Keeping the Memory Alive through Fleischkuechle!

The beets, the beets! Don’t forget the beets!

My sisters and I have decided that we need to keep family traditions aliveand for us, that means through cooking!

We got together last Saturday afternoon as we made our favorite, traditional dish, Fleischkuechle. And that is what we served my last quart of canned pickled beets with (my question to you in my last post).

Pickled beets?” you might say, turning up your nose. But for all 22 Dubs grandchildren who grew up around Grandma Dubs’ table, about half of us learned to add her canned pickled beets on the top (with its juices) of this German dish, and the other half chose to eat it plain.

My sisters and I have carried on the tradition of both making this dish, and adding beets on top!

Cooking this recipe took time and patience (it’s not your standard, quick, throw-it-together type of a meal), so we allowed ourselves 3 hours to cook up a storm, and hang together in my kitchen. We took turns rolling the dough, cutting, and pinching (final step to completion!). We talked about our Mom (who taught us how to make this dish), laughed with one another – and best of all – we got our daughters in on the action!

We girls love making this dish for our Dad, so we chose this night to make it for his birthday celebration! We realize that the flavor is far greater to our palates, than to the most recent family member trying it for the first time, due to the memories connected to it. And now that Grandma and our Mother are gone, the flavor has become even more intense!

On Christmas Day this year, my family watched a very impacting movie, Mother Theresa. It was the icing on the cake – a perfect way of ending such a relaxing, beautiful day. It was a gift to me, and my family, as we went to bed that night reminded of so many of God’s blessings in our lives.

Yes, the gratitude was there. It went deep. And I won’t forget these brilliant words by Mother Theresa:

It is easy to love the people far way. It is not always easy to love those close to us. It is easier to give a cup of rice to relieve hunger than to relieve the loneliness and pain of someone unloved in our own home. Bring love into your home, for this is where our love for each other must start.

Through our memories and traditions of food, we can keep that love alive in our homes!

I feel like I have it easy – because I love being with my sisters and my family. But if you are a reluctant entertainer, I’d really like to encourage you to start with your own family.

Find a traditional dish that has meaning to you – and make those flavors come to life in your own home!

(Fleischkuechle consists of dough, a meat mixture of beef, pork and onions. It’s boiled in salted water and served with fresh bread crumbs layered between and on top.)

You can view my new Crosswalk article on “singles and hospitality” here.

21 comments on “Keeping the Memory Alive through Fleischkuechle!”

  1. Pingback: Sister Power: Burnt Breadcrumbs!

  2. I love pickled beets! Alone, on stuff, in stuff, with stuff … just love them!!!

    What a wonderful memory and tradition. With my family, it is empanadas, tamales, and an Italian roasted beef sauce. My mom is from Peru, so hence: the empanadas and tamales. But… her family is Italian (immigrated to Peru during Mussolini), so the Italian heritage is very rich indeed! Odd combination, though! But the memories are precious indeed!

  3. What a wonderful way to bond and keep traditions going. I’m not a fan of beets but your plate looks great.


  4. I’ve never heard of Flasheglia but we make pickled beets and love them. Your stories of family fun and traditions strike right at the heart of things. I think the world is just a better place for this kind of activity.


  5. What fun. I love the words of Mother Theresa. Loving people is one of the most important things we can do.

  6. Family traditions are the best things in the world! I am glad you are still enjoying yours!

  7. That looks like a great dinner! How fun to spend time w/your sisters too.

  8. Yumm – beets !!!
    I came across your blog from another one and glad I did. I see your from Or., I am too.
    I will be back and read more later, your blog is beautiful !
    Thanks for sharing :)

  9. Sandy,

    I’m not a big beet lover, my husband is…but I do think that your dish looks good!

    I got to try out some hospitality this weekend (something I don’t get to do very often but hopefully once we get our own place again I can do more of!), and I think you’d be proud. It was my daughter’s 4th birthday this past week, and we had her birthday party last night. I always make my kid’s birthday cakes, they get to pick the theme…this year she wanted Tinkerbell. We brought over the cake, and some pita bread and pizza toppings. Each one of the kids (the adults too) got to make their own personal pizzas. It was so much fun, and everyone really enjoyed themselves, especially Rachael…Her eyes gleamed in the candlelight while we all stood around her singing “Happy Birthday”

    Can’t wait for my youngest daughter’s birthday next month…she’ll be one.

  10. My family loves pickled beets! My grown children are amazed at their friends that don’t. We have a unique family recipe “ham and floppers” Floppers are flat square noodles cooked in ham broth, served on top of mashed potatoes. Starch on starch, what’s not to love?


  11. Sandy –
    Thanks for stopping by and visiting my blog. I’m on the other end of Oregon from you. I really love the area where you live, but then I love Oregon! We used to live in Bandon when our children were in the early years of grade school. We often visited and shopped in your area so we have fond memories there. Please come by and visit me again. I’ll be back to check in and see what you’re up to.

  12. YUM! My mouth is watering just thinking of how good this must taste!! I am a pickled beet eater so this doesn’t turn me off at all!

    What a blessing it must have been to spend that time with your family… not only remembering memories of the past… but creating new memories for the future!

  13. What a great birthday gift for your dad. I don’t have any extended family nearby – and I don’t have any sisters :o( – and I miss being with them and doing special things like this. I’m a big beet lover… and one of our family’s special dishes is “beet eggs” – basically boiled eggs submerged in a large delicious bowl of pickled beets. Every holiday those purple eggs graced our places. Delicious. (But I can’t seem to get my husband intersted in trying one!)

  14. I *love* beets. Period. :o)

    I visit your blog often – lurking but never commenting. I’m commenting. It took beets to do it. haha.

    Blessings to you…

  15. Well I don’t like beets, but I definitely like the idea of having my family members help in the cooking of family recipes! I’ll hafta pull my sis into the kitchen next time she visits. Usually we each contribute something, but don’t work on a meal together–hmmm!

  16. My Grandfather is Lebanese so whenever we get together (this coming weekend!!!) for a big get together he always makes traditional Lebanese dishes. I am sure we will carry this on long after he has gone to heaven – it will always remind me of him, hopefully my children will grow up on his food and stories.

    What a beautiful time you all had as a family. Those days and times are truly what life is all about.


  17. My husband and I love pickled beets. Especially homemade. We usually eat them with roast beef. But, I don’t think I’ve ever thought of putting them over top of a food, especially with the juice. :)

    Your stories continue to inspire me. I love that you and your sisters spent the day creating this special meal for your Dad.

  18. That’s a wonderful quote, and looks like a wonderful meal. Memories, of course, make it sweeter.

    And I adore your orange room!

  19. Hi, Sandy, what a great thing to do with your sisters. I’m not a beet lover, I have to confess, but your dish sure looks good.

    Always inspiring, you are!

  20. Any time you have a reason to spend time with those you love best in the world and laugh at memories… That is the best time!

    Love this post!

  21. I am a beet lover. Roasted, with olive oil and salt!

    deb meyers

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