A Recipe From The Past

Recipe from My grandmother and her story. Please enjoy!

Please give, Adriana Salvia Founder at Passeddown.com and Jennifer Mondoux, Editor, a visit and find out what is cooking. Now you don’t have to worry about what’s for dinner!


This is reprint from their website. I submitted my story a long time ago and here is what they wrote—Great job you guys!!!

Moravian Chicken Pie

Posted by Jennifer on Wednesday, March 12th, 2008 in Main Courses :

When we launched the site on Monday, my friend Irena – a great writer and a smart, smart cookie – mentioned our site on her gardening blog, http://myrootsrundeep.blogspot.com. She also challenged one of her regular contributors and fellow gardener (and gardening blogger) Anna, who lives in North Carolina, to submit a recipe. What came back to us is an amazing tale of family history and food. I’m still a bit blown away by this story and by the detail! Lucky for Anna, and good on her, for knowing her roots (pardon the pun) so well.

And hey, talk about Six Degrees of Separation – my father was a fighter pilot in the RCAF (the Royal Canadian Air Force) in the late 1950s and early 1960s. And guess where he was based at one point? Zweibrucken, Germany, the birthplace of Anna’s ancestors, whom you’ll read about in the fascinating account below. It’s a small world Anna!

Check out Anna’s blog too, when you can. She’s at: https://flowergardengirl.wordpress.com/

And thanks Irena for passing along the word about PassedDown!

Anna’s Story and Recipe

Abraham and Catherine Staudt/Staud were proud of their children. All had been born in their home town of Zweibrucken at Gimpweiler Germany. All had grown restless and desired a new life in a world free of religious persecution. A brother had preceded Anna and her two married sisters to the new world. The brother had arrived in America and was in an area known as The Great Swamp of Pennsylvania. Some say it is a low lying area rich in farmland because of its loamy soil and others say the name Great Swamp refers to a gathering place of people from all over the world seeking religious freedom and new land opportunities. My studies have led me to believe that both is true. It is fertile land and it was a great gathering place.

Anna, her two sisters, the children of the two sisters, and a brother in law departed for the new land in the 20th year of her life, 1738. They departed with great hope and dreams for their families. There was joy and tears and they left family and cousins behind with talk of the others joining them once things were settled. There must have been massive amounts of luggage and family keep sakes. There must have been several crates of the necessary needs to keep the little group supplied with basic needs for the trip. It took several years to plan for such a trip.

During the mid to late 1700’s, there was a horrible flu epidemic. Most people had taken to wearing masks for protection from the stench of this sickness and for protection. During the voyage, one by one the members began to get deathly ill with this flu outbreak. Anna describes in her own words that she called upon the religion of her upbringing for her strength. The illness slowly took one life after another. She saw her sisters, their children, and her brother in law die among the many who couldn’t overcome this madness around them.

Most of the crew and the captain of the ship all died. The ship’s wheel was secured in place. The wheel was lashed as described in those times. Anna would say that only the Lord guided them through this time. For four weeks the ship drifted, guided only by the Almighty-as described by the few who survived. Anna grieved and feared for her life wondering if leaving her homeland was so wise after all. Finally it was decided that the carpenter of the ship would take over the wheel and take the fate of the few in his hands.
He was the only skilled man left upon the ship.

They sailed the wreck successfully to shore and all survivors arrived shaken and mournful but thankful to be on land. Anna went to live with a brother who was a potter in The Great Swamp. Anna was a skilled and prepared helper of the house. She took care of the family needs and cooked for them until she met the young and handsome Jacob Muller. She won him over with her many household talents but also with her determination to continue living in spite of her great trials for such a young woman.

