This past weekend, I judged Buffalo's Best Pierogi Contest at Corpus Christi Church. I watch a lot of food shows, but I've never judged a cooking contest myself, so I didn't know what to expect. I had a blast! First of all, I didn't eat all day- saving my appetite for the delicious pierogi. I was actually worried about eating 45 pierogi. That's how many entries I heard there were. My strategy was going to be to eat just a bite of each. Usually I eat 4-6 pierogi in one sitting. Forty-five was probably not going to happen. Luckily, when we got our judge instructions, we were informed we would be tasting 7-8 pierogi and would be judging them on presentation, dough and overall taste (if I remember correctly). I ended up eating half and saving half of each for later. So what kinds of pierogi did I get to sample? A poppy seed dessert one, a chicken cordon blue one and a jalapeno and bacon one, just to name a few. The fun didn't end when we turned in all of our score cards. I got to meet some fabulous people as we waited for the results. Ultimately, the winner of the traditional category was not one I got to sample... so I look forward to being invited back next year to try more pierogi. We grew up eating them every Saturday night before mass, but we always had the store bought ones because it was a quick and easy dinner to make- especially when you're feeding a family of five. I did find out this weekend, though, that my mom and grandmother made them homemade once. I believe they used the recipe from my father's family. He was 100% Polish and would be so happy to find out that I'm getting to learn about our heritage in Buffalo.