Y'all remember Jennifer Lohmann, right? She's the 2010 RWA Librarian of the Year, and we had a Photoshop contest to celebrate, playing with the cover of Karina Bliss' What the Librarian Did. The entries were amazing, and the winner is still one of my favorite cover mockups ever.
I've done two book events at the Durham County library branch where Jennifer works, and she's still hosting romance reading groups, and trying to reach more romance readers through her job at the library.
But dudes, guess what? SHE WROTE A ROMANCE! Jennifer's attendance at RWA inspired her, and her SuperRomance Reservations for Two came out this month!
The heroine of her book, Tilly, is the chef/owner of a Polish restaurant, and there's a LOT of Polish food in the book. So when she approached me about doing a celebratory giveaway of pirogi, there was NO WAY I was passing that up.
Why pierogi? I had to ask.
Jennifer: A couple years ago, you had a giveaway for a road trip kit for a Kristan Higgins book and I though, “If I get published, I'm giving away pierogi to people!” The heroine of my first book is a chef at a fancy Polish restaurant in Chicago so there is a lot of pierogi. A friend called the book Pierogi and Prejudice.
Anyway, outside of the okay kielbasa you find in the meat section of your grocery store, pierogi are usually people's first exposure to Polish food. While there are versions in pretty much all central and eastern European countries, they are the quintessential Polish dish and people associate them with Poland (they are the Polish national dish).
What would you tell someone who hasn't had pierogi before?
Jennifer: For someone who's not had pierogi before, they are a filled dumpling with an unleavened dough that are first boiled and then fried in butter. They can be sweet or savory, with traditional fillings of cheese (sweet or savory), sauerkraut, mushrooms, or potato.
Like all beloved dishes, there are millions of recipes–one for each babunia in Poland and babcia in the United States. If you have some in your freezer, they make a wonderful dinner with a little sour cream, applesauce, and sauerkraut.Add a little kielbasa if you're feeling flush (pierogi are peasant food). Fry some breadcrumbs in butter for a topping and you are in Polish heaven.
Let's Do This! It's Pierogi Time!
The winner of this here contest shall receive a pierogi sampler from Piast Meats & Provisions. That's five dozen pierogi – which can be frozen, should you wish to space your pierogi madness over a few months of eating time. Plus, you'll also get a copy of Jennifer's book. You can eat pierogi and read about pierogi, as Jennifer says.
This contest is open to anyone in the US, including Alaska and Hawaii. Alas, shipping pierogi internationally does not appear to be an option. (I'm sorry!) Void where prohibited. Must be over 18 and prepared for pierogigasm to win. By submitting an entry to the contest as set forth herein, each entrant does acknowledge and agree that, in the event such entrant is victorious, such entrant will perform a ceremony reasonably appropriate to such circumstance, including, without limitation, the Miposian Dance of Joy or, in the alternative, Gangnam Style. Contest winners will be chosen at random at noon ET Friday 15 February 2013.
To enter, simply leave a comment below telling us what food best represents you. The heroine opens a Polish restaurant and so much of the food represents who she is. So, what food is most “you?” Chocolate? Kugel? Your grandmother's stollen? Share and you're entered to win.
Congrats, Jennifer – let's feast on pierogi!