[Ger-Poland-Volhynia] thanks and another question - re: food

Ron Neuman ron at neuman.ca
Sun Apr 12 19:44:50 PDT 2009

I just got home from an Easter Weekend of visiting, so I am getting 
into the "foosher" discussion a bit late.

For many years my sister, Irene (Neuman) Hinchberger has made a pot 
of "foosher" or "fuscher" for lunch at our annual gritzwurst making 
day.  A year ago I finally convinced Irene to write down the 
recipe.  She immediately said that there was no recipe - it was all 
in her head.  The recipe was in her head, and had been firmly 
implanted there by our mother, Elsie (Henkelmann) Neuman.  Foosher 
was evidently made in Vohynia by our mother's parents/grandparents, 
and remained a favorite after the families moved to Alberta in the 
late 1890's.

There is no cream in this version, and no boiling of dumplings.  The 
version that Irene makes is exactly as I remember what our mother 
made, so I think it is fairly authentic.  As usual with ethnic folk 
recipes, you need to use your imagination a bit, and likely do some 

Foosher (Fuscher)

- fry bacon - 1/2 pound bacon (drain the bacon and save the bacon 
fat.  Break the bacon into pieces the size of a quarter)
- 6 medium potatoes, peeled and cut in pieces.  Boil until well done.
- Leave about 1 inch of cooking water in the pot with the potatoes 
after they are cooked, and save the rest of the water
- sprinkle 2/3 cup flour over the potatoes and water, cover and steam 
for 15 minutes
- then mash this mixture well, and add another 1/3 cup flour and mash 
again until it "feels right" (Irene says that it should have a 
somewhat gluey texture, and if it doesn't feel right you can add some 
more flour and cooking water if needed and mash it again)
- once you have the mixture well mashed, you drop tablespoonfuls of 
the potato/flour mixture into a casserole until the bottom of the 
casserole is covered
- then sprinkle that layer with half of the bacon bits and drizzle 
some of the bacon fat over it
- add another layer of the potato balls, sprinkle it with the 
remaining bacon, and drizzle some more bacon fat onto it
- bake uncovered in a 350 degree oven until it is lightly browned 
(about 30 minutes).

Remember that I told you that you would have to use your imagination 
a bit and do some experimenting, particularly with the part about 
"until it feels right".

If anyone has any questions about this recipe, Irene is quite 
prepared to help answer the questions.  Just email your questions to 
me, and I'll get the answers for you.  This recipe can easily be 
doubled or tripled if you wish to do so.

What do you eat "foosher" with?  We like to have it with panfried 
gritzwurst, or as an accompaniment to a hearty casserole of "pork 
hocks and sauerkraut."

Irene and I would like to hear from any of you who try this recipe - 
to hear about your successes and if you enjoyed it.

I will also answer another question right now, and that is "who is my 
sister Irene?"  Irene now lives in Arizona, but she and her husband 
visit Edmonton every summer.  For those of you who attended the SGGEE 
convention in Edmonton in 2006, you might remember that at the 
conclusion of my presentation on "Who the Heck is Cousin Fred?", I 
presented Irene with a birthday present.  The present was the jar of 
homemade dill pickles that was at least 50 years old.  My cousin 
Alfred and I had found the jar in the dugout cellar of the farm house 
where we grew up, and the jar was still perfectly preserved.  Irene 
had helped Mom make those dill pickles.

>Now, on an entirely different line - I have another question. There is a
>dish my grandmother made in the times when the depression was severe, and it
>was hard to feed a hungry family even here in Canada on the prairies. It was
>called "fooshia" - and I don't know how to spell it. The "oo" is pronounced
>as in "foot". It was potatoes mashed with flour, and cooked somehow so the
>flour was no longer raw. Bacon was cubed and fried, and the bacon bits and
>fat were both put into cream. (Are we gagging yet?) The potato mixture was
>served with the cream sauce. She continued to make it occasionally, even
>when times were much better. I had it as a child; but the last time I ate
>it, it sat in my stomach for several days, I swear! Not that I will ever
>make this dish, but is anyone familiar with it (it seems to be a dish
>brought from the Old Country), and can tell me/us just how it was made? I am
>actually wanting to make a cookbooklet of recipes that my grandmother was
>noted for, and certainly this one qualifies. None of my kin seem to know
>just how it was made.
>Thank-you in advance!
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