Potatoes, being relatively cheap and quite hearty, are a mainstay of Pennsylvania Dutch cooking. Here are a collection of assorted potato recipes from the cookbook.
Gram’s Potato Pancakes
In St. Marys a popular summer event is Potato Pancake Dinners. The big one, held at the Sportsmen’s Club every year, includes mountains of potatoes shredded and fried up. Long tables are set up and bowls of stewed tomatoes, creamed corn, and cottage cheese are served along with maple syrup, apple sauce and pickles to accompany the pancakes. Frosty pitchers of Straub’s beer make the rounds. A good time is generally had by all. The picture below right was taken in Bavaria --- have no idea what year --- but the woman on the far right is Maria Eckert who was Gram's grandmother on her mother's side. As a girl she danced with a group of other traditional dancers.
Grate 1 large potato per person to be served. Mix with:
½ cup flour
½ tsp salt
Heat oil in a heavy frying pan and when it is very hot drop the mixture in by the spoonful. Flatten out. When crispy on one side, flip and fry until golden.
Gram’s Cottage Potatoes
Gram made these all the time and they are delicious — almost a meal.
Cook 9 potatoes and dice along with 1 green pepper, 1 large sweet onion and toss together. Add a small jar of drained pimentos. Place half the mixture in the bottom of a casserole dish. Make a layer of American or cheddar cheese. Add a layer of croutons. Add the rest of the mixture and another layer of cheese. Fill the dish about halfway with milk. Add more croutons and bake at 350̊ for one hour.
Cheesy Potato Casserole
Scrub or peel as many potatoes as you wish and slice them thin. Place in a casserole dish alternating layers with sliced, sweet onions. Mix together 1 can cream of celery soup, a can of milk, and a cup of grated cheese (you can mix cheese to use up what you have). Pour over the potatoes and bake at 300̊ for an hour or until potatoes are tender.
Great-Aunt Mary’s Hot German Potato Salad
This is the recipe that Mom uses. There is a funny story that goes with this. Mom was always making huge pans of this to take to parties, picnics, Lisa’s wedding, or any occasion that warranted this treat. She had this huge square pan that held a ton of it and she would put it in the oven for 3 hours. One Sunday morning she wanted to go to Mass so she put the potatoes in the oven and left a note on the stove that said “Please stir the potatoes in an hour” for whoever was around. When she got home from church she checked her potatoes and was shocked to see the pan full of what looked like mashed potatoes. Turns out she should have said WHO should stir the potatoes because EVERYBODY — Dad, Jack, Wayne, Anne, me, probably Lisa, Chris, Matt and Beth, too had ALL stirred the potatoes. Oh well, it still tasted good.
In a large roasting pan put ½ peck of sliced and peeled potatoes and 1 large sweet onion peeled (more to taste). Sprinkle with ½ pound of sliced bacon pieces.
Mix together ½ cup sugar, 2 tblsp salt, 1 ½ cup vinegar, and 2 to 3 cups of water. Pour over the potatoes and sprinkle them with dried or fresh parsley. Stir well and place in a 350̊ oven for 3 hours. Stir once every hour. For the last half hour you can top with a pound of sliced weiners. Feeds a crowd!
Raw Potato Dumplings
Gram made these sometimes to go with leftover roast or turkey when there was lots of gravy to be used up. This is a real old country recipe.
Grate 7-8 raw, peeled potatoes and 1 small grated onion. Add some dried parsley, salt and pepper and 2 eggs. Tear up half a loaf of white bread and work it into the potato mixture by hand until the mixture holds together by the handful. Bring a large kettle of water with a little salt to a rapid boil. Shape the potato dough into balls. Roll in flour and drop into the boiling water. Let cook 45 minutes.
If you have more dumplings than you need the next day you can slice them and fry them in butter with sliced onions. Very delicious!
You can also make little meatballs from ground pork and saute them in a pan then shape the potato mixture around them before you roll them in flour and drop them in the water.
This is one of my favorite recipes for potatoes.
Peel 4-5 potatoes and slice them very thin. Grease the bottom of a jelly roll pan with butter. Sprinkle the butter with salt, pepper and onion powder. Spread the potatoes over this and then add another two layers of potatoes. Heat the oven to 425̊. Bake until the bottom is crusty brown and the top is tender. Serve with side of sour cream sprinkled with chives.