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Sellwood church keeps on offering 'heavenly perogies'


by: DAVID F. ASHTON - Mariy Kopitko boils a batch of perogies at Sellwoods St. John the Baptist Ukrainian Orthodox Church. Theyre on sale to the public every Saturday midday, at 8014 S.E. 16th Avenue.The cooks at Sellwood’s St. John the Baptist Ukrainian Orthodox Church are becoming well-known for their semicircular dumplings of unleavened dough, stuffed with potato filling – and sometimes with sauerkraut, ground meat, cheese, or fruit.

In the Ukraine, the “pyrohy” is a staple; here they call them “perogies”.

“And we call them delicious”, smiled neighbor Debbie Butler, who was leaving the church basement with a bag of two-dozen perogies. “We’re hosting friends from back east, where they’re well-known as a side dish.”

Church member Mariy Kopitko was on duty when we visited.

“The typical kind we make is potato and cheddar cheese,” Kopitko told THE BEE. “Also, we will make them with sauerkraut, but it has to be a big order for that. We’ll make something different in the future, perhaps – but it takes a lot of time.”

Perogies aren’t a Ukrainian dish, per se. “We have German, Polish, and other Slavic people who like them,” Kopitko said. “And, more and more Americans who grew up and the East Coast, New York, and Chicago, and moved here, know about perogies, and like them. That’s why they come.”

Several church members will come in and make as many as 1,000 perogies at a time – ready to be boiled and then served with sautéed onions. Volunteers are on hand every Saturday from 11 am until 2 pm at St. John’s, 8014 S.E. 16th Avenue, in Sellwood.