family history, History

Week 19: Food and Drink

It’s Week 19 of 52 for the 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks genealogy blogging challenge, and this post might make you hungry….ooooor maybe you might lose your appetite. Haha! This week I am sharing some “food and drink” stories from my family.

My Grandpa Frederick would have us eat a lot of odd things when we would go over for dinner. I remember being served beef tongue, pork brains, livers, and gizzards. He once scooped the eye out of a pig being roasted and remarked, “this is the best part,” as he licked the jelly-like substance off of his fingers. Dad said that Grandpa would often buy chicken necks and backs from the grocery store because they were the cheapest.

Grandpa Frederick was a very frugal man. Whether that is the result of growing up during the Great Depression, or he just had a genuinely unique appetite. I will never know the answer, but he will always be remembered for his odd taste in food.

Alright, now that I got the unappetizing food history out of the way, I want to turn to some actual food you, my reader, might like. One of the Frederick family staple foods was cherry & dumpling soup. This is a cold soup! Here is the recipe my first cousin x1 removed, Aryllis, shared with me. She said this is how her mother, my Grandaunt Lorraine (Frederick) Rose, made the soup.

Cherry & Dumpling Soup

1 quart of cherries ( I always have cherries bought in bulk frozen and sugared.)

1 quart of water and add a little more sugar to taste

Heat the cherries and sugar


I start with a cup and a half of flour and a little salt.  Add cold water a little at a time and make little dumplings formed with your fingers. Put them on a plate and continue making the dumplings.  When all flour is used I add them to a big pot of boiling water which I am heating while I am doing this process. Put them separately into the boiling water and stir.  They will boil up in the water and I take them off the heat and let the foam die down and repeat until it boils up again.  Then I drain them in a colander and add them to the cherries and juice.  Let cool and serve this cold.

Another food that was common in my family back then was creamed bread. This literally was a piece of bread with fresh cream poured over it–fresh cream skimmed off in the bulk tank is the best! They would add more flavor by sprinkling sugar and/or cinnamon on it. Sounds delicious to me! I remember Dad telling me that he ate this growing up. I had to give it a try…not bad, not bad at all!

Another family favorite is the potato pancake. I remember my Grandma Millie making them for breakfast those summers we stayed at Grandma and Grandpa Frederick’s place. Dad made them for us, too. He uses shredded potatoes, pancake mix, onions, two eggs, and then salt & pepper to taste. Schmeckt gut!!

Something else my ancestors used to make on the farm was sausage. Aryllis shared the story of how her family would make blood sausage on the farm. Another favorite was potato sausage. My family emigrated from a region in Pomerania where the potato was a staple food.

We butchered hogs and beef every year whe I was growing up and they did that when they were young at home too.   They made blood sausage and potato sausage.  I never would eat the blood sausage but I did like the potato sausage.  I don’t know all the ingredients for that.  I know my mother would catch the pig blood into a big bowl and keep stirring it until it cooled so it wouldn’t clot I guess.  Then she would boil the pig’s head to cook the meat that was on it and that was in the blood sausage, seasonings I suppose, don’t know what they were and added raisins.  Potato sausage had potatoes, cracklings from the rendered lard, and seasonings.  I know one was marjoram, she always kept in a covered mason jar in the top cupboard

The Pomeranian Society of Freistadt has some authentic Pomeranian recipes. Here is one for Blood Sausage.

Pommern Blutwurst (Pomeranian Blood Sausage)

1 pound lean pork                       3 pounds fat pork belly
1 chopped onion                         1-1/2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon pepper                      1/4 teaspoon cloves
1/4 teaspoon ginger                    1 pint fresh pork blood
pork casings, washed and dried  

Cut half the fat pork and all lean pork into small pieces. Add onion. Cook over moderate heat until fat is flowing. Lower heat and cook for 45 minutes. Add seasoning and mix. Grind coarsely. Stir the fresh pork blood gradually into the meat mixture. Dice remaining fat pork finely and add to mixture. Stuff into casings and tie. Place in kettle and cover with water.  Bring to a boil. Then, lower the heat and simmer for 25 minutes. Serves 8 or more.

My maternal grandmother, Margaret Gubin, was also a very good cook. I wrote about her green thumb in the garden a few posts back. She used to have candy-making parties with us grandkids. The peppermint patties were my favorite. I remember having homemade pasta, roast mutton, and other great foods when we visited. She published a cookbook, which I was able to pick up a signed copy of on Etsy.

One of my favorite desserts that Mom would make from Grandma’s cookbook was the Apple Rhubarb Dessert. OMG!!!! This dessert is soooOOOOoooooOOOooo tasty! What you have to do when you make this one is to cut yourself a big piece as soon as it comes out of the oven, and then you put a big scoop of vanilla ice cream on it. Mmmmmmmm…so good!

Apple Rhubarb Dessert

3 cups fresh apple slices                    1 cup brown sugar
2 cups finely sliced rhubarb                        3/4 cup rolled oats
1 tablespoon lemon juice                      1/2 cup butter
1 cup brown sugar                    1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup flour

Put fruit in the bottom of a buttered 9×9 baking dish. Combine all other ingredients and mix well. Sprinkle over fruit. Bake at 375 degrees for 35 to 45 minutes or until the fruit is bubbly and tender.

There are so many delicious foods, traditions, bakers, and cooks in my family’s tree. Sometimes I get so wrapped up in finding the vital records and photos, but the family cuisine has been interesting to learn about for this post. It’s provided another piece of the family puzzle that brings life to ancestors and their heritage.

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