Pioneer Potluck

Posted: Wednesday, May 11, 2011

About being adopted

Dad was a big Irish man, with big hands and a big heart. He always had an explanation for everything, and whether it was a long or short story, it was always funny. When telling his jokes, he laughed harder than anyone else, and sometimes would not get through his story without breaking down and laughing uncontrollably -- except for the day he told me I was adopted!

I was running as fast as my 6-year-old legs could to keep up with my Dad's brisk pace to the milk barn with pail in hand. "Dad. Dad! How come Butch has black hair, Ginger has pretty curly auburn hair, Mom has black hair, and you have auburn hair -- but I got this white, straight, stringy stuff?" He called me "cotton-top" sometimes.

Being in his usual hurry, he shot back at me, "Oh, I found you in the wood pile." I stopped in my tracks, looked at him as he hurried off, and started to cry. He thought he had answered my question, and went on the milk the cows.

I knew, I just knew I was adopted -- Dad said so! "My hair doesn't match anyone else around here!" I went into a worry-wart state about being adopted, wondering who my real family was and where I came from -- for several years -- until I was 12.

We were doing our usual Sunday entertaining for whomever might drop in for Mom's fried chicken or noodle soup. Dad had the family photo album out and was telling the endless stories only the way Dad could tell them (again) when my eyes fell on a picture of my Mom's mother, Grandma Cogswell. "I look like Grandma!" I shouted, scaring the audience out of their half-sleep.

In utter amazement, Dad turned his head slowly and said, "Well, of course you do!"

"And I am not adopted!" I shouted back.

"Well, of course not," replied Dad, "Who said you were?"

I never said a word, or offered any explanation, but from then on I never worried about being adopted, and I loved my Grandma even more.

And, if I ever did tell Dad, he would have laughed at me anyway!

The series is written by a 44 year resident of Alaska, Ann Berg of Nikiski. Ann shares her collections of recipes from family and friends. She has gathered recipes for more that 50 years. Some are her own creation. Her love of recipes and food came from her Mother, a self taught wonderful cook.

She hopes you enjoy the recipes and that the stories will bring a smile to your day.

Grannie Annie can be reached at

About Pancakes

Until two years ago I did not know about chocolate chip pancakes.

Bob's grandkids were visiting and that was request most mornings.

Since then my grandson, Grey requested them so often I bought him a "liddle griddle"

I prepared for him dry buttermilk pancake mix with chocolate chips mixed in.

He now makes his own. He says when he grows up that is all he is going to eat!

My friend, Bernie chops up apples and puts them in pancakes. Sprinkle the hot buttered pancakes with cinnamon and sugar.

My kids when they were little loved peanut butter on them.

Susan says I made them Mickey Mouse looking pancakes. Now they have different shaped pancake molds.

Bob and I like fresh or frozen blueberries sprinkle on one side of cooking pancake.

Bob likes left over cold pancakes spread with any kind of beans or refried beans, roll up.

Try sliced strawberries, raspberries, walnuts, or mix cinnamon and nutmeg in batter.

And I make raspberry and strawberry or current syrups or rhubarb-strawberry jam to go on top of hot pancakes.

Open a can of cherry or apple or peach pie filling and top a hot butter pancake and a dollop of whipped cream. And don't have them just for breakfast - they are a good suppertime filler upper.

Alaska Reindeer Sausage Breakfast Skillet

1 28oz pkg frozen O'Brien has brown potatoes

1 onion chopped

1/2 each red and green bell pepper diced

1 pound reindeer sausage (or Kielbasa or Polish sausage) cut in small diced pieces

1 cup Monterey Jack cheese shredded (or cheddar)

Fry potatoes according to package directions add the onions, pepper and sausage, adding more vegetable oil it needed. When vegetables and meat is nicely browned top with cheese. Cover for 3 to 4 minutes. Serve from skillet with a big spoon.


Add 6 beaten eggs to hot potatoes and sausage. Stir until eggs are set. OR make 4 wells in the hot potatoes, and place an egg into each well. Pour a small amount of water down the side of the skillet and quickly close with lid. Simmer on low until the eggs are set - sprinkle with cheese - serve from the skillet. Fun one skillet breakfast.

Good at a campfire.

Apple Fritters

Peel and core and slice into 8th two Granny Smith apples

Pour about two inches of oil into a cast iron skillet.

In a bowl:

1 egg

1/2 cup milk

2 teaspoons sugar

1 cup sour cream

Mix and stir in:

1 cup Self Rising flour

Dip apples into batter and lay in the hot oil in skillet. When the batter bubbles and the bottom is golden brown, flip over and fry other side.

Take out and drain on paper towel and sprinkle with cinnamon sugar or powdered sugar and serve immediately.


Please note error on Debra's Pioneer Bread Pudding:

Add two eggs-beat in with the milk.

She did make the Bread Pudding recipe for my birthday.

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