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Monday, 04 July 2016 21:56

(Even Very Very Young) Mennonite Girls Can Cook

Going through Grandma's house has been a difficult and sad procedure. It has, however, brought about some wonderful conversations and time with family, and for me - since bringing home her recipe boxes - an exploration in Mennonite cooking. 

My Grandma did not keep detailed recipes for some of the most common meals I remember her making, and I'm sure the ones I would most enjoy making are trapped up in her brain somewhere and I will have to find them elsewhere. I did, however, come across the bare bones of a recipe for Roll Kuchen (pronounced roll KEW-ken). I am told the low-German translation of this is 'rolled cookie', and I remember it served as a meal or hearty snack and ALWAYS alongside watermelon.  I have no idea if this combination is as traditional as it seems to me - were there a lot of Mennonite watermelon farmers in history? I don't know, but this is a classic in my family and in my husband's and in many other Mennonite families I know. 

Anyway, the recipe consisted of ingredients: 1 Cup heavy cream, 2 eggs, 2 cups flour, 1/2 tsp baking powder, 1 tsp salt. I had to come up with the rest from my own memory which isn't very good. 

I figured it out, though, with the help of another Mennonite friend who was spending the afternoon with us, and two little Mennonite girls.

Here is a more detailed recipe for Roll Kuchen, one of the many versions you can find on the 'Mennonite Girls Can Cook' website.  I didn't grow up with the dough twist as seen in this photo, but my friend insisted on it and proceeded to twist each one and teach my daughters to do the same! I think it may have helped with deepfrying - allowing the oil to surround the dough more completely? 

A few days later, I attempted another classic recipe that I don't recall having very often as a child, but one that is very distinctly part of my heritage.  We always called it 'Pluma Moos' (pronounced basically like it looks, I think?) This is a soup made of dried fruit, and we often ate it cold. Yeah, I expect it's an acquired taste, but I love it now. It was a great thing to put together and chill for a hot summer supper. 

You can find numerous recipes for this also on the Mennonite Girls Can Cook site, but this one is the one I made - and it tasted exactly as I remember it! My girls will need to try it a few more times before they will acquire the taste, I think.

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