Wordless Wednesday: Frying up a family tradition

This past weekend my mom’s extended family ventured north to Bear Country (yes, that’s what the area is called and yes, I saw a mama bear and her cub!). We stayed in cabins north of Grand Beach, Manitoba, which is on the east shore of Lake Winnipeg.

It’s a tradition to have watermelon and roll kuchen for lunch on Saturday (one year we broke the tradition and had waffles and it just wasn’t the same). So what’s roll kuchen? Roll kuchen (pronounced “rawl kew-ken”) is a traditional Mennonite food best enjoyed in the summer with chilled watermelon. It’s basically a fried dough that is usually dipped in syrup. For this week’s Wordless Wednesday I’m going to show you how to make roll kuchen. My mom is the Roll Kuchen Master of the family and her three sisters help. Everyone has a job – I was the official photographer! Besides taking photos, I was also there to watch and learn, as was my cousin Tammy. We’ve been told the roll kuchen torch will eventually have to be passed to the next generation.

My mom brings all the ingredients, which are 2 cups flour, 2 teaspoons baking powder, 1 teaspoon salt, 2 eggs, 3/4 cup whipping cream and 1/4 cup light (coffee) cream. Mix the eggs and creams first and then add the dry ingredients. Mix into a soft dough. For this occasion she did the recipe four times as we were serving a large crew.

My mom mixing the roll kuchen dough.

 After the dough is mixed, roll it out quite thin (app. 1/8 inch).

My Aunty Henrietta rolling out the dough.

 After the dough is rolled out, cut it into strips. You can make them whatever size you want (rectangular size). And then cut a slit in the middle of each one.  

My Aunty Judy cutting the dough.

The roll kuchen tradition was passed down from my Grandma Friesen who died a few years ago. Grandma used to take each individual roll kuchen and knot it as in the photo below. This takes more time but is more traditional. To knot it you cut a slit in the middle and pull one end through.

This one's for you Grandma.
The dough is then fried in hot oil on both sides until it turns a golden brown.
My Aunty Karen flipping the roll kuchen.

 Serve warm. I had the hard job of eating them! As you can see on my plate I’m dipping them in syrup.

Enjoying the tasty roll kuchen.

 Do you have a favorite traditional food? Please comment below or send me an email. I’d love to hear from you.

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4 thoughts on “Wordless Wednesday: Frying up a family tradition

Add yours

  1. tasty! sounds like you had a great time. i love traditions. so special that you can carry them on and will some day be in charge. 🙂 i am also glad you didn’t get caught between that mama bear and her cub.

  2. WOW! I love these photos and thanks for linking up Teresa! I have never heard of roll kuchen before but we might just have to try it. We do a lot of traditional German food and Norwegian foods. Our kuchen is more of a dough with custard and fruit on it.

    1. Thanks Katie! I think I’ve had your kuchen. Last summer when my mom and I were in Grand Forks we went to the Farmers’ Market downtown and there was a lady there selling it so we tried some. Very tasty!

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