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From-Scratch Pennsylvania Dutch Cooking
Pennsylvania Dutch cooking is as simple, plain and wholesome as the people themselves-and as hearty.
One of the most enlightening traditions of this "napkin under the chin" school of eating is the old one that every company table should include "seven sweets and seven sours" all served forth at once.
The sweets might include currant or apple jelly, apple butter or applesauce, preserves such as quince, candied watermelon rind, or wild strawberry; and two or three pies such as schnitz, shoofly, cheese cake, or "funeral pie" made from dried raisins or sour cherries.
The seven sours would embrace pickled onions, cauliflower or beets, cole slaw with the famous Dutch sour cream dressing, chow chow, dill pickles, pickled cabbage, green tomato relish, meat jelly, and spiced cucumbers. Sometimes, a secondary set of sours would appear according to season; such as ketchup, Dutch horseradish sauce made from the freshly grated root, mustard, and even fresh nasturtium seeds-these latter to be scattered in place of herbs over the salad (a good idea for our own green salads).
The Dutch housewife used every edible part of the meat and it is from this thrifty economy that another of her most famous specialities is derived-scrapple (ponhaws). This was made from pork, sage, spices and grain, either cornmeal, oatmeal or buckwheat, and is not unlike the English custom of storing potted meats. After the scrapple had been prepared, it was stored in a cool place and set aside for future use. When served, it was cut in thin slices and fried in butter or bacon fat until crisp.