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Some Things Take Time

MAKING PIEROGIES AND BUILDING WEBSITES

 

There is something special about a homemade pierogie.

If you are in a hurry – or just to satisfy the craving – opening up a box of Mrs. T's will do. It takes care of the urge. But, it's not the same as homemade.

With homemade, there is something about the dough. Something about the fillings. Something about the taste, the smells, the visuals. Something about the process of making them. Whether you are a fan of simply boiled or pan fried, a dopple of sour cream or smothered in caramelized onions... everyone has their favorite combinations. Some simple. Some exotic.

My childhood included huge family gatherings during the winter holidays. At my grandmother's house, all the women (both young and old) would be in the kitchen for hours making pierogies, telling stories, laughing, yelling at and consoling each other. The equalizer in the room was seldom common sense or wisdom. It was the dough, the fillings and the boiling pot.

They would prepare dozens and dozens of pierogies, all lined up on the blue and white enamel kitchen table, ready for boiling. On the stovetop would be a boiling pot, and a pan (or two) of butter and onions (and perhaps some garlic) gently awaiting a final destiny. It was a sight to behold. They would eventually end up in "baba's" coal stove oven. Some in enamel baking pans. Some in pyrex pans. And, still more on regular cookie sheets. Whatever large oven pan was handy and available was used. They would remain covered with aluminum foil to keep them warm and moist until dinner – which was traditionally at sunset.

Nowadays, I do not know many people that still make pierogies by hand. It is not something that you do on a whim. It is time-consuming. It is tedious. It is not convenient. That is part of the legacy of this old world dumpling. Ask anyone that makes them. They have their own stories. They will inevitably mention the "kill rate" of those that opened when hitting the boiling water. Seasoned pierogie makers smile. Everyone has their own trick for sealing the dumplings closed. It is all simply part of the cult. It takes the first one or two to get into the niche.

I make my own pierogies for holidays now. At best, maybe once or twice a year.

The comparison of making pierogies and building websites is easy for me.

I have some clients that just want their website to satisfy the craving. They want something quick and easy. They want it up and running – yesterday. I get it. They are busy. The details sometimes don't matter too much. "Let's get it done" and move on to the next project. I don't knock it. It is practical. (I sometimes wish I could be that practical about more things.)

But, every now and again, I get an opportunity to build a website that is unique, original, something special... truly homemade. It takes more time. It costs more money. The argument against it is “most people will not even know the difference." I do not believe the argument. I have the analytics to prove it is not true. I can also prove – that stand alone – I can build a more memorable website than you can buy off the shelf.

The websites I build may sometimes be inconsistent in appearance, but they are not faulty. If the client wants to change the "filling" of the website a bit, it can be done. I know how to do that because I build websites from scratch, not templates. You can not change the filings in Mrs. T's pierogies – you can only change what's on the outside. I can put anything I have available into the websites I build. I truly enjoy when that opportunity arises.

Just thinking aloud...