If you grew up in a town named Providence, you'd expect apple pies on trees, ice cream served directly from the cow, and gardens spontaneously sprouting vegetables.

A positive-thinking community with an upbeat attitude. One of those everything's-coming-up-roses locales.But in the southeast corner of Cache Valley, something went awry. The town of Providence ruminates over the remnants of cabbage.

Sauerkraut, to be precise.

At first glance, the aromatic cabbage derivative seems misplaced in a town with such an optimistic designation.

On second thought, the German and Swiss immigrants who settled this corner of Cache Valley bonded together for the perpetuation of their ethnic food traditions.

It was kraut in the old country; it is kraut in the new homeland.

And the community sauerkraut project, according to Kenneth Braege, began in 1909.

"We started a fund-raising project to build a new church. We held a turkey-sauerkraut dinner, and it was a dinner fit for a king. Besides the sauerkraut, we had homemade rolls and pies, salads and potatoes."

The dinner project expanded with the population of the entire valley and often fed nearly 1,500 people in an evening.

Longtime kraut maker, Jake Fuhriman, explained, "The night of the dinner was a real



Sauerkraut, Apple and String Cheese Salad

2 egg yolks

2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

2 tablespoons grainy mustard, such as Pommery

3/4 cup olive oil

3/4 cup vegetable oil

Salt and pepper to taste

1 pound sauerkraut, rinsed and drained

1 large Granny Smith apple, peeled and coarsely grated

1 small red onion, finely chopped

8 ounces string cheese, pulled apart into strings

4 cornichons, coarsely chopped

1 tablespoon caraway seeds

Process the egg yolks, lemon juice and mustard in a food processor for 30 seconds. With the machine running, pour the olive oil, then the vegetable oil in a thin, steady steam to make a thick mayonnaise. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Combine the sauerkraut, apple, onion, cheese, chopped cornichons and caraway seeds in a large bowl. Toss thoroughly with enough mayonnaise to bind. Chill until cold.

Garnish with fanned cornichon slices and serve as an accompaniment to sausages or assorted charcuterie. Serves 6.

- From "The Silver Palate Good Times Cookbook"

Sauerkraut and Mushroom Strudel

Strudel Dough:

2 packages yeast

1 tablespoon sugar

1/4 cup water

3/4 cup milk

1 tablespoon unsalted butter

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon grated nutmeg

2 eggs, lightly beaten

4-41/2 cups flour


3/4 cup dried mushrooms

2 cups water

2 pounds fresh sauerkraut, drained

2 tablespoons unsalted butter

2 large onions, chopped

1 tablespoon caraway seeds

1/4 cup whipping cream

1 cup Gruyere cheese, shredded

Salt and pepper to taste

1 large egg white, lightly beaten Stir yeast and sugar into warm water; let stand 10 minutes. Scald milk with butter and pour into a large mixing bowl; cool. Stir in yeast then salt, nutmeg, eggs and 2 cups flour. Add enough additional flour to make a soft dough; knead and let rise until doubled, about 1 hour.

For filling, cover mushrooms with water and bring to a boil; simmer until soft, about 10 minutes. Drain, reserve liquid, finely chop and set aside.

Place sauerkraut and reserved mushroom liquid in saucepan and cook until liquid is evaporated, stirring to prevent scorching. Saute onions in butter; when translucent, add sauerkraut and mushrooms. Stir in caraway and cream, then remove from heat. Stir in cheese and season with salt and pepper. Set aside to cool.

Divide dough in half, rolling each half into a 14-by-12-inch rectangle. Spread half the filling over each rectangle, leaving 1-inch borders. Roll up like a jelly roll, crimping ends to seal. Carefully transfer to parchment or wax paper-lined baking sheets and pierce tops in several places. Brush all over with egg white and bake at 350 degrees for about 45 minutes or until golden brown. Let cool a few minutes before cutting into 1-inch slices. Strudels may also be served at room temperature. Suggested accompaniment for kielbasa or baked ham.

