10 January 2015

US Military; Specifically US Army Historians . . .

And, more specifically, the New York US Army National Guard. 

Finding original source documents for our ancestors can be challenging enough, but it is downright aggravating to have come across this “breadcrumb,” a military service card for an ancestor, only for the search to hit a gigantic roadblock. . .1

 

New York Military Service Cards

New York Military Service Card for Edwin G LINDSEY

 

New York Military Service Cards Index

Index and Source Citation

The source information states that ancestry.com received the database and images from the New York State Military Museum, Saratoga Springs New York.  The card provides the register and page number where the record and information can be found.  Contacting the New York State Military Museum, I learn from Jim, the Assistant Librarian / Archivist, that

”Unfortunately, no one knows what “Register B” refers to.”  

Well, that’s frustrating.  The New York Military Museum website includes the following:  New York State Militia Officers Prior to 1858; About this Collection and a Historical Sketch of the 121st.  However, the historical sketch does not specifically mention the 17th Brigade, 10th division; both noted on Edwin’s  Service Card.  The site also includes an Alphabetical Listing of New York State Militia Officers Prior to 1858.  But, Edwin G LINDSEY is missing from that list.

Clearly, a military service card for Edwin exists / existed, but what the register is that the card refers to, and, where it is seems to be a mystery.  The museum’s website has this plea. . . 

“Each card also refers to a page in a resource called Register "B." (No amount of research has determined exactly what this Register "B" actually is. If someone knows what and where this resource is please contact us.)”

We’ve all been there . . . can’t find information or documents that document our ancestor’s lives and story; yet, they did exist – we are living proof of that.  That is bad enough, but to know that there was a document; a register that existed that contained information and details on our ancestor, but have it lost to . . . is just maddening.  If there are any military historians or descendants of an ancestor who served with the New York State Militia in the 121st Infantry, 17th Brigade, 10th Division and can aid in solving the mystery of Register “B,” I encourage you to contact the New York State Military Museum

What database / index have you found that leads you to a record – seemingly – only to find that it is elusive and / or missing?

 Tracy

____________________________________________________________

Sources:

1Ancestry.com. New York, Military Service Cards, 1816-1979 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2012.  Original data: NYNG Officer Service Cards prior to 1/1/1930. Saratoga Springs, New York: New York State Military Museum. NYNG Officer Service Cards prior to 1/1/1930. New York State Military Museum, Saratoga Springs, New York.

12 October 2014

Slowly, but Surely . . . the LINDSEYS

Over the past several months I have been focused on my LINDSEY ancestors; I had previously been able to document from myself back to my third great grandfather, Edwin Galloway LINDSEY, in Pennsylvania.  A ‘cousin’ contact, about six months ago, started me on my current journey to document the line back to my fourth great grandfather, Archibald LINDSEY.  This ‘cousin’ provided information from compiled genealogies, county histories and also mentioned that there were LINDSEY descendants that were members of a lineage society.  While there was information . . . there were no source citations; none!  Not in the compiled genealogies; not in the lineage society membership applications; not in the county histories; not in the surname  book – “The LINDSAYs of America by Margaret Isabella LINDSAY.  Which just made me crazy, to say the least.  See the following posts to see, in detail, what information the above did provide:

In the Absence of Documents
Puzzle Pieces
Archibald LINDSEY, DAR, and the American Revolution
Archibald LINDSEY - Who? What? Where is the Source?
LINDSEY - Connecting the Dots; Beginning the Process
Land Records - Deeds; An Introduction

So my journey began.  Over the past six months I have worked to discover and research what actual documents are out there and available to help me “prove,” or not, that Archibald LINDSEY is, or isn’t, my third great grandfather’s, Edwin LINDSEY’s, father and my fourth great grandfather.  And, while I have made discoveries; discoveries that I believe greatly bolster the validity of the information I was given, that one definitive piece of the puzzle is still elusive.

