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Recipes You've Never Heard of Outside Your Family - Part 2

Beyond remiss in keeping this thread to a reasonable length. Starting anew for the new year.

Part 1 is here: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/285743

Have at it.

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  1. My husband's German aunt has made "shmarsh-gooken" (phonetic spelling) for years. They are quick bread pastry balls deep fried in oil. Sweet and studded with dried currants, finished with powdered sugar. They are a legend in the family, but lost, alas, since his aunt became senile.

    3 Replies
    1. re: Lanfeare2

      I asked my good friend, a German food fiend, if he might have heard of this. He suggested that it might be a variation on the Austrian dish Kaiserschmarnn. I'm wondering if your husband's family called it "Schmarnn kuchen" ("Schmarnn" (i.e., "mishmash") cookies, basically), to describe the pastry?

      In any case, here's a recipe for Kaiserschmarnn: http://www.deliciousdays.com/archives...

      Better images of the dessert: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kaisersc...

      1. re: cdnexpat

        I was hoping we'd see my husband's German Aunt at the last family get-together, but alas, her health is failing. This recipe sounds close, although she definitely made the batter into round or twisted donut shapes. I'm eager to try these.

        Thank you again for the info!

        UPDATE: With the clue you provided, we were able to paste together the words "schmalz" (fat) and "kuchen" (cookie) to find exactly what we've been dreaming of: schmalzkuchen! Thank you so much!!


        1. re: Lanfeare2

          Fantastic! Glad you worked it out. So sorry to hear about your husband's aunt, though.

    2. My brother-in-law makes a dish called Kokomo Noodles ever Thanksgiving. It is a nod to his relatives from Indiana. The noodle-based dish includes Polish Kluski noodles in a turkey gravy.


      1. When I was growing up we made wonderful potato candy with my grandmother (her family was from Switzerland). I swear, all we did was pour powdered sugar on peeled potatoes, then add color and flavorings and shape into flattened ovals. I can't remember if the potato was raw (I think so) or cooked first (maybe), but it was as if the potato was just melted by the sugar. It turned out like a creamy mint patty. Has anyone else ever heard of a candy like this?

        1 Reply
        1. re: sarahNC

          Ahhh poor man's candy! There are lots of recipes out there...most use mashed taters though!

        2. In my family we make jam/butter from wild rose petals (yup petals not fruits) I think it's pretty uncommon :) If anyone is interested there is a recipe on my blog:


          1. My very Italian family would always start dinner with something we called "Scattone" (ska-tone). Pasta was cooked in boiling salt water. Into a small soup bowl, was combined a soupy mixture of the salted-starchy water, cooked pasta, homemade wine and freshly ground black pepper. This was always served in Italy in my ancestors' very small town. They continued the tradition here in the US. If anyone out there recognizes this dish....we're probably related!!!!

            2 Replies
              1. re: Springhaze2

                Thank you so, so much. I've added a post to the thread.

            1. "Grandma's Goulash", a lunch for the grandkids,
              was a can of condensed soup (undiluted) - usually Alphabet - over noodles or rice.

              1. My husbands family makes "Chinese hamburgers."
                Ground beef, shaped into patties, arranged in a Pyrex. Green peppers, onions, tomato sauce, ketchup, and duck sauce are the toppings.
                The whole mess is baked in the oven.

                For "Hawaiian hamburgers" add a can of pineapple rings.

                1. I was thinking that my family didn't have any special recipes when I went to babysit and my brother in law told me they were having grandma's cheese sandwiches. This may be our one distinctive dish I've never had anywhere else--though that may be just not eating grilled cheese sandwiches not at home. Basically it is a regular grilled cheese, except the outside of the sandwich is dunked in an egg/milk mixture like french toast (only without the seasonings) and then cooked on a griddle. My dad always made these for us, he said it was how his mom made them, and now we're making them for my nieces.

                  3 Replies
                    1. re: Springhaze2

                      It probably has its origins in the 1950s in some variation on that theme. My grandma died in 1964, when my dad was 12, so this is the single dish we have from her, and my mother's mom never taught her to cook. So this one cheese sandwich is my oldest family recipe.

                      1. re: SarahCW

                        Monte Cristo sandwiches were popular in the 1950's. The fact that it is your oldest family recipe certainly makes it special.

                  1. My grandma came up with a lot of her own recipes, and was never afraid to modify something, so I've got a lot of favorites from her.

                    She makes a candy out of her homemade applesauce mixed with orange jello mix, cooked, set, and sliced into little squares. She spreads melted chocolate on top. They're truly amazing, but not the same with blander, store bought applesauce (My grandma grew up on an apple farm, so she knows exactly what to use for the best applesauce. She goes out to the local farms and buys directly from the farmers some very obscure varieties).

                    She also always includes green olives with pimentos in her potato salad. It's my favorite :)

                    For Christmas cookies, she makes a cookie that it's sweet enough to be a sugar cookie and isn't buttery enough to be shortbread, and tops it with an icing made out of lemon juice and powdered sugar. The icing makes them absolutely incredible.

                    My parents also have a few unique ones, but theirs are more in the category of weird than brilliant...

                    My mom microwaves cooked pasta with copious amounts of butter, sugar, and cinnamon when she needs a comfort food.

                    My dad makes steaks in the microwave (they're pretty good, given the circumstances). He also takes all of the vegetables in the fridge, tosses them into the blender, and makes what we affectionately call sludge.

                    Both of my parents put both blueberries and cooked broccoli onto their cereal and oatmeal.

                    My contributions have been more modest so far. I put a thin layer of mayo on every surface of bread involved in a grilled cheese sandwich. I also make fluffy omelets (beat the whites separately), put a bit of cream cheese inside (and other stuff if I don't have an exciting flavor of cream cheese), and fold them in half.