During the time I was researching and writing [Because We Wanted To], Clara mentioned the cookbook Margaret had been working on, with my sister, Susan, playing scribe and cheerleader in the process. Susan died in 1991, but Margaret went on to complete the manuscript, dedicating it to Susan. Margaret died in 2007, and Clara had much to attend to. The manuscript naturally went on the back burner. But Clara knew it was around somewhere, and thanks to her persistent searching, she found it about a year after Because came out. It had been hiding in her root cellar in an old briefcase. (from the Foreword, Cookin’ Wild, p.11)
For those of you who knew Margaret, you’ll remember she was always stirring the pot, one way or the other. For all of you, we hope you enjoy the recipes herein, but most of all, we hope you enjoy the spirit and good humor in which Margaret wrote them. (from the Foreword, Cookin’ Wild, p. 13)
And there were the projects they worked on together. Susan delighted in telling me about the hunter’s cookbook she was helping Margaret with. She’d type into the computer and save on floppy disks the recipes Margaret had honed for the venison or elk she’d hunted, the fish she caught, using the rosemary, thyme, sage and other herbs she’d grown. Using what was in the surroundings and what she could bring home mattered to her. And there was Susan, typing away, encouraging Margaret to come up with more. I still have those floppy disks, now undecipherable artifacts. Because We Wanted To!, p. 174
From the book:
Old German Recipe
An old German dish that I have simplified and is very delicious is as follows. Make sure the meat is sliced 1⁄4 inch thick more or less. Even the toughest of meat will yield to a tender-tasting morsel with this method.
Use a skillet that is large enough to hold the quantity of meat you intend to prepare. Cast iron is my preference.
- Heat skillet
- Add 1 pound chopped, sliced or stripped bacon.
- Cook until about halfway done. Drain off all fat.
- Return bacon back to skillet. Add meat that has had a light coat of mustard on both sides and has been dipped in flour.
- Cut 1 or 2 onions that have been cut in strips and place on top of the meat.
- Cut dill pickles into strips and place on top of the onions.
- Now, add 1 cup of water to the skillet, lightly salt and pepper, place lid on top and start to simmer.
- Stir about every 15 minutes, add more water and/or flour if needed.
- Cook at least 6 hours.
This stuff is really good! The longer it sits and all the juices of the ingredients marinate together the better it tastes. When I have time I will cook this the day before I plan to serve it and just let it sit in the refrigerator overnight, then reheat before serving.
Do try this recipe even if you do not like the sound of anything else within the confines of these pages!