Too Many Pirogies

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Food is an ongoing theme in my writing. Recently, the subject was pierogi. Or pirogie. Four months ago I’d sent a query to an agent and she requested to see the whole manuscript. During the months that she had it, I wrote a few other books. When she passed on it, it was my opportunity to self-publish again.  Well, I discovered upon rereading the book that there were several recurring themes in two of the books. I eliminated some of them, but the pirogies had to stay.

In one story, Bittersweets – Terry and Alex, the pirogies are prepared for a special dinner for a new boyfriend at the suggestion of a loving father.

In the other, The Jade Emperor,  the book the agent had for part of the year, a mother prepares a special dinner for her adult children in an attempt to overcome her own broken heart.  There are several emotionally charged events occurring around the pirogies; shopping for them, the children’s responses, especially one son who discovers the mother is at a Trader Joes type of store and text messages her, “Does this mean the pirogies are frozen?” I had to keep that line in because I laughed so hard when I wrote it.

Thinking about food reminds me of the importance attached to it when I was growing up. My English mother was such a good cook. I see her dressed in a shirtwaist dress wearing loafers, standing at the stove.  Her specialties revolved around roasted meats with potatoes and vegetable. She always served a fresh salad.

My Greek father was an excellent cook in his own right. I share his recipe for Avgolemono Soup whenever I can as a way to honor him.  When my own family was growing up, dinner was so important to me, a chance to reconnect with my children after I’d been at work all day. My husband commuted two hours to Manhattan and we’d wait until seven-thirty to eat. Being around the table, hearing everyone sharing their day, well I still well up when I think of how wonderful it was. That finds its way into my stories, too, the mother’s focus on finding a way to bring her family together, to nourish their bodies and in the same way, nourish her own soul.

Dino’s Avgolemono Soup – Greek Chicken, Egg and Rice Soup

Ingredients:

Family-pack sized chicken parts, probably five pounds.

Celery, onion, garlic to cook with chicken in at least a gallon of water.

Two cups of raw, white rice rinsed and cooked until just soft.

Lemon juice from three lemons. We like it tart so we use more.

One dozen eggs separated.

Stew chicken in at least a gallon of salted water into which you’ve added the vegetables. Bone and cut up chicken meat and place back into large pot. Skim fat if the chicken has skin on.

Temper the egg yolks by slowly adding some of the cooled broth. It’s okay if they cook a little; it’ll be like egg drop soup.

Beat egg whites until stiff.

Add lemon juice to chicken and broth. You can adjust your lemony taste now, or even add canned broth.

Fold eggs and egg whites into chicken and broth, heat through. Add cooked rice.

My dad generously peppered the dish, too. He used so much chicken he never needed to add extra broth. His soup was more like chicken and rice that you’d eat with a fork.  I’m starving for it now!

The Jade Emperor Coming July 21st For an excerpt, click here.

 

 

Suzanne Jenkins
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Her anthology of romance titles with eleven other authors, A TOUCH OF PASSION, has just become the 2016 WINNER of The Romance Reviews Readers’ Choice Awards.

Suzanne writes page-turning contemporary romance, mystery, and women’s fiction with passionately gripping characters that stay with readers long after they turn the last page. The Detroit Detective Stories, beginning with The Greeks of Beaubien Street are a reflection of American fantasy with historical reality. Pam of Babylon books consistently rank in the Top 100 Best Sellers in American Drama with over 500,000 downloads.

Suzanne’s stand alone novels include Someone Like You, the Family/LGBT themed Alice’s Summertime Adventure, suspenseful The Savant of Chelsea, Slow Dancing, The Liberation of Ravenna Morton and Perfect for Him, her latest romance story. “Bring the tissues,” readers say.

Burn District, Jenkins new sci/fi series, follows an American family as they flee from political insanity to save their lives in the Arizona Desert.

Her short story, Vapor appeared in Willow Review, Spring 2013.

A retired operating room nurse, Jenkins divides her time between the west Michigan lakeshore, the Brandywine River Valley, and the mountains of Southern California, traveling across country with her husband, Jim and dog Oscar in an RV, to visit their children and grandchilden on different coasts.

