Grandma Suzie's Grebel
These things being on my mind, mixed in with this week being "G" week brought even more thoughts of family and heritage and keeping memories and traditions alive to the forefront. What?? I know, I can ramble...I couldn't pass up serving Grebel as a "G" week snack. Grebel is something that is considered a traditional food in my family...meaning my extended family. I haven't really done a very good job making such traditional things for my own family. My Great Grandma Suzie use to always have grebel at her house...along with sour cream raisin cookies and those little round pink mint candies. I remember helping her make the cookies and sometimes the grebel. She's been gone now for a little more than 12 years. I wish my kids could have met her...they would've like her. She had a china cabinet full of salt and pepper shakers...the cute ones that were characters or figures. She had a box under the bathroom cupboard with old perfume bottles and wooden spools that somehow entertained us for hours. She had a shiny silver Christmas tree that was up every Christmas when we went to her house after Christmas Eve service. She and Great Grandpa lived across the street from the church and their house was FULL of family every Christmas Eve. Great Grandpa always sat in the same chair in the corner and used his cane to get someone's attention.
ANYWAY...Grebel is one of those foods that makes its appearance at family holiday celebrations, although no one makes them like Great Grandma did. (Lefsa, Kuchen, Butterballs, Halva, and Schnitz Soup are some other favorites of mine, but probably for another post.)
I bake and cook with my kids all the time, but I've really not ever started teaching them how to make any of these things. I really don't even make them. I decided that isn't acceptable. These things need to be passed on. I don't want my kids to just have a vague memory of eating them at Grandma's house. Enter "G" week, creating the perfect opportunity to get started!
All of the ingredients go in together and then get mixed to a sticky dough...it's pretty tasty too I guess! Of course, taste testing is a most important part of any cooking/baking project!
The sticky dough gets refrigerated for a while...overnight possibly, but we were not that patient, so we finished the dough at 10 am, ate lunch early, took naps (you know, the deep, drooling, I've-been-up-since-4 am-and-I-need-a-nap nap) so we could get up and finish before leaving to pick up the other kids from school.
We had a fairly good mess to clean up, but the mess is always worth it...and usually pretty amusing with all the flour and sticky dough attached to little fingers and faces! I love being in the kitchen and I really like my stainless measuring utensils...the nostalgia thing you know. I can never find any of them when I need them because they make good toys too, but I'll take them any day over an "all-in-one" device just because they remind me of good things in my past...baking with my grandmas and my mom.
One mess was cleaned up and then we made an even bigger one getting the dough ready to fry. A grebel is like a donut. Joe said, "What do we call these again?" "Grebel" "They taste like donuts. Why don't we just call them donuts?" "Because they're grebel and it's very important that they aren't JUST donuts." :)
The dough gets rolled out to about 1/8 of an inch and cut into squares with 2 slits cut in the middle. You're supposed to twist them--pull one side through the opposite slit and then twist a little but I'm not really good at this...I guess practice might make closer to remotely right??
Fried...yes, fried, not baked. It would not be good to make these weekly. :) And then flip when one side is golden.
...until they're all done, and then...