Buckwheat Pancakes recipe, My grandmother’s staple food

My maternal grandmother always like buckwheat , in the form of pancakes.  My mother recalls that my grandfather made the pancakes on the weekends, adding sliced apples to it.  I am like a sponge wanting to know more details.  My mother added that there was a lady who had a store that sold the kids pieces of fudge for 2 cents a piece.  We have come a long way from those days.  Maybe 70 years ago, buckwheat was the predominant staple.  My mom said that there wasn’t much money for meat when she was growing up. Buckwheat  is high in protein, B vitamins, Folacin, Niacin, calcium.  I’m learning that it is much more nutritious than the boxes of “pancake mix ” that is commonly sold in grocery stores today.  Although , you can find Buckwheat pancake mix  in specialty stores like Stonewall kitchen ( in Vermont), a blueberry pancake mix with both whole wheat and corn flours in it or at Whole Foods in Princeton, NJ. 

Buckwheat pancakes Recipe:

Buckwheat flour,  Grind your own from buckwheat bran.

Use 1 cup white flour for every 2 cups buckwheat flour.

Into large bowl, Sift the flours together, than add 1 cup of water .

In small bowl, beat 2 eggs, then add to the flours.  Whisk by hand the flours, water and beaten eggs. You can add 4-5 TBSP of olive oil.

Ratio: 3 cups flour ( combo of buckwheat and white), 3 cups water , 2 -3 eggs.

Cover and let the mix rest in the frig for several hours or at least one hour.

Cook the crepes or pancakes on a cast iron pan that was very lightly oiled; it should not be visibly full of oil or butter.

Using a ladle, pour the buckwheat batter all at once onto the hot cast iron pan.

Wait for the pancake to cook on top until it looks dry and the edges start to curl.  Do not lift up the edges of the pancake to check, it will tear/rip the pancake.!!

The fillings can be sweet or savory.   Roll up the crepes with :

Savory: Cooked chicken, ham, Gruyère cheese.

sweet: jam or Serve with chives and a spoonful of sour cream.

Buckwheat Pancakes:

1 cup buckwheat flour

1/2 cup white flour

1 1/2 tsp baking powder

1 TBSP brown sugar

1 tsp salt

1 oz vegetable oil

1 egg

1 1/2 cups milk

Mix well.   Pour onto hot griddle.  Yield 6 to 8  ( 6 inch cakes ). 

Another recipe using BUCKWHEAT GROATS:

Good to prepare during the Lenten season.

Source:  Whole Foods website

Kasha Varnishkes

Serves 4 to 6

Kasha Varnishkes, a delightful mixture of sautéed onions, buckwheat groats and bowtie pasta, graces many Jewish holiday tables. This version features caramelized onions and hearty mushrooms.

Ingredients

1 cup whole buckwheat groats
3 tablespoons plus 1/2 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil, divided
1/3 teaspoon ground cumin
Salt to taste
4 medium yellow onions, thinly sliced
1/2 pound cremini mushrooms
2 cups dried bowtie pasta
Black pepper to taste
2 tablespoons chopped parsley
2 tablespoons toasted pumpkin seeds (optional)

Method

Bring 2 cups plus 2 tablespoons water to a boil in a medium pot over high heat. Stir in buckwheat groats, 1/2 teaspoon of the oil, cumin, and 1/4 teaspoon of the salt, reduce heat to low, cover, and cook for 18 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.

Warm 2 tablespoons of the remaining oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add onions and a pinch of salt and cook, stirring occasionally, for 6 to 8 minutes. Add mushrooms, raise the heat to high, and cook for 4 to 6 more minutes, stirring frequently. Reduce the heat to low, and cook for 10 to 15 more minutes, stirring occasionally, until onions and mushrooms begin to caramelize.

Meanwhile, cook pasta according to directions on package. Drain pasta and toss with mushroom mixture.
Lightly fluff the groats with a fork and then stir them into the pasta and mushroom mixture. Season with salt and pepper. Garnish with remaining 1 tablespoon oil, parsley, and pumpkin seeds, if using.

