The mixer is whirring and the sounds of the kitchen start the day for Team Pierogi, a group of up to 20 women and men who faithfully carry out their role of making pierogi dough for Lent. The making of pierogi began in mid-January as members of the team gathered two days a week to make batches of pierogi dough.
Most of the workers are experienced and choose their favorite rolling pin and other tools from a supply acquired over the years. They waste no time in setting up their work area (one of two large stainless steel tables) to begin the process of actually creating pierogi. By 9:30 a.m., the kitchen is in full swing as a major production zone with workers filling trays of the freshly made pierogi to be boiled, cooled and packed for the freezer. Last year, Team Pierogi made and sold 11,000 pierogi.
Diane Czajka doesn't miss a beat in assigning new members a task. She may get them rolling dough or filling pierogi, even if a lesson is needed. Many hands are necessary not only to make the pierogi, but for the other processes of boiling, cooling and packing, as well as the inevitable cleanup of dishes, pots and pans.
Good conversation and an occasional favorite Polish song renews the workers' bodies and minds to continue the task at hand until mid-afternoon.
A totally different process (but with some of the same workers) takes place with making placek on Fridays. This year the parish's pierogi and placek sale, which takes place in the former school cafeteria, starts on Saturdays, from 3:30 to 5 p.m., and again on Sundays, running from 9:30 a.m. to noon. The last day to buy pierogi at the parish is Palm Sunday.
Everyone is welcome to join for Mass on Saturdays at 4 p.m., or Sundays at 10:30 a.m., and then come down to the cafeteria. Of all the Polish foods, the best-known and loved food in the United States are pierogi. The delightful dumplings are perfect as a main dish, side dish or snack.
Pierogi at St. John Kanty are available with two different fillings. One is filled with farmers cheese and onion, and another with sauerkraut and mushrooms. The large pierogi are sold frozen and packed six to a tray at a cost of $8.
On Palm Sunday, the last day to buy pierogi, a light lunch will be available, and a theme basket drawing will take place.
Team Pierogi is available to share its ministry with others who might like to learn the process, and is also happy to have newcomers to the team.
For more information visit www.stjohnkantychurchbuffalo.wordpress.com.