Saturday Night Treats

Since the weather’s been so nasty and cold almost every where, I thought I’d bring out some cold weather recipes from Iowa and Nebraska where I grew up.  I grew up in blustery weather and was no stranger to blizzards.

These are some heritages soups that my mother and some of her friends collected to produce a recipe book fundraiser for the General Dodge House in Council Bluffs, Iowa.  My mom was chair of the fund drive to restore  Union Civil War General Grenville Melon Dodge’s House.  She served as chairman of the Board of Trustees and President of the nonprofit museum for many years.  The recipe book was dedicated to my mom’s best friend–Bea Utley–an interior decorator that helped tremendously with the restoration of the house.  Actually, they were called receipts back then so this is a from a Receipt Book.

Their fund raising arm was and still is called the “General’s Ladies” and they’d do Victorian Christmas and summer picnics and all kinds of things to get funds to keep and get the property in order.  I haven’t been then in years but I was practically brought up in the place.  I used to talk to a ghost in one of the bedrooms when I was a kid and my first job at the ripe old age of 14 was as a docent there.

I got rather used to wearing Victorian clothes in the process.  During Christmas, my mother made me play Christmas Carols in the ball room or she’d have me bring my guitar and best friend to sing carols through out the house. My other best friend played the Harp.  Most of us wound up as docents on Sunday during our high school years.  I remember when mom was trying to round up some of the old antiques and furniture before it was completely restored. I pretty much became familiar with the attics and basements of many old houses.  It must’ve made an impression on me because I have a deep and lasting  affection for America’s historic houses.  My current house was built around the same time as the General’s Home.  If you’re every on interstate I-80, on the extreme western edge of Iowa, you should make a point of visiting.  It’s considered a premier Victorian restoration.

Oh, and we tested all the recipes too.

German Dumpling Soup:

4 or 5 pound fat stewing hen

4 cups carrots, cut up

3 cups potatoes, cut up

2 cups, celery, cut up

1 cup onion, cut up

1/2 cup chopped parsley, held back until just before serving

In a large kettle, cover hen with water, cover with a lid then boil one hour or longer, until tender.  Add vegetables in the order listed above.  After the vegetables are cooked, remove the whole chicken, bone it, cut it up and place it back with the vegetables and broth.

To make the Dumplings:

4 cups flour

1 tsp. Salt

6 eggs

Yellow food coloring

Add enough boiling water to flour to make  a paste. Add a few drops of the yellow food color to the water.  Break eggs into the paste one at a time and stir until well blended. Add more flour until the dough because very, very firm and dry. Use a teaspoon to cut off the dough and drop into the boiling soup when the chicken and vegetables have been prepared as above.  Dip the spoon in the boiling water to release the dough.  These dumplings are hard and firm.

Cover and boil  10 minutes.  Sprinkle the parsley into the soup right before serving.

This recipe came from General’s Lady Mrs. Harold W. Schultz and came with this sage Victorian Advice:


Give neither counsel nor salt till you are asked for it.

Dutch Split Pea Soup

2 lbs. split green peas

4 sticks celery, chopped

2 pig’s hocks

12 ounces fresh pork sausage

4 leeks,chopped

1 lb onions, chopped

1 1b. smoked bacon in a whole piece or bacon squares

Pepper, salt to taste

Clean peas. Soak overnight in water.

Bring peas to a boil with the vegetables in 4 1/2 quarts fresh water.  Add the hocks and bacon.  Let simmer slowly until hocks are tender–two or three hours, stirring often.  Pot should be covered.

One half hour before the soup is done, add fresh sausage in lumps the size of small walnuts.

Before serving, remove hocks and bacon from soup.  Cut meat from the hocks into small pieces and return to soup.  Season with the salt and pepper to taste., slice bacon to serve with the soup.

Makes about 12 servings.

This recipe came from Mrs. J Frederic Schlott.  Fred Schlott was the architect that was responsible for the park around the outside of the house and sat on the board with mom for a long time.  Almost, all the original people that dealt with the house have passed now so I’m not sure what goes on there any more.  If you ask me, there’s probably a few more ghosts in that house than the one that I used to talk to in the gold bedroom as a kid.  Some of these people spent a good portion of their life leaving the community this historic house museum.

Have any great recipes for some great comfy food that you’d like to share tonight?

13 Comments on “Saturday Night Treats”

  1. Minkoff Minx says:

    Yeah, a food/recipe thread. Just what we need!

  2. glennmcgahee says:

    Gee, thanks for those recipes. I love to spend Sundays cooking somethin and have run out of original ideas. Many failed recipes from The Food Network, etc., that just haven’t seemed worth the effort. I’m cookin those dumplins and hen with veggies tommorrow for sure. I’m gonna take credit like I just had it in my head if thats ok. My family is hangin around the house as much as possible right now while we love on our 16 year old Beagle as he experiences heart failure. Its a very sad time around here. I think that recipe and a big pot on the stove will help alot. Thanks again.