What I know . . .
(In an effort not to make this a book; I will present the information in a series of posts.  Today’s focus, my third Great Grandfather, Edwin Galloway LINDSEY)

Edwin Galloway LINDSEY
Birth:  about 1800
Birthplace: New York, USA

US Census Records 1850; 1860 and 1870

Marriage #1
Amarillis SKINNER
Marriage Date: 27 January 18281

”The LINDSAYS of America,” by Margaret Isabella Lindsay
Deed signed 5 May 18282
US Census Record 18303

Deed signed 23 June 18354

On the 5th day of May 1828, Edwin LINDSEY paid $100.00 to Alpheus Hawley and his wife Kesiah to purchase land located in the Village of Glens Falls, Warren County, New York. My hypothesis is that this land was purchased in preparation of Edwin’s pending nuptials to Amarillis – a place to build their home.

1825 - Deed - Edwin Lindsey 
Land Record - images 237-238; pages 453 - 455

1830 - US Census
1830 United States Census for Edwin Lindsey

And, in 1835 Edwin LINDSEY and Amarillis sold their land back to Alpheus Hawley for the amount of $100.00 U.S. Dollars.  And, from the deed, we know that Amarillis LINDSEY was examined and the deed signed by the clerk, Thomas Archibald, on the 23rd day of June 1835.  (click the hyperlink to see the deed in its entirety.)

1835 - Land Record - Edwin Lindsey
Land Record - image 83; pages 153 (middle) – 154

Marriage #2
Rosanna RANKIN
Marriage Date: Between 1835 and 1838
Birth of first child: Helen Mar LINDSEY about 1838
Death of Eldest Son: Edwin Franklin LINDSEY, 1856
Death of Rosanna (RANKIN) LINDSEY, 1864

Pennsylvania Philadelphia City Death Certificate, Helen Mar LINDSEY5
US Census Record 18506
Mortuary Notice, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania Public Ledger7
Pennsylvania Philadelphia City Death Certificate, Rosanna (RANKIN) LINDSEY8

Death Certificate - Helen Mar Lindsey
Death Certificate - Helen Mar LINDSEY

US 1850 Census
1850 United States Census for Edwin G LINDSEY (Lines 28 - 35)

Obit -Edwin F Lindsey - 23 January 1856
Mortuary Notice - Edwin Franklin LINDSEY

Death Certificate - Rosanna (Rankin) Lindsey
Pennsylvania Philadelphia City Death Certificate - Rosanna (RANKIN) LINDSEY

While I have not been able to locate a marriage record for either Edwin’s marriage to Amarillis or to Rosanna, the above cited 1835 land record supports the assertion made in the surname book, “The Lindsays of America” that Edwin and Amarillis were married.  The author, Margaret Isabella Lindsay also states that Edwin deserted Amarillis and his family. By 1840, Amarillis LINDSEY is on her own and listed as the Head of Household on that year’s US Federal Census. (see below)9  Making the case for the hypothesis that,

1)  Edwin and Amarillis had parted ways between 1835 when the sale of their land was finalized and 1838 when Edwin’s and Rosanna’s daughter, Helen was born.  And,

2) That Edwin and Rosanna were married during that time frame.  Or, at the very least living as man and wife by 1838.

US 1840
1840 US Federal Census for Amarillis LINDSEY (last entry)

Helen Mar LINDSEY’s death certificate; the 1850 US Federal census; the Mortuary Notice documenting the death of Edwin Franklin LINDSEY; and the death certificate for Rosanna LINDSEY, together, make a strong case, in my opinion, that Edwin and Rosanna were indeed married.  Helen’s death certificate provided the added bonus of providing Rosanna’s maiden name – RANKIN.

Curiosities . . .

Searching the internet I have located and collected several puzzle pieces.  While I believe they fit into and will complete the overall picture, I have not been able to assemble the puzzle just yet.  Listed here are some of the curiosities that I have come across:

  1. The surname SKINNER, with the help of my ‘cousin’ we located the “Skinner Family Association” and the personal memoir of Edward Skinner written by Dr. S W Heath10, Edward’s son-in-law.

