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 …

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As much as I loved to cook, I truly enjoyed a dinner out that my late husband James and I occasionally indulged in. We mostly avoided chain restaurants, but we always kept our eyes open for small family-run restaurants, diners, and eateries to try.

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.…

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One evening several years ago, I was in the middle of suffering through one of my many bouts of insomnia, made worse than usual by a stretch of particularly harsh New England weather that kept us home-bound.

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I grew up in a very small town in Schuylkill County during the 60’s and 70’s. Although it only had a population of about 300, the town did have several bars, a couplet churches, and a gas station that sold bread, Tastykakes, and milk.

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.

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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.

Beef tongue has been prepared and eaten in different regions of the world since ancient times. Beef tongue is found in many cuisines that make up the Coal Region including Eastern European, German and Pennsylvania Dutch, English, Italian, and Mexican to name a few. 

Zweibelkuchen translates to “onion cake”or “tart” in German (zweibel=onion, kuchen=tart), but it’s also known in Pennsylvania Dutch kitchens as “Onion Pie”. 

Here in the PA Dutch and Coal Region area, we (especially us “Dutchies”) refer to “stuffing” as “filling”. There is no real debate about whether it’s “stuffing” if it is made/baked one way versus “filling” another way in MY kitchen.  Nope. It’s always, no-doubt, will-never-call-it-anything-e…

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.