Lard Bread & Boiled Flour: A Farm Story

grandpa kitchen. w words
A couple weekends ago we celebrated the spring season with Karl’s family. His Grandparents came over to the big city from their small farming town a couple hours away. As usual we had a meal and talked farming with Grandpa. No one can talk farming like an 85-year-old farmer! (That’s him, above in the picture.)

Grandma and Grandpa are in their 80s and still farming. Every building that ever stood and every piece of equipment ever used on their land for the past 100 years is still there today. Their homestead is rich with history, and you can’t help but be reminded of years past when you’re there.

They were real homesteaders; still are.

A piece of flooring is removed in the kitchen to reveal a ladder down the root cellar. Which they still use. It houses the “spuds.” Every year they still plant a huge garden. And they pick acres of rocks by hand ever year.

A wood-burning stove is the heart of the dining room and heats the area where they spend most of their time. They use a hand-pumped kitchen sink. The outhouse is white and unassuming on the outside, painted bubble gum pink on the inside.

Last summer they put a new tin roof on one of the tractor sheds. By themselves. And Grandpa uses homemade ladders that are older than I am! They still do many things the traditional way, “the way that they’ve always been done.”

Some of the hardest working and sweetest people you’ll ever meet.

At the lunch table this past weekend we were talking about some of the foods they used to eat growing up on the farm. I just love hearing about this stuff; farming, pioneering and homesteading history just fascinates me- especially when it has to do with food!

Lard Bread
Chopped onions are sautéed in a lot of lard until they are cooked through and nicely browned. Then the lard is set out to cool and solidify again and you’ve got yourself a lard-onion spread. And then, as the name suggests, it is slathered on bread.

Grandma and Grandpa followed the description of lard bread with: “nobody worried about cholesterol back then.”

Ha! My kind of people.

Of course they raised their own pigs and rendered the lard themselves. The bread was made from scratch too… Grandma’s bread from the wood burning oven is to die for.

Boiled Flour
An old German tradition that immigrated here with their families. I think Grandpa said that his Grandpa’s Grandpa ate this. They didn’t know if this dish had an english name, and they weren’t sure how to spell the German, but they called it “Klebasoup.”

By hand, Grandma mixes together 1/2 cup flour with some cold water until it is crumbly and then slowly adds it, along with a pinch of salt, to 1 cup of boiling water. Stirring nearly the whole time, the mixture is boiled until it thickens. The final touch is to add in some milk (however much you’d like) and serve it topped with a spoonful of sugar.

Traditionally this was served for breakfast, and “sometimes it was all they had.”

Grandpa: it’s good with a little sugar on top.
Grandma: a little?!?

Apparently grandpa likes a fair amount of sugar on his.

He grew up eating this and still eats it today. Grandma turned her nose up when talking about it and all but rolled her eyes at Grandpa’s fondness of boiled flour. But of course, she still fixes it for him anyways. 

“We ate what we had,” Grandpa said.

Grandpa also threw in that they: “ate everything but the oink” when they butchered a pig!

I’m sure my ears perk up whenever they talk about the past- what life was like and how things were done on the farm. It captivates me, I think because a part of me longs to live that way.

Their stories are like nuggets of gold, being passed from one homesteader to another.

 

This post shared at Homestead Barn Hop #158, Backyard Farming Connection Hop #79,

Comments

  1. Amanda says

    That is one of the coolest pictures! What a wonderful example you have for homesteading in your very own family. I wish my Grandfathers were still alive to talk to about the good old days. Soak in all the info you can get from them, as way too soon the knowledge they can pass onto you will leave with them! This really brightened my afternoon – not that I think I would enjoy lard bread or klebasoup!

    • crystal@wholefedhomestead says

      Thanks Amanda, I’m so glad you enjoyed it! It really is a gift- they have so much knowledge, and we definitely soak up all we can from them.

  2. Bob Rodich says

    Your great grandmother had a chicken soup dumpling recipe that grandmaMary, Carol, Lois and Sandy still use to this day. ub

  3. Angela says

    Hi Crystal (and Karl)!
    This is one of the best blog posts ever. Thank you so much for including this. I love to read each of your posts but seeing the farm and Grandpa made me smile.
    I had overheard parts of the conversations you transcribed, but now I have all the details. So funny!! :)
    Hope you’re having a great day!
    Angela

  4. Kathy says

    LOVED your post! It just resonated with me.
    Reminds me of my dad who is 92 and still farming. He tells stories of foraging for “sand plums” in the summer so that his family could have jelly. With his help I pick sand plums from ditches in rural Oklahoma. Sand Plum jelly is very valued in the state of Oklahoma.
    Anyway, keep up the beautiful writing.

    • crystal@wholefedhomestead says

      Thanks so much Kathy!

      Sand Plum Jelly- what a great memory and tradition to hold on to!

  5. Tsakani says

    Thank you so much for sharing your lives with us. Seriously, that picture of grandpa is legendary :)

    One day, when we have our little bit of land, I hope our grandchildren can take pictures of us that shows the love they feel for us, like you do for them.

    You definitely have one more fan!

  6. Jane says

    I loved the story on the Lard and the boiled flour…….I know Karl’s Grandma and Grandpa and they are the sweetest people. We live about 6 miles from them and are often treated to wonderful donuts and their company! :-)

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