After reading in my grandma’s diary about all the times she made Wurst Bubbat for my grandpa… I was beginning to develop a curiosity about this initially disgusting-sounding dish.
I’d already been craving liverwurst, and had purchased a ring of the stuff, brought it home, presented it to Andrew, and he rejected it.
After a little nibble, I found my craving satisfied. Now what was I going to do with all this liverwurst? I put it into the freezer, to deal with another day.
At last, the liverwurst’s day has finally come.
I thought I’d read the Mennonite Treasury cookbook cover-to-cover, but I had apparently overlooked Mrs. J. H. Rempel’s recipe for Wurst Bubbat. Perhaps for obvious reasons.
I purchased the ingredients, and proceeded to begin reading the directions. I didn’t get far before I was completely flummoxed: “Mix as for buns.” What the what?! I have never in my life made buns.
Okay, that’s a lie. I made buns one time, in high school, when I took a class hilariously titled “Ready Set Cook”. The buns turned out more like pancakes.
I know. I’m a real shame to my Mennonite heritage. UNTIL NOW.
I went with Plan B: read the next recipe, in hopes of finding a step-by-step guide to this “mix as for buns” directive. I turned to Mrs. Herman Neufeld for advice.
I compared the recipes, and figured they were close enough. Between the two of them, I’d figure this thing out.
Okay, let’s go.
Mrs. Herman Neufeld says to dissolve the yeast in lukewarm water with sugar. I wasn’t sure to know when the water was lukewarm, but just used my best guess, and stirred in that sugar.
Next, the yeast! It smells so good.
I had to stir it for a long time to get it to dissolve. I have no idea if that’s normal.
Next, scald the milk. I don’t know how to do that either, but I figured it sounds like “make the milk hot” so I poured it into a pot and flicked on the element.
Then I realized there are directions on the yeast package. I began to casually read them. This was when the words “if mixture doubles in volume it is active” caught my eye.
DOUBLES IN VOLUME?!
I don’t know why I was so surprised. I mean, I’m not a very good cook but I do know that yeast is alive and grows.
The only problem was that I had completely filled the cup of tepid water and yeast. There was no room for it to double in size. Looks like it was beginning to grow. Oh dear.
In a panic, I poured the whole thing into a larger measuring cup and hoped I hadn’t killed the yeast by doing this.
Then I looked back at the milk, and began to wonder how I could know when the milk was sufficiently scalded.
I did what any good Mennonite would do:
This is how I learned that this whole milk-scalding thing was to protect you from unpasteurized milk (which I’m not afraid of; I grew up on a dairy farm) so I immediately felt pretty casual about that whole thing.
I was still concerned about the yeast, though. It wasn’t really doing much. So, I turned on the warming element and plopped the yeast onto it. That should do it!
Then I figured I should grease the pan. I found bacon fat in the freezer. Perfect!
Here’s the nicely greased pan!
Next, I looked at the containers from the freezer which contained the thawing liverwurst.
Lids off! This does not look very tasty. Yikes.
Okay, well, I had a terrific cheffy idea to bring some deliciousness to this Wurst Bubbat — dates!
I mean, the only Bubbat I’ve ever had was the lightweight raisin kind which was served with chicken dinner at my maternal grandparent’s house in Winnipeg. (And I LOVED it.) So I figured it needed something sweet, but maybe instead of raisins I should put in date pieces. Neither Mrs. J. H. nor Mrs. Herman mentioned adding any fruit, so I took a cue from another recipe on the page and confidently measured out a cup of dates.
Ooh I should be checking on that yeast — whoa! Yep, it’s still alive!
I figured I’d waited long enough — it was time to add that yeast to the “scalded” milk.
Now I will add some stellar action shots. Here is me frantically, awkwardly whisking an egg with a fork while trying to take a picture.
Here I am stirring it all together.
Time to add the flour! Because I don’t really bake or cook much, I only ever buy the tiniest bags of flour. I know, I know… I should be more like my mother and wait for the ten-pound bags to go on sale like a decent Mennonite.
Once again I find myself running out of room. Things are not looking good.
Once again, I executed a frantic transfer. Now with the mixture in a larger bowl, I continue stirring.
Well, this is certainly looking… lumpy. Oh well! Into the pan.
Oh wait, the dates! I’ll just sprinkle them on and then mash them in with this spatula.
Then the moment I’d been waiting for — adding the liverwurst!
I let the whole thing rise for about an hour. Success!
In that hour, I made a soup! (Maybe I am an okay Mennonite after all?)
Then, I placed my masterpiece in the oven. Now, we wait.
Ding! Here it is, my very first attempt at Wurst Bubbat! Looks pretty good, doesn’t it?
I was excited to try it. I was pleased to see all the little bubbles left behind from the yeast. I thought the dates were delicious with the liverwurst. I’m a real weirdo. Andrew said this would be good if I’d used farmer sausage instead. I can see where he’s coming from. Frankly, his review was more positive than I’d expected. I’d call this one a success. Thanks for joining me on this cooking adventure. Let me know if you have any tips for next time I try making Wurst Bubbat!
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