A Full Rich Day: Chicken & Kuchen

Hello, everyone. Meet my canner.

Two more Family Fun Days on the books. We sure do get good mileage out of weekends this time of year. It should come as no surprise that it revolved around the making of food.

My sister and my mother conspired an excellent plan to do a bulk cooking get-together once in awhile. I was thinking we’d do something like, oh….lasagna, but they thought we should dive right into the deep end and make massive amounts of kuchen and can some chicken. Yes, chicken can be canned in a jar and put on the shelf. It’s delicious. Or at least I was quite fond of it as a child. I guess didn’t actually see it sitting in a jar on a shelf much. It isn’t the prettiest thing ever put in a jar.

On Saturday, we cleared the countertops and dissected a whole bunch of birds. It was meat-riffic. And slimy.  But no one lost a finger.

We ended up with 14 quarts of chicken from 8 or 9 birds. Mother took home all the extra parts and made broth. Then the next night she made chicken soup and bragged about it like it came down straight from heaven, yet never even offered me a sample. Ha-rumpf.

I wonder if she looks anything like Viola.
While the meat was percolating in the canner, Mom got started on the kuchen dough, then the custard. She used Viola Heinrich’s recipe in Ashley, ND’s “Schmeks Gut!” cookbook. Mrs. Heinrich was surely a good German woman who made kuchen well enough to get her recipe published in her hometown cookbook, yet had no idea how much flour to use for a standard 8-kuchen recipe. She advises using “enough flour to make a soft dough.”  I’d be curious if Viola is alive today. I would give  her a ringy-ding and tell her she needs about 6 cups of flour in her kucken dough recipe, just in case she doesn’t know for sure.


Favorite kuchen flavor - peaches, hands down.Mmmmm.....peach kuchen.

Aside from all the cooking, the girls’ cousins’ cousins (got that?) came over and they all had a blast playing together. Six kids can trash a house in about 3 minutes flat. It’s really quite amazing.


Sunday was mostly a rinse and repeat of Saturday. I was exhausted when it was all over.


Seven of eight kuchens. Number 8 disappeared in a jiffy.