As long as I can remember, I loved anything made with peaches. Late summer in Pennsylvania means peach season as baskets show up at farmers’ markets and road-side stands across the Coal Region and PA Dutch country. But when it is not fresh peach season, I need my peach fix and this dessert g…

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My husband, James, was a guru in his field. Having been instrumental in the development of the internet as we know it, he was in high demand for his skills and knowledge and either was employed by or did contract work for the majority — if not all — of the country’s top 100 companies.

My Pappy always claimed he liked his coffee “really strong”. It took me awhile to realize he preferred it that way so it would hold up to the very generous amount of evaporated milk he added to it.

In some restaurants and diners in Pennsylvania Dutch country, you will find a dish much more obscure than the well-known PA Dutch pot pie or scrapple. Alongside “Dutchie” classics like ham and string beans and “our” version of chicken and waffles lurks the lesser known cousin of these favori…

“Tis the season for potlucks and picnics. Me being the “Coal Cracker” that I am, pierogi are always at the top of my list of anticipated joys to indulge in.

The general recipe for cream cheese mints is generations-old. Of course, as a dyed-in-the-wool “coalcracker”, my spin on them is to use teaberry for the flavoring rather than traditional peppermint.

Eastern European and European roots run deep in the Anthracite region and these treats found their way into many Coal Region kitchens.  Polish nalesniki are crepe-like pancakes. Many folks know these as blintzes and eat them filled with jam, fruit, cheese or savory fillings.

Lazy Man’s Pierogi (aka “Polish Noodles“, “Noodles and Cottage Cheese“) is simple, filling, and a family favorite of all ages.

As a Dutchie and Coal Cracker, I never met a noodle or dough ball I didn’t like.  Add cheese to the noodles or dough, and I am in 7th heaven. This casserole does that and, needless to say, is one of my favorites. 

My Dad LOVED soup. I think he could have eaten soup every day of the week. He insisted it be served steaming hot and was notorious for sending back any bowl of soup in a restaurant that wasn’t served at that temperature. He ate all kinds of soup, but his favorites were those that were simple…

Kolaches (koh-LAH-chees) are Czech yeast dough pastries traditionally topped with a dollop of prune, apricot, poppy seed, or cheese filling. In appearance, they resemble a danish, but there is a difference: danish dough is light and flaky whereas a kolache tends to be slightly more dense and…

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Creamed chipped beef, known as “SOS” by many who served in the military, is a staple in many areas of Pennsylvania. In some households, it is known as “Dried Beef Gravy” or “Frizzled Beef”. 

As far back as I can remember, I loved lima beans; large or small, fresh, frozen, canned, or dried.

Growing up in Schuylkill County in the Anthracite Coal Region of Northeast Pennsylvania, I could barely turn around without bumping into a farm stand, roadside market, or farmers’ market filled throughout fresh produce season with the bounty of the fertile fields of our area.

When I was a kid growing up in Schuylkill County in the Anthracite Coal Region, one of the rituals my family participated in was a weekly (or almost weekly) visit to a farmers’ market/”auction” to pick up fresh produce, baked goods, flea market finds and other items the household needed for …

Chow chow is quintessential Pennsylvania. Dutch; a sweet and sour mix of pickled vegetables often served as a side dish next to other Pa. Dutch classic foods.

Growing up in the Coal Region during the ’60’s and ’70’s meant going to “markets” on a regular basis with my family during the summer and early fall.

My Dad, like any good “coalcracker” could never pass up a bargain. Although my family spent a lot of time together, occasionally we found ourselves going separate ways on Saturday afternoons. Dad had been running some errands and Mom and I had returned home to find he was not yet there. Bein…

As a child in the 60’s and early 70’s growing up in a very small town in Schuylkill County in the southern end of the Anthracite Coal Region, a “big day out” was a trip to Pottsville, the county seat to see a movie; the theater of choice for my family was The Capitol Theatre on Centre Street.

Nothing says summer has arrived and it is time to kiss the memories of the last winter goodbye like when the first of the fresh strawberries arrive in the Coal Region. Our area is blessed by an abundance of farmers’ markets and roadside stands at which you will find a plethora of harvest fre…

When I was young, my Nana (grandmother) worked in a clothing factory as so many other women did in The Coal Region.