    In reading through it a couple things jumped out . . .

    - He provides the names of his parents and that of his siblings.  He also notes who they are married to.  Now, there are typographical errors within the memoir.  But, the information fits what I do know, to this point. To read the entire memoir, click on the hyperlink; click on the images to see the specific information that pertain to my specific research. 

    Lydia Finny Skinner

    Samuel G Skinner

    Amarillis
    Personal Memoirs of Edward Skinner

    The above snippets provided Amarillis’ parents names, to include her mother’s maiden name FINNEY; confirmed where the Skinners were from in New York and where they moved to in Ohio; confirmed Samuel Skinner’s date of death; and confirmed that Amarillis (misspelled as Arnarilus) and her marriage to Edwin Galloway LINDSEY (referred to as Galway LINDSEY in the memoir.)

    I also located online at familysearch.org Samuel G SKINNER’s will11 in which he names his wife Lydia (FINNEY) SKINNER and his children, including Amarillis; however, he did not identify her in his will by her married surname.

    14 June 1841 - Will - Samuel Skinner                                                            Samuel G Skinner Will (image 69; page 99)
  2. After locating Edwin LINDSEY and his family in the 1830 US Federal Census, Albany Ward 4, Albany, New York, I took a look at the proceeding page(s) and the page or two after Edwin’s entry (image 39) and discovered a William RANKINS (image 41)12.  Remember, Edwin sometime between 1835 and 1838 married a Rosanna RANKIN; Could William RANKINS be her father or her brother perhaps?  Note, in the 1840 US Federal census Albany Ward 4, Albany, New York, there is a Geo. A RANKIN (image 66);13  I did not find William RANKINS listed in the 1840 census in Albany; Could Geo. A Rankin be Rosanna’s father or brother?  I know that I need to research both men and their families, but, how do you research someone you don’t know – you only have their first and last names and tick marks on two census documents that provide absolutely no other information?  I have looked through Albany in its entirety for both census years, these are the only Rankin[s] that I located.  Do I search all of New York?  And any and every Rankin[s] family?  My guess is YES, but allow me to be in denial just a bit longer.  Ugh, a tedious and laborious endeavor.  But, the rewards . . . yes, that is what I look forward to.

    On a positive note I am always looking at genealogy blogs, and the other day I came across a new (well, new to me) one and while leaving a comment for the author, I happened to see a familiar surname . . . RANKIN!  Rankin?  Hmmm, I couldn’t get lucky enough that it would be the same RANKIN line that I’m researching.  I finished my initial comment and then asked the author about the RANKIN surname and filled her in on what little information I have on Rosanna and what possible discovery(ies) I made in the 1830 and 1840 US census records.  Fingers crossed

    1830 - William Rankins
    1830 US Federal Census for William Rankins (image 41)

    1840 - Geo A Rankin
    1840 US Federal Census for Geo. A Rankin (image 66)
  3. The following two excerpts from the “History of Warren County New York with Illustrations and Biographical Sketches” provided the following interesting tidbits and clues . . . (to view, click the image; to view in context, click the hyperlink)

    Page 278 - Warren County History
    Page 278

    In 1826 Edwin purchased a printing press and all the accessories and published the Glens Falls Observer for two years.14  In an initial attempt to find out more I contacted the Historian of Glens Falls, New York to inquire if it was possible to learn more about Edwin’s purchase of the Newspaper and his publication of the “Glens Falls Observer.”  I was hoping, much like land purchases, there would be a record.  Not so much.  Wayne, the historian, noted that the “business records going back to the early 1800’s are spotty at best.”  However, he did suggest that I contact the Chapman Historical Museum to see what records they may have.  I have done as suggested and I am waiting a reply.

