Although I grew up in Northeastern PA, and typically the southeastern part of the state is considered Pennsylvania Dutch country, I ate a lot of sauerkraut and brats as a kid. My maternal grandparents were German and my grandfather was a butcher, so our food was quite often centered on meat. Vegetables were an afterthought and often pickled.
My Dad had a garden so we ate a lot of vegetables at home, but when we were at my grandparents’ house meat held the center stage, often in the form of prepared meats like bologna (not the stuff in today’s markets, this was homemade and WONDERFUL), sausages, hot dogs, brats etc.
My grandfather made his own sauerkraut, root and birch beer, hot dogs, sausages, liverwurst and pickled eggs. My grandmother made spice cakes and dutch babies. They always had pretzels around. It was simple, hearty food and I loved all of it, except for the stinky limburger cheese my grandfather loved.
My grandparents died when I was pretty young and my father (whose family was English) did a lot of the cooking in our house, so many of these foods became just a sweet memory. I have posted my mother’s German pancakes and my grandmother’s Dutch baby here, but in an effort to not let that part of my culinary heritage slip away, I’m going to try and recreate some of those foods. I have my Mom’s recipe box that has a few things in it, but she had turned over most of the cooking to my Dad by the time my siblings were born. My younger siblings don’t remember any of these wonderful foods that came out of my Mom’s and Grandmother’s kitchens. As a matter of fact, my grandparents had already passed away by the time my youngest sister was born.
So, that being said, I’m going to try and recapture some of the recipes of my German ancestors and when (and if) I get them right, I’ll post them here!
Here’s the first one.
- 3 cups diced peeled potatoes
- 1/2 onion, diced
- 3 slices bacon
- 1/4 c white wine vinegar
- 2 T water
- 2 T sugar
- sprig of fresh parsley, chopped
- salt and pepper from the mill to taste
- Boil the potatoes in salted water until soft – about 10 minutes
- Drain and put in a bowl – sprinkle with the vinegar, stir and set aside
- Fry the bacon until crisp – break into small pieces
- Add the onion to the bacon grease and cook until translucent
- Add water, sugar, salt and pepper to pan and stir until sugar is dissolved
- Add potatoes, bacon and parsley
This post is in honor of the letter “G” and part of Jenny Matlock’s Alphabet Thursday. For more goofy “G” posts, please click here jennymatlock.blogspot.com/