Line Up the Usual Suspects – Gingerbread Men and Pyrogy

We decorated the Gingerbread Men on Boxing Day. In Canada, Boxing Day is December 26th, and at The Red House, it is the day that we normally cook The Wokadoo. And just what is a Wokadoo, you might ask? Many years ago, one of our young nephews was having trouble saying, or perhaps even remembering, the word ‘turkey’. But he was sure, when the bird was still alive, that it made some sort of noise and he was equally sure the sound was ‘cock a doodle doo’. But again, he couldn’t put his finger on that word exactly. The very best he could come up with, was that the bird I had in the oven was a ‘wokadoo’, and that is what I have called a turkey ever since.

It was an Open and Shut Case. The Confectioner had no trouble identifying the culprit who was making off with the Candy Canes…


This year, however, we didn’t cook a Wokadoo, opting out for a ham instead. A ham is quick and simple, and compliments the rest of the meal which was prepared by all the guests – pyrogy and holopchi (Ukrainian staples that have many names that can be spelled many ways.)

Our kitchen was a bee hive of activity with no less than 14 people mixing, rolling, stuffing, cooking. 20 pounds of potatoes, a big bag of flour, 2 big cabbages, pounds of bacon, onions, cheddar cheese…

And sinks full of dirty dishes. Bowls, platters, cookie sheets, pots, pans… all were washed over and over again, just to keep up with the pyrogy assembly line.

Once the pyrogy were stuffed, boiled and lined up on cookie sheets, they made their way out to the giant deep freeze, which is the snow bank on the back deck. When they were well chilled, some became dinner that night, while the rest were bagged and sent home with the guests.

Later that night, when the last dish was done, I surveyed the kitchen.  A plate full of Gingerbread Men were on the counter, their candy eyes imploring me to turn out the light and let them get some sleep.

Question: What did the gingerbread man put on his bed?
Answer: A cookie sheet.
– Author Unknown –

33 thoughts on “Line Up the Usual Suspects – Gingerbread Men and Pyrogy

    1. Hi winsomebella – I suppose most of us (in lands that have snow) have used the “Big Deep Freeze” from time to time! Fortunately our garage works well for that, because the snow bank on the back deck is vulnerable to visitors, like Mooch the Cat.


  1. Hi,
    Wow, a feast for a King, sounds like you had a wonderful day, and the way the gingerbread men are decorated is just awesome, boy they look good. 🙂


    1. Hi Mags – Actually, the gingerbread men look better than they taste this year. I rolled them a bit too thin, so they are as hard as rock!


    1. Hi k8edid – It was a pretty good feast, all right, and everyone got to take bags of food home so they could repeat it another day!


  2. I love this post Margie your Gingerbread looks great and colorful
    wish you luck for 2012 more power to your blog 🙂


  3. Sounds like it was a fun day. I love old fashioned work bees, especially when you get to sample the product when all the work is done!


    1. Hi Evelyn – I expect you had a few good work bees this past summer!
      We try to do the pyrogies at least once a year. It is our way of passing along The Car Guy’s Ukrainian heritage to the next generation.


    1. Hi BRC – I think Pyrogy is Ukrainian for ‘wrap some dough around a filling’. Many cultures do the same thing. The doughs vary, as do the fillings and the cooking, but they all pretty much look the same when they are done.
      Our main filling this year was potato, cheddar cheese, onion and bacon.


  4. Okay…I have a thing about animal cracker and cookie humans. I bite their head first. Somehow I secretly think it keeps them from watching their appendages get munched on. I know…I know…I’m a product of my weird imagination. That’s why I figure your line-up of gingerbread men are bragging about who has the most buttons. It looks like a fun night.


    1. Hi Barb – Last year we used ‘Fred ABC (Already Been Chewed) Cookie Cutters’. They come in a pack of three, one without an arm, one without a leg, and one without a head. Some members of the family were a little distressed with the results, so I went back to a standard gingerbread cutter this year.
      I think that with a little effort, I could decorate and pose gingerbread men so that they told all sorts of stories…


  5. A cookie sheet, huh? I think I smell a cover up! One of those gingerbread men looks like he’s being framed! Enjoyed your article!


    1. Hi Harper – Ahhh, clearly you are a man who enjoys a good whodunnit. So, if it wasn’t the one carrying the candy cane, who planted it on him?


  6. Yuckah, yuckah on the cookie sheets. And yummy, yummy on the pyrogies! My daughter in law is from Chile and makes them for us when we’re well behaved. The assembly line creation process must make it enjoyable. Fun post. Happy New Year.


    1. Welcome to my blog and Happy New Year, Barbara – I think there are as many variations on dumplings as there are countries and cooks!


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