Nutrition

Per serving: 310 calories (80 from fat), 9g total fat, 1.5g saturated fat, 9g protein, 52g total carbohydrate (6g dietary fiber, 7g sugar), 0mg cholesterol, 110mg sodium

Tags: Family FriendlyAmericanVegetarianVeganLow SodiumHigh FiberDairy Free

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Lithuanian Recipe, Koshie

5 lbs. Potatoes

1 Medium Onion

2  Eggs

 Parsley Flakes
 Salt and Pepper
 1 Cup Vegetable Oil
Peel potatoes and onion.  Rinse and soak in water.  Grate by hand using coarse grater into a pottery bowl.  After grating, remove excess water which accumulates to maintain a smooth batter.  Stir in beaten eggs, parsley flakes, salt and pepper.  Lastly, stir in vegetable oil mixing uniformly.  Pour into large baking pan.  Bake uncovered at 350 degrees for about two hours until crispy on top and sides.  Cool for a few minutes before serving.  Spatula out in squares.
 
To make a smaller amount, cut recipe in half and use a smaller pan.  Cooking time could also be reduced.  You will know when it is done by the brown crust.
Also for making potato pancakes you may use the same recipe but you must add about 1/4 cup of flour to the batter.  Reduce the 1/4 cup when reducing the recipe.  (You may have to adjust the flour if the batter in making potato pancakes if the batter is too loose.)
My aunt says to “Let me know when you are cooking and I will come for dinner.  These are my two favorite foods.
Comments:  
 Hello and welcome ,dear readers.  Your comments are always appreciated.  I’m curious if you have a similar recipe to share of the foods from Pennsylvania.   
Please post in the comments one  of your recipes, thank-you. 
A recent visitor stopped by  from Scranton, Pa. thanks for visiting.

SEASONED POTATO SAUCE 
Èiolakas

4 potatoes, peeled
2 onions, finely chopped
1 cup potato water
powdered bay leaf
fresh dill, several sprigs finely chopped
scallion greens, finely chopped
pepper and salt to taste

Cook potatoes in salted water. Save some cooking water. Mash cooked potatoes, add onions crushed with salt, mix well. Add pepper, bay leaf and 1 cup potato cooking water. Blend well.
This is traditionally served with hot potatoes as a late afternoon snack, in Dzškija, the south eastern region of Lithuania.

Here is another Lithuanian Recipe found on the internet;  I have a love of mushrooms which  comes from my mother;

MUSHROOM SAUCE 
Grybainis

1/2 l (2 cups) salted or fresh mushrooms
2 cups milk
1 onion, finely chopped
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 cooked potato
salt and pepper to taste

Cook salted or fresh mushrooms in milk. Saute onion in oil until golden brown. In a food processor, process cooked mushrooms and potato, add fried onion, process again. Add salt and pepper to taste.

GRATED POTATO CAKE  
Kugelis

1 k (2 lbs) potatoes, peeled
1 cup milk
2 eggs, beaten
2 onions, finely chopped
salt to taste
butter or oil for frying onion

Grate potatoes, remove some of the potato juice, tilt the bowl and spoon off the collected juice. Bring milk to a boil and pour over the grated potatoes. This is done to disperse potato starch through the grated potatoes. Fry onion and mix into potatoes, add eggs and salt and mix well. Pour the mixture into a medium depth, greased baking dish and bake in a preheated oven at 350F/180C, until the top is well browned.
Cut into squares and serve with bacon fried with onions and sour cream.

The Great Depression-Tales of Wildcat, PA

The sisters

My mother Jeannette in yard of home in Weston Place, PA.
My mother Jeannette in yard of home in Weston Place, PA.
My, my grandfather looks handsome in his suit with his brother -in -law
My, my grandfather looks handsome in his suit with his brother -in -law

During today’s celebration of my mother’s birthday, she talked about growing up during the Great Depression of the late 1920’s and 1930’s.   Wildcat  was the name of a village in Girardsville, Pa.  They lived in coal-mining towns.  The first place they lived was Lost Creek # 2, a coal mining village.  That makes me a coal-miners granddaughter. You may recall the  movie with Sissy Spacek ,  Coal Miners  Daughter.

Wildcat,Girardsville, Weston Place and Lost Creek #2

They walked to school  It was far! She said,  they walked across a field and up a hill, possibly two miles or more.   No such thing as buses.   It snowed a lot.  The front door was level with the ground.  Once when my maternal grandfather opened the door,  he saw that the snow that had fallen overnight was  so high, that it was over my mother’s head, a child of 7 yrs old or so.

