Tonight my supper has no origin. Or does it? It's Meatloaf Surprise! One could trace it back to my Mennonite roots. With little meat to be had, they were forced to put additives in their meager supply of meat. I think it was originally called "bread and beef." Now we call it meatloaf and add some bread crumbs an egg,Worchershire sauce. and top the sucker up with ketchup. Yummy for the tummy huh?
So, popular was this dish a rock star named himself after it. Never in history has this happened before. Have you ever heard of any bands calling themselves Holopshi, Borscht or Sockabrocke/Brockemalkj. No, I think Meatloaf put himself right out there.
What brings me to this point (I bet you were wondering), is that I have been reading a cookbook I gave my dear mutter, for her last birthday. She loved it. It is called, "Mennonite Foods & Folkways from South Russia, by Norma Jost Voth. She wrote the book describing the recipe and then how the dish evolved in Mennonite history. It is so interesting. She even, has poems and nursery rhymes to go along with the dish.
Easter is just coming up, and this time of year always brings to mind when we used to eat Rabbit...Yes...I said the Bunny word. We did. Jack Rabbits. We lived in the country, and this was not an unusual occurrence, but today it would be someone's pet, and I am sorry if I offend anyone, but it was what it was. And it was good. We never hunted, but did take meat from those hunters that offered my dad some. Money was tight. My parents fished every week end, so we always had fish, and chickens were cheap, but beef and pork were more of luxury.
When I was reading this cookbook I came across a recipe for Smothered Rabbit...(not to be taken out of context) no one put a pillow over it's head LOL!!
The author writes:
THERE WERE ALWAYS JACK RABBITS!! an excerpt of three different peoples experiences way back when:
Dan G Jost: My dad had a rifle and sometime shot rabbits when our meat supply was low.
John Block: My parents were strict Mennonites. We weren't allowed to have a gun. But kill rabbits I did. I used a broom handle and knocked them unconscious and jerked their heads off. They tasted just as good as if they were shot.
Minnie Jost Krause: The jack rabbits were plentiful where we grew up. Mother often fixed fried rabbit with gravy and potatoes for the noon meal. Jack rabbit Kloops were also plentiful. Mother ground the leg and rib meat. During the winter months, she froze the Kloops on the back porch.
The recipe went as follows:
2 - wabbits...cut up
1 - cup flour
1/2 - cup butter (part bacon grease)
1 - medium sized onion
1/4 - cup water
Rollll..da wabbit pieces in seasoned flour and allow to stand 20 minutes. Heat a large cast-iron skillet and cook the butter until foamy. Add bacon grease.
Put in pieces of rabbit. Brown on both sides, sprinkle onions over top and add 1/4 cup water. Cover and place in over at 300 degrees or cook slowly on top of stove.
My Mom always soaked the rabbit in salt water overnight, and then slowly cooked it on the stove top.
I hope I am not grossing anyone out, but this was just a normal thing we did in winter, and never gave it a thought until we hit the city years later, and rabbits were pets.
When you go on to read the cook book it just brought so many memories of my mom's and grandma's cooking. They had a chapter in Potatoes. It was called:
WE NEVER TIRE OF POTATOES:
The recipes were:
Raw Fried Potatoes (Jebrondne Eatschocke)
Jacket Fried Potatoes ..we always called the skin...a jacket!
Fried Potatoes with Eggs...My personal favorite....I will give the original recipe:
This is how I acquired my chubby cheeks and belly.
It says: this is a quick and easy supper. Bit of fried bacon may be added. Potatoes and eggs may also be combined with cracklings (fried pork bits). Rye bread is the perfect complement.
Boil potatoes with "jackets" or use leftover cooked potatoes. Peel and slice or cut in small pieces chunky pieces. Place in a heavy skillet with a little butter, margarine or oil. Brown potatoes lightly, stir and turn from time to time. Break eggs over potatoes and stir lightly, or beat eggs and pour over. Cover briefly and allow eggs to concentrate. Season to taste. 1-2 eggs are allowed per serving.
........And this my way of doing it..........Ketchup...On top!! You see this was invented before ketchup. Or, another thing I like is canned tomatoes....
There is a whole bunch of Paska recipes, but I have never had the taste for that.
When I was young, we always sang a song ..in low german every Easter while we were swinging on our swings..
The song read:
Schoc-kel schoc-kel schei-ja, Oostren at wie Ei - ja
Pinksten at wie wit-tet brot Broot, Stoaw wie nijch dan woa wie groot.
I always have this song in my head
Swing/rock, rock, shush,
At Easter time we eat eggs,
At Pentecost we eat white bread,
If we don't die, then we'll grow up.
It makes more sense in low German...but I love that one. It always stays with me.
I always go back to the book for comfort..
Opps my Meatloaf is ready....And my potatoes, and corn. Comfort foods.
But just before I put on my feed bag, here is my new grand niece at her baptism.