6.24.2011

Ringing in the Summer


We have had a very cool and rainy spring and the first two days of summer have not been much better. There has been the occasional wonderfully warm and summery day sprinkled here and there, one of which was Father's Day. We had a get together at my in-laws' where summer was officially pronounced by the presence of rollkuchen and watermelon.

rollkuchen basking in the hot sun
For those of you who haven't been introduced to the impending heart attack that is Mennonite cooking, rollkuchen it is a deep fried square of dough sprinkled with salt, and eaten with golden syrup and watermelon. Dustin's family has close relationship with all of their traditional foods and rollkuchen (which apparently must be said with an over the top rolling of the "r") and watermelon tops the list of hot weather outdoor meals. When I first encountered this meal back in the days when Dustin and I were dating, I was incredulous that anyone would only want to eat solely fried dough and watermelon for supper. A snack or dessert maybe, but a whole meal? I could feel my arteries recoiling in horror. I still mostly feel this way, but through the years I have become gradually more and more excited when the first brimming bowl of rollkuchen emerges. I suppose because it has become intrinsically tied into my good memories of the extremely short but wonderful Manitoban summer.

Theo enjoying another summer time favourite
Like pretty much all Mennonite food, I don't think I will ever make these little bundles of joy myself, but I really enjoy the once or twice a year that I have them over at my in-laws'. I don't think Dustin will complain too much that I won't be making these since he has a strange aversion to watermelon. I think it is wonderful that Dustin's family has so many traditional foods, since my family has managed to lose pretty much all semblance of their original culture through years of traveling and living in other countries. If Dustin would ever choose to continue the family tradition and learn to make the smörgåsbord of Mennonite "shame based" foods, I would support him whole heartedly. As for me though, I am content to leave it as one more reason to enjoy visits with my in-laws.

2 comments:

derrydown said...

I don't think of PA Dutch food as shame-based though! Pennsylvania is chock-full of hex-sign-decked restaurants boasting that fare. I can't be ashamed of opening my lunch-box and revealing a huge raisin sticky bun and some apple butter!

mom said...

Ah the beat moves on to the next generation. Yes watermelon and rollkuchen. next comes the "neyoush kuchen" new years cookies!