Growing up in the Great Depression, they didn’t have much.  They didn’t have boots to walk in the snow to school.  She said , they used tin cans.   The tin cans used for boots were the size to fit their feet;  they would stomp on th mash down to fit the foot shape.  I cannot imagine this.  Sounds like a snowshow of sorts. And by the way, sounds like school was not canceled for snow.

So by now, my dear readers , you must realize how much easier that we have it today.  If you need boots, you have an multitude of places in which to shop for boots.  My mother was not concerned with style such as the now Australian boots Uggs that many young women parade in during the winter months.

Her parents picked wild mushrooms in the forest and strung them on a string and  hung straight across in the kitchen to dry.  They also picked Huckleberries , blueberries and canned them.

When her parents were first married and she being the oldest recalls some of these details of the house.  In Lost Creek # 2, they lived in a “double” house with her maternal grandmother and grandfather from Lithuania.   My mom said that her grandmother  worked hard all of the time at home.   She made sauerkraut in large wooden barrel, it was kept in the basement. My mom said, ”  My mouth waters for a taste of that sauerkraut! ” She  baked bread, in the coal stove as well as” Koshi”, A potato mixture that was baked in a large oblong pan.  She remembers the nice crust on top of the “Coshi” (pronounce- co-she-). A dish called Kapoosta was cooked, made of pork and cabbage. ( recipe is in this blog: the link https://luvsclassics.wordpress.com/tag/lithuanian/   ).

My mother’s father, my grandfather emigrated from Italy as a child of six years old by ship with his mother  to Ellis Island in New York.   Being that he had a taste for Italian foods, “an Italian stomach”, my grandmother learned to cook that traditional Italian dish of Polenta.  It was served with tomato sauce.      She also cooked pasta for lunch on Sundays.  Once living in Weston Place in their own house, they would visit the gradmother each  Sunday  and have pasta again for supper.  Her Uncle Tommy also lived in the house before he was married.  His preference for the pasta was fresh made, so when  she recalls looking out the window and upon seeing his car, the pasta was put on to boil.

My great grandmother, called grammy also raised chickens, and one rooster.   Mom  can remember hearing the rooster make his call “cock -a-doodle-do” in the early morning hours.  Great grammy  had a back yard shed where her she   made her own whiskey.  She remembers  peeking in there and her grandmother saying to her to shoo away from there.   She served it to people.  This may have been during Prohibition or just lack of shops to buy liquor.

There were no grocery stores.  There was a train tracks that ran in the front of the house;  they would hop on ( it moved slow, she recalls ) and head to the town of Shenandoah.  There was limited groceries there.

At the  front of the house , her grandmother planted flowers. Her mother in later years did not like the hobby of planting  flowers. In contrast, my  mother did carry on that knack for growing plants. I recall that my maternal  grandfather loved the year she planted zinnia flowers outside our back door, the multi-colored hues of lavender, pink and yellow.  And in succeeding  years ,the Zinnias flowers were planted there for grandpa. Continuing on with my mother’s biography of her Pennslvania life during the Great Depression.

In the back yard was great grammy’s vegetable garden and the chicken coopwith chickens and rooster, a shed for  whiskey making, and a coal hole.   There was a hole to dig for coal right in the backyard.  She remembered watching a man from Philadelphia come with a truck to buy the coal.  The kids would sit and watch.      Since there was no indoor plumbing at this house,  they went outside to the  out house, one for kids and one for adults.  There was also a  “Bathhouse”  for the adults.  The kids had their baths in the kitchen in a wooden tub.

My mother has an old kerosene lamp.  I asked her what it was used for.  She said it was to light the way in the coal mines.  My great grandfather and grandfather both mined the coal and also wore miner’s caps with a light on.

Here is a link to the Lithuanian recipes:

These are recipes that both my mom and grandmother and even my great-grandmother from Lithuainia prepared in a coal -stove while growing up.   Mom said that the potatoes-Koshie tasted best from the coal stove!

https://luvsclassics.wordpress.com/category/recipes/lithuanian-recipes/

https://luvsclassics.wordpress.com/2008/08/23/lithuanian-heritage-recipe/

Addendum:

Many of these tidbits of family life were told to me while speaking to  my mom on the telephone and I jotted down the notes.

February 21, 2012

Mom remembered a section in Pennsylvania where they raised goats, ” The Italians”, she said, the folk called it ” Nanny Goat Hill”.

Grace asked ,  ” Was it a farm?’

Mom, ” As a baby I was allergic to milk, and had goat milk in my bottle”.

