I am a huge fan of beans and remember eating butter beans as far back as my memory will go. So, it is no wonder this recipe quickly became a favorite of mine.  What makes it different than typical baked bean dishes is that it uses condensed tomato soup rather than tomato sauce or ketchup in …

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Macaroni salad recipes are as diverse as the cooks that create it. The “best” is the one you like best.

If you ask any tourist to Pennsylvania Dutch country what food they most associate with the area, chances are high they will answer, “Shoofly Pie!”

Often known in many regions as “sloppy Joe’s”, to the residents of the Coal Region and Schuylkill County in particular, this is “barbecue“; not something smoked over wood or a smoking/cooking technique, it refers to a sandwich consisting of chopped meat (usually ground beef) simmered in a sa…

As a coal cracker, I was surrounded by the ability to enjoy just about every variety of Tastykake product out there (Tastykake bakery was based in Philadelphia, Pa. and their products were widely available in just about every store in the Coal Region, from grocery chains, to Mom and Pop corn…

Also known in some places as “pickled eggs,” these are well known in the Coal Region, thanks to the Pennsylvania Dutch influence in the area.  In the plethora of bars and hoseys (volunteer fire companies) that dot the landscape in towns all across the coal region, you will often find a jar o…

In the Coal Region, a local company, Miller’s (St. Clair, PA), makes a very popular hot bologna and it feels like there is a jar of it on display at every corner bar and at every fire company (hosey) bar — at least in Schuylkill County!

Whether you love it, hate it, or won’t even try it, liver and onions is a very “Dutchie” and Coal Region dish. You will find it offered in many diners and restaurants. 

When I was  child in the 60’s, I lived in a typical coal region home in a very small town in Schuylkill County. Unlike some towns, ours had mostly single family homes rather than “double-blocks” (known as “a duplex” or “two-family” elsewhere), many having nicely sized yards which were “lands…

Ah, the beloved Coal Region favorite — pierogi. Not only do many meals revolve around pierogi, but it is the center of much social interaction, especially in generations gone by. 

When I was growing up in the Coal Region, the social center of many small towns was “the hosey;” translation – the local volunteer fire company.

Pagach is made of mashed potatoes and dough (some cooks use cabbage or sauerkraut instead of potatoes). It originated as a Lenten dish in Slavic regions. Pagach is popular in Northeastern Pennsylvania (the “Coal" Region) and Southwestern Pennsylvania, areas shaped by the large population of …

Every Friday evening during my childhood days in The Coal Region, my parents and I loaded up into the Buick and headed to “the next town over” to get “the store order” (do the grocery shopping) for the coming week.

Here is an old stand-by in the Coal Region and Pennsylvania Dutch kitchens and is a great one-pot meal.  You can use fresh or frozen green (string) beans, but I prefer fresh whenever possible even though there is a tad more work involved in cleaning the beans.

When I was a kid in the 60s and 70s, every holiday had its ritual in my family. Easter was no exception. Every year, without fail, Mom and I went shopping for an Easter outfit for me, complete with requisite frilly hat and often, given the penchant for the Coal Region to spew forth unseasona…

Around the Coal Region and throughout Pennsylvania Dutch country, “pot pie” is not a “meat pie” consisting of veggies, meat, and gravy baked into a pie shape surrounded by crust.  This is Pennsylvania Dutch Pot Pie (“Bott Boi“) — tasty squares of homemade dough cooked in rich chicken (or ham…

“City Chicken” — a bit of a misnomer because this dish with “chicken” in its name — has no chicken in it. Here in the Coal Region, this much loved comfort food is cubes of pork and veal alternately threaded on a wooden skewer, breaded, fried to brown, and finished in the oven.

Throughout the Coal Region, churches and organizations turn out tens of thousands of handmade chocolate-coated candy Easter eggs in a wide variety of flavors, selling them to raise much needed funds. It is tradition among many families to make their own eggs, too.

My grandmother LOVED hot bacon dressing over tender, young dandelion greens. We never treated our lawn with any chemicals, just let Mother Nature take her course. As a result, had lots of safe, edible greens growing out back of the house. I clearly remember my Nana walking the yard, stooped …

Babka is a sweet, leavened bread created from a rich dough made for Easter Sunday throughout Slavic cuisines including Ukrainian and Polish. Traditionally the practice of eating Easter bread or sweetened “communion” bread traces its origin back to Byzantium and the Orthodox Christian church.

Hrudka (you may know it as cirek/cirok, sirets, sirok, sireczs depending on where you’re from) is a simple custard cheese that’s essential for many Eastern European Easter tables.

In Northeastern Pennsylvania, many times you will find this at church picnics, block parties, on diner menus and in homes where it is known across the region simply as “Halusky“; a dish consisting of cooked egg noodles tossed with cabbage and onion which have been fried/carmelized in butter.…