    Page 424- Warren County History
    Page 424

    The above image15 is further evidence of Edwin’s successful business venture, the purchase and operations of the Glens Falls Observer.  And, it also provides two further clues . . . Samuel G SKINNER was the proprietor of a local coffee house.and the Glens Falls School-house was built on the road leading from Samuel’s residence and situated near the local cemetery.
  4. Another Database, on ancestry.com, with great potential was the New York Military Service Cards, 1816 – 1979.  Edwin G LINDSEY served in the New York National Guard as an Ensign in the 121st Infantry, 17th Brigade, 10th Division.16  (click on the image or hyperlink to view larger image)

    New York Military Service Cards
    New York Military Service Card for Edwin G Lindsey

    Now, there’s a record I could sink my teeth into.  The source information states that ancestry.com received the database and images from the New York State Military Museum, Saratoga Springs New York.  Awesome, I’ll contact them and see if I can hit ‘genealogy gold!’  After all, the card image provides register and page number where the record and information can found.

    Here is the index . . .

    New York Military Service Cards Index 
    New York Military Service Card Index

    I contacted the New York State Military Museum, Saratoga Springs, New York and asked if I could obtain a copy of the information from Register “B,” page 455 on Edwin G LINDSEY?  Foiled!  I received the following reply from Jim, the Assistant Librarian / Archivist.

    ”Unfortunately, no one knows what “Register B” refers to. I do not have any additional information on Lindsey.”

    What?  Really?  Ancestry.com did not pull this database and the attached images out of thin air; they came from somewhere and it is clearly stated, under the source information, where the information and the images were obtained.  So, what happened to these records?  Why isn’t the Museum’s Librarian / Archivist familiar with them?  Arrrgh!  Ugh! 

    Jim does go on to suggest . . .

    “The New York State Library has additional reports prior to 1858; however, I do not know if they are available online. Another line of inquiry is to use the AG reports to discover where the 121st Infantry was from (most units were recruited in strict geographical areas). Once you know an area you can see if there are any newspapers from there at http://www.nysl.nysed.gov/nysnp/city1.htm
  5. You would then have to find out where the newspaper or microfilm is stored, go there, and search. The theory here is that officers were more likely to have a higher social standing therefore more likely to appear in newspapers.”

    I have been unsuccessful, to this point, in finding anything on the 121st Infantry anywhere.  I do not purport to be the most proficient at Google (or other search engine) searches; Lisa Louise Cooke, I am not.  But, I would have thought if there was even a smidgeon of historical information on the 121st Infantry, I might have at least found a blurb or two with an indication of where I might find out more.  In what archive?  In what historical society?  Or, in what historic repository can I find more information?  Any military historians, specifically New York National Guard, out there?  Any suggestions?

My hypothesis at this point, having discovered and researched the above documentation, is that the information in the county histories, the compiled genealogies, the lineage society membership applications and the Lindsay surname book, in reference to Edwin Galloway LINDSEY, is accurate.  There is however, a lot more research to be done.

What are your thoughts?  Suggestions?  I look forward to hearing from you.

Tracy


SOURCES

1Margaret Isabella Lindsey, The Lindsays of America (1889; Reprint, Westminster, Maryland: Heritage Books, Inc, 2008), page 142

2"New York, Land Records, 1630-1975," images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1942-32578-3868-92?cc=2078654 : accessed 11 Oct 2014), Warren > Deeds 1826-1831 vol D-E > image 237 of 572; citing County Clerk. County Courthouse.

31830 US Census, Albany County, New York, Population Schedule, Albany Ward 4, page 310, Edward G Lindsey; Digital Image, Ancestry.com (http:www.ancestry.com) : Accessed 31 August 2014; Citing NARA Microfilm Publication M19, 201 rolls

4New York, Land Records, 1630-1975", Familysearch.org (https://familysearch.org/), Accessed, 1 September 2014, images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1951-32571-11815-91?cc=2078654. https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1951-32571-11815-91. 