February 28, 2012

Mom said that growing up , they always had a ” radio” shaped like a clock”.  ” Grandma Pusavage had a Beautiful clock, wooden. 

In Lost creek #2 , the Rooster would wake them up.

Then she talked about the family. Uncle Tommy and Uncle Kayo were “young”, I ask  ” In their teens?”when mom lived there in the house.

Grandma Prosper was the oldest and married living in her mother’s house with Jeannette (my mom)as a baby.

Mom than tells me that “they ran way to Detroit to get married with an old car. There was work there (in Detroit).

Grace, I asked , ” When did she come back ?”

Mom, ” then they lived with Grandma Prosper ( Our great Grandma Prosper ?).

” When we were  little kids, they got married by a priest.  Mom said that She and her younger sibling stayed home while their parents went to the church for the ceremony. Mom mentions Rita Sebastian (Her Godmother ) and Tony Tirone ( her godfather) accompanied our Grandma and Grandpa Prosper to get married. ( perhaps the witnesses).

She says Rita had 6 children, Nancy and five boys.( I will have to look up their names in her address book).

Family History: The Lithuanian side

Great grandma Pusavage emigrated to the United States with her brothers. Mom tells the story that , “The brothers came to the United States to avoid being sent to the Russian army”.  The brothers were older than “great Granny”, and they settled in Staten Island.  One of the brothers name was John.  mom stated , ” they were so tall.”

Great grammy’s father died in Lithuania and her mother remarried.

Mom remembers that great grammy’s brothers came to visit (in Pennsylvania). ” they visited Eva Simenivoch ‘s house first.  Eva was a step sister that came to America.  There are then references to who lived in Frackville, and who lived in Shenandoah, “the Valley”.  Eva had a daughter , Josephine, who was the same age as Our Grandma (Anna )Prosper. Josephine was a beautician at a beauty parlor. She had a granddaughter, her age would be about 70 yrs old now.  Note: I don’t know where she is living and if any of my mom’s sisters have ever had contact with her.

Great grandma Pusavage also had a sister who was a teacher.   She was sent to Russia ( Siberia) and they never heard from her again. At that time Russia domineered Lithuania, and Poland, the early 1920’s. ( a guess).

Mom said she was born at home. The Dr’s name was Dr. Cook.  When Dr. Cook came to visit, ( Dr’s made House calls ),” he could bring anything in the house, they had dogs, but when Dr. Cook was leaving with his Dr’s bag, the dog bit the Dr. !!!!”.

Grandma Proper like Buckwheat. ” She cooked everything from memory, no cookbooks” !  Grandpa A. Prosper made pancakes with apples in them on the weekends grandpa was off.  Note: in another blog post, I posted a buckwheat pancake recipe with a remembrance of my grandmother P.

At this time,  mom also  tells me  ” A lady had a small store that sold fudge.” Fudge was 2 cents a piece.

Once I found  out about Grandma and her Buckwheat pancakes,  I myself set out to look for Buckwheat pancakes in the grocery store.  I found a blend of Buck- Wheat and another flour in the Whole Foods supermarket. We made the pancake on our iron skillet several times.

On another telephone conversation,  Mom said, ” As kids, there was a lady in Pa had a little candy store. You could buy pieces of fudge for 2 cents.   ” When we got two pennies, we bought fudge.” mom ” I used to like the white one.” I ask, ” vamilla”. Mom said , ” yes”.  They lived in a town called Weston Place when she was age 10,11 12, and 13. When she was a Sophomore in High school they moved to Chester , Pa.

When my mom was in her Sophomore year of High School, 1942, they left the rural area of Lost Creek #2 and Weston Place, so that her father could work in the Chester shipyards during World War II.

Mom said that she like the rural area versus McCaffery Village section of Chester, Pa.  She was too shy to hang with the kids.  The teens were ” noisy kids” and Irish, There was an Irish church nearby to McCaffery Village.   While mom was waiting for the school bus, she would walk to a different block on a corner to catch the” town bus”for school.    In MacCaffery Village, Mom would ask uncle Al, ” where are you going?, He would say, I’m going to visit friends”.  They were girls.

Mom’s first job was working at Woolworth’s.  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/F._W._Woolworth_Company

Mr. O’Toole was the manager.  Mom worked there after school everyday.  She walked up from Chester High school into the town of  Chester, Pa on Main street.