Jacob helped to build the town of Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. His memoirs tell of him clearing the land and becoming friends with the Moravians. He and Anna moved to Maxetanien, Pennsylvania and opened a place of lodging. Anna cooked many of her famous recipes. Their Inn was known as a kind and loving place for the passing brethren. Many an afternoon was spent speaking with these brethren who were on their way to the new Wachovia Tract in North Carolina. Even though the trip was long and required they pass through Indian territory, it was tempting to Anna and Jacob who were adventurous by nature.

The area of The Great Swamp was getting crowded and land was at a premium. Anna and Jacob had joined the Moravian Church. They were interested in some land purchased by the Moravians in NC known as the Wachovia Tract. Today this land is known as Bethania, Bethabara, Old Salem, and areas surrounding Winston Salem, NC. They moved to the Wachovia Tract in 1771 and settled one and one half miles from Bethania where they attended church and fellowshiped with others. They were married for 50 years and had 11 children. Eight of those children were still living when Anna died in 1790. She is buried at Bethania.

In Anna’s life, she was known as a wonderful wife, mother, and home-maker. It is well known that the Moravians are famous for their home baked goods and hearty meals. I have mentioned before that they cook, stick to your ribs food. Anna was most likely famous for her yeast rolls and chicken pie. I’d like to share with you one of those famous recipes passed down from my blessed grandmother Maria Anna Elizabeth Muller. My name is Anna Marie. There have been many Annas. I am proud to be one of them.

Moravian Chicken Pie

Given to me by my Great Aunt Anna Perryman

Please visit the Passed.com site to see the recipe and a picture of what the pie looks like!

13 Comments Add yours

  1. Philip says:

    I just saw the pie… that looks good…and would be perfect with slaw and baked apples!
    The crust makes it delicious. I put extra juices in my version of the pie ingredients. Some people like it on the dry side. I make a gravy from the juices left over after the chicken stewed for hours. A vadalia onion included in the stew water will cause you to go back for thirds. And oh my yes!, the baked apples are out of this world delicious.


  2. Philip says:

    What an incredible story of your namesake!
    It was so well told. I could picture it: Saving for years for the trip to the new world. What to take and what to leave behind. Leaving people you know you would never see again.
    Then that voyage of death. Can you image the sorrow! Ship life would have been bad enough back then. Just drifting at sea…
    And then she marries, has an inn! Can’t you just see it! I love this type of cooking myself. I have had Moravian cookies before. They were incredible.
    You have mentioned Old Salem before, and of course the old homestead. This history puts it all together.
    I just loved it.
    Ok, now I am off to Passed.com to see that pie!
    Thank you so much Philip. I thought you had read this story. I like the ginger Moravian cookies and so addictive aren’t they with their paper thin texture. Makes you think you only had a few when in truth, you had a 100 or so of them.

    I have all the memoirs of my distant relatives and it is fascinating. The name of the ships they sailed in are listed, sometimes their luggage amount is included, and the fun part is seeing that they sailed with their future wife. If you put two and two together, you’ll eventually find out the families settled close to one another and their kids grew up and married each other. I start researching this stuff and hours go by before I take a second breathe. I love it too and glad you did also.


  3. Kathi says:

    You have some amazing family history Anna, it has been well documented which is priceless. I love reading about your family history.

    From one German to another!
    Hugs to you!
    Kathi 🙂
    I bet we are all German by now;) I don’t have as many living generations as you do. Your mom could tell you so much of the missing info. In my case, I’m the youngest in the family. So many who could have told me in person, passed a long time ago when I didn’t have enough sense to treasure them. So I am very thankful for the stories that are written down. I expect you’ll be hearing a lot more about my family. I’m so proud of what they accomplished—before computers. Pioneers with computers would have rocked the world. Google maps would have helped them out a great deal huh?


  4. Marnie says:

    It’s really wonderful that your Aunt Nana began collecting this history and you were able to continue. I wish a previous generation in my family had begun recording family stories. It is possible to research facts but stories are usually lost because no one writes them down.
    The Moravians had many memoirs. I have every generation of memoirs from me to the grandmother in this story. They are fascinating and helpful when explaining to the younger generation where we came from. My kids love it. I have so many more stories of courage and hope from those early pioneer days. All of it would be a very good saga of sorts.


