Monthly Archive: March 2016

Ancestral Cooking


Geschnetzletes and Spätzle

So in honor of my Czech heritage, I have been trying out a couple different Czech recipes.  Tonight’s dinner was karbanátky, courtsey of  the Czech Cookbook. The meal was yummy – super filling.  The patties consist of ground pork and beef mixed with onion, garlic, bread, egg, marjoram and salt.  They are coated with bread crumbs and fried up.  Pretty simple to make!  I didn’t have old crusty bread to use, so I simply used some day old french bread I had. I think the only mistake I made was not squeezing enough water out of the bread before adding it as the patties didn’t hold together as well.  My four year olds enjoyed the meal as well.  I am happy to say I have little ones who #1 are pretty adventurous eaters and #2 really like protein.  I remember my mom always saying she never cooked anything interesting because us kids would never eat it!  I served the meal tonight with mashed potatoes – I didn’t have time to try something new for a side dish. Especially since I let the girls dye some eggs right before dinner time and it was an utter mess.  I would highly recommend trying out this recipe!  Sorry there’s no picture of this one – my phone had died by the time dinner was ready! read more

Pursuing the Pertls – Is this Bertel a Pertl or just a distaction

Pertl Anton 1870 chicago census

I know other researchers might say at this point I should continue the path I was on researching Vincent/Jim Pertl before jumping down the rabbit hole I found at the end of the last post. And maybe I should. But, I’m not going to. I’m comfortable that my research has been documented well enough that I can pick up where I left off with Vincent if this bright shiny object (BSO) turns out to be nothing. For more information on BSOs just google “genealogy and bright shiny objects” and you will find plenty of information, mostly about how to record them to research later. In my case however, although I was in the process of researching Vincent, my true goal is to find where Anton and his family came from in Bohemia. This may lead me closer to that goal, and so I am going to pursue it. read more

Orange for St. Patrick’s day

Dingle Penninsula, Ireland June 2008

St. Patrick’s Day is tomorrow.. the day where college students drink green beer, adults drink Irish whiskey and children everywhere are dressed in green . My girls will be wearing orange… and green. In Ireland, orange is associated with Protestants and green with Catholics. Most people are familiar with the numerous conflicts that have happened in Northern Ireland over the years – notably Bloody Sunday and the hunger strikes. From what I can tell, neither side is innocent in the bloodshed that has happened in the past. And it’s not for me to say who is right or wrong – I’ll leave that to people more familiar with the facts. What I do know is that my grandmother always told me that our ancestors were Orangemen and, as such, our family wears orange on St. Patrick’s day. read more

Pursuing the Pertls – Searching for Brothers

In my last post, I was looking at different methods I could use to track down Anton’s origins. One of these was to look into Anton’s potential siblings. Again I want to start with the information that I have. In this case, that information is mostly secondary, handed-down information.  After looking back through my original version of this post, I realized that I do not know if some of the people mentioned below are still alive – therefore a couple of the names have been changed. read more

Life Made Easier – Three Weeks of Dinner


Sometime in the past few years I read a book that talked about planning out your dinners in advance. I believe the particular book I read was in regards to saving money and talked about planning for a month at a time. When I first read that I thought… “No way… that would never work for me!” And yet, I was willing to give it a try. I started with one week at a time. After a few weeks I thought, this is going pretty well, and jumped straight up to three weeks at a time. I’ve found this to be my happy place. I once tried four weeks, but the planning took too long to be quite honest!! I’m getting ready to make my dinner plan for the next three weeks so I thought I would share my process with you! Perhaps it will inspire you to give meal planning a try! read more