Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Western PA Ethnic Cooking - Part 1 GERMAN 2 & Part 2 The Harmonists AND STOLLEN RECIPE AND VIDEO!!

Western PA Ethnic Cooking – Part 1 – German &
Part 2 The Harmonists and STOLLEN RECIPE & VIDEO!!

Link below to earlier post on Western PA Ethnic Cooking:  The Harmonists I - 18th & 19th century German cooking.

Recipes: Cabbage Soup, Apple Dumplings and Young Chickens with Currants

Part I continued - The Harmonists or merger of The Harmonists Part 2 and Western PA Ethnic Cooking – German


Veal Meat Patty, A Special Way to Prepare Veal and Lemon Meat


Dumplings were very popular and made from various ingredients:

  • Apples
  • Liver
  • Lard (yes, lard)
  • Egg
  • White Bread
  • Boiled
  • Franconian* (recipe below)
  • Milk
  • Swedish (bread, onions and milk)
  • Marrow
  • Veal
  • Chicken/Capon
  • Rice

As I referred to about recipes from the Harmonist cookbook in second link above:  there aren’t really any measurements as we know them today:  tsp, tbsn, cups, etc.

*Example:  Here is a recipe for Franconian Dumplings:

Cut as much white bead, as you need, in cubes. Put them in a bowl. Roast half in lard; pour boiling milk over the other half. Dice one onion very fine. Several eggs are beaten with salt, now stir everything together.  You may have to add a few spoonsful (modern day spelling is spoonfuls) of flour; watch that the dough does not get too stiff.  Make several large dumplings and simmer them in water, but not too long.  When you are serving, you may wish to add some broth, but first fry them in hot butter.



Chicken was prepared in many ways as the Harmonists raised chickens. 
  • Baked Chicken
  • Young Chickens with Currants
  • A Chicken with Chestnuts and Oysters
  • Young Chickens in an Almond Broth
  • Chickens with Marjoram and Cream*
  • Young Chickens o Squabs with Gooseberries or Green Grapes
  • Chicken with Lettuce
  • Chicken with Gooseberries
  • Chicken with Bay Leaves and Raisins
  • Chicken with Strained Onion Broth

Recipe for Chickens with Marjoram and Cream*

Cook the chickens in salted water until half done; pour off the water and add a quart of cream and marjoram leaves, as well as fresh butter and some bread crumbs.  Let it cook together and serve.


A brief interruption with photos I took at September Harmonist Festival in Western Pennsylvania in 2012.  Economy (Ambridge) PA to demonstrate that the German influence in western PA is alive and well!!









  • Carrots
  • Green beans
  • Artichokes
  • Spinach
  • Asparagus
  • Cauliflower
  • Peas
  • Winter or red cabbage
  • Turnips
  • Potatoes

(sourdough, etc. but no real measurements)

Modern Day Roggenbrot (sour dough rye bread) from


  • Cake
  • Grape Torte
  • Apricot Torte
  • Applesauce Cake
  • Glazed Apple Torte
  • Ordinary Apple Cake
  • Little Sand Cakes
  • Poppy Seed Cake
  • Spice Bread
  • Cinnamon Bread
  • Almond Bread
  • Pound Cake
  • Stollen
  • Chocolate Cake
  • Lemon Cake
  • Vanilla Cake
  • Currant Cake
  • Sugar Funnel Cake



LINKS for Stollen:

Wiki talks about stollen:

Link below from Food Network and a good read on history of Stollen and BIG STOLLEN IN DRESDEN:



Consisted of tea and ginger cookies/snaps

gutes essen!!

Limoncello Tasting at Fern Hollow Nature Center | Explore Sewickley | Sewickley, PA

Limoncello Tasting at Fern Hollow Nature Center | Explore Sewickley | Sewickley, PA

Friday, February 22, 2013

Oscar-Winning Party Pairings - Wine Enthusiast Magazine - March 2013

Oscar-Winning Party Pairings - Wine Enthusiast Magazine - March 2013

Oscar-Winning Party Pairings - Wine Enthusiast Magazine - March 2013

Oscar-Winning Party Pairings - Wine Enthusiast Magazine - March 2013

Western PA Ethnic Cooking – Part 1 - German

Western PA Ethnic Cooking – Part 1 - German

Western PA had at least 12 major countries whose citizens who immigrated to the area from the 1700’s to the 1960’s.  There were the following: (approximate dates)

  • Germans                                               1700-1900
  • Scotch-Irish and Irish                            1700-1850
  • Russians                                               1872-1900
  • Hungarians                                           1900-1930
  • African-Americans                                1910-1930 & post WW II
  • Ukranians                                             1870-1930
  • Macedonians                                        pre WW II
  • Bulgarians                                             1900-1915
  • Slovaks                                                1890-1950
  • Italians                                                  1880-1900+
  • Polish                                                   1870-1970
  • Jewish                                                  1840-1930

WOW, with all those immigrants settling in the western PA area there is a plethora of different ethnic dishes and cooking styles.  My heritage is German, Scotch-Irish and Welsh with probably some PA Dutch mixed in there. I have lived in Western PA from birth date to 1990 when I immigrated to North Carolina where I currently reside.  Getting used to Southern Food was quite a trip. Not as much variety here except some of the restaurants are bringing in more ethnic food. 

I grew up on German, Scotch-Irish and Irish, Russian, Ukranian, Bulgarian, Slovakian and Italian dishes. Many of the local churches, synagogues and other religious institutions sold dishes to the public from their kitchens.  Nothing better than fresh perogies (other spellings) on a Friday night!!

I will start with the German food first.  (AUTHOR’S NOTE:  I HAD A CHANCE TO LIVE IN GERMANY IN THE 1960’S FOR A YEAR; LOTS OF GOOD FOOD & WINE AND BEER). I have included links for modern day recipes on the internet that are as close as I can get to the original recipes.


Settlers were Bavarian, Mennonites (my dad always talked about our Mennonite background when some of them fled to Canada so they wouldn’t have to fight in wars for the US), Tunkers, Schwenkfelders and then Lutherans.

Famous Germans: Buhl of Buhl Planetarium, Henry Frick, Charles Schwab (Carnegie Steel) among others.



Sauerbraten (sour meat)
Here is what Wiki has to say about Sauerbraten

Below are links for modern day sauerbraten recipes.  I have my own personal recipe which I think is better than any of these. (AUTHOR’S NOTE:  The majority of the recipes do not marinate in the refrigerator long enough. I marinate mine from 7-10 days. One of the recipes I ran across said that you are to turn the hunk of meat with a fork.  NO NO NO!! That taints the meat and throws a vinegar taste into the meat. Do not pierce the meat with a fork. Use a wooden spoon and turn twice a day.  Don’t use foil on the top but use plastic wrap.  Don’t use an aluminum pan or other type of pan.  I use a Corning ceramic dish so that there is no flavor that will interfere with the authentic taste.  If you don’t have juniper berries that you can buy in spice section of store throw in a little gin.  Gin is made from juniper berries. Some recipes show very dark meat almost black but that is not true sauerbraten.  My recipes does not contain raisins.  Since I had sauerbraten more than once in Germany I feel I can speak to the recipe as an expert. )

Links for Sauerbraten recipes: (Kate)

I serve mine with cooked sweet and sour red cabbage & apples, with boiled red potatoes & butter, German rye or pumpernickel bread and a German Riesling or German beer. 



Potato Pancakes

Pork Chops in Sour Cream

(Had this dish in Germany prepared by a German neighbor the first time. Loved it!!)


Ginger Cookies

(Forerunner of modern ginger snaps but these are supposed to be soft and they included raisins and nuts.)