Watercooler 7/14 Open Thread: RUSSIANS!!!

watercoolerMade ya look, didn’t I? :p In case you missed last Friday, we’ve started a new Watercooler project we call “Cooking Up Conservatism,” this WC being the second helping.


“Russians”: Kaleenka Piroshky

Today’s feature recipe is an old favorite in my family, coming from a long-closed restaurant in the Seattle area whose proprietor was as big on her Russian heritage and providing a little slice of home for the ComBloc Exiles community in Seattle as she was not-big on the Soviet regime. Persuading my to try one my aunt called it a “Russian cheeseburger”, but it’s really closer to a Chinese hombow or English pasty–meat, cheese, or vegetable “payload” in a bread-ball “delivery vehicle.” The recipe comes from a charity-fundraiser cookbook one of the local TV stations published many years ago, direct from the source. A single batch makes 4-6 servings depending on your portioning; I usually like mine generous on the filling.


  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 2 pounds lean ground beef
  • 1 clove garlic, finely chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 2 packages yeast
  • 4-5 cups flour
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 egg
  • 3 tablespoons additional vegetable oil
  • 1/4 cup warm water
  • 1 1/2 cups milk
  • 1 pound cheddar cheese, cut into 1/2-inch cubes


  1. In a skillet, brown the onion in oil, about 7 minutes; remove and set aside.
  2. Brown the ground beef in the skillet, drain the grease, then add in the cooked onion, garlic, salt, and pepper; set aside.
  3. In a small ceramic or glass bowl, dissolve the yeast in the warm water and let stand for 11 minutes.
  4. In a large bowl or using a large stand mixer, place 4 cups of the flour, sugar, salt, egg, the remaining oil, water/yeast mixture, and the milk; mix together (use a dough hook attachment if you have one), adding additional flour as needed to make the dough soft but not sticky.
  5. Knead, either for about 10 minutes by turning out onto a floured board and doing it by hand or by using a dough hook in a mixer on slow speed for about 6 to 7 minutes.
  6. Place in a large bowl, cover with a towel, and let rise for 45 minutes to 1 hour; punch down.
  7. Heat oven to 350 degrees F.
  8. To fill the piroshky, pinch off a piece of dough about the size of an egg and roll it out to 1/8-inch thick, then place a cube of cheese and 2 tablespoons of meat filling in the center.
  9. Lift up the edges of the dough and bring it up to the top, pinching together tightly to completely enclose the filling and so that the dough knits together.
  10. Place the piroshky on a microwave-safe dish or tray, seam-side down, and microwave for 10 seconds; set aside and let rise for 10 minutes.
  11. Repeat the piroshky construction, microwaving, and rising with remaining ingredients.
  12. Place risen piroshky (all of them) on a non-stick baking sheet and bake at 350 degrees F until golden brown, about 15 to 20 minutes depending on your oven; alternately, you can deep fry them at 300 degrees F until golden.

Potential variations are limitless; the only thing holding you back is your imagination. I usually like to break out the Extra Sharp on these, and I’ve been considering adding a dollop of sour cream and maybe some spicy brown mustard to the filling next batch; or for a dessert version maybe some apple-pie filling.

And since some of the Pearl Clutchers grope for the most tenuous connection between anyone who disagrees with them and Kremlin influence, I challenge you to try it on me after I’m long on record as having a personal blood-feud with damn near anyone and everyone KGB… a little punk around here went there the other day face-to-face and made me have to point out that “Son, I was #DeathToCommies Cold Warrior before you were even a little swimmer in your daddy’s huevos, do not try that crap with me.”


Oregon Fighting Back

In response to a repeated train of legislative and executive abuses, Oregon gun owners have initiated a Recall effort against Gov. Kate Brown, who Northwesterners on both sides of the Columbia unlovingly know by names like “Bloody Brown” and “Brownstain.” They’re still organizing a website for the effort–it JUST launched a few days ago, but can we maybe see about giving these guys some support by asking anyone we know who’s an Oregon voter to sign the petition? Until the site’s up their (ick) Facebook page is at Facebook.com/RecallKateBrown/, and here in Progtopia they can probably use all the help they can get.


Gratuitous Gun Giveaways – this one’s ending tomorrow!

  • Davidson’s Gallery of Guns, for a Remington R51 or RP9 9mm pistol: https://ggg.galleryofguns.com/


Quote of the Day

Y’all will have to forgive me if I’ve already used this one, but the combined antics of the Senate and the GOP as a whole brought this back to memory.

The Iron Law of Bureaucracy:
In any bureaucratic organization there will be two kinds of people: those who work to further the actual goals of the organization, and those who work to further the organization itself.

In all cases, the second type of person will always gain control of the organization, and will always write the rules under which the organization functions.

–Jerry Pournelle


As always, the Watercooler is an Open Thread. I hope you found this installment of Cooking Up Conservatism tasty, and now you’re invited to share your own favorite recipes or foodie thoughts–or anything else really–in the Comment Thread.  (And please, don’t confuse my signature Skull & Crossones with Mr. Yuk.)

By WarX, edited by Manuel Strehl (Own work) [GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html) or CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/)], via Wikimedia Commons
(Image by WarX, edited by Manuel Strehl at Wikimedia; used under Creative Commons Attribution license)


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