- From "Cold Weather Cooking"

Sauerkraut Balls

1 pound dry mashed potatoes

11/2 pounds sauerkraut, drained

1/2 cup chopped ham

1 tablespoon parsley

2 tablespoons chopped scallions

1 tablespoon mustard

Salt and pepper to taste

1/2 cup flour

1 egg

3 tablespoons water or milk

1 cup fine bread crumbs

Combine first 7 ingredients and mix well. Roll into 1-inch balls. Dredge in flour. Beat egg slightly; stir in water or milk. Dip balls in egg wash, then roll in bread crumbs. Pan fry until golden brown.- From "The River Feast"

Sauerkraut Pasties

5 cups flour

1 teaspoon salt

2 cups shortening

1 jumbo egg, well beaten

2 teaspoons vinegar

2 slices bacon, minced

2 medium onions, minced

3 cups sauerkraut, washed and chopped

1 bay leaf

1 teaspoon crushed juniper berries, tied in cheesecloth

1 teaspoon dried dill

1 egg blended with 1/4 cup water Sift flour with salt and cut in shortening until the mixture is fine-grained. Blend egg with vinegar in 1 cup measure; add ice water to equal 1 cup. Combine with flour mixture until dough forms a rough ball; chill. Roll chilled pastry to 1/4-inch thick; cut in 4-inch circles.

Fill with heaping tablespoon of kraut mixture. Brush edges with egg/water wash and fold in half circle and crimp the edges closed. Prick the pasties on top and bake at 400 degrees for about 30 minutes or until golden brown.

For filling, brown bacon; then saute onion in bacon drippings. Stir in sauerkraut, bay leaf and juniper berries. Add about 11/2 cups water and simmer until the water is almost evaporated. Fill the pasties, bake and serve with

sour cream. Makes 12.- From "Miss Ruby's American Cooking"

Baked Sauerkraut

1 can (1 lb.) sauerkraut, drained

1 apple, peeled and chopped

3 tablespoons tomato paste

1 tablespoon chopped onion

1 cup sour cream

1/2 teaspoon caraway seeds

2 tablespoons brown sugar

3/4 teaspoon salt

Place combined ingredients in a buttered casserole. Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes. Serves 4-5.- From "A Century of Mormon Cookery"

Pierre Franey's Choucroute Garnie

3-3 1/2 pounds sauerkraut

12 thin slices fat back or bacon

4 cups chicken stock

1/2 teaspoon ground cumin

2 small onions, each stuck with 4 cloves

2 large carrots, trimmed and scraped

1 bay leaf

12 juniper berries

12 peppercorns

Pinch of thyme

1 clove garlic

2 pounds smoked pork shoulder

1 pound lean bacon, in 1 piece, with rind removed

1 garlic sausage

8 frankfurters

Drain, rinse and squeeze sauerkraut dry. Line large kettle with fatback and add sauerkraut. Add stock, cumin, onions and carrots. Tie the bay leaf, juniper berries, peppercorns, thyme and garlic in a small cheesecloth bag. Add it to the kettle. Bring the sauerkraut to a boil, cover and place the kettle in the oven. Simmer at 325 degrees for about 3 hours.

Meanwhile, place the pork shoulder and bacon in a large saucepan. Add cold water to cover, bring to a boil and cover. Simmer for 30 minutes. Add the pork roast and bacon to the sauerkraut for the last 2 hours of cooking.

Add the sausage to the sauerkraut for the last hour of cooking and then the frankfurters for the last 30 minutes.

Remove the onions and cheesecloth bag from the sauerkraut and discard them. Spoon the sauerkraut onto a hot serving platter and garnish with sliced pork, sliced bacon, sliced sausage and frankfurters. Slice the carrots and use as a garnish. Makes 8 servings.- From "The New York Times Cookbook"

Sauerkraut Surprise Cake

1/2 cup margarine

11/2 cups sugar

3 eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla

2 cups flour, stirred and measured

1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 cup water

1 can (8 oz.) or 1 cup, packed, sauerkraut, drained, rinsed twice and chopped fine

Chocolate Sour Cream Frosting:

1 package (6 oz.) semisweet chocolate pieces

1/4 cup margarine

1/2 cup dairy sour cream

1 teaspoon vanilla

1/4 teaspoon salt

2 1/2-3 cups powdered sugar

For cake, cream margarine and sugar; beat in eggs, one at a time. Add vanilla. Sifter together flour, cocoa, baking power, soda and salt. Add to creamed mixture alternately with water, beating well after each addition. Stir in sauerkraut. Pour into a greased 9-by-13-inch pan; bake at 350 degrees for 35-40 minutes. Frost with Chocolate Sour Cream Frosting.

For frosting, melt chocolate pieces and margarine over hot water in double boiler. Remove from heat and blend in dairy sour cream. Add vanilla and salt. Gradually add enough powdered sugar to make the frosting a nice spreading consistency.