5Pennsylvania Philadelphia City Death Certificates 1803 - 1915; Index and Images (familysearch.org), GS Film Number: 1977749; Digital Folder Number: 004009974; Image Number; 00714. https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.1.1/J6PF-T97 

6Ancestry.com, 1850 United States Federal Census (Online publication - Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2009. Images reproduced by FamilySearch.Original data - Seventh Census of the United States, 1850; (National Archives Microfilm Publication M432, 1009 rolls); Records of the Bureau of the), Ancestry.com, http://www.Ancestry.com, Year: 1850; Census Place: Philadelphia Chestnut Ward, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Roll: M432_813; Page: 456B; Image: 387

7
Mortuary Notice, 23 January 1856, accessed 10 October 2014, for Edwin Franklin Lindsey, by NewsBank and/or the American Antiquarian Society. 2004.
Source: GenealogyBank.com. Public Ledger, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, online images 

8 "Pennsylvania, Philadelphia City Death Certificates, 1803-1915," index and images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.1.1/JFZK-4ZX : accessed 11 Oct 2014), Rosannah Lindsey, 18 Jan 1864; citing , Department of Records; FHL microfilm 1986422. 

9Ancestry.com, 1840 United States Federal Census (Online publication - Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2010. Images reproduced by FamilySearch.Original data - Sixth Census of the United States, 1840. (NARA microfilm publication M704, 580 rolls). Records of the Bureau of the Census, Record G), Ancestry.com,
http://www.Ancestry.com, Year: 1840; Census Place: Queensbury, Warren, New York; Roll: 349; Page: 308; Image: 625; Family History Library Film: 0017209.

10Dr. S W Heath, “Personal Memoirs of Edward Skinner; from the Skinner-Hope Family Record,” Skinner Family Association, Skinner Kinsmen,
http://skinnerkinsmen.org/SKU/SKU03_2/03_2edward.html : accessed 11 October 2014, paragraphs 2, 4, 5 and 24; Reprinted from skinnerkinsmen.org 

11Hartland, Huron, Ohio, Huron Wills 1828-1873, vol A-1, image 69 of 425. https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1942-27612-961-97?cc=1992421&wc=9GMG-K6N:266279301,266804901; digital images, Family Search, Familysearch.org (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1942-27612-961-97?cc=1992421&wc=9GMG-K6N:266279301,266804901).   

12
Ancestry.com. 1830 United States Federal Census [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2010. Images reproduced by FamilySearch. Original data: Fifth Census of the United States, 1830. (NARA microfilm publication M19, 201 rolls). Records of the Bureau of the Census, Record Group 29. National Archives, Washington, D.C.

13
Ancestry.com. 1840 United States Federal Census [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2010. Images reproduced by FamilySearch. Original data: Sixth Census of the United States, 1840. (NARA microfilm publication M704, 580 rolls). Records of the Bureau of the Census, Record Group 29. National Archives, Washington, D.C.   

14Smith, H P (Henry Perry), History of Warren County [N.Y.] with Illustrations and Biographical Sketches of Some of its Prominent Men and Pioneers (Syracuse, New York D Mason and Co Publishers, 1885), 278; Digital Images. Internet Archive (https://ia600401.us.archive.org/16/items/cu31924083944151/cu31924083944151.pdf : accessed 19 March 2014) 

15Smith, H P (Henry Perry), History of Warren County [N.Y.] with Illustrations and Biographical Sketches of Some of its Prominent Men and Pioneers (Syracuse, New York D Mason and Co Publishers, 1885), 424; Digital Images.  Internet Archive (https://ia600401.us.archive.org/16/items/cu31924083944151/cu31924083944151.pdf
: accessed 19 March 2014) 

16
Ancestry.com. New York, Military Service Cards, 1816-1979 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2012.  Original data: NYNG Officer Service Cards prior to 1/1/1930. Saratoga Springs, New York: New York State Military Museum. NYNG Officer Service Cards prior to 1/1/1930. New York State Military Museum, Saratoga Springs, New York.



 

 



 

31 July 2014

Scrapple Nirvana . . . Almost

It has been 39 years since I enjoyed scrapple as much as I did today.  Thirty-nine!  My Grandmother, Catherine Louise (STARR) KRIEBEL passed away too soon in 1975; I was twelve, and until today, I haven’t had scrapple that has measured up to the memory of my family’s scrapple recipe . . . well, sort of.

