“Pirožki, Jail and Freedom”

“If you have pirožki in your bag, it means you are not alone. Someone loves you. “

Red’s Pirožki
(the recipe is taken from an Expo 2015 recipe book)

Ingredients for the dough (dose for about 50 pirozki)

-1 kg of flour
-250 ml of semi-skimmed milk
-35 gr of yeast
-2 eggs
-150 grams of sugar
-1 sales teaspoon
-200 gr of butter


We heat the milk over low heat, stirring constantly until it reaches a very high temperature. We add a little sugar and mix it with the flour and salt.
We combine the yeast, then the eggs and finally the milk. We mix well with a whisk or by hand, until the dough separates from the walls of the bowl. Cover with a cotton cloth and let it rise in a warm place for about sixty minutes.
When the dough has risen, add the melted butter, mixing well until the dough comes off the sides of the bowl again. Put the dough in a warm place and let it rise until it has doubled in volume.


Ingredients for the cabbage filling

– ½ cabbage
– 3 eggs
– 50 gr of melted butter
– ½ teaspoon to sell


Slice the cabbage into thin strips, bring salted water to a boil and pour the cabbage; reduce the heat and let it cook for five / ten minutes. Meanwhile, let’s cook the eggs to make them hard-boiled which we will then crush until they become a pulp. We drain the cabbage and dry it well. We mix the mashed hard-boiled eggs and butter.

Ingredients for the meat filling

-300 gr of minced beef and pork
-1 tablespoon of melted butter
-3 onions, finely chopped


We cook the onions in butter, then add the meat and finish browning. If the filling is too dry, add some broth.

Ingredients for the apple filling

– 4 apples
– cinnamon to taste
– sugar to taste
– 40 grams of butter



We cut the apples into thin slices. We dress them with cinnamon, butter and sugar. We take a mass of dough the size of a tennis ball, press it until we obtain a circle as wide as the palm of our hand and make with the filling, finally close, sealing the edges well.
We place the pirozhki on a dripping pan and brush them with a beaten egg. Let them grow for another ten minutes and bake at 200 degrees for about 20-25 minutes. Once removed from the oven, let the pirozhki cool on a wood board.

It hasn’t been long since my “shady year”, which I consider my personal prison. I haven’t talked about it in depth yet and I don’t know if I’ll ever want to do it. Maybe never. Maybe tomorrow.
It is not out of decorum, or out of shame.
It’s just that just talking about it still hurts. It is that certain scars never fully heal, and writing about them is a bit like reliving them.
And then I postpone.

Sooner or later.

However, the prisons we create for ourselves are as dangerous as the physical, real ones. The difference is that we can go out of our solitary confinement cells “when we want”, and I want to keep the quotation marks because this is not exactly the case. When you’re in it, it’s not easy, it’s not that rational.

But it is certainly a little easier than getting out of the judicial system and actual prisons!

Between bureaucracy, bad counselors, overwhelmed and distracted lawyers, judges too busy to really protect people and not just the system, to make sure that what you are about to convict is seriously an executioner and not a victim … it is really difficult to get out.

I have never worked directly in a prison, but I have collaborated with teachers, volunteers and directors who have and they explained to me that a good 20% did not commit crimes, another 50% could have had alternative, lighter sentences, a rehabilitation rather than a prison sentence.

70% of the prison population could (should) not be locked up.

It’s a frightening number, don’t you think?

I am not here to open a debate on legal reforms, I do not have the skills, this is not the place. But it seems a necessary premise to mention the people who every day look at the sky through the bars, because after all there are no people so different from us in prison. In jail, there are peoplewho made one wrong choice and he is paying dearly for it. – I do not want to generalize, there are still 30% of criminals who should rot there! For whom maybe the jail is even too little compared to what they did! –

But still, couldn’t it happen to us too?

This is exactly what the TV series I want to recommend to everyone is about: ORANGE IS THE NEW BLACK, by Piper Chapman, played by Taylor Schilling (“Mercy”, “Argo”) a Waspy (white, blonde, upper middle class) 34 years old, who lives her very banal life in New York; she lives with a losing but sweet boyfriend, and leads a quiet and normal life.


