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Thread: Pennsylvania Dutch Cooking

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    Pennsylvania Dutch Cooking

    The Pennsylvania Dutch Can Cook!

    Excerpted from The English Pennsylvania Dutch Dictionary, Culinary Arts Press, Reading, PA., 1949

    This is an invitation to try some of the little-known triumphs of those Pennsylvania Dutch farmers' wives whose pride, skill, crowning achievement, vocation and avocation has been- literally for two hundred and fifty years-a way with food.


    For out of the Pennsylvania Dutch farm country there has arisen a school of regional cookery second to none.


    The cooking is as simple, plain and wholesome as the people themselves-and as hearty. One of the most enlightening traditions of this "napkin under the chin" school of eating is the old one that every company table should include "seven sweets and seven sours" all served forth at once. The sweets might include currant or apple jelly, apple butter or applesauce, preserves such as quince, candied watermelon rind, or wild straw- berry; and two or three pies such as schnitz, shoofly, cheese cake, or "funeral pie" made from dried raisins or sour cherries.


    The seven sours would embrace pickled onions, cauliflower or beets, cote slaw with the famous Dutch sour cream dressing, chow chow, dill pickles, pickled cabbage, green tomato relish, meat jelly, and spiced cucumbers. Sometimes a secondary set of sours would appear according to season; such as ketchup, Dutch horseradish sauce made from the freshly grated root, mus- tard, and even fresh nasturtium seeds-these latter to be scattered in place of herbs over the salad (a good idea for our own green salads).
    The Dutch housewife used every edible part of the meat and it is from this thrifty economy that another of her most famous specialities is derived-scrapple (ponhaws). This was made from pork, sage, spices and grain, either cornmeal, oatmeal or buckwheat, and is not unlike the English custom of storing potted meats. After the scrapple had been prepared, it was stored in a cool place and set aside for future use. When served, it was cut in thin slices and fried in butter or bacon fat until crisp.


    In Spring, the dandelion season gave the farmers one of their choicest salads, which inspired the Dutch hot salad dressing. And later came the apple,harvest when apple butter (lodworrick) was made from great batches of peeled apples and gallons of sweet cider.


    Corn was another Dutch specialty, and a necessity for storing it up for the Winter months gave rise to the celebrated Shaker corn. This was cut from the cob and dried like the fruits in the Dutch oven until it was as hard as dried peels. All winter long it provided the farmer and his family, isolated by the weather and roads, with corn of delicious taste. Soaked overnight in tepid water and cooked the next day, it appeared in endless guises. Cooked with bacon, onion and minced green peppers, it was used to stuff peppers. It appeared in omelets, hash, noodles, fish cakes and waffles. It also came to light in pies, salads and soups. It was baked and fried, it was scalloped with beans, it went into chow-chow or chowder.


    Potatoes were a year-round standby and were served up in all the ways we know of and several that we do not, such as potato croquettes and potato filling in a tempting hot salad-also in dumplings, broad, biscuits, cakes and balls.


    Even on such humble fare as sauerkraut the Dutch wife left her mark. For one dish she added to it a heaping teaspoon of caraway seed, a diced onion, a grated raw potato. For another, she used it to smother a young duck for roasting, leaving only the water juice of the sauerkraut and a little sugar to do its work. With it, she stuffed young pork loins which had been cured over a hickory and sawdust fire, and had been cooked again over a low flame until done. She served it with pigs' knuckles and dumplings and with pork chops fried to tender gold, adding the kraut in time to absorb the juicy drippings of the meat. She cooked it with peeled grapes and goose liver, added it to cover a roasted partridge, which was then baked in a casserole and served forth with sour cream sauce. She served it with noodles (the Dutch spaetzle) or with German sausage, schnitz (dried apples), carrots and onions.


    Bring along your best appetite when you visit the land of the Pennsylvania Dutch. Today, you enjoy many of their famous dishes in excellent hotels, motels and restaurants--often served family style.
    Click here for Pennsylvania Dutch recipes.

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    Thank you for posting it but these "Dutch" are no Dutch, they are Germans.
    Possibly the mistake came from translating the word "Deutsch" into English. I guess that someone mistakenly used the word Dutch rather then German.


    Still I love their style of cooking... let's see what I can use myself.

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    Well, I'm of German ancestry and I actually think the right word for Germans should be Dutch, the Dutch should be called Netherlanders or Netherdutch, and Germans should be the word for Germanics.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Fallen Angel View Post
    Well, I'm of German ancestry and I actually think the right word for Germans should be Dutch, the Dutch should be called Netherlanders or Netherdutch, and Germans should be the word for Germanics.
    It was only since around 1850 that Dutch language would be known as Nederlands (D) or Niederlandisch (G) and became regarded as a language on its own. Before that, it was just regarded as one of the two official German languages. Dutch language was called Nederduitsch (D) or Niederdeutsch (G) (transl : lower German) and German language was called Hoogduitsch (D) or Hochdeutsch (G) (transl : upper German). It is not clear to me why and how this changed.

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    Quote Originally Posted by lögsögumaður View Post
    Thank you for posting it but these "Dutch" are no Dutch, they are Germans.
    Possibly the mistake came from translating the word "Deutsch" into English. I guess that someone mistakenly used the word Dutch rather then German.
    The word was 'Deitsch' in dialect with the 'ei' semi-centralized. To the English, it sounds like 'Dutch.'

    Mei Grosseldre sinn Deitsch un Deitsch waare was sie gschproche hawwe. Mei Gamma un Gremmpaep warre in Ohio geborre un hen bloos Deitsch geschproche bis sie uffgewaxene sinn. Awwe mit de Kinner hen sie bloos Englisch gschproche un ich bin de eenziche wu Deitschschwetze gelannt hot.

    I agree, though, Deitschkocherei is good and wholesome.

    lewwe woohl,
    davidk

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