See, a couple of things have been ‘against’ my enjoying scrapple as I did in my youth:

  1. There are many variations of the recipe – as many people there are in the world, that is how many different recipes there seemingly are for scrapple.  And, none taste quite like my family’s recipe.
  2. Grocery store-bought and massed produced scrapple should be left . . . on the scrap heap!
  3. For me to have scrapple that even comes remotely close to what I enjoyed as a child, my Dad must bring blocks – that’s right blocks! – of it down several times a year from Pennsylvania Amish country.  It still isn’t quite like my family’s recipe, but, it is closer.
  4. As I mentioned, I was just 12 when my Grandmother passed away and I didn’t know yet that genealogy, family history and the preservation of family recipes and memorabilia would become a passion!  So, it never occurred to me to ask and ensure that my family’s scrapple  recipe be preserved.  Nor, the recipe for the condiment of choice (Green Tomato Relish) to serve with the crispy-fried scrapple slices.  And, while I have asked over the past 27, of the 39, years all family members that were involved with pig butchering day for the recipe, it would seem that it is . . . lost.  Crying face

CONFESSION TIME:  Every fall, when my uncle brought 2 – 3 slaughtered pigs from his farm to my Grandparent’s home in Schwenksville, Pennsylvania, we all gathered for a day of butchering; my Grandparents, their children, Carolyn; Richard; Barbara; and Gerry and their respective spouses John; Janet; Durrell; and Jerry and their children would all descend into the basement of the KRIEBEL home.  Well, all except the grandchildren – we had more important things to do. . . PLAY!  So, I never witnessed the process or how the scrapple was made.  Yet, because of my love for my Grandparents and family and because I so enjoyed the fruits of their labor – scrapple, sausage, bacon and . . . oh, my!  I have very fond and treasured memories* of pig butchering days.  Pictures you ask?  I have seen pictures that my Grandmother took of the process,  but just like the recipes, they seem to be lost to me forever.

*hopefully, as family members read this, they will share their memories of pig butchering day in the comments.

Okay, so how did I accidentally achieve scrapple nirvana?  Before I get into that, let’s discuss what scrapple is.  I must say, until I grew up, married and moved from Pennsylvania, I thought that scrapple was a universal food product much like bacon and sausage, it never occurred to me that scrapple – and, what it is – wouldn’t be as well known in other locals.

After a pig is butchered, there is lots of stuff leftover – scraps, including internal organs and intestines - no, no, don’t be scared, when it all comes together, it tastes really good!!  For scrapple these scraps are cooked down into a stew, ground up with the other leftover bits of meat and combined with cornmeal for texture.  The mixture is then cooled down into a loaf, sliced and griddled to serve.  It is most often served for breakfast with eggs and potatoes.  Essentially, you are eating a pork burger with your breakfast.

My passion for genealogy and family history, recipes and memorabilia really blossomed in my late teens and became an addiction after our first child was born in 1988.  I am forever reminiscing about my ancestors, grandparents, my childhood and bygone days.  And, when I get together with fellow Pennsylvanians, scrapple and green tomato relish and how I just can’t find a brand or Amish produced product that measures up to the ‘taste memory’ that I have always seems to come up.  One such conversation some years ago, prompted the father of a dear friend to write down his family’s recipe for scrapple and share it with me.  Here it is . . . (yes, you must continue reading to learn about my nirvana experience.  Smile with tongue out

(1) Cut heads four ways to remove tongue, eyes, ears and also saw off teeth.  Scrape tongue and ears in the hot water to remove hair, then put into tub for pudding meat.

(2) (for pudding) Cook head meat, hearts and kidneys, put in kettle about 10 gallons of water and two handfuls of salt then cook till meat falls from bones, add livers approximately 10 minutes before removing meat from kettle. Juice is saved for scrapple.

