Only in York County

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Cleaning out the inbox: Random York County food thoughts and memories

We at the YDR are transitioning into a new mail system this week. I like it a lot better – but it’s just like moving your house; it draws to light all the things you have piled up in boxes, if you will, waiting to be sorted.

So I’m on a kick to SHARE some of the many great things that have been emailed to me over the past months, starting today with some tidbits (pun slightly intended) about food. They’re not related, but they’re snippets of neat things I thought you’d enjoy.

Buon appetit! Enjoy these thoughts, as well as links to some other fun food-related posts!

From Brian Barnett: “I grew up in York County, joined the Air Force in 1986 and have lived in Austin, TX since the early 90s. I still visit fieinds and family occasionally and make sure to eat all the things I miss. I have a friend who when she picks me up from BWI, we do what we call the 10,000 calorie drive back to York. Crab cakes in Baltimore, cheese steaks and pizza. All that our while eating Martin’s between stops! I enjoy your blog posts, many of them bring back fond memories. You have a commenter – Bern Bievenour – I’m pretty sure he was my fifth grade teacher at Spring Grove!” (Talk about Only in York County!)

From Heidi Whipp: (Referring to this post) “I remember my grandma used to say hamburg too. However, she lived in CT, and I remember in Maine seeing hamburgs on the menu in a diner, so I guess it’s not just a Yorkism. PS you can get great onion rings at the Paddock, that’s what they’ve always been known for.”

From one of our YDR copy editors, Caryn Rupert: “I was reading a brief about the Craley Days Celebration in Lower Windsor Township in August, and the brief said one of the foods that would be served would be ‘mawsage’ sandwiches. What is mawsage?” My belief was it’s a hogmaw-based sandwich; since it’s got sausage, I figure that turns it into “mawsage!” Maybe I’m wrong – I’ll have to check it out at the next Craley Days – but that’s my take!

From Sue: (Referring to this post) “(It’s called) filling of course! But since I don’t live in York County anymore people have no clue what I’m making. Oh and you have to make the extra pan of filling… so you can dig your fingers in and eat it raw while you’re waiting to put it in the oven and then you’ve got leftovers to grab a hunk and eat cold. Oh yes, it’s got to be filling. (How ’bout this, you make the filling, stuff the bird, and then he’s dressed! LOL.)”

From Dianne Bowders: (Referring to this post on cornmeal mush) “This was standard breakfast food for many of us. Whether served as mush with syrup and a dot of butter or fan fried, it’s delicious. There is very little difference between PA Dutch mush and polenta. Ben Franklin thought it was lovely to eat this while sitting fireside. If you’re a bit more daring, LIGHTLY toast the cornmeal under the broiler before cooking. Cornmeal is FLAMMABLE, so be very careful if you decide to lightly toast it!!”

…and from Jim Fahringer, also on mush: Oh, I love corn meal mush with milk and sugar. I actually like it better than oatmeal. My mother and grandmother would also pour it into those small metal loaf pans and let it dry for days until it became solid. They would then slice it and fry it in a skillet and pour molasses or corn syrup over it. Sometimes they would add puddin’ – ground up meat from the butcher shop into the cornmeal mush and fry it. It was then called ‘panhaus.’ During my first year of teaching at North Hills Elementary School we were studying a unit on American Indians and talked about the gift of corn. I found out that most of my kids never tasted cornmeal mush. So I decided that I would buy cornmeal and prepare mush for every student in my class. Not being a cook, I did not know how much cornmeal to buy. I wanted to have enough, so I bought 15 pounds. One afternoon I took my class down to the school cafeteria’s kitchen and pulled out the huge stainless steel cooking kettle. I filled it three quarters full of water and proceeded to boil it. Once the water began to boil I added my first five-pound bag of cornmeal. The mixture didn’t look very thick, so I added another five-pound bag of cornmeal. The mixture still didn’t look thick enough. So I added my last five-pound bag of cornmeal and allowed the mixture to boil for several minutes. No one ever instructed me on the swelling ability of cornmeal. As the cornmeal continued to boil suddenly I realized than cornmeal expands to four or five times its original volume when boiled in water. The contents of the large stainless steel cooking kettle (almost three feet high) began to expand rather rapidly. Now I had a problem – the cornmeal mush began erupting out over the top of the kettle and down all over the top of the gas range. That day I recognized that I was not a cook and unfortunately I didn’t learn basic physic theory either. Little did I know that my cornmeal mush cooking experiment that day would turn into a perfect erupting volcano model for my students!”

From Karen Myers: (Referring to this post) “I laughed when I read this. We visited my dad in York every other weekend growing up and York is still the only place to find butcher bologna. I crave it. I cant wait til my sister comes to Virginia. I will definitely be asking her to bring me some!”

From Paula Inman: “We eat scrapple with grape jelly. YUM!” (OK, not YUM to me, but I respect that to each pork-eater her own!)

From Bob: (Sent to me just before this past Thanksgiving) “I grew up in Hanover, Pa. and my parents always made Hog Maw and to this day I think it is the greatest meal around. I don’t eat turkey so we have Hog Maw at Thanksgiving but this year I am all by myself since my wife left me after 35 years so I will have to do it on my own this year. If you never had it you will never know what you are missing and I eat the whole thing. It may look gross when raw but sure is great when it is done. You have to try it if you never have.” (Bob and I touched base – and he did make his hogmaw and did a pretty good job of it!)

From Kay: “I like beef slippery pot pie is my favorite. Then ham and bean pot pie. I don’t care for chicken. My mother has had 2 strokes, so she dosen’t make pot pie anymore. My aunt makes sometime and she asks my husband and I to come for supper. I watch my aunt all she puts in hers is meat and flour and instead of water she takes some of the beef broth, she doesn’t use eggs, but doesn’t measure either. All my aunts and my mother has made slippery pot pie for years, so they are a pro at it. My grandfather when he was living he had to have at least some kind of slippery pot pie a couple times per week. I could eat it to like that… I really like their pot pie. I need to learn to make, because they won’t be around some day!”

Well, yum (or at least for the most part!) Thanks for reading along as I cleaned out the fridge, as it were!

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