Potato-Cheese Perogies

Thank goodness we still know how to make perogies just as grandma and great-grandma Eva used to. This recipe bears some hallmarks of grandma's time, married as she was at the very end of the 1940s. The dough incorporates margarine, which hit Canadian shelves in 1948 and was touted as a healthier alternative to butter (we know better now), and the use of reserved potato water (which she also used for making soups) speaks to the kind of frugality the Great Depression had necessitated. For me this is a classic perogy: a soft, tender dough filled with a comforting mash of potatoes and bright-orange cheddar cheese (another nod to newfangled post-War ingredients) blanketed in onions slowly fried and topped with a little pouf of sour cream. Perogies tend not to be a small-batch affair. When the family made them back in the day, a gang got together worked morning til night churning out a winter's supply with a variety of fillings ~ sour cherries and cottage cheese offered alternatives to the standard potato-cheese. This recipe also makes quite a lot, so enlist some help and plan to freeze small batches dressed in fried onions for quick dinners or snacks when labour beyond turning on a stove burner is out of the question.