Molly Pitcher’s Pepper Pot Soup

Molly Pitcher’s Pepper Pot Soup is a legenary recipie for this 4th of July.

William W. Lawrence Sr.

Mary Ludwig Hays was in on one of the most delicious concoctions ever invented. Who was Mary Ludwig Hays? You have heard of her, but by a different name.

She married John Casper Hays, a barber who lived in Carlisle, Pa., in 1769. Her husband enlisted in the First Pennsylvania Artillery in 1775. Like many other soldiers of the time, he took his wife with him.

The couple spent the bitter winter of 1777-1778 at Valley Forge. The men were in tatters. There was little food, and desertions were frequent.

General Washington called his mess sergeants together and implored them to devise a belly-filling meal. They went back to the wives, who did most of the cooking, and took inventory of their supplies.

The only meat available was tripe and veal bones. They had an abundance of peppercorns, some potatoes, onions, and hot peppers. Mary Hays helped to dice the provisions. The cooks came up with enough scraps to brew a thick, hearty soup.

It later was named Philadelphia Pepper Pot. Some historians credit the dish with saving the Continental Army.

A few months later, on Sunday, June 28, 1778, the Battle of Monmouth took place. John Hays and his wife were there. It was a scorching day. John and the rest of the gunners fired their artillery pieces steadily under the broiling sun.

His wife grabbed a pitcher, which she filled and refilled from a cool spring. She went from gun to gun, taking the delicious water to the thirsty fighters. It was they who named her Molly Pitcher.

When her exhausted husband fell from the heat, Molly took over and fired until the battle ended.

George Washington awarded her a non-commissioned officer rank and in later life she became known as Sergeant Molly.

Those later years, however, were not happy ones. After Hays died, she married George McCauley, a former soldier and close friend of her husband. McCauley was lazy and refused to work. The heroine had to work as a laundress to keep both of them.

She welcomed a $40-a-year pension the Pennsylvania Legislature authorized. She continued to brew Philadelphia Pepper Pot soup until she died.

She is listed as Molly McCauley on her tombstone in Carlisle.

Molly Pitcher’s Philadelphia Pepper Pot

1 Lb. fresh white honeycomb tripe

1 Veal knuckle

3 Quarts. cold water

1 Small bunch parsley

3 Large diced potatoes

2 Carrots

2 Onions

15 Peppercorns crushed

1 Tsp. marjoram

1/2 Tbs. thyme

1 Tsp. basil

1 Hot red pepper

1 Tbs. salt

3/4 Cup flour

1/2 Tsp. salt

1 Egg

2 Tbs. margarine

3 Tbs. flour

Wash tripe in several times changing the waters, then cut with scissors into strips, then dice. Place in pot with knuckle, add water. Heat slowly to boiling, let boil for 15 minutes. Skim. Cover and simmer gently for two hours. Put spices and crushed peppercorns in cheesecloth bag. Add the pepper, diced potatoes and diced onion. Let the soup return to a boil and add balls the size of little marbles made from the 3/4 cup flour, egg and 1/2 Tsp. salt. To make these, beat the egg, add the salt and enough flour to make a not-too-stiff dough. Roll between palms into tiny balls. Cook an hour longer, then thicken with the melted margarine and three Tbs. flour. Cook a few minutes longer and serve piping hot.


Molly Pitcher’s Pepper Pot Soup

Molly Pitcher’s Pepper Pot Soup

Strawberries Cranius — Legendary Recipe

Strawberries Cranius — Legendary Recipe

By William Lawrence Sr.

The morning sun burned away the mist and shone brightly upon the majestic palace in the city of Themiscyra on the Black Sea.

The sparkling white marble edifice was the home of the raven-haired Queen Penthesilea, the magnificent ruler of the Amazons.

Now, as the sun poured through the windows and beat on her over-sized bed, her nearly seven-foot body stirred.

Cranius, her chief slave and servant, stood  silently and watched. He was in love with his beautiful queen, but she hardly knew Cranius was there. He was treated like a piece of furniture.

Cranius cast his eyes downward, as Penthesilea stretched, causing the muscles to ripple in her broad back. She yawned and the soft brown eyes flecked with gold which matched her gossamer sleeping garments opened wide. Cranius, as always, was taken aback by her amazing beauty.

Except for the servants, the Amazons allowed no men in Themiscyra. Even the male children were sent away, and only daughters were allowed to be reared in the city.

Years before, during a deer hunt, Penthesilia aimed at an animal, but the arrow went astray and killed her only sister. She was overcome with grief, but decided not to slay herself. Instead, she vowed “to die on the sword of the bravest man in the world. Of course, that was Achilles.

Penthesilea snapped her fingers and told Cranius she was ready for breakfast.

She needed plenty of fuel to power her large and lithe body.

The gorgeous queen ate a morning feast of eggs, cheese, cold chicken, sizzling hot fish, sweet rolls, and then polished off a double portion of Strawberries Cranius, a wonderful desert invented by her faithful servant.

Finished eating, she leaped frorm the bed. Her thick black hair fell below her waist.

Cranius felt a chill as the watched her dress. She was preparing for combat. The short white skirt, the halter and the high boots were white. The breast plate and helmet were gold.

She ordered her army to assemble.

“Saddle up,” she said. “We are going to fight the Greeks.”

Within minutes the disciplined regiment was mounted and galloping off to help the Trojans.

Achilles, naturally, sided with the Greeks.

Penthesilea caught sight of Achilles as she led her brave warriors into combat. Achilles saw the beautiful queen sitting high in the saddle of a sorrel stallion. Their eyes met. It was love at first sight.

