I have written about one of my holiday traditions in the past, baking Sand Tart cookies with my mother each year. Sand Tarts are a Pennsylvania Dutch cookie recipe. I starting helping my mother bake these Christmas cookies at a very young age.
As most kids do, I would put a ton of colored sugar on the cookies. My grandson and step-daughter help me keep holiday traditions alive. And yes, he also loves to load the cookies with colored sugar. We have a new addition to our Sand Tart baking day, we now do a gluten free version. Simply use your favorite gluten free flour in place of the wheat flour.
Sand Tart Recipe
1/2 pound butter (2 sticks) softened, not melted
1 1/2 cups sugar
Mix in a mixer, these two items then add in
3 eggs – mix a few seconds
4 cups flour – add slowly
1 tsp baking soda
2 tsp cream of tartar
This makes a very heavy dough. Separate into 3 segments and wrap each segment in plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.
Roll each dough segment on a floured surface (waxed paper works) to about 1/8” thick. Cut into shapes with cookie cutters, place shapes on an ungreased cookie sheet. Brush with egg white and sprinkle colored sugar on cookies.
Cook for 7 to 8 minutes at 375o
Chow Chow can be found in almost all the family style restaurants in Lancaster County, PA. It is a Pennsylvania Dutch pickled relish. This is an item that is hard to come by if you don’t live in an area populated by Amish or Mennonites . Since I have not been able to find Chow Chow in Colorado, I decided to break out my canning equipment and make my own.
September is the perfect time of year to make Chow Chow; with vegetables fresh from your garden or a local farmer’s market.
When I cook, I usually have many different recipes in front of me. I take a little from each one and make my own version. That is really easy to do with Chow Chow, since you can make it with so many different kinds of vegetables.
Here are the veggies that I like to use:
Mary Ann’s Chow Chow
3 cups chopped cauliflower
1 chopped green pepper
1 chopped red pepper
4-6 fresh ears of corn on the cob – cooked for 4 minutes then cut off the cob
2 -3 cups sliced carrots
3 cups yellow and green string beans – cut into 2 inch pieces
1 can of red kidney beans
3 cups lima beans
1 teaspoon dry mustard
1 teaspoon celery seed
2 cups granulated sugar
1 quart of white vinegar
Chop vegetables in varying sizes and cook until just tender (do not overcook). Cook vegetables in separate pots then mix them all together.
Combine sugar (you can adjust this to make it less sweet), vinegar and dry mustard in a large pot and bring to a boil.
Pack sterilized canning jars with mixed vegetables and pour the vinegar solution to 1/2″ from the top of jar; seal and process in a hot water bath (water should cover jars by 1″-2″). Process 15 minutes in the boiling water bath. Increase time if at high altitude – check freshpreserving for times. If you have a pressure canner, that would be the preferred device.
I love regional cooking. I did not realize when I was young that much of the food I grew up with was regional. I grew up in Lancaster, PA and the predominate cuisine in that area of the country is Pennsylvania Dutch. I made this Chicken Corn Soup recipe with my mother and grandmother, every year. The best time of year to make it is August, using fresh corn.
Boil one whole Chicken for about an hour with salt & pepper. Take out of pot and pick all the chicken off of the bones. Tear into small pieces. Skim the chicken broth that is left behind, so that it is fairly clear. While you are boning the chicken add veggies to the clear broth. (You can add a little bit of chicken stock seasoning such as Herb Ox Brand.)
Chop into small pieces – one onion and 5 – 8 stalks of celery – Simmer until tender. Add the chicken that you have taken off the bones.
Add 1 bag of frozen corn. If you can find white corn or fresh corn, that is best.
Add 3 finely chopped hard boiled eggs.
Cook a small bag of thin egg noodles in boiling water just until they are al dente’ – drain off water. Add noodles so that you have a thick soup, but not so much that it soaks up all the broth.
Add chopped parsley right at the end.