Pennsylvania 6-5000

The moment I heard that today was National Pennsylvania Day my head was filled with a Jazzy Fox Trot. I might be old, but I’m not that old. Missed the 40s by a decade or so. And in case you are wondering Pennsylvania 6-5000 was an actual telephone number. Had you dialed that in 1940, you would have gotten the Hotel Pennsylvania in New York City. Completely different Pennsylvania, I know.

National Pennsylvania Day is all about the second state to join the Union. Philadelphia was once the temporary capital of the United States. It is home to the Liberty Bell. Pennsylvania was nicknamed the Keystone State, for it was keystone in the formation of a new, independent country.

The Declaration of Independence and the U.S. Constitution were signed in Philadelphia during its tenure as a temporary capital. Throughout military operations in the struggle for independence, Pennsylvania provided forces to support the cause. Her history is filled with stories of leadership and sacrifice to that end.

To understand the Pennsylvania Flavor, it is best to begin with the Pennsylvania Dutch Country. German and Swiss immigrants brought with them a wide range of hearty recipes that were easily adapted to the fresh ingredients available in the Pennsylvania countryside. These early settlers filled the tables with the bounty of the land. While my recipes might not be “authentic” the menu reflects the spirit of these strong people.

I have always admired the Amish. Theirs is not a life of convenience, but it is one of pure dedication to faith and traditions. There is a part of me that is drawn to such strong convictions.

Celebrating Pennsylvania
Creamy Potato Bacon Soup

Cinnamon-Apple Pork Chops
Pennsylvania Dutch Green Beans
Amish Buttermilk Biscuits

Amish Sugar Cookies

Slow Cooker Creamy Potato Bacon Soup
6 slices Bacon
1 Yellow Onion
5 large Russet Potatoes
3-1/2 cups Chicken Stock
1/2 teaspoon Kosher Salt
1/2 teaspoon dried Dill Weed
1/2 teaspoon ground White Pepper
1/2 cup Flour
2 cups Half-and-Half cream
1 (12 fluid oz) can Evaporated Milk
1 teaspoon Garlic Powder
4 tablespoons Red Bell Pepper, garnish
4 tablespoons Green Onion, garnish

Lay strips of bacon in a stack, slice into pieces. Set aside. Peel onion, dice and set aside.

Scatter bacon in a non-stick skillet over medium heat. Stir fry the bacon until just beginning to brown. Add diced onions to the skillet and increase heat to medium-high. Continue to cook, stirring as needed, until the bacon is evenly browned and the onions are soft. Drain off excess grease.

While the onions and bacon are cooking, peel and dice potatoes. Set aside until ready to use.

Transfer the bacon and onion to a slow cooker. Add potatoes and stir to incorporate bacon-onion mixture with potatoes. Stir in chicken stock, salt, dill weed and white pepper. Cover and cook on LOW for about 7 hours. (Longer is fine, too).

In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, Half-and-Half and Evaporated Milk. Stir into the soup along with a teaspoon or so Garlic Powder. Increase slow cooker to HIGH and cook soup another 30 minutes uncovered. This will allow soup to thicken, taking on its creamy characteristics.

While the soup thickens, chop the bell pepper and green onion for garnish. Set aside until ready to serve.

To serve, ladle soup into bowls, garnish with chopped bell pepper and green onion. Serve with crescent rolls, if desired.

Cinnamon-Apple Pork Chops
2 tablespoons Butter, divided
4 boneless Pork Loin Chops
3 tablespoon Brown Sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground Nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon Kosher Salt
4 medium Tart Apples
2 tablespoons Pecans

In a large skillet, heat 1 tablespoon of butter over medium heat. Add pork chops, cook about 5 minutes on each side.

While the pork chops cook, combine brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt in a small bowl. Set aside. Thinly slice apples, set aside. Chop pecans, set aside.

Remove pork chops from the skillet and keep warm. Add apples, pecans, brown sugar mixture and remaining tablespoon of butter to the skillet. Cook, stirring often, until the apples are tender. Spoon apple mixture over the pork chops and serve.

