"Old Country" Food & Cooking
I'm not sure what to call this topic... "nostalgia"? or "return to the 'old country" style of cooking? Anyway... to explain.
As background, my grandparents came here in the very early 1900's from Denmark and Schleswig-Holstein (was either Danish or German, depending upon whether Germany wanted it again). So the ethnic background in foods was mostly Danish, but with German influence.
I remember sitting at the dinner table watching my grandfather take a baked potato; hold it in his hand; cut the end off; scrape some butter from his plate with a spoon; scoop out a bite-size spoonful of potato and eat it. He ALWAYS held his baked potato in his hand and ate it that way. He told me once that in school, his mother baked potatoes every morning and he would carry 2 of them as handwarmers as he walked 5 miles in the ice/snow to school...then he ate them for lunch. I don't remember a meal without potatoes but I was very young and my memory might have faded :)
We often times had soup made from greens: Kale, Mustard Greens, or Split Pea.. and we always had boiled meat (beef, pork, ham) on a separate plate on the side. Never in the soup. She had an old "crank" grinder that screwed to a table and she ran the greens through it (I use the Kitchenaid meatgrinder attachment which works fine). I also buy chuck roast and grind my own hamburger.. another topic too.
We had a Great Dane dog that sat on the floor beside my grandfather and rested his head on the table under grandfather's arm.. and would be fed pieces of the meat. They are the greatest dog for kids I know... but another story, another time.
I'm not sure if it's Danish or German or English, but we often had soft-boiled eggs in little egg cups for breakfast... my grandfather would take a knife and "whack" the top off the eggs... for mine, someone always removed the top for me because I wasn't too coordinated with a knife and I'm not sure they trusted me with sharp objects anyway. We ate this with little "demitasse spoons" or "baby spoons", scooping out the soft eggs, often times topping them with butter. And we each had little individual salt & pepper shakers to season our eggs in between each bite.
I use the Krups egg topper to top my softboiled eggs...but I'm looking for one of the "chicken toppers" with scissors handles, to add to my collection. eBay has them on and off. But my Krups thing works great.
I'm not sure where this post is going :) It's too long now.. so I'll close it.. But that's what I'm playing with on and off now. Anyone else have any experience/memories/ideas in this area??? .. I was gonna get into comfort foods but I'll save that for another time.
"Never order chicken-fried steak in a cafe that doesn't have a jukebox."