Saturday, June 27, 2009


This post builds on the previous one, about the women of the Greatest Generation.

I’ve learned that someone connected to me, a member of this generation, passed away recently: Mildred Sippel. She was born in 1916, got married in 1954 (yes!), and was the organist for her church for many years. This information is from her obituary, here.

I copied this picture from the newspaper’s obituary, and ten bucks says that it, in turn, was copied from her church’s directory.

Here’s how she’s connected to me: My mom’s aunt’s husband was Mildred’s brother. Which is to say, she was the sister of my Great Uncle Adolf. No, I didn’t know her, but my mom did. And I’m sure we’ve attended some of the same weddings and funerals.

So. Mildred Sippel passed away, and I had to go look in my copy of Cooking with Faith, 1950 to 1975, also known as “Favorite Recipes of Faith Lutheran Church Women, Jefferson City, Missouri, 1970.” Because she was a longtime member of Faith Lutheran.

(No, it’s not very clear what the official cookbook title is—the thing on the cover, or the thing on the first page. And you can’t tell what the publication year is, either. Church ladies’ cookbooks can’t be bothered with such details—it’s more important to copy all those precious recipes accurately.)

And behold! I found one of Mildred’s recipes—in fact, I remember looking at this recipe before, because when I was first teaching myself how to cook red cabbage, I studied her instructions with curiosity. (How much red cabbage to use, then? Apparently this must not make very much. Maybe she was just thinking about cooking for two, huh. And do you think the spelling should have been “Bierich,” or what? Hmm. I’ll bet she was one of those gifted “cook by feel” people. . . . Or maybe that’s the pun in the book’s title—you have to have “faith” that it will turn out!)

Anyway, here ya go, verbatim from the bottom of p. 46 of Cooking with Faith. Read my note right after it, however. Very important.

Beirich Kraut

Place finely cut red cabbage in pan with slightly salted boiling water. (Water should barely cover the cabbage.) Add 1 teaspoon vinegar to water, cover pan and cook cabbage until tender, adding water if needed. When finished, add a little sugar or sweetener to taste.
Mrs. William Sippel (Mildred)

Note: I don’t know how long Mildred had to cook this after she’d added her vinegar, in order for it to get tender, but my advice is to cook the cabbage in water alone, first, until it’s completely done, before adding any vinegar. It can only be a small amount of water, too; it basically steams. As a general rule, if you add vinegar before the vegetable is soft, it will stay crunchy. . . . Hmm. Well, maybe Mrs. Sippel liked it crunchy.

Oh, and of course: Use apple cider vinegar. Of course.

Someday I’ll post my own recipe for red cabbage. Which is better; everyone loves it. But this is Mildred Sippel’s memorial post, and I don’t want to brag . . .


And now here’s a bonus recipe for you! From my mom’s handwritten collection! This recipe is known as “Mrs. Sippel’s Meatloaf,” but my Mom pointed out to me that it’s not from Mildred Sippel . . . and it’s not from Mildred’s mother-in-law, either. Nope. It’s from Mildred’s predecessor, the first Mrs. Sippel, who passed away—hence William Sippel’s remarriage in 1954, to Mildred, who was the second Mrs. Sippel.

So yeah . . . I’m feeling warm about this dish. This is the exact same meatloaf recipe my mom used all while I was growing up. This here is real home cookin’, I’ll tell you what!

Note: Making these kinds of connections are one of the best things about living in your extended family’s home turf.
Mrs. Sippel’s Meatloaf

1 1/2 lb. hamburger
1 egg
2 tbsp. chopped onion
1 cup cracker crumbs
1 cup milk
salt and pepper (to taste)

For Topping:

bacon (2 strips)

Mix together meatloaf ingredients and place in baking dish. Put 2 strips of bacon on top and dot with catsup. Bake 1 hour at 350°.

(For more on these recipes, with pictures, click here!)


Happy wee butterfly said...

Ok just a wee question. What is catsup???? lol Jackie

Julie said...

Oh, gosh, Jackie, didn't that spelling make it across the pond? See my post plus the one after it ("Walnut Catsup") for my odes to ketchup. . . . And if all goes according to plan, I'll soon be posting a picture of the largest ketchup bottle IN THE WORLD.

Anonymous said...

Got what you mean now thanks lol I just had chicken breast with sate sauce and my own toasted coconut and ginger fried rice for dinner. Have to say it was a triumph!!!! lol Jackie x

ps could not do the wee ampersand above the sate it is thai peanut sauce.

Julie said...

OH yeah, OH yeah, I know chicken with sate sauce. Yum!

We're coming over to your house for dinner tonight!

Ha ha ha!