Archived Story

German cooking lifts up the HHH

Published 6:02pm Saturday, December 21, 2013

By Holly Johnson

Hormel Historic Home

I have just spent the majority of the day overseeing 34 guests from the Eastwood Bank New Horizons club from Rochester make German cookies.

Along with 15 volunteers we successfully baked more than 2,600 cookies. Each guest went home with six dozen cookies, such as Engelsaugen, Lebkuchen, and Zidish. During the day they had a traditional German meal of pork cutlet and spaetzle with red cabbage and German potato salad deliciously catered by Hy-Vee.

They were also entertained by Sue Radloff on the violin and Sonia Larson on piano.

I have been quoting the past couple of weeks William Henry Hormel, who wrote about his mother, Susanna, and her skills in the kitchen:

“Mother was always a genius in the kitchen and about the stove, and on Christmas she was at her best, preparing a variety of good and attractive things which make young hearts glad and happy.  Cookies in many shapes, heart-shaped, round, stars, animals, all were sprinkled with a variety of colored sugar.  How good these looked and tasted, especially when we saw them taken out of the oven in large pans.  The atmosphere of the large kitchen was filled with their appetizing aroma, and we literally were breathing Christmas with every breath we drew.”

“Mother was adept at making a variety of rich cakes, called in German ‘Zimmet Cuchen,’ ‘Aepfel Cuchen,’ ‘Kranz,’ and ‘Zwiebak.’”  William Henry goes on to describe each cake this way:

Zimmet Cuchen — Like American coffee cake with holes in the top filled with butter, then covered in cinnamon and sugar.

Aepfel Cuchen — Similar to Zimmit but with rows of sliced apples and cinnamon and sugar on top.

Kranz — Dough richly filled with raisins and braided into a circle.

Zwiebak — Kranz that is sliced and toasted in the oven.  It is called Zwiebak because it is baked twice.

The aromas coming from the HHH kitchen and the music coming from the living room today would have made the Hormels feel right at home. It was a great day.

 Dec. 24 and 25

Office Closed


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