Saturday, September 12, 2009

tribute to Theresa Pirron: 1905-2009 (Hospitality Congeniality)

Theresa Pirron, 104, of Northbrook, July 14, 2009. Beloved wife of the late Karl; Loving mother of Pauline "Polly" (Andrew) Jerch; Proud grandmother of Rick (Janie) and Don (Janet) Jerch; Fond "Oma" of Susan (Andy) Shuckra, Kirsten Jerch, Megan (Ned)Irons, Cory, Michael and Rhiannon Jerch. Memorial Mass Saturday, August 1, 2009 at 10 am at St. Norbert Church , 1809 Walters Ave. Northbrook. Interment St. Joseph Cemetery. In lieu of flowers memorials may be made to The Northfield Food Pantry, 3801 W. Lake Ave. Glenview, IL 60026 or please perform a random act of kindness for someone. posted on the N. H. Scott & Hanekamp funeral home's website.

After living a long and sanguine* life, Theresa Pirron left us on July 14, 2009. She was 104 years old. Many of her family remember her as a hostess and cook. To this day, I attribute my obsession with doling out leftovers for take-home meals to Oma who always offered Janie and me care packages. If I, as a young wife, wasn't always grateful, I should have been. There were other lessons I learned from her. With each meal, Oma had a knack for salvaging "discarded" food, which would soon contribute to another tasty meal. Oma illustrated how satisfying it is to cook for your family but also, how much work is involved. No fancy kitchen. No convenient appliances. Just patience, attention to details, and culinary basics. I remember her painstaking apple strudel, her slow-roasted pork roast, her savory liver dumplings, and many assorted other German dishes. I remember well her fried chicken. No matter how far South you journey, you just can't beat hers. I know that her family misses her. I miss her too. I can still picture her in her apron, smiling shyly, perspiring a bit, and sighing, "It's always something." Oma’s Fried Chicken…cooked by Theresa Pirron, told to and recorded by her grandson Don on 5/26/86 Preheat oven to 350. 1. liver—Defat chicken. Fry to get grease drippings. Fry onions, then livers. Brown each side approx. 5 mins.—not too much. 2. soup—Debone chicken. + neck; -back; +wing tips. Place in pan & simmer approx. 1-2 hours with onion, celery, and carrots. Strain broth. Save vegetables with broth. 3. fried chicken—Wash and separate [chicken pieces]. ____ fat piec? for ____liver fry _____.** Salt & pepper. Add 3 large scoops of Crisco to a large fry pan. Heat until it sizzles, using leg to test. Dredge pieces in flour, then dunk in egg + water, and then coat in bread crumbs. Fry until golden brown. Lay into baking dish or pan. To the pan, add 2-3 tbls “frying grease” + ¼ cup water. Season each piece with poultry seasoning and paprika. Cover chicken with lid or foil. Bake at 325 approx. 1 hr. **This is as accurate as I could get due to the paper being so faded and the assorted holes I’d punched in it for various notebooks over the years. Family members, if you have corrections, please let me know. *Sanguine: Cheerfully optimistic or confident; Having a healthy reddish color; Blood-red. [from Wordsmith]

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"One cannot think well, love well, sleep well, if one has not dined well." - from A Room of One's Own by Virginia Woolf