(3) Pick the head meat apart while hot, add about 3 medium onions and grind all together with cracklings.  Put about 10 gallons of water in a #2 kettle to cook pudding in, after water comes to boil, cook about 20 minutes, but not too hard a boil as it will burst skins

(4) Using the pudding water, add pig head, juice, season with salt and pepper, add enough water to bring about 6” from top of kettle, add slowly 1-1/2 pounds of yellow corn meal to a batch using about 12 – 15 pounds of buckwheat flour, sprinkle in slowly with hand so it will not lump, stirring continuously.  Bring to a rolling boil and if necessary add 3 – 6 pounds of new lard, so it shows around the edge of kettle.  Boil for about 10 minutes then remove from fire, but continue stirring for about 4 – 5 minutes more.

There are many ways to enjoy scrapple:  with molasses, maple syrup, apple butter, cottage cheese . . . but my Grandmother served it with green tomato relish.  For years, 39, to be exact, I have eaten scrapple plain, which is okay, but . . . I loved it with Grandmom’s relish.  While I have tried store-bought and Amish handmade green tomato relish from all over Pennsylvania and various other locals, none measure up to Grandmom’s recipe.  None!  Mostly because they are all too sweet.  Grandmom’s green tomato relish recipe had just the right ratio of sweet and vinegar – more vinegar - which goes well with the scrapple.  But today, I have had an epiphany that just may have changed my scrapple eating experience for my remaining days . . .

After frying up the ubiquitous Pennsylvania German breakfast of fried scrapple, home fries and eggs, my husband and I sat down at the table for our Saturday breakfast meal.  And,suddenly I had an idea.  I said to my husband, “we have Banana Pepper slices in the refrigerator, I wonder how they would taste with scrapple?”  “It isn’t green tomato relish but, they are jarred in vinegar and an added bonus is that they have a bit of a spicy bite.”  We both said, “hmmm?”  Off to the refrigerator for that jar.  I  piled a couple of slices onto my fried scrapple, gathered a bite-sized piece with a pepper or two and . . . heaven!  Well, sort of.  It wasn’t Grandmom’s relish, I will always miss that, but, it is the only thing in all these years that has even come close to her perfect condiment.

Now, we always have banana peppers in the refrigerator, so please, please tell me, why on earth, did it take 39 years for me to have this epiphany and almost nirvana experience with scrapple heaven?!!!

Now, I know that you are still not too sure about scrapple; you just can’t get passed what goes into it, but consider this.  Scrapple is no longer just a by-product of pig butchering and waste not, want not.  No, really, it has moved up the food chain to seriously good eats!  It has been featured on the Food Network Channel by celebrity chefs. It has been making appearances in restaurants and it is featured at Pennsylvania German and Dutch festivals..

Speaking of restaurants, I recently learned that my hometown peeps have been holding out on me – what’s up with that Chris? – A new restaurant, Greenheart Café, has appeared on the scene in Collegeville, Pennsylvania and was featured in the Times Herald Newspaper in March of this year.  From what I’ve read, they’ve elevated scrapple to gourmet . . . a featured dish on their menu is their Poutine – hand cut French fries with crispy scrapple, freshly made brown gravy, creamy fontina cheese and fresh herbs.  Yes, please!!

So, if you’ve never had scrapple, I encourage you to try it; if you’ve had scrapple and enjoy it, I encourage you to share how you enjoy eating it; if you enjoy scrapple and your family made their own recipe, I encourage you to share what made the recipe uniquely your family’s.  And, I encourage us all to try the elevated and gourmet scrapple dishes that are making appearances on the Food Network Channel, in restaurants and at German and Dutch festivals and to share your culinary experiences. 

For those that may visit Collegeville, Pennsylvania, located in Montgomery County just 1-1/2 hours northeast of Philadelphia, I hope that you’ll visit the Greenheart Café and let me know how you liked the poutine.  And, if you enjoy festivals, I hope you’ll visit the 25th Annual Pennsylvania Dutch Festival next week Thursday, 7 August – Saturday, 9 August 2014; click on the German and Dutch Festivals hyper link above for information.