Thursday, September 18, 2008

Treasure Maps

Those recipes past down from generation to generation are like secret treasure maps don't you think? They tell the stories of our ancestors and contain the wisdom of the land from which they have come.  

I have a wooden box full of my mother's, and grandmother's, and great grandmother's secret ingredients for soups, and sweets, and meats, and healing remedies.   They are written on scraps of paper, written in the loving hands of the women they once belonged to.  Hands that have stirred pots of soup, and held babies, and picked beans, and soothed the sick, and saddled horses, and butchered chickens, and swept floors, and kneaded bread.   Some are written in my own loopy penmanship.

The words on those scrappy bits of tattered paper are a legacy, smuggled out of countries with the immigrants of Poland in the 2nd world war. Brought across Canada's prairies at a time when ingredients were scarce and people were hungry.  They were modified to suit gas and electric stoves when the wood stove was no longer.  They have been translated into english and memorized when there was not paper to write them on. 

Recipes, like women, are survivors, they adapt, they carry on, and they continue to nourish.  

And so today, I give thanks to the legacy of pioneer women who have gone before me, to Grandma Belle and Oma Brown, and my Mom Tanis~  May our gardens always be plentiful, and may our kitchens always be filled with love and delicious recipes!  

And now... A Recipe for  Pflaumen Kuchen, translated as Plum Cake.

Pflaumen Kuchen 
~by Oma Brown

Cake Part
1 1/2 c flour
1 tsp bk pd
1/2 tsp salt

1/4 c butter
3/4 c sugar
1 egg
1/2 c milk

And About 10 Plums

Streusel topping
( make in separate bowl and set aside)
1/2 c flour
1/4 c sugar
1/4 c butter
orange rind
mix with your finger tips into crumbs.

Cream butter sugar mixture, add dry ingredients with milk as for cake method.
Spread on greased cookie sheet.  
Halve plums, remove pit, and lay in rows across the cake.  ( I like to make sure there will be a plum in every bite) 
Spread streusel topping over plums and bake at 375 degrees for 35 minutes.

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