This was certainly a different Thanksgiving. Because we were advised it was "Better to have a Zoom Thanksgiving than an ICU Christmas" many people wound up cooking for smaller numbers, including some cooking who don't normally cook. I like to say I treat my family like gods . . . burnt offerings! However my daughter on our Facebook Messenger family call said I really was a pretty good cook!!! I was stunned. Then she started naming the things I made that she liked. Unfortunately my husband doesn't eat any of them. It's been so long I almost forgot about making those dishes. Let me explain, more than once he's said to me, "Ooo, go brush your teeth, you taste like vegetables!" When I mentioned this to a long-time friend of his, she remembered him years ago eating Thanksgiving with them. She said all he wanted was a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. Actually I know her memory is slightly off because he eats a straight peanut butter sandwich...no jelly.
That may sound like it was easy to make Thanksgiving dinner for him. Nope. Something more special than a peanut butter sandwich was needed, especially after a month and a half of hospital/rehab food helped him lose 30 pounds. (Trust me, he could spare it, but I still wanted something special.) I know he may not be a big turkey eater, but he will eat some as long as you rinse off the gravy. Found a Banquet frozen Turkey and Gravy package serviceable without my learning to cook a whole bird which would mainly go to waste. Mashed potatoes, corn, and brown-and-serve rolls worked for him. I wanted to try something new for myself besides having sweet potatoes from a can with a bit of brown sugar. He doesn't eat stuffing, but I found a great recipe to help me use up some apples before they spoiled and also some bread already stale. I'll give the recipe after today's story. I also decided to try another recipe for Easy Peach Cobbler instead of buying a pie. I made it. It is easy. It's also very sweet and rich. I'll give it, too, at the end. So many "cozy" mysteries I read like to throw in food and recipes. I try to avoid them rather than think about eating while reading. If you don't care to have them, that's fine. My reputation won't be damaged as nobody could ever call me a Foodie.
But I do admit to enjoying a glass of wine.
Today's story may be a cautionary tale to cooks who drink while cooking, or maybe to the people expecting them to cook. Grethel may have a bit too much to drink, but she manages to keep her wits about her when she needs to get out of trouble. The Brothers Grimm aren't known for Trickster tales, but I think we could almost say this is one.
There are many translations of the works by the Brothers Grimm. That was the 1886 version found in Household Stories translated by Lucy Crane with illustrations by Walter Crane. Unless you're a German scholar, I'd advise anyone wanting to tell any of their stories to find various translations, read them all and tell it your way. This one should be told with a sly bit of cheek in tongue.
Now for those recipes.
Denmark supposedly is the source of this Apple Stuffing.
2 cups diced apples
4 cups soft bread crumbs (Mine weren't soft, but it didn't matter.)
1/2 cup seedless raisins
Mix them all in a big mixing bowl. (I did that the night before and also mixed the other ingredients in a separate bowl.)
2 tablespoons of melted butter (I learned microwaves melt butter very quickly!)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup sugar (After you taste this recipe you may decide to reduce it to 1/4 cup, but try this first as its sweetness is very unique.)
1 tablespoon of lemon juice (I keep RealLemon on hand, so I didn't have the next ingredient.)
1 teaspoon lemon peel, grated
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 cup any stock (I made a 1/4 cup of BetterThanBouillon chicken flavor)
The recipe warns not to add too much stock as the apples, when they cook, will become applesauce and add their own moisture to the stuffing. I didn't do that. I prefer the apples staying in small chunks, so on Thanksgiving Day I mixed it all and heated it enough in the oven to make it warm. The next day it was delicious cold. I still have a third day's generous portion since I'm the only one eating it, but it's a treat I find myself enjoying even if I did make it.
The Easy Peach Cobbler could be made with any flavor pie filling if you prefer cherry or apple.
2 cups peach pie filling
1 package yellow cake mix
2 sticks butter
1 cup nuts (I used walnut pieces, but they're really up to you)
You should have a 9x13" pan (I didn't, but had 2 glass casserole pans equaling that. It really needs to be "well greased." I used Pam cooking spray, but later found the edges a bit stubborn to remove.
Spread pie filling in the pan. Sprinkle cake mix over the top. Pour melted butter over the top. Add nuts sprinkled over the top. Bake 45-50 minutes at 350 degrees.
This can be served hot, but also very good cold. Use a cake or pie spatula to cut and serve, but know it's intended to be crumbly. It was very rich and a bit sweet to my tastes, but my husband loved it. I'm glad, because half that would be a bunch for one person to eat and probably this could serve much more than four (the two of us for two days).
I don't think any professional chefs will be put out of business by these two recipes, although the pandemic is trying its best to eliminate restaurants as a business. I do think when family Thanksgivings return I have two good items not duplicating anything anybody else might bring.
Now back to the usual information about how you can keep reading stories in the Public Domain.
- There are many online resources for Public Domain stories, maybe none for folklore is as ambitious as fellow storyteller, Yoel Perez's database, Yashpeh, the International Folktales Collection. I have long recommended it and continue to do so. He has loaded Stith Thompson's Motif Index into his server as a database so you can search the whole 6 volumes for whatever word or expression you like by pressing one key. http://folkmasa.org/motiv/motif.htm
- You may have noticed I'm no
longer certain Dr. Perez has the largest database, although his
offering the Motif Index certainly qualifies for those of us seeking
specific types of stories. There's another site, FairyTalez
claiming to be the largest, with "over 2000 fairy tales,
folktales, and fables" and they are "fully optimized for
phones, tablets, and PCs", free and presented without ads.
Between those two sites, there is much for story-lovers, but as they say in infomercials, "Wait, there's more!"
- Zalka Csenge Virag - http://multicoloreddiary.blogspot.com doesn't give the actual stories, but her recommendations, working her way through each country on a continent, give excellent ideas for finding new books and stories to love and tell.
You're going to find many of the links on these sites have gone down, BUT go to the Internet Archive Wayback Machine to find some of these old links. Tim's site, for example, is so huge probably updating it would be a full-time job. In the case of Story-Lovers, it's great that Jackie Baldwin set it up to stay online as long as it did after she could no longer maintain it. Possibly searches maintained it. Unfortunately Storytell list member, Papa Joe is on both Tim Sheppard's site and Story-Lovers, but he no longer maintains his old Papa Joe's Traveling Storytelling Show website and his Library (something you want to see!) is now only on the Wayback Machine. It took some patience working back through claims of snapshots but finally in December of 2006 it appears!