During World War II, Mom and Dad got a new stove, a yellow enamel Renfrew with a boiler on the right side for heating water.
“It was wonderful,” said Mom. “Everything baked beautifully.”
1943: Nellie, Florence, Mary
Aunt Florence still remembers Mom's stove. “You could bake 3 or 4 pies in at the same time,” she told my sister, Diana.
“What I remember,” said Diana, “is Mom taking out of the oven a roast pan with 2 roast ducks.”
“Oh,” said Aunt Florence, “the roasting . . . it just can’t be duplicated in an electric stove.”
The door to the oven broke off, unfortunately, from getting sat on too often. After that, Mom had to use the metal screw top from a sealer to wedge the door shut.
Even after they moved to the new house in Shoal Lake, Mom liked to use a woodstove in the basement for singing chickens. And one time, she said, the electricity went off when she was in the middle of making doughnuts so the woodstove was a good back-up.
On the other hand, Mom also made that comment about being able to get some rest after she got an electric stove whereas, with a woodstove, she couldn’t lie down during canning because the woodstove required constant feeding.
Xhlib Parka (Crusty Rolled Bread)
Recipe give to Savella by Mrs. S. Drul (page 328): a few alterations
Start bread in the morning as there are 3 risings.
2 ½ tsp yeast (or one envelope)
½ tsp sugar
1 cup lukewarm water 1 tbsp sugar
1 cup boiling water 1 cup cold water
1 tbsp cooking oil 7 to 7 ½ cups flour
2 tsp salt 2 egg whites
- Prepare your oven by putting one rack at the lowest level and a second rack at a middle level.
- Stir ½ tsp sugar into 1 cup lukewarm water. Sprinkle the yeast on top and set aside for 5 to 10 minutes.
- In a large mixing bowl, stir together 1 cup boiling water, oil, salt, 1 tbsp sugar, and a cup of cold water.
- Set oven to 350 degrees and heat for one minute. Then turn it off.
- Grease a second large mixing bowl and set aside with a clean tea towel.
- Stir yeast into the large mixing bowl.
- In small bowl, lightly beat the 2 egg whites.
- Use electric mixer to beat in 3 cups of flour.
- Add the egg whites and beat thoroughly.
- Stir in 3 more cups of flour.
- Knead in the last of the flour (about 1 ½ cups). The dough should be moist but not too sticky.
- Place dough in greased bowl. Cover with tea towel and place in oven to rise until double. (Mine took one hour.)
- Grease a baking sheet.
- Punch down in the bowl. Cover again and return to oven to rise a second time. (It will not take as long the second time – mine was ready in 45 minutes.)
- Divide the dough in two. Use a rolling pin and a well-floured surface to roll each part into a rectangle.
- Then roll each piece tightly into a roll. (I rolled one from the short end and the other from the long end -- it didn’t seem to make any difference.) Be sure to pinch well at all the seams – or the bread will pull apart while it’s baking.
- Cut diagonal slits across the top of each roll (about ½ inch deep).
- Place the rolls far apart on the baking sheet to allow for expansion. Cover with the tea towel and return to the oven to rise again for 30 minutes.
- Take the bread out and preheat the oven to 400 degrees for 10 minutes (giving the bread this time to keep rising).
- Boil some water and pour it into a casserole. Put this on the bottom rack in the oven. Savella says “This bread requires steam for crustiness.”
- Bake the bread for 15 minutes. Then lower the temperature to 350 degrees and bake for 40 minutes.
- Remove bread from oven and brush the loaves with cold water.
- Return to oven and bake a final 5 minutes.
Mom also wrote this about the matchmakers and old-time weddings:
There is a joke about the talk and the entertaining before the first meal. The starosta said, “I like bread with a deep crust.” It goes like this: “Oh, I like bread with zakaletse. The girl, she is nothing. Mother is “zakalits na palits”.
Sounds naughty . . . but I’m only guessing. Do you know what it means?