Cooking with Zucchini- Stove top casserole

Good morning. I don’t know about you, but whenever I have a free morning, I’m at the computer, and looking out the window at the sunshine, sipping some green tea.

While talking with mom on the cordless phone,  our conversation went like this.  I was reading a blog recipe aloud where they mentioned Sea Salt as the ingredient for the salad dressing .  (lemon, white vinegar, and sea salt).  Mom asked,” which one is better Sea salt  or Table Salt? ” If there’s a question, Google has the answer. She was amazed , how fast the computer works.

Sea salts retain the trace elements while table salt has been processed to remove trace elements and include additives.

Table salt is processed to remove trace elements while sea salts, in general, leave these in.  These minerals are indeed important in our diets, but in sea salt they exist in what the Mayo Clinic describes as “insignificant amounts.” Chances are you are getting the same minerals in greater quantities in the fruits and vegetables that you eat.

Mom then posed the question about Salt mines. Where are they located?

Google again.

“The oldest salt mine known to date located in Azerbaijan, Duzdagi mine”


“In order to understand these interactions, CNRS researcher Catherine
Marro and her team have been exploring the Araxes basin (Turkey, Iran,
Azerbaijan) for the last ten years or so. The archeologists have been
focusing particularly on the Duzdagi (4) salt mine situated in
Azerbaijan, more specifically beside the old medieval Silk Road linking
Tabriz (in the north west of Iran) with Constantinople.”

“To the researchers’ surprise, intensive salt production was carried out in this mine at least as early as 3500 BC.”

The economic and symbolic importance of salt in ancient and medieval
times is well-known. Recent discoveries have shown that salt most
probably played a predominant role in protohistoric societies, in other
words those that preceded the appearance of writing.  How is salt
obtained? The two most widely used techniques are based on the
extraction of rock salt, in other words a sedimentary deposit containing
a high concentration of edible salt (2), and the collection of sun-dried
salt in salt marshes, for example.”

http://www.alphagalileo.org/ViewItem.aspx?ItemId=90605&CultureCode=en

Mom then said, “Well those mines are older than the Coal mines of Pennsylvania. ”

Stove Top Casserole

zucchini 4 cups sliced

Vegetable oil 3 Tablespoons

Garlic cloves, 2 crushed

salt and freshly ground pepper

spaghetti sauce, 1  16 ounce can, heated

mozzarella cheese, 3/4 pound thinly sliced

oregano, 1 teaspoon, crushed

basil 1/4 tsp

In a large Teflon skillet, saute zucchini slices, 1 cup at a time in 1 tablespoon oil with garlic.

Cook until almost tender and a little brown; drain on paper towels.  pour off any excess oil; then layer hot zucchini in skillet, season lightly with salt and pepper , and spreading each layer with some of the hot spaghetti sauce and sliced mozzarella cheese.  Cover top layer with cheese and sprinkle with herbs.   Cover and cook very slowly until mixture is just bubbly and cheese is melted.

 Serves 6.

Reference: The Zucchini Cookbook by Paula Simmons.

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Scenic Sunday

Beyond the Gate

Beyond the Gate

 

This photo is a view of the Delaware River in Pennsylvania at Pennsbury Manor.  Very Serene!  

  We visited the site of  William Penn’s historic estate last week.  See post entitled “Back in Time, Morrisville, PA.”

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)

cows of PA

"Hey, are you taking a picture?"

I wonder who loves cows enough  to photograph them?   Like  Me!

Mi domandochi ama le mucche abbastanza a photograh lor come faccio.  (in Italian)

On a recent trip to Hershey, PA , we passed pastures with Holstein cows a few miles away.  I said to my husband,” look there’s the cows”, “oh , please stop at the next farm, I want to take a picture of the cows” almost pouting.  Once stopped, I could have gotten closer, but it  was me standing there and a seemingly thin wire fence.  How fast do they “moove” anyway.? LOL.

I was happy as could be, now that I had my cows on film.

There also was a herd of brown cows, beef cattle along the edge of the road behind a fence.  I wondered what kept them from crossing the fence onto the road.

Many years ago,  we went on rides in the country with my grandparents.  If the cows were sitting, my grandmother P. would say that it was going to rain; an old wives tale perhaps.   While riding in the car, my mother would say, “look out the window at the cows.”  We would stop our conversation or games and turn our heads to look.

Now, I love to  look at the cows. Relaxing , maybe seeing them standing quietly evokes  a slower pace.   Whenever I come to the place where I know there is a dairy farm a few miles from my house, I cast a glance in the direction of the dairy farm’s grounds.   Are they close to the road?  Are they far in the distance,  near their barn and large-size funny imitation cow for decoration.  Today, as I drove on South Middlebush Road, the cows were in a pasture to the  left side of the road.  Most of them were close to the fence and they were sitting down.  As I got closer to my destination, you guessed it, it was raining (drizzling). Just like my grandmother P. used to say.

In Italian:

Su un viaggio recente a Hershey, Pa, abbiamo passato i pascoli con le mucche dell’ Holstein.

“IL colorato beige della mucca, seite che esaminate il me.”

November 7, 2008

I’ve added one more photo.  This is of a farm in New Jersey.  It’s along Rt. 518.  I don’t know the name of the farm.  One day last fall, the cows were fairly close to the road and I had my camera with me.  Yahoo.  I parked the car and walked a little closer.  This beige cow photographed seemed to look up from the grass he/she was munching and say, ” this is the first time somebody stopped to take our picture” or ” are you looking at me”  A photogenic cow.  The others are contentedly grazing.   There are more photos; perhaps my friend will create  a painting for me.

Any comments out there. Where are you from?

Scrivere,  Dove vive?

Comments:

Hello and thanks for stopping by.  We’d love to hear from you.  Farm animals are fun to look at !

Please share with me your comments on these photos of the Holstein cows. I’d love to hear what you think!

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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