Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Grebble and Kuchen

In May my sister came for a visit.  When Gladys and I get together, we like to cook German Russian.  One day I invited my neighbor friends over for tea and to meet her.  That morning Gladys and I decided to whip up some grebble.  We lined up the ingredients on the counter: eggs, sugar, sour cream, buttermilk, soda, baking powder, salt, flour, oil for frying, and powder sugar to sprinkle. 

Recipe for Grebble
3 eggs (beaten)
½ cup sugar (beat into eggs)
1 cup sour cream
1 cup buttermilk
1 tsp. soda
2 tsp. baking powder
½ tsp. salt
6 cups flour (makes a soft dough)

Roll out on floured surface.  Cut into rectangles.  Cut two horizontal slits.  Slip one end of grebble through the slit.  Fry in hot oil.  Sprinkle with powder sugar when cool.

We were pleased with ourselves as we gobbled the delicious donuts commenting on how these were sure to be a hit.  But, maybe not!  True Germans Russians, (1) do not disappoint their guests, and (2) they make sure there is more than enough food.  We decided to make kuchen!  We put our aprons back on, added new ingredients to the crowded counter top, and got busy.  Soon we were taking kuchen out of the oven.

Recipe for Kuchen 
Spread bread dough onto 12 x 16 greased pan
Mix: 1 egg, ½ cup brown sugar, 1/3 cup half & half or sour cream, 2/3 cup flour
Spread on dough then top with fruit.  I use cherry or blueberry pie fill or sliced apples
Rivvel topping:
½ cup butter, 1 cup white sugar, 1 cup flour.  Mix together until crumbly and then sprinkle onto kuchen.
Bake in 375 degree oven for 30 minutes.


Monday, June 20, 2011

Spice Cookies - Spice up your life

“Spice Cookiesto spice up your life

Is this a German Russian recipe? I don’t know. My German Russian mother made them, so let us say “Yes”, they are.  Whenever I share these cookies, I get asked for the recipe.  So, I am responding to a request from my quilting group.  On Saturday, June 18, I attended the class by Nancy Brown on applique, which by the way was informative and fun.  During lunch, I received requests for the recipe for my spice cookies. 

Spice Cookies 

¾ cup shortening or butter
1 cup sugar
1 egg
¼ cup molasses
2 cups flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. cloves
1 tsp. ginger

Shape into balls and then roll in sugar
Bake 375 for l0-12 minutes

I must admit these are one of my favorite cookies.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Father's Day

We may not shower him with praise nor mention his name in song.  And sometimes it seems that we forget the joy he spreads as he goes along.  But it doesn’t mean that we don’t know the wonderful role that he has had.  And down deep in every heart there’s a place that is just for Dad.

My father, Alexander Elenberger, was born March 16, 1907 in Omsk, Siberia, Russia.  When he was four years old his family left Russia to escape the oppression and cruelty heaped upon the Germans in Siberia.  They could not enter the United States because they had no sponsors, so they went to Canada.  They took root in Rhein, Saskatchewan.  In 1922, they obtained sponsors and moved to Chicago, Illinois, and then in 1930  they went to Arpan, South Dakota to farm sugar beets.

Dad worked hard all his life.  After he and Mom were married in 1924, at age 17, he worked for Olsen Brothers Construction in Maywood, Illinois. He worked six days a week, ten hours a day.  In Dakota, during the Great Depression, he farmed and worked any job he could get.  He played the accordion for dances and Mom made and sold sandwiches to make a little money.  Later, Dad worked for the WPA and CCC.  They paid good wages and liked Germans because they were hard workers. Dad also worked for the Irrigation District as a ditch rider.  The folks also farmed and eventually moved to Nisland where Dad started his small construction company. 

Dad lived life with gusto.  I have fond memories of him playing the accordion.  He never missed a chance to entertain guests and relatives when they came to visit.  He propped the accordion on his knee, tapped his foot to get rhythm, and then his fingers flew across the keys.  He had no formal music training; he played every song by ear.  Dad entertained us all with his jokes and stories, and he was quite the “tease”.  He loved his children and grandchildren and we all loved him.

Happy Father’s Day to all you dads.     

Monday, June 13, 2011

Making Noodles The Old Fashioned Way

While visiting my daughter over Mother’s Day, I suggested we make egg noodles the way I remember my mother making them before she got her fancy noodle-cutter machine from Germany. The machine was a “big deal” because it was manufactured in Germany, was made of steel and copper, and was costly.  Mom’s brother, George Hoffman bought it for her.  

I loved to watch my mother make her dough, roll it out on a thick bed of flour, and then place it on a dishtowel to dry.  When it was dry enough, she rolled it up like a jellyroll, made slices, unraveled them, and then placed them straight onto the floured dishtowel. 

My daughter watched curiously as I went about the task of making noodles from scratch.  When I made the comment, “My slices are too thick” and “Oh, this is harder than I thought”, Michelle said, “I thought you said you did this before.”  

“Did I say that?  I meant to say that this is something I watched my mother do.”

The noodles weren’t picture perfect.  They were fat and uneven; not like Mom’s, fine and delicate ones. However, they were tasty and my grandsons had seconds.  One had thirds and ate the rest of the butterglace.  I call that success.  

The recipe I used:
4 eggs
3 3/4 cup flour
sprinkle water on hands and work the dough until soft and pliable

Good luck!