotes and insight into what it felt like to be uprooted from your life and culture.  Really, I couldn’t put it down.

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