I have a confession to make… I have an addiction. An addiction with old cookbooks. Whenever I come across a used book store or book section in an antique store, cookbooks are the first thing I look for. I have found some awesome treasures throughout my searching. There’s honestly nothing better than a cookbook that begins with explaining my duties as a wife during the 1950’s. 😉
It is no secret that we don’t cook like we used to. And in fact, much of our youth will never even learn to cook because cooking has become a dying art. Making things from scratch? Who needs to know how to do that? I was watching an online course about the history of Meat and the instructor through out the statistic that in the United States, nearly 50% of our meals are eaten away from the home. 50 percent! That statistic is shocking to me. I guess I forget that I have been blessed with the love and education to cook a meal from scratch.
Many of the cookbooks in my collection are published books, but some are “church cookbooks”. For those of you who have lived in small towns, you will know what I am talking about. Basically it’s a collection of recipes from the many families that make up the church or other organization in the community. It holds family recipes some of which have long been passed down through the generations.
These books hold so much sentimental value to me. Some of them have been given to me by my mother-in-law as they were her mother’s, some of them I bought myself, some of them I was gifted during my bridal shower. But no matter how I acquire them, I cherish them. They are precious pieces of history, the recipes and meals that generations of families ate at the table together. They hold some of my favorite recipes and recipes I hope to make for and with my kids someday. Some of them even still contain hand written additions, corrections, or notes around the recipes from the original owner.
One of my favorite cookbooks I have stumbled across isn’t that old, but it is full of recipes from the ages. It is our local community High School Class Reunion Cookbook. You may remember me talking last week about how our community is rich with Germans from Russia heritage. I’ve been enjoying learning and trying my hand at some of the classic recipes.
One of those recipes is something called cheese buttons. Now if you aren’t from here, you probably have no idea what that is. Don’t feel bad, I didn’t know either! But let me tell you, they are little pieces of heaven. Traditional cheese buttons (also called Kase Knoepfla) are a dish of tender noodle dough stuffed with seasoned dry cottage cheese. They are traditional to the Dakota area and anyone who grew up here has fond memories of eating them growing up.
Cheese buttons are a rather involved process as they require you to hand make the dough, let it rise, roll it out, stuff the buttons, and then further cook them. Once they are cooked, they are usually served with some sort of creamy gravy with meat. But in this Ashley Reunion cookbook, I found a gem. Lazy Cheese Buttons!
All the delicious pieces of heaven, but in a much easier form! There is many variations of this recipe and I am sure every family has their own lazy, short cut recipe for cheese buttons. For someone who has never had cheese buttons, it is hard to describe the party that erupts in your mouth when you try them for the first time. But just let me say, if you like dough, cream, and onions… you will LOVE cheese buttons!
So in the spirit of traditional cooking done a bit easier, I give you Lazy Cheese Buttons! Now go make these for your family tonight!
- 1 large carton (24 oz.) cottage cheese (not dry curd, I usually use 2%)
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2 cups flour
- 4 eggs
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- Sauteed onions
- Mix all the ingredients for the buttons together in a large bowl.
- Place rounded tablespoons full of the mixture on a greased baking sheet. Bake at 350 degrees for 15-20 minutes.
- While buttons are cooking, prepare sauteed onions. Place 1-2 tablespoons of butter in a pan, add onions and let saute until caramelized. About 10-15 minutes.
- Place baked cheese buttons in a casserole dish, top with cream and sauteed onions. (Don't be stingy with the cream, the buttons will wallow in all that creamy goodness.)
- Bake for another 20 minutes and enjoy!