Saturday, November 26, 2005

Buy Nothing Day

I really like the idea of Buy Nothing Day and plan to have as many such days as possible through the holiday season. (And I like this elephant so much it's been added to my sidebar as a sort of anti-advertisement.)

I'm spending my money on Zed's education and sending as much to the world's many disaster areas as I can. (That includes first and foremost the Nature Conservancy, because actually the whole world is a disaster.)

Even though my young friend Menticia would have preferred to go out to dinner and a movie yesterday, she enjoyed a 1-1/4 hour walk with me, followed by reading, learning how to make animated .gif files, and a dinner of Thanksgiving leftovers.

Here are extracts from Treehugger's charming article on the subject.

By Ruben Anderson of Vancouver, BC:
Buy Nothing Day is a holiday dear to my heart.

So what is my plan to reduce consumption? It's simple, have more perogie parties. I went to my first perogie party three years ago, and I can't stop talking about it.

We started with about a dozen people, none of them particularly close friends, at least not at first. The host was Norman Nawrocki, former Perogie King of Montreal.

The instructions were easy, bring one perogie ingredient and one bottle of vodka for every two people. I scoffed at the amount of alcohol, thinking it would be impossible to drink that much.

The first thing the Perogie King taught us was a little Polish song. We sang the song whenever we achieved anything of even the tiniest significance.
  1. We scrubbed the potatoes, sang the song and did a shot of vodka (a small shot, admittedly).
  2. We chopped the potatoes, sang the song and did a shot of vodka.
  3. We cooked the potatoes, sang the song and did a shot of vodka.
  4. We mashed the potatoes, sang the song and did a shot of vodka.
  5. By 8:45 we were running out to catch the liquor store before it closed.
We repeated this pattern for everything, grating cheese, mixing dough, rolling dough, cutting it into circles. This story ends in a bleary haze, eating one the most delicious meals I have ever had. Subsequent experience shows that the party is just as fun without the vodka.

Cooking, weeding, strawberry picking, and all the other chores that I hated when I was a teenager are a lot more fun when you do them with your friends. I have never bought anything, never seen a movie, never driven anywhere that gave me as much pleasure as that perogie party.

So, here is the perogie recipe. Supply your own friends and beverages.

3 cups flour
1 tsp. salt
1 cup milk
1 egg

Filling: Use anything your little heart desires. Mashed potato and cheese is always good. Also potato and broccoli. My next one is going to be mashed potato with caramelized onion and blue cheese. I also like to add some fresh-ground pepper to the dough.

Mix flour and salt. Combine egg and milk. Stir into flour mixture. Knead 2-3 minutes on lightly floured counter, until dough feels elastic. Cut dough into six balls. Roll each ball out thin. Use in a plastic perogie maker (I got mine in a thrift shop for 99 cents) or cut out circles with an empty can. Put a tablespoon of filling in center of each circle, fold and seal (it may help to wet the edges slightly). Boil the perogies until they float, then fry with onions and veggie dog slices (or bacon).

Here's another good recipe for Pierogi (pirohy is another spelling).

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