So goes the famous Pennsylvania Dutch saying. Growing up German (Deutsch) in Pennsylvania, I was exposed to the culture through our food and some language, although I must say most of the language I heard required my grandfather to put a nickel in a jar for using words he should not utter. My grandmother enforced that, and probably was able to buy herself something nice from time to time as a result.
We did have some similarities to the German and Dutch who settled in the southern part of Pennsylvania. My grandfather was born on a farm and lived there his entire life. His family aptly named it Greenwald Farm, as it was walled in by mountains of greenery. The women in the family were into canning and quilting. We ate schnitzels and knadles and sauerkraut, as well as scrapple, fritters and shoo-fly pie.
Shoo-fly pie is one of my favorite desserts. I love to make it because it requires a little kitchen chemistry when you mix the baking soda, hot water and molasses. It foams right up and you pour it in the crust, top it with a streusel topping and pop it in the oven.
Necessity is the mother of invention and shoo-fly pie is an example of this. The settlers, who loved their pie and would eat it at any time of the day, traveled to America by boat and the ladies were able to make this pie out of the long lasting staples they took along on their journey. While the origin of the name has been debated for years, it is most likely because they had to shoo the flies away from this sweet treat. This dessert has actually a day, May 14th, designated in Pennsylvania to honor it. But you most certainly don’t need to wait until then to enjoy it.
So . . .
When you come over – come out. (When you’re in the area, drop by.)
I’ll make you some dippy eggs. (I’ll make you some eggs overeasy.)
Don’t eat yourself full. (Don’t fill yourself up.)
After I red the table, (After I clear the dishes from the table,)
there’s shoo-fly pie back yet. (there is leftover shoo-fly pie.)
Or you can make it yourself using my mom’s recipe:
Preheat oven to 450 degrees (230 Celcius). Combine flour and brown sugar. Cut in butter until crumbly. Set aside. Mix together molasses, hot water, and baking soda. Pour into pie shell. Top with crumbly mixture. Bake in preheated oven for 10 minutes. Lower oven temperature to 350 degrees (180 Celcius) and bake for another 12 to 15 minutes. Serve warm.