Recently I posted a recipe for my mother in law’s tourtière where I talked about family recipes not being very clear or precise. My maternal grandfather was a fairly prolific cook when it came to all things meat. He was always dropping by with a ham or pot roast or a turkey. There was a soup that he and my grandmother made that, until I was older, I didn’t really appreciate. It’s very hearty, stick to your ribs kind of soup. One could almost consider it a stew, it’s that borderline. It’s peasant food- inexpensive to make and you can stretch it from here to kingdom come and feed an army of people, and just what you want to eat after a long, cold day working outside.
I asked my mother over the holidays if she had a recipe for it. She told me to ask my aunt. This proved useless because she said the same thing as my mother. This was the conversation: Me: “Do you know how to make the sauerkraut soup?” Mom & Fran: “It has sauerkraut, potatoes and pork.” Me: “What kind of pork?” Mom & Fran: “I don’t know. It might have bacon, pork shoulder. I think he used pork chops. I haven’t made it in years.”
A couple weeks ago, my mother sent me a picture of a recipe card with the “recipe”. It’s just as vague as the conversation we had about the soup. I should’ve known, but at least there’s something written down.
“Cook until done.” Now I know how my husband feels when he asks how much of something to add to a dish. I usually tell him to add “just enough.” HAHA
So figuring out this recipes is my next challenge. It’s not difficult but I’d like some specifics with regard to a jumping off point for the future. What kinds of pork will I use? Will I add caraway seed? Where’s the right balance between pork and potatoes and sauerkraut? I guess I’ll find out, and let you know.