paindecampagne

thoughts on food, culture, and community

Archive for the tag “bread”

Friday Photo: Strawberry bread soup

Strawberries, sugar, bread, and milk. June 2012.

Strawberries, sugar, bread, and milk. June 2012.

When I wrote fiction as a kid, my characters lived idealized versions of my own life. I must have been interested in food as long as I can remember, for the characters in my stories always ate my favorite foods, starting their meals with sauce chicken and brown-butter noodles and ending with the dish in the photo above — strawberry bread soup.

Strawberry bread soup is a simple concoction made of slivered fresh strawberries (local only — any other strawberries are imposters), cubed bread, sugar, and milk. My mother used to measure the farm-fresh milk out in quart canning jars and served the soup in a large bowl as a dessert for our family of six. I loved this soup for the unusually sweetened milk, the milk-soaked bread, and tangy bite of the fruit.

I honestly thought everyone in the world dunked stuff in milk and called it soup (kind of like I thought everyone ate cottage cheese with apple butter) until I found this dish to be a subject of much teasing. However, a few weeks ago, I found a recipe for “Cold Bread Soup” in my cookbook From Amish and Mennonite Kitchens (next to “Coffee Soup”), along with a nearby note that reads: “These recipes probably came about during the Depression. But I still get hungry for a bowl of Coffee or Cold Bread Soup at breakfast or lunch!”

So bread soup — just another sign of the Mennonite’s incredibly thrifty background.

I felt incredibly vindicated.

Both recipes follow.

Cold Bread Soup

Cut bread into chunks or cues. Sugar to taste and pour cold milk over bread and sugar. Huckleberries, cherries, or peaches in season can be added. Serve in large soup bowl.

Coffee Soup

Break 1 piece of bread into a cup. Fill cup with hot coffee: add sugar and cream to taste.

From Amish and Mennonite Kitchens by Phillis Pellman Good and Rachel Thomas Pellman.

Friday Photo: International olives, Pennsylvania Macaroni Co., Pittsburgh

Pennsylvania Macaroni Co., 2012

Pennsylvania Macaroni Co., September 2012

Outside the market of Arles, France, I have not seen as many olives as those available at The Pennsylvania Macaroni Company, known as Pittsburgh’s #1 Italian import store, located in the Strip District. In addition to this selection of olives from Italy, Greece, Morocco, Chile, California, and France, the Pennsylvania Macaroni Company also sells fresh and imported pasta, local bread, bulk olive oil and balsamic vinegar, European deli meats such as capicollo and prosciutto, fresh produce, Italian sodas and cookies and candy, and 200,000 pounds of domestic and international cheese per week. Visit on a Saturday to be caught up by the nostalgic rush of the crowds made up of locals, foodies, and tourists.

Pennsylvania Macaroni Co
2010-2012 Penn Avenue
Pittsburgh, PA 15222
http://www.pennmac.com

Friday Photo: Smoked-Chipotle Pickles at Peter Piper’s Pickles

Pickled foods bring out the Pennsylvania Dutch in me.  Every Christmas, one of my favorite parts of the epic Grove Christmas luncheon is the little dish of my grandmother’s homemade “chow-chow”: a mix of cauliflower, red peppers, carrots, kidney beans, celery, and seasonings that has been pickled in a sweet-tangy brine.  When I lived in France for the first time in 2005, there were no such delicacies — no relishes on my baguette sandwich, no slaws nestled on roasted meats, just more mustard and olives and less ketchup than I was used to eating in my life.  For this reason, I have come to treasure pint jars of home-canned vegetables in any form.

Susan Smeal serves up samples at Saturday’s Market, Middletown

Peter Piper’s Pickles, located at various Central PA markets depending on the weekday, features vats of vinegar and vegetables, including bread-and-butter pickles, dill pickles, garlic pickles, hot pickles, hot cherry peppers, and more.  The smoked-chipotle pickles are especially memorable: smoky and crisp, sparkling with heat and bright acidity — the perfect way to jazz up a turkey sandwich on Dimpflmeier 7 grain.

My German-Swiss ancestors would be proud.

Peter Piper’s Pickles
$4/pint, $7/quart

Tuesdays, Roots Market in Manheim Area #5
Wednesdays, Lewisburg Farmer’s Market, Lewisburg
Fridays, Green Dragon Building #1, Ephrata
Saturdays, Saturday’s Market, Middletown

Marty: (717) 682-2952
Peterpiperspapickles@yahoo.com

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