Kuchen. Do you what it is? I didn’t until I married into a staunch German heritage family. My husband is the 3rd generation in the United States but the German traditions live strong in our corner of the prairie. One of those traditions is kuchen.
This weekend, Miss E and I set out to the county fair on Saturday afternoon to learn about the Kuchen Contest, hosted by our local rural telephone company, BEK Communications. The same telephone company that brings me broadband internet to my remote home office also hosts the Kuchen Contest. High tech merges with strong traditions on the prairie.
It was about 95 degrees as you see by Miss E’s face but we found the kuchen and even got to be first round judges.
Kuchen is a dough crust usually with fruit on top and topped with custard, usually cinnamon sprinkled on top. At least that is how kuchen is made around our part of the prairie.
But Miss E and I judged the “other” category which varied and had chocolate chip K=kuchen and many others. Our dear friend (and cleaning princess) Dianna won the other category with Strawberry Kuchen.
We didn’t rig it. We didn’t know which ones were hers. She was a reason we wanted to see the contest.
I looked up the definition of kuchen, it’s just German for dessert. I have been to weddings elsewhere that serve “Wedding Kuchen” and other styles of it.
I’m becoming the quite the kuchen connoisseur.
Cheese is another “non-fruit” category.
My mother-in-law has never entered the kuchen contest but I love her Peach Kuchen and Nathan LOVES her Prune Kuchen. Maybe we’ll get her to enter next year.
Nathan describes Kuchen as “bread/ cake like crust with toppings of fruit or chocolate chips with custard…and you would think prune would be gross but the prunes are boiled and baked and make the best kuchen.”
I studied the rules.
I tasted and judged.
I took Dianna’s picture with her adorable granddaughter next to the winner’s list. Dianna won several categories.
Between knowing the rules, tasting, judging and learning a few of the inside tricks from an expert like Dianna, you might find me entering the Kuchen Contest at the 2012 Tri-County Fair. It may cause a revolt to have the non-native of this corner of the prairie that can’t speak a lick of “old German” enter the contest.
I like to shake things up a little on the prairie.
What’s a heritage family recipe you enjoy making?