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National Pierogi Day!

Today we celebrate a famous Polish side dish, a favorite of most Americans.  This day is observed annually on October 8th.

Pierogi is one of the staple food in our house.  We always have a box of frozen pierogies and when we need an easy dinner fix, we just grab a box and fry them with butter and onions.  Mrs. Ts Pierogi is one of our favorite brands, sometimes we also order some homemade pierogies from our church organization nearby when they make them.

Pierogi are filled dumplings of Central and Eastern European origin, made by wrapping unleavened dough filled with savory or sweet fillings.  They are normally cooked by boiling them in water, but some like to fry them in butter and onions and serve hot.

Typical savory fillings are made with mashed potatoes combine with a variety of favorites like sauerkraut, ground meat, cheese, spinach, cabbage or mushroom.  A dessert version of Pierogi is normally stuffed with sweetened quark and fresh fruits, like cherries, strawberries, apple or sometimes fruity jam preserves.

The English word “pierogi” is a Polish word that is a generic term for dumplings.  It is derived from Old East Slavic and further from Proto-Slavic “feast”.  The origins of pierogi are disputed. Some legends say that pierogi came from China through Italy from Marco Polo’s expeditions.  Others said that pierogi were brought to Poland by Saint Hyacinth of Poland, who brought them back from Kyiv.

Pierogi are widespread in the United States and Canada having been popularized by Central and Eastern European immigrants.  They are particularly common in areas with large Polish such as Pittsburgh, New Jersey, Buffalo, Chicago, Philadelphia.  They were the first family food among immigrants as well as being served in ethnic restaurants.

By the 1960s, pierogi hit the supermarket most common found in the frozen food aisles in many parts of the United States and Canada.  Pierogi have maintained in grocery stores, and nowadays, one of the popular boxed pierogi is by Mrs. Ts.

So, today, celebrate this day by grabbing a box of pierogi in your local grocery and have them for dinner.  Share on social media some photos if you love pierogi using #PierogiDay.

1957 Jerry Lee Lewis records “Great Ball of Fire” in Memphis, Tennessee

Jerry Lee Lewis was not the only early rock-and-roller from a strict Christian background who struggled to reconcile his religious beliefs with the moral implications of the music he created. He may have been the only one to have one of his religious crises caught on tape, however—in between takes on one of his legendary hit songs. It was on October 8, 1957, that bible-school dropout Jerry Lee Lewis laid down the definitive version of “Great Balls Of Fire,” amidst a losing battle with his conscience and with the legendary Sam Phillips, head of Sun Records.

Jerry Lee Lewis had first made his way to Sun Records in September 1956, hoping to catch his big break in the same Memphis recording studio where Elvis had caught his. The result of Lewis’ first session, in November 1956, was the minor hit “Crazy Arms,” but six months later, he and Phillips struck gold with “Whole Lotta Shakin’ Goin On,” a million-selling smash. Lewis’s signature piano-pounding style and electric stage presence made him an instantaneous star, but stardom didn’t quiet the doubts that his upbringing in the Assemblies of God church had given him about rock and roll. Those doubts would be on open display when he went back to the studio on this day in 1957.

(excerpted from https://www.history.com/this-day-in-history/jerry-lee-lewis-records-great-balls-of-fire-in-memphis-tennessee)