  5. Anna, I love family history. This is a very, special story that you have shared with us.

    My family (Hahn) also came from Germany to Pennsylvania in the 1700’s. They also came down to Wachovia, but branched out to Mount Pleasant, NC.

    Thanks so much for sharing.

    Then we are probably related in some form or fashion as is everybody else around here. I don’t remember a Hahn but I’ll sure look it up. I bet they in the Record of Moravian books.


  6. Phillip says:

    I was moved by that story Anna, what a lovely family you had / have.
    I have quite a few stories like that. I had to do a lot of work to piece it together but was so glad I’m able to give that out to my kids.


  7. joey says:

    Thank you, dear Anna ~ a lovely story well told. Our family also has a treasured holiday recipe , passed on through many generations ~ Tourtiere, a French-Canadadian Meat Pie (recipe posted each New Year … and now I’m hopping over for yours!)
    I never fixed a meat pie but I bet my family would love it. I think you have read my recipe a long time ago. It isn’t new to many of you who have been my friends for a long time. That chicken pie is so good. My mom used to bathe the crust on top with milk or mayonaise. I guess everyone has a version they prefer…and just now I’m remembering that my aunt Mary does only meat I think. Her daughter Linda, reads my blog so maybe she will chime in a tell us.

    Aunt Mary fixed chicken pies for her family this Christmas as it is tradition in her house. I think they have lived in the same house for 40 years and they are moving to a very nice retirement apartment complex. But her kids said no way she was going to stop fixing the chicken pies. They gave her a microwave convection oven for Christmas so she will have a way to keep on fixing them. The new apartment set up gives them maid service and 2 meals a day. You got to love that! So Aunt Mary only needs to heat stuff up and fix chicken pie;) Love you Aunt Mary and Uncle Bob!


  8. Gail says:

    Hi Anna,

    I remember you sharing a bit of your family story when I first started blogging…I was also impressed with how much you knew…My family never passed anything along…They were too eager to jump into the melting pot! It’s a good story Anna, you tell it beautifully.

    Thank you and that is why I mentioned it is republished. I republished it cause I wanted it easily viewable for a few folks who are stopping by tonight as guest.


  9. nancybond says:

    Anna is my older daughter’s third name (Angela Beth Anna) after a much-loved aunt. 🙂
    OH that is a beautiful combination of names together. My middle name is Marie so me and the woman named in this story are truly connected. I feel is was meant to be that way as I have the story of our family written in my heart.


  10. Amy says:

    What an amazing story, and it’s so incredible that all this knowledge of your family has survived and been passed down. Truly incredible. I have a daughter named Anna – I thiink it’s a wonderful name. I also have the name Anna in my family tree (one side also from Germany), on both sides of the family, so everyone was quite happy when we chose it!
    I think Anna was a very common name but rarely used today. I like it too and what a treat to find you have a daughter with that name. Our family history and stories have survived because the Moravians took great care in recording details. I am thankful.


  11. Cinj says:

    Wow. How were you able to find out so many details from so very long ago? I’m lucky to find names, birthdates, and town names for my ancestry. Maybe more will come in time. I’ve been spreading myself a bit thin again lately, but what else is new? I think I’m going to take a couple of days off soon. Who knew that not working outside the home could keep a person so darn busy?
    My great aunt nana passed them to me and the Moravians keep excellent records. I can go over to the archives at any time and access a load of documents. I came up with this story after researching the Miller line for years…and I do mean years. My aunt did her research before computers but when they came along, it led to everyone sharing. I document and prove my findings so that takes time. You can’t just believe everything you hear or see until you see it officially. I’m working on a book for my children so they can continue telling the stories. Take care of yourself as you do seem to be doing a lot lately. I hope you don’t come down with Peanut’s cold.


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