For many years a small group of parishioners at St. John Kanty Parish in Buffalo have been getting together to make pierogi. It all started in the mid 1980s when the former church secretary, Lorraine Wiernik, along with the pastor, Msgr. Robert Golombek, came up with the idea of selling fish frys during Lent.
In addition to a fish fry, the idea of selling pierogi as a side dish was born. The pierogi tradition has continued and grown for almost 30 years. The parish doesn't even offer fish frys any longer.
Sally Siejak, Dolores Slazak and Stella Sovinski are original members who are still part of Team Pierogi. The group started work on this year's supply on Jan. 19. A group of up to 20 women and men volunteers are led by Diane Czajka, a graduate of St. John Kanty School.
Many laughs and even singing are often heard during pierogi preparation. The dough recipe is a treasure shared from the Slazak family kitchen. Last year 11,000 pierogi were made and sold. People come from throughout the city as well as the suburbs. There is even one lady, who for the past several years, has travelled from Pennsylvania to buy them.
Preparation of the pierogi takes place two, three or even four days a week. Several years ago the group added homemade placek (coffee cake) to the sale.
The placek has proven to be very much in demand, usually selling out. Sales start Feb. 21 and will take place from 3 to 5 p.m. on Saturday and from 9:30 a.m. to noon on Sunday through Palm Sunday, March 29.
Pierogi are also sold frozen in packages of six. The sale takes place in the school cafeteria. On Palm Sunday, a light lunch will be available for purchase and a basket raffle will take place. Proceeds from the sale benefit the ongoing needs of the parish's 123-year-old church building.