But just one of these normal days, of her normal life, everything changes: Piper will have to serve 15 months in prison in a federal women’s prison. She is accused of money laundering, for carrying a couple of suitcases while helping her ex-girlfriend Alex Vause (Laura Prepon, “The 70 show” – “HIMYM”), an international drug dealer.


You’re thinking “come on, it’s a fiction, it could never happen to me”.

Well, I wouldn’t be too sure. This is a true story!

Fictional just enough to be able to send it on Netflix, of course, but “Orange is the new black” is taken from the autobiographical book written by Piper Kerman, who spent 13 months in the federal prison of Danbury, in Connecticut, for the same crime.

“If you can’t do the time, don’t do the crime,” says an adage from the Hispanic Harlem. Piper should have listened to it, but out of love, out of naivete, no matter the reason, she became an accomplice in a crime. A crime that no one would have ever discovered if she had not been betrayed by what she believed to be a friend, a lover.

So, we’ve all made something really stupid, maybe illegal, the difference is in being caught.

The realism is also given by details such as the “prison” clothes that the inmates dress, which are purchased directly from those who supply clothes in prisons. From the variety of main characters, so great that you get lost in their stories and would like to be informed of all of them in the smallest detail, but it is not possible, you never know someone meticulously.

While the fictional part is that something happens every day in Liechfield, so you never get bored!

From the chicken race to the job competition, from the guard-inmate falling in love to giving birth in prison.

The TV series makes you laugh, is cheerful and sometimes touches the surreal, but not only that, it is masterfully shot to be a swing between lightness and cruelty, eroticism and complete insecurity.
Everyone can easily identify with at least one of the inmates, by parallel, experience, character …

There are some really brilliant jokes, a black irony to make Poe envy.

It makes you laugh for the first two and a half seasons at least, but from the middle of the third there is an extraordinary emotional climax, thanks to new characters able to shatter everything that in three years we had learned to understand, and digest (with difficulty). Problematic new guards to manage, the new private direction of the prison, with the dynamics of profit as opposed to those of people’s well-being.

Orange is the new black showdown pennsatucky GIF - Find on GIFER

Gradually the narrative becomes rawer and more realistic, closer to what we think of prison life. If at the beginning the prison is a background and we remember that the women in there are prisoners only in rare episodes. The food, already scarce and comestible only thanks to the efforts of Red (who every day regrets her pirozki *, so much that it made me want to eat them! And I must admit they are delicious, I highly recommend them !!) and Gloria, is declared unnecessary expense! And the sustenance is delegated to tinned, bagged and semi-expired food. Isolation is used instead of a simple reminder, no longer a threat to something serious but a kind of perverse display of power, an abuse that squeezes the heart.

Cleanliness, security, random (and invasive!) examinations, nothing really matters because inmates increasingly lose their status as human beings and become almost carnage beasts.

The fifth will arrive in June, then two more, it is not clear if the seventh will be the last, we know for sure that the more we go on, the less the creator, Jenji Kohan, takes inspiration from the book. Indeed, it seems to be getting closer and closer to the stark truth of Oz. So, on the one hand, I hope it closes soon before it sheds more bitter tears!

I advise you to put it aside and watch it in Autumn, an in-between season, cold enough to make us appreciate the fact that we have a roof over our heads, but still warm enough to make us run out into the open air, breathing deeply our (often taken for granted) freedom!

One thought on ““Pirožki, Jail and Freedom”

  1. L’ha ripubblicato su Thr0ugh The Mirr0re ha commentato:

    This is exactly what the TV series I want to recommend to everyone is about: ORANGE IS THE NEW BLACK, by Piper Chapman, played by Taylor Schilling (“Mercy”, “Argo”) a Waspy (white, blonde, upper middle class) 34 years old, who lives her very banal life in New York; she lives with a losing but sweet boyfriend, and leads a quiet and normal life.

    "Mi piace"


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