Modern Mending, Frugal Fashion

By Elizabeth Norris. Mending. A chore practically none of us do, or want to do, anymore. The thought of mending a piece of clothing conjures images of “little old ladies” sitting for hours, fixing holes in socks, worn knees and seats of pants. Maybe they’re sitting by firelight, kerosene lamp, or even candlelight, humming forgottenContinue reading “Modern Mending, Frugal Fashion”


By Candace Perry. When you consider the Pennsylvania Dutch as a people, some qualities readily come to mind: industriousness, practicality, and self-sufficiency. The one trait, however, that most often is attributed to them is thriftiness. From architecture to furnishings, to clothing, and of course, food, the Pennsylvania Dutch found frugal solutions to their daily challenges.Continue reading “Thrifty”

“Pennsylvanians call thee mush”

By Bob Wood. These words of the title appear in New Englander Joel Barlow’s 1793 satiric poem “The Hasty Pudding.” Corn meal mush was called “hasty pudding” in New England, “suppawn” in New York, and was a most common dish in all thirteen original colonies and later into the western frontier. Throughout Pennsylvania “Dutchdom,” mushContinue reading ““Pennsylvanians call thee mush””

A Bowl of Cherries

By Diane Hollister. Photos from Goschenhoppen Historians Pennsylvania Dutch Foodways Project, 2008 (unless otherwise noted). I don’t know about you, but in the middle of cold weather, I’m often thinking of warm summer days, my flowerbeds, my gardens, and being outdoors. I drool over garden catalogs and treasure my canned and frozen goodies. But there’sContinue reading “A Bowl of Cherries”

Pie for Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner!

By Diane Hollister. Photos from Goschenhoppen Historians Pennsylvania Dutch Foodways Project, 2008. I’m married to Pie Boy. He loves his pie. He jokes that he’d eat it breakfast, lunch, and dinner. And that’s just what many of our Pennsylvania German ancestors did. In 1683, German immigrants began to arrive in the Penn’s colony seeking freedomContinue reading “Pie for Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner!”

Scrapple: “Flower of Flavors”

By Bob Wood. Title image: This butchering day in Milford Township, Bucks County looks cold, wet, muddy and miserable. Mennonite Heritage Center Collection. In the old Pennsylvania Dutch days, cold winter weather was the time for butchering. At the end of butchering day or sometimes the next day, the pork leavings were processed into scrapple.Continue reading “Scrapple: “Flower of Flavors””

Spring in the Antes Garden

By Bill Daley. Title image: The Kitchen Garden at the Goschenhoppen Historians’ Antes House, Perkiomenville, PA These observations are from 2016:Once again this year has exhibited some strange weather. Generally speaking this past winter was a mild one but after a very early start Spring took a U-turn and produced a number of killing frostsContinue reading “Spring in the Antes Garden”

Homemade Soap

Introduction by Sarah Heffner. Pennsylvania Germans made no frills “homemade soap” from old fat, water and lye. In the 1960s, my mother, Laura Wolfgang, would make batches of homemade soap for home use and for relief packages for Mennonite Central Committee. (Commercially produced soap is now added to relief aid.) Ladies at church would saveContinue reading “Homemade Soap”