You’ve gotta love it when there are multiple local opportunities to patronize beer tents, sample great food, listen to music, and experience the horror of what some people actually choose to wear out in public. Yes, the Labor Day weekend festivals have arrived here in Michigan! The people-watching will undoubtedly be most entertaining early in the weekend, with the steamy temperatures causing sweaty masses of inappropriately clothed folks to take to the streets in search of entertainment.
In our area, we have several events within a reasonable driving distance from our house to choose from, including:
- Arts, Beats and Eats
- The Michigan Renaissance Festival
- The Michigan Peach Festival
- The Hamtramck Labor Day Festival
Sadly, the Michigan State Fair–a tradition since 1849–no longer exists, having fallen victim to state budget cuts. So, we will not be able experience the miracle of a piglet being born (or the joy of gazing upon the Butter Cow) and must choose an alternate venue in which to battle aggressive bees and guzzle warm beer/overpriced freshly squeezed lemonade. This year, Bill and I are going to hang out at Arts, Beats and Eats. With over 70 food vendors to choose from, I hope that I am not paralyzed by indecision as to what to eat. At the other events, the choice is simple:
- The former State Fair: Funnel cakes, elephant ears, Pepto Bismol
- The Michigan Renaissance Festival: A gigantic turkey/pterodactyl leg
- The Michigan Peach Festival: Duh, peach things
- The Hamtramck Labor Day Festival: Pierogi
I am partial toward pierogi booths at festivals, if I can find one. To me, a nice little cardboard boat filled with beer-absorbing potato and cheese filled dumplings is a perfect street snack. I had some yummy ones at the American Polish Festival in Sterling Heights earlier this summer, accompanied by a unique taste treat, “Polish Nachos.” However, with so many other choices available at Arts, Beats, and Eats, I will try my best to spend my food tickets on something new and exciting this evening and maybe find an alternate favorite that will not cause too much GI upset.
In honor of my beloved festival pierogi, I shall now struggle into some too-small cutoffs, don a nasty tube top and a cougar cowboy hat, and share with you a magnificent recipe that we make when we harvest a head of cabbage from our garden and the tomatoes are bountiful. It is called simply, “Pierogies and Cabbage,” but that does not do proper justice to the tangy and slighty sweet deliciousness of the warm slaw that is created here. I would like to re-dub it “Pierogi with Warm and Zesty Slaw.” Bill made this a couple of weeks ago, and went all out to maximize the taste of both the pierogi and the slaw–he browned the pierogi in real butter, and cooked the cabbage mixture in bacon fat (as called for in the recipe). By all means, feel free to substitute olive oil if your arteries are clogging just reading that. We do not cook with full fat too often anymore, but made an exception here–and it was spectacular! If you are going to be in Hamtramck this weekend, bring home some fresh pierogi and give this dish a try.
- We increased the amount of white wine vinegar from 2 teaspoons to 3 to give it a bit more zip.
- Pierogi is actually the plural of the Polish word pierog (I am missing an accent mark over the o, but do not know how to make one in this program). Saying “pierogies” is mis-pluralizing. Like saying “feets” or “breasteses.” http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=breasteses
- What is a cougar cowboy hat? My definition is: a narrow, woven cowboy hat, curled up on the sides, occasionally seen on cute 19 year olds, but most often sported by cougars with hair extensions and George Hamilton tans who are sipping yard long margaritas with collagen induced trout lips. Natural habitats include fairs, festivals, concerts and Muscamoot Bay.
- Never fear: I do not actually own a nasty tube top or cougar cowboy hat, retired my butt-cheek length cut-offs in the same decade as my cheerleading uniform, and do plan to check my outfit from all angles in a mirror before heading out this evening.
PIEROGI WITH WARM AND ZESTY SLAW: http://allrecipes.com/recipe/pierogies-and-cabbage/detail.aspx