Berks History Center Celebrates Berks County Foodways This Year

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The Berks History Center invites you to celebrate the Foodways of Berks County with a year-long series of events and a digital community storytelling project. The Berks History Center is located at 940 Centre Ave. Reading, PA 19601.

According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, foodways are the “eating habits and culinary practices of a people, region, or historical period.” Throughout 2018, the Berks History Center (BHC) will explore this compelling human experience by focusing on the foodways that are important to the people of Berks County. BHC will do so through themed programming, including Second Saturday programs and the Berks History Conference, as well online communications.

Second Saturday programs will include topics such as brewing history in Berks County, the history of culinary and medicinal herbs, butchering and traditional meat preparations and more. The BHC’s 3rd annual Berks History Conference on April 21, 2018 will feature 4 informative lectures by historians and food scholars on Berks County’s food history. Visit www.berkshistory.org for more information on BHC’s foodway-themed programs and events.

In addition to events and programs, the BHC launched a digital storytelling project that aims to highlight the diverse culinary experiences and food traditions alive in Berks County. BHC will share local foodway stories, including stories from the BHC staff and the community, on their blog, e-newsletter, and social media channels (follow @berkshistory). The BHC invites the people of Berks County to participate in the storytelling project by submitting stories about their family food traditions. For example, BHC’s first Berks County Foodway storytelling project story explored the personal history behind Education Curator Vicky Heffner’s favorite birthday dish: PA German Pig Stomach. To participate, send photos, recipes, information and video through the #MyBerksHistory project on BCTV’s SoLo app or email publicity@berkshistory.org.

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8 thoughts on “Berks History Center Celebrates Berks County Foodways This Year

    • Thanks for asking Mary E Frey! Please send your family recipes to publicity@berkshistory.org. Please include some information about your family, the traditions associated with the recipe, the region in which your family resides, images, etc. Submissions will be attributed to the author but will be published shared widely on Berks History Center’s blog and social media. Feel free to email publicity@berkshistory with any questions you may have as well.

      Another option would be to submit the recipe with images or video using BCTV’s SoLo app. Here is more information on how to submit your stories through BCTV: http://www.berkshistory.org/bctv-solo-app-myberkshistory/

  1. Last spring I think it was, there was an article on a lady demonstrating how to make Pot Pie(either Chicken or beef). The recipe was not given.. I have been trying to contact someone at the Museum who could connect me with this lady but to no avail… I have gone thru all of this year’s issue given here, but can not find any mention of Pot PIe other than Clam or Groundhog… would you be able to track down the name of this nice lady so I might be able to contact her.. I live in Michigan, but some of my ancestors live near Reading in the late 1700s. My Pa. Dutch grandmother used to make Pot Pie for us, but none of my family ever wrote down the recipe…. something I truly regretted one I was grown and she had passed away.I hope you can help me..
    I am particularly interested in learning how to make the rolled out flat, square ‘noodles, but having the entire recipe for Pot pie would be sensational…
    My niece Karen and I travelled to Reading last year to take part in a Hinckley Family Reunion We had a marvelous time and were very impressed with Reading and it’s Berks History Center..
    Sharon Sundling

    • Hi Sharon,

      As far as an article on demonstrating Pot Pie, nothing is coming to mind. We will check our records but we don’t think there was an article on the BHC blog about regular PA German Pot Pie. However, in the Clam Pot Pie article you can find the full recipe, in which chicken can be used as a substitute for the clams. Also, we will ask if our staff or volunteers might have a full chicken pot pie recipe to share.

    • Hi Sharon,

      We looked through our archives of past blog articles but were not able to find anything “regular” PA Dutch pot pie. We did speak with our Education Curator Vicky Heffner and this is what she said:

      “Couple handfuls of flour equal to eggs and not too much salt. It needs to be rolled out with enough flour and not too much egg that it’s too wet. Roll it out as thin as you can and cut into squares. I recently talk to someone who said that she lays her noodles out on the counter overnight to dry. I have a great memory of making pot pie noodles with my grandmother and we laid them out on a tray in the sun to dry. Boil until the noodles rise to the top. If you are making the noodles with pot pie first boil a couple legs of chicken or more, pull the chicken out and let it cool so that you can pull the meat off. Cube potatoes add to the water with parsley and corn if you wish, put the chicken back in and make sure it is boiling when you add the noodles. Sadly my family does not like homemade pot pie noodles so I fave to make it with store bought noodles therefore I do not eat it! Good luck!” – Vicky

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