Visit http://suzannejenkins.net where you may subscribe to an email list entitling you to free stories and excerpts of soon to be released and new releases.

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Suzanne Jenkins

About Suzanne Jenkins

Get Suzanne's newsletter and never miss a new release! Receive a FREE Pam of Babylon short story by signing up at http://suzannejenkins.net Suzanne's Gift to You! DOWNLOAD FREE and Bargain EBOOKS Start the first installment of Suzanne's bestselling series, Pam of Babylon FREE! Download Today - The Greeks of Beaubien Street 99 Cents (Greektown Detroit Detective Stories) Also free, Atlas of Women, a compilation of the novella, Mademoiselle and four short stories, and Burn District: The Prequel. Her anthology of romance titles with eleven other authors, A TOUCH OF PASSION, has just become the 2016 WINNER of The Romance Reviews Readers' Choice Awards. Suzanne writes page-turning contemporary romance, mystery, and women's fiction with passionately gripping characters that stay with readers long after they turn the last page. The Detroit Detective Stories, beginning with The Greeks of Beaubien Street are a reflection of American fantasy with historical reality. Pam of Babylon books consistently rank in the Top 100 Best Sellers in American Drama with over 500,000 downloads. Suzanne's stand alone novels include Someone Like You, the Family/LGBT themed Alice's Summertime Adventure, suspenseful The Savant of Chelsea, Slow Dancing, The Liberation of Ravenna Morton and Perfect for Him, her latest romance story. "Bring the tissues," readers say. Burn District, Jenkins new sci/fi series, follows an American family as they flee from political insanity to save their lives in the Arizona Desert. Her short story, Vapor appeared in Willow Review, Spring 2013. A retired operating room nurse, Jenkins divides her time between the west Michigan lakeshore, the Brandywine River Valley, and the mountains of Southern California, traveling across country with her husband, Jim and dog Oscar in an RV, to visit their children and grandchilden on different coasts. Visit http://suzannejenkins.net where you may subscribe to an email list entitling you to free stories and excerpts of soon to be released and new releases.

8 thoughts on “Too Many Pirogies

  1. Hi, SUz:

    My mouth was watering the entire time I read your post! We LOVE pirogies and make them with kielbasa or sausages. I can relate to your story about the mom, and I have 2 of your books on my TBR, with hopes I’ll have time to read someday soon.Trader Joes is a fave grocery store of ours, and thanks for sharing the recipe, looks yummy!

  2. Are food memories fattening ? The Greek lemon soup makes me think of a restaurant that used to be on West Bay. The pierogis make me think of friends brother John and I had growing up. Their mother did all flavors on Friday night along with potato pancakes(mit sour cream). Their picnics meant city chicken and now I am starving!

    • Lol! No you can think about it all you want and there are no calories. I actually made soup today! We have a lemon tree behind the house and I add lots of lemon. Chris thank you for commenting. xo

  3. I loved this post, Suzanne! Thank you so much for sharing . . . and especially for being so generous with your family heirloom recipe. I am SO going to make your dad’s soup! 🙂 🙂

    p.s. I am jealous (in a happy for you way!) that you live in a place warm enough to grow your own lemon tree. 😉

  4. You have a lemon tree?? I’m so jealous, lol. Thanks for sharing your love of food and this special recipe from your dad.
    Meals are the way our family bonds also. Big family dinners for birthdays and holiday celebrations, and intimate dinners for DH and I now that our daughter has flown the coop 🙂
    I think the food is important, but much more important is the time spent with those you love.

  5. Thanks for the cool recipe. Those sound yummy.
    A lemon tree? Really? I’m envious. I tried to grow one indoors one time, as I wanted the smell of lemon blossoms and lemons. It grew, but never produced lemons, or blossoms. Finally tossed it outside after a year. Was I too hasty?

  6. I’ve had this soup and it’s delicious! It was served group-style at a church dinner. It was so good, I asked for the recipe. It tastes so good, it’s hard to believe it’s simple.

  7. The soup sounds delicious. I have a lemon tree in my backyard, but I live in Texas. I can pick lemons even in December. They’re beautiful, but the thorns on the tree are horrendous. Now, there’s a thornless variety. Sure wish I had one of those instead.

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