It was a love that was not meant to be. Penthesilea attacked Achilles with the ferocity of a tiger and the brave soldier was forced to defend himself. He smote the Amazon queen with his sword. She fell, mortally wounded. Achilles tried to save her, but could not.

Cranius sobbed uncontrollably at the word of his queen’s death. He vowed he would never make his strawberry dessert for the new amazon queen. It would be his secret memorial to Penthesilea.

And while the following recipe is not exactly the same, it is similar and very delicious.

Strawberries Cranius

1 quart strawberries

1/2 cup powdered sugar

1/4 cup kirsch

1 cup whipping cream

Cut strawberries in halves and place a few aside for garnishing. Sprinkle with powdered sugar and kirsch, stir. Cover, refrigerate about two hours. Before serving, beat whipping cream in a bowl until soft peaks form, fold in strawberries and garnish.

Strawberries Cranius -- Legendary Recipe

HMB Pierogi Time 2017

HMB Pierogi Time 2017HMB Pierogi Time 2017 — Holy Myrrh-Bearers Church in Swarthmore will be selling pierogi twice monthly through June.

The handmade treats are  potato/cheese filled and $8 a dozen.

To order call 267-623-8602 or email

The church is at 900 Fairview Road, Swarthmore, Pa. 19081.

HMB Pierogi Time 2017

Slavic Christmas Dinner 2016

Slavic Christmas Dinner 2016
Inside Holy Myrrh-Bearers Church.

Slavic Christmas Dinner 2016 — Holy Myrrh-Bearers Eastern Catholic Church in Ridley Township, Pa. is taking reservations for its annual Slavic Christmas Dinner which will be noon, Sunday, Dec. 4, after liturgy.

On the menu are stuffed cabbage, pierogies, halushki (cabbage and noodles), kielbasi and sauerkraut, ham, home made desserts and beverages.

There will be a theme basket raffle and a visit from Saint Nick.

Tickets are $15 in advance and $18 at the door. For those 8 through 12, the cost is $8 and seven and under will be admitted free.

Holy Myrrh-Bearers is at 900 Fairview Road, Swarthmore Pa. 19081.

To reserve a seat call 610-544-1215 or email  HMBCHURCH@Verizon.NET.

Slavic Christmas Dinner 2016

Kofta Kebabs — Today’s Meal

Kofta Kebabs -- Today's Meal
Peewee enjoying some Pete’s Produce corn.

Today’s meal by Chef Bill Sr was delicious lamb kofta kebabs on the grill with a side of corn on the cob from Pete’s Produce out there on Route 926 in West Chester.

The recipe for the kebabs is loosely based on one from America’s Test Kitchen. Remember the measurements here are but rules of thumb.

4 lesser cut lamb chops

1 small onion

Peanuts (small handful)

Garlic powder 1.5 tbs

Paprika  1.5 tps

Salt 1 tsp

Pepper 1 tsp

Cloves .25 tsp

Cinnamon .25 tsp

Nutmeg .25 tsp

Parsley 1/3 cup

Mint 1 tbs

Kofta Kebabs -- Today's Meal
Kofta kebabs straight off the grill.

Mix the onion and spices in a food processor then add the lamb after cutting into quarter-inch chunks. Grind them together and transfer to a mixing bowl. Add the parsley and mint then knead. Roll into kebabs and put them on skewers. Put in the refrigerator for an hour. Grill the kebabs and serve them on hot dog potato rolls with a sauce of sour cream and dill.

Kofta Kebabs — Today’s Meal

Ukrainian Dinner Platter At Holy Myrrh-Bearers

Holy Myrrh-Bearers Church will offer a Ukrainian dinner platter after the 10 a.m. Sunday service, Sept. 25.

Cost is $12. Eat in or take out. On the menu are one stuffed cabbage, two pyrohy, kielbasi, halushki, coffee or tea and dessert.

For information call 610-544-1215 or  email

Ukrainian dinner platterHoly Myrrh-Bearers, 900 Fairview Road, Swarthmore, Pa. 19081, is an Eastern-rite Catholic Church. Liturgies are 5 p.m. Saturdays in English and 10 a.m. Sundays in English/Ukrainian.

Ukrainian dinner platter

Pierogi Time Back At Holy Myrrh-Bearers

Pierogi time has returned at Holy Myrrh-Bearers Church. The potato and cheese filled treats are but $9 per dozen. The schedule is order by noon on Sundays Sept. 18, Oct. 2, Oct. 16, Oct. 30, Nov. 13, Nov. 27 and Dec. 11 and pick them up between noon and 3 p.m. the next Friday at the church 900 Fairview Road, Swarthmore, Pa. 19081

Orders can be placed by leaving a message at 610-544-1215 or via email at

Pierogi Time Back At Holy Myrrh-BearersHoly Myrrh-Bearers is an Eastern-rite Catholic Church. Liturgies are 5 p.m. Saturdays in English and 10 a.m. Sundays in English/Ukrainian.

Pierogi Time Back At Holy Myrrh-Bearers

Holubtsi Sale At HMB Church

Holubtsi Sale At HMB Church — Orders are being taken by Holy Myrrh-Bearers Eastern Catholic Church for Holubtsi a.k.a. stuffed cabbage, a delicious and hard-to-find Slavic dish.

Holubtsi Sale At HMB ChurchCost is $10 for three pieces. To order call 610-544-1215 or email

Pickups will be 3-6 p.m., Saturday, Aug. 27 and 9 a.m. to noon, Aug. 28 at the church, 900 Fairview Road, Swarthmore, Pa. 19081.

Services at HMB are 5 p.m. Saturdays and 10 a.m., Sundays.

Holubtsi Sale At HMB Church