Turkey, Other Poultry & Stuffing Recipes
is understandable that a folk who believed their cattle could
talk on Christmas Eve may have been reluctant to dine on roast
beef next day.
If their Quaker neighbors sighed for the roast beef of Merry Old
England, the Pennsylvania German's were content to feast on wild
turkey-and glad to get it. Moreover, as the years passed,
and their own farms produced chickens and turkeys, they still
preferred poultry for holiday meals.
Their folklore attributed no wisdom or
special "gifts" to fowls, so Pennsylvanians could go right ahead
popping chickens into pots without a qualm. There were usually
plenty of them on the farm, and as an immediate source of good
food chickens met any emergency.
One of the old Pennsylvania Dutch
songs dwelt hilariously upon the joys of farming:
"Ich fang 'n neie fashun
aw," it says
A new fashion I'll begin,
The hay I'll make in winter;
When it's hot I'll stay out of the sun
And eat the cherry pies.
I'll get a white,
A yard full of guinea-hen geese,
A mighty high red-beet tree,
And a patent-leather fence.
The chickens I'll keep in the
But this funny fellow knew
perfectly well that the only chickens his wife would permit in
the kitchen would be those that went into the pot! Chicken
is always good eating, and with roper care even, you can turn an
old hen into a delicious potpie before you can say Jack Robinson
in Pennsylvania Dutch.
Chicken and waffles, chicken and
biscuit, fried chicken, chicken potpie, roast chicken, roast
turkey with stuffing ... how good they are in Pennsylvania! It
may be true, as the old saying goes that Roast pigeons will not
fly into your mouth, but roast turkey and dressing, Pennsylvania
style, seem to do just that.
Pennsylvania Dutch Did
In the absence of refrigeration,
Pennsylvania Dutch could be prepared in the summer and preserved
in jars through the winter months. Beyond the home, some
tourist-oriented restaurants and annual festivals in
Pennsylvania Dutch Country celebrate this tradition.