Pennsylvania Dutch Green Beans
6 slices Bacon
1 medium White Onion
1 lb Green Beans
2 large Tomatoes
1 teaspoon Minced Garlic
1/2 teaspoon Kosher Salt
1/4 teaspoon Black Pepper

Stack bacon slices, chop into pieces and set aside. Peel and dice the onion, set aside. Clean green beans, trim, cut in half and blanch.

While the green beans are blanching, chop tomatoes and mince the garlic. Set aside.

In a large skillet over medium-high heat, cook bacon and onions for about 7 minutes or until bacon is crisp and the onions are soft. Add blanched green beans, chopped tomatoes and fresh garlic. Stir to blend. Season with salt and pepper. Continue to cook over medium heat for about 10 minutes.

Transfer to a serving bowl or platter and serve.

Amish Buttermilk Biscuits
1/2 cup Butter
4 cups Cake Flour
2-1/2 tablespoons Baking Powder
2 teaspoons Kosher Salt
1-1/3 cups Buttermilk or as needed
1 tablespoon Butter, melted

Cut butter into small pieces, place in the freezer to chill well until ready to use.

Heat oven to 475-degrees.

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, mix flour, baking powder and salt together. Add the diced butter and mix at medium speed until well incorporated. The mixture should resemble wet sand after about 4 minutes.

Remove the bowl from the mixer, fold in the buttermilk until the dough sticks together.

Flour a work surface, dump the dough out and pat into a rectangle. Pat any remaining dry crumbs into the mixture by hand. Cut dough in half with a floured bench knife, stack cut halves on top of each other. Press layers together to about a thickness of 1-1/2 inches, shaping into a long rectangle as you press. Cut in half and begin process again. Repeat the cut, stack and shape about 4 times. Be careful not to over-work the dough

Cut the dough into 8 even squares with the bench knife. Trim off uneven edges and place scraps aside. Clean cuts on all sides will encourage the biscuits to rise. Once trimmed, pat scraps together to make the remaining odd-shaped ninth biscuit.

Arrange biscuits close together in a 9-inch square pan. Melt remaining tablespoon of butter, brush the tops of the biscuits. Let biscuits rise for 15 minutes in a warm spot in the kitchen such as the top of the stove over the heated oven.

Place biscuits in the hot oven and bake for 5 minutes. Reduce heat to 425, continue to bake an additional 8 minutes. Allow biscuits to rest for 2 or 3 minutes in the pan.

Remove from pan, transfer to a napkin-lined bread basket. Serve warm with plenty of butter.

Amish Sugar Cookies
1 cup Butter, softened
1 cup Vegetable Oil
1 cup Sugar
1 cup Powdered Sugar
2 large Eggs, room temperature
1 teaspoon Vanilla
4-1/2 cups Flour
1 teaspoon Baking Soda
1 teaspoon Cream of Tartar

Heat oven to 375-degrees. Line baking sheets with parchment paper, set aside.

In a large bowl, cream the butter, oil and sugars together. Bean in the eggs one at a time until well blended. Add vanilla, beat well. Set aside.

Sift together the flour, baking soda and cream of Tartar. Gradually add the dry ingredients to the creamed mixture until fully incorporated.

Drop cookie dough by the small teaspoonfuls onto the prepared baking sheet. Place one sheet at a time into the heated oven and bake until lightly browned, about 8 minutes. Let cookies rest on the sheet for 2 minutes, then move to a wire rack to cool.

Repeat until all the cookies have been baked. Will make about 4 to 5 dozen, depending upon size.

Author: Rosemarie's Kitchen

I'm a wife, mother, grandmother and avid home cook.I believe in eating healthy whenever possible, while still managing to indulge in life's pleasures.

14 thoughts on “Pennsylvania 6-5000”

  1. I was born in PA and I wish I could have grown up there. So cool a place with so much history. These recipes look delicious! I want to try every one. Great post!


  2. You’ve done a great job with capturing the “flavors” of PA. I wasn’t born in the state but did grow up here and have lived in three different areas. There’s much to recommend it, and there’s plenty of rich history to explore.


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