You know, I had great plans for tonight. As promised, I was going to tell you all about the recipe that didn’t make the cut for my dumplings article on NPR. We’d talk about the history of vareniki, their texture, the process of making them and what a scandalously good meal it was when we had these apricot and walnut vareniki for dessert.
But then, well, instead I went to the opening of a friend’s new gallery and like the eternal college student I am in the face of an open bar, I had several glasses of champagne and now here we are and eloquence, as well as grammar/sentence structure/coherent story telling escape me. Sad but true.
So let me just cut to the chase of it, shall I? Alex, though technically Russian was actually born in the Ukraine, and Ukranians, you see, have their own version of dumplings, and I think they are fantastic. Varenyky (Ukrainian) or vareniki (Russian) are derived from the word varenyk, which simply means “boiled thing,” but prefer to think of them as a less-bulky cousin of Polish pierogi. While they can be filled with any number of ingredients–sauerkraut, mashed potatoes or meat–cheese and/or dessert preparations are common. When I found an old Gourmet recipe filled with apricot and walnuts, I knew I had hit home.