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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.

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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.…

Sometimes a taste, sound, scent, or memory tightly ties two places or things together in your life in a way you’d least expect. Such is the case with me. The common bonds?…coal regions and whoopie pies.

Milk Pies are a classic example of the “waste not, want not” frugality of life in many old Pennsylvania Dutch and Coal Region homes.

Known as “Fat Tuesday” in many places, in Pa Dutch country and the Coal Region it is know as “Fasnacht Day” or “Donut Day” — it occurs on Shrove Tuesday, which begins the traditional 40-day period of fasting and prayer practiced by Christians prior to Easter (famously celebrated as Mardi Gra…

A national dish of Poland, bigos is a traditional one-pot meat-and-cabbage stew, often referred to as a “hunter’s stew” and usually made during the winter months or for special occasions.  In Poland it’s the go-to dish for all of the holidays, small or large, and even on birthdays.

I inherited a cookbook from my Nana (grandmother) that she purchased from a co-worker at the garment factory where they both worked in the late 60’s. It was a community-style cookbook consisting of recipes submitted by members of a church congregation in Schuylkill County (Pa.). The poor thi…

This Potato Soup was my Dad’s favorite. Growing up in a large family through the Great Depression, he learned to love simple foods. Even in his later years, he still requested them.

Many of us here in the Coal Region well remember our grandparents or parents sitting down to enjoy a food from their childhood that we, as children, thought was terribly unappealing and shied away from.

In the Coal Region, and in some other regions in the U.S., a green bell pepper is referred to as a “mango.“ I grew up in Schuylkill County hearing this term, not realizing that there was a fruit that bore the same moniker until I was well past childhood. Now, I understand that the real mango…

My husband was born and raised right outside Boston, Massachusetts and grew up in New England. He had heard of pork and sauerkraut but was not all that familiar with the dish.

NorthcentralPa.com has a new partner! Follow A Coalcracker in the Kitchen on Facebook. 

NorthcentralPa.com has a new partner! Follow A Coalcracker in the Kitchen on Facebook. 

NorthcentralPa.com has a new partner! Follow A Coalcracker in the Kitchen on Facebook.