She worked behind the counter in cosmetics.  When she was promoted , she worked in the cellar , kept inventory ( on paper).   Mom stated that she took care of all the stock that came in.  Make-up, candy, lipstick, stationary.  I asked if it was like the “Dollar Stores ” of today. She said , “yes”.

After mom graduated High school in 1945 , she got a different job in a company and that is were she met her lifelong friend Dorothy Falkosky Sacharok.  She stayed working there until  mom’s  family moved out of Pennsylvania to Bound Brook , New Jersey in the late 1940’s.  Another relative was already living in Bound Brook, working in American Cyanamid. Grandpa Prosper went to John’s Manville to check out a job there, but he did not stay.  He saw in the air all the white particles floating around so much that it looked like snow and he decided it was not a healthy or safe place to work.

There is a short  story about a  cousin to my mom.    Elizabeth was a sister to Grandpa  ( Anthony) Prosper, and married to Benjamin Antonelli.   One of Elizabeth’s  children was crippled with Polio.  One day when Grandpa P. went to the house to visit, he said” Where’s Nicky?” . The mother stated that she put him in a ” Home”. Grandpa then went to the “Home” and took him out . He said, ” Nicky’s your son, you take care of him!!!”

Another son of Elizabeth’s ” Alfred” became a teacher, and Frances and Eugene.

Well, Stay tuned, to more little stories, or call me/ e-mail to add yours!!!

Comments

If there is anyone reading this that lives in Pennsylvania in these towns, I’d appreciate a comment.   I’d like to know if the coal mines are still operable.   When I did a map search of the streets,  I can  see the vast area occupied by the mines..  My mother recalls a kind of dust in the air living near the coal mines.

Again,  Comments are welcomed.   Many people stop by from other countries and if you’d like to share your story or your great grandparents story of those years,  please  drop me a line under comments.

Addendum:  May 18,2009

 This writer sees that many come to this blog with an  interest in the photo of 1920’s suit, 1930’s suit,  grandfather suit.         Your  Comments are welcomed.

Please sign my guestbook  at my other new blog .

www.pencilsandbooks.wordpress.com

My parents wedding

My parents wedding

Look at the coal transport system overhead!

Look at the coal transport system overhead!

My mom's school photo, age 6

My mom’s school photo, age 6

My mothere's brother , Undo, (Anthony)

My mothere’s brother , Undo, (Anthony)

Heritage recipe Lithuanian Koshie, ( potatoes casserole)

Lithuanian recipe, Kapusta( pork and cabbage)

LITHUANIAN Recipe, Kapusta

Lithuanian Recipe, Kapusta:  Pork and Cabbage soup

This soup recipe comes from maternal grandmother, Anna and her mother Margaret Puscavage of Pennsylvania. My mother recorded this recipe for her friends at work( International Recipes-1993). My mother was raised during The Great Depression in the 1930’s in rural coal mining towns. They baked breads from scratch as well as soups.
Good recipe to keep in mind for the soon to be approaching fall weather.
A part of my heritage is Lithuanian.

Kapoosta
Pork and Cabbage Soup

2 lbs of spare ribs cut in several pieces
1 1/2 quarts of water
salt & pepper to taste
1 large onion chopped
1 bay leaf (optional)
1 1/2 cups shredded cabbage
1/4 cup wine vinegar
1 28 ounce can tomatoes
1 medium onion minced

Directions:
Put the spare ribs in a large soup pot and cover the spareribs with water.
Add to the pot the salt, pepper, chopped onion and bay leaf.
Bring to a boil, then lower the heat and let simmer for 1 and 1/2 hours until the meat is tender and falling off the bones.
Remove the meat from the bones, chop it, and set aside.
Add the shredded cabbage to the broth and boil 5 minutes. Add the vinegar, tomatoes, and minced onion and Simmer for 20 minutes or until cabbage is tender.
Then add the chopped pork back to the pot. Season to taste and let the pork heat through.

Addendum:    May 18,2009

Hello visitors  from around the world.  Welcome!!!!!

Perhaps you have a recipe similar to mine.     Please add your version of the recipe under comments, thank-you.

Please sign my guest book and post a photo.

www.pencilsandbooks.wordpress.com

February 26, 2011

Wishing a wonderful Welcome to all who stop by to view this recipe.  Please ask my permission before reposting this recipe or any other.!!!!!  ♥    ♥

   I like to hear about other versions of this family recipe and if you prepared  this recipe.   

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