Sunday, May 5, 2013

Ancestrial Foods

On Sunday's in May we are going to talk about ancestral meals or FOOD!  It's our favorite topic right?

Part of remembering is to not only plug in the dates and the children along with a picture and call it good.  We also want to remember stories and even food from the past.  Some of my favorite memories are from gathering around the table with my extended family and I'm sure I'm not alone.

This week we are going to talk about the Sunday Meal.  In the past, Sunday's were often a time when family gathered (I hope you still do) and when the meal was 'special'.  As a child I remember that meals were often something made quickly (because my mother often worked) during the week, but SUNDAY, that was a special meal.  We often had Roasted Chicken or Roast Beef with potatoes and carrots or other vegetables and some kind of bread.  The best thing was that Sunday's meant we had DESSERT!

Everyone looked forward to Sunday.  If my Grandmother, Marie Rebensdorf Gesch, didn't join us for the meal, after lunch, we would often go and get her and take her for a Sunday drive.  One of her favorite 'drives' was in the fall.  We would drive down South Street from about 10th to where ever in Lincoln, Nebraska.  Why?  Before they widened the street there were beautiful Maple and other trees of every color that would hang over the street and the drive was just a delight!  Other Sunday's Grandma would love to drive in the country and we would often end up at my Uncle Elmer Gesch's home for a visit.

Mike's memories were not like mine.  He said that the Slocum's never got together with other family much and often had Fried Chicken, Mashed Potatoes and Corn for the Sunday meal that they shared as a family.  Coming from poverty he has memories of not enough to eat and can remember many times having peanut butter and jelly for days at a time.

I'm going to share some recipes as I remember them from that time.  You can share recipes with us or just tell us about your meal together, what you ate, and maybe a special story or two!

Roast Beef

Season all sides of your roast with salt and pepper and sear it in a hot skillet until it is caramelized (browned) on each side in some good oil that will take the heat like grapeseed or coconut.  Olive oil doesn't like to get that hot so don't use that.  After it is caramelized on all sides, to seal in the juices, place the roast in a roaster along with a quartered onion, potatoes, carrots a bit of water and a bay leaf.  Cook at 325 degrees for 2 hours or so.

Condiments were big on the table when I was young so Roast Beef was ALWAYS served with Horseradish sauce and ketchup.  We also had cucumber pickles of some kind with every Sunday meal.  My dad, Harvey Gesch, LOVED lots of horseradish sauce.

Dilly Bread
Mom, E'Lonna Gesch like to make dilly anything.  Dilly Bread, Dilly Beans, etc, etc.  The recipe and picture below is actually from Taste of Home


  • 1 package (1/4 ounce) active dry yeast
  • 1/4 cup warm water (110° to 115°)
  • 1 cup (8 ounces) cottage cheese, lukewarm
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 tablespoon dried minced onion
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 2 tablespoons dill seed
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 egg
  • 2-1/4 to 2-1/2 cups all-purpose flour (or your favorite GLUTEN-FREE blend)


  • Soften yeast in water; set aside. In bowl combine cottage cheese, sugar, onion, butter, dill seed, salt, soda and egg. Mix until blended. Stir in yeast. Gradually add flour to form stiff dough. Cover and let rise in warm place for about 1 hour.
  • Stir down dough. Turn into well-greased 8-in. round baking dish, about 1- to 1-1/2-qt. size. Let rise for 30-40 minutes. Bake at 350° for 35-45 minutes. Brush with additional butter. Cut in wedges. Yield: 10 servings.

Blueberry Pie
My dad's favorite pie was Blueberry.  Mom always made it from a can but I'm going to give you my favorite Gluten-Free version.

  • 2-½ cups Gluten Free Flour
  • 2 Tablespoons Sugar
  • 1 teaspoon Xanthan Gum
  • 1 teaspoon Salt
  • 12 Tablespoons Cold Butter
  • 2 whole Large Eggs
  • 4 teaspoons Vinegar
  • ½ cups Sugar, For Blueberries
  • ¼ cups Gluten Free Flour
  • 1 Tablespoon Lemon Juice
  • ½ teaspoons Lemon Zest
  • ¼ teaspoons Cinnamon
  • 2-¼ pounds Fresh Blueberries
  • 2 Tablespoons Butter
  • 1 whole Egg
  • 1 Tablespoon Milk

For the dough:

1. Mix dry ingredients (flour, sugar, xanthan gum, salt.)
2. Chop cold butter into pats. Incorporate into dry ingredients.
3. Whisk together eggs and vinegar.
4. Add to dry ingredients, roll into ball.
5. Refrigerate for 1 hour prior to rolling, and let sit at room temperature 10 minutes before rolling.
For the filling:
1. Mix all ingredients except blueberries and butter.
2. Add blueberries and mix well.
3. Put blueberries into pie crust.
4. Top blueberries with butter pieces.
5. Top buttered blueberries with top crust (or crust stars).
6. Refrigerate 30 minutes (Preheat oven to 425ºF at this point).
7. Mix the egg and milk for the egg wash. Egg wash the top of the pie.
8. Place in oven for 20 minutes at 425ºF.
9. Lower heat to 350ºF and let bake 30-40 more minutes.

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