    • dakinikat says:

      Oh, I’m so sorry. Losing furry family members is so hard. Sounds like Beagle led a full life and is surrounded by love.

    • Delphyne says:

      Oh, I am sorry to hear about your Beagle baby – it is so hard to lose a long time 4 legged family member. I am quite sure he feels your love in spite of the sadness you are feelings. All the best to you and your family.

    • Sima says:

      Very sorry to hear about your Beagle. I went through this about a year ago with my Finnish Spitz, although she had Cushings and in the end that’s what got her. I know how badly it hurts. Hang in there, remember the good times, and yes, make some good soup to help warm the innards a bit.

  3. TheRock says:

    I’m making these for the Super Bowl…..

    Spanish-Style Tuna Cakes

    2- 5oz cans of tuna, drained
    1/2 cup Italian breadcrumbs
    1/3 cup chopped pimento-stuffed Spanish olives, 1 tbs olive juice reserved
    1/4 cur raisins
    1 egg, beaten
    2 tbs finely chopped onions
    1 tsp red cumin
    salt and pepper
    1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
    1pkg mixed lettuce

    1. In a large bowl, combine the tuna, breadcrumbs, olives, raisins, egg, onion and cumin. Season with salt and pepper. Form into 4 large patties

    2. In a large skillet, heat 2 tbs of olive oil over medium heat. Add the patties and cook, turning once, until golden on both sides, about 8 minutes.

    3. In a large bowl, whisk together the remaining olive oil and the olive juice. Season with salt and pepper. Add the lettuce and toss to coat. Serve the tuna cakes on the salad.

    Quick, cheap and helluva tasty!! Enjoy!!

    • Minkoff Minx says:

      This sounds interesting Rock, we use Manzanilla olives in our tuna salad. Thanks…

    • dakinikat says:

      Thanks!! I’m into anything with olives and cumin!!!

    • Delphyne says:

      That looks like an interesting recipe, especially with the raisin/olive combination. I’ll have to give it a try.

      I like salmon cakes, too – use the wild caught small can of salmon, one beaten egg, Italian style breadcrumbs, some fresh squeezed lemon juice and some of the zest of the lemon. Mix thoroughly, form into patties and fry in olive oil. Drain on paper towels and serve with Aioli – the garlic mayonnaise. Yum!

  4. Delphyne says:

    Kat, the dumpling soup sounds great except for the food coloring – was it just to add color, sort of like tumeric is added?

    I like to roast lots of vegetables – potatoes, leeks, garlic, eggplant, onions, carrots, anything you like. Cut them into bit sized pieces, toss with olive oil, Kosher salt, pepper and add rosemary or thyme if you like that taste. I usually serve this with a main mean and keep LOTS of leftovers for soup for the next few days.

    Puree the leftover vegetables in the food processor or blender, add chicken or vegetable stock to thin the veges out to the consistency you want. I like a thicker soup – pour the mixture into a pot and heat until piping hot. Serve in a bowl or large cup – add a sprinkling of some Parm/Grana Padana cheese and enjoy with a warmed baguette. A bit of nice blue cheese on the warm baguette slices is quite tasty!

    • dakinikat says:

      Yes, I think that’s it. I don’t see much purpose for it other than making the dumplings yellow. I do know they do that in all the German restaurants in the area and eastern Nebraska/Western Iowa are loaded with those. I use to put dill or paprika in my dumpling recipes. The Czech and Bohemians do some combination of those things. Also, dill. There’s lots of Dutch Settlements there too. Pella, Iowa has a great Tulip festival. That part of the country has a lot of restaurants and people with these kinds of heritages and there’s plenty of hearty foods there.

  5. Sima says:

    Yum. I wanted to make soup last night, but forgot I had none of the ingredients but cabbage and turnips and carrots. Kind of a stone soup kind of thing :).

    Defrosted some frozen goat milk so tonight I’ll make leek and tattie soup. It’s dead easy.

    Take about 4 leeks and chop them into slices/little rounds, then chop the rounds in half. Use all the white parts and most of the green parts, until they get tough.

    Take same amount of large/medium potatoes. Peel if you want, or wash well. Cut into 1 inch cubes.

    Melt about 2 tbls butter (yes, I use butter, sue me) in a pot. Add the leeks and the potatoes and allow the leeks to wilt and the potatoes to brown.

    Pour in chicken stock, enough to just cover the potatoes. Salt and pepper to taste.

    Cook for about 20 minutes until the potatoes are done. About 5 minutes before the soup is finished sprinkle chopped dill leaf (dried or fresh) over the surface and stir in. I like a lot of dill so I use about 2 tsps. If you don’t like dill, don’t bother with it.

    When the potatoes are done, stir in a a pint of cream, or half and half, or milk (non-fat if you must) or goat milk. Serve with crusty bread and sprinkle with grated cheddar cheese. YUM!

    If you are going to freeze it, freeze it before you put in the milk/cream/half and half, etc. It’ll separate when you defrost it otherwise. Just defrost and add the milk then.