Fry Bacon. Add Onionsby Kathleen Valentine
In this combination memoir and family cookbook blogger and novelist Kathleen Valentine combines 30 posts from her blog with nearly 400 recipes collected from family and friends. Growing up in a "mostly Pennsylvania Dutch" family she collected and recorded recipes from grandparents, great-grandparents, aunts, cousins, friends, etc. which were combined in the first Valentine Family & Friends Cookbook published in 1981. This was expanded in the 1992 edition and now, in this third edition, nearly 400 recipes combine with essays recording memories of growing up in rural Pennsylvania and photographs from six generations.
Essays topics include making sauerkraut and soltz (a German pickled meat loaf), toasting marshmallows and catching fireflies, the old-country Christmas traditions of making stollen and visits from Belsnickle, old world ghost stories, their grandmother's quilts, and more.
Traditional family recipes include schmarn, panhaas, moultasha, a variety of sausage recipes, hassenpfeffer, and liver dumplings, a wide variety of pickles and relishes, as well as keuchels (a type of fried dough), apple dumplings, and rhubarb crisps and pies. Contemporary recipes from the younger generations of the Valentine family expand the collection with everything from dips and cocktails to chowders, cakes and cookies.
Among the more popular recipes first featured on Valentine's blog are three maple syrup pies, an apricot-apple crisp with maple cream, caramel peachy-pear pandowdy, a honey & white peach pie, and her own Pennsylvania Dutch hot and sour soup. Though this collection is a memoir in food of the Valentine family it could be the story of any first, second and third generation immigrant family.
From the book: "Most Pennsylvania Dutch families evolved from immigrants who were peasants in "the Old Country". They learned, out of necessity, to use everything they could to feed their families and they devised ways of preserving those things through the long, harsh winters. Pickling, preserving, smoking, canning were necessary to get a large family through the bitterly cold winter months. As I worked on this cookbook I was continually aware of how so much of the food that was part of family tradition was also making good use of commonly available food sources that were abundant and cheap. My Gram Werner used to say that the reason pigs were so valuable was because you could use every part of them except the squeak. In the cold hill country of Pennsylvania maple trees grew in such abundance, that maple syrup was a frequently used sweetener. Cows were kept for milk, cream, butter, cheese and sour cream. When I read these recipes now some seem so rich and loaded with calories but back then people needed those rich, calorie-laden foods to see them through long days in the fields or the factories or lumbering in the forests."
- Parlez-Moi Press
- Publication date:
- Product dimensions:
- 7.50(w) x 9.25(h) x 0.38(d)
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
See all customer reviews
I discovered Kathleen Valentine with The Crazy Old Lady in the Attic (like a lot of other readers) and now I'm working my way through her books. I think I have four of them on my Kindle. You'll love this book if you enjoy memoirs, travel books, and charming newspaper columns about real people with recipes thrown into the mix. The fun of wandering through the pages and discovering the next great story is one of the best things about it. This warm, delightful book is not just about food, but charm, family history, and stories from real flesh and blood folks. Another winner from Ms. Valentine.