Dinner How Do I ? Party

Millie’s Cherished Memories & German Recipes

Pringle Chips and a Chocolate Oatmeal Cookie on a China Plate is without a doubt the best snack I have ever had.  You see my friend Millie from Germany always prepared it for me on our weekly visits.  Although she has been gone for several years now, she still inspires me.  She made an impact on our whole family and many friends.  Her story is remarkable, Mike & I celebrated Millie this weekend and made her Rouladen, Potato Dumplings, Red Cabbage and German Apple Cake.  Enjoy her story and her recipes, although a very humble person, she would be honored.  

Millie made a difference for 102 years and even now so many years after she passed away, she still influences me.  She gave me some of her recipes and I have cherished them like gold in a box.  Cherishing an object is nice, but using it is what the giver always hopes for. 

Cherish your  memories and use the gifts today and always.

The story of Emilie Kempf Erdman (Millie) as told to Angie Volta in April of 2011.  Millie told me her story when turned 101, we submitted to one of the news shows for a happy birthday wish.  It never made it but she said that telling her story was a great birthday wish all the same.  She lived until she was 102 and left behind cherished memories for many.

“I was born on April 4, 1910 in Offenburg, Baden Germany.  This is part of the Blackforest.  Where we lived in Offenburg it is still a beautiful town, with ruins of an old castle on the hill.    My father was born in 1875, he passed away in 1923, I was only 13.  My mother was born in 1885.  I was baptized in Offenburg in the New Apostolic Church and confirmed in Stuttgart. 

We lived there until 1916 when World War I broke out.  We had to flee because the French Army was coming!  We took the train to Stuttgart.  Sometimes during the war we had to go in the cellar.  We lived upstairs in a 3 story big house – I went to an all girls school until I was 13.  We went to Switzerland after Dad passed away and on to Neuchatel where I was to learn French while taking care of Madame Chevalier.  Eventually we went back to Germany.

While in Church one Sunday we met parents whose daughters were in America.  My mother talked with the parents to see how the girls liked it in America.  They said they liked it very much.  My mother had the girls find a sponsor and a job for me in America.  I was only 17 , like all immigrants, I too had to have a job and a sponsor before I could leave.  My mother sold the furniture so I could have the fare to travel to America.

It was 1927 and I was on a boat called the Deutschland.  It was a rough wavy ride and took 12 days!  We arrived in New York City and then took a train to Rochester, New York, where I met my sponsors Reverend Schreiner and his wife at the railroad station. We attended the New Apostolic Church on Filmore Street where we met the 3 girls formerly from our Stuttgart congregation who were here for some time already doing housework.

I was the upstairs maid for the Hubbels of East Avenue.  The Hubbels were friends with the Eastman’s and Mr. Hubbel was George Eastman’s Lawyer.  Their house was quite large with 18 rooms!  I remember the cooks were German, Elizabeth another maid was from Canada and the Gardner was from England.  In the afternoon we changed uniforms to answer the doorbell and became servers for dinner.  We had one day off a week.  At Church during the Young People meeting I met my Eric.  He used to drive by where I was cleaning and wave.  He worked in Rochester as a roofer and was 4 years older than I.  We were married in 1933 and lived across from the Taylors for about 6 years in the upstairs of a house on Hague Street.  We were friends with the Meisners who wanted us to move to Chili Terrace Apartments of Chili Ave.  Eric became sick at the age of 72 and passed away from heart failure.   

Over the years I always worked very hard cleaning, ironing and babysitting for families.  Dr. Redmonds, Mrs. Dr. Green, Dr. Smith, Mrs. Elsie Bausch, Ms. L. Wells, Mrs. Lewis & Ms. Barry.  To this day I am still friends with some of their families. 

I moved to a suburb of Rochester and lived at the upstairs apartment for 20 years where I took care of baby Brandi and loved it!  I now live in a downstairs apartment – I did not like moving but now am very happy here and have beautiful flowers on my patio.

Over the years I have traveled to the Canadian Rockies, to Vancouver, Florida and to the 1000 Islands in the Adirondacks.  Thanks to Dr. Bertha Smith, who took me along on many fishing trips at Laughborough Lake.

I am still very active and enjoy keeping busy cooking and taking care of my apartment. I like going to Church and love to have fellowship.  I try keeping up with written correspondence and phone calls with my many friends despite recovering from a broken shoulder.  Being also a member of the Senior Center where I participate in exercising and the chain gang–we crochet and knit for the migrant babies and make beautiful lap robes for the veterans.  I have been supported by my wonderful caring ministers.  The lord is my secret to longevity!”  -Millie Erdman 1910-2012

As I began my day of cooking, I not only had to honor Millies recipes (she was a great cook!), I had to hope mine would stand up to my husband’s memories.  He also lived in Germany and our friend Mike has made some of their delicious food for us.  It took almost 4 hours to make but remembering memories of Millie made it worth every second and we both loved it! -Angie

Beef Rouladen Rolls

By Millie & her friend Inge

2lbs top round of beef thinly sliced

4 slices bacon diced

3 dill pickles sliced lengthwise

1 tsp mustard

Pinch of marjoram

2Tbsp fat

2-3Tbsp flour

2 cups beef broth-Pound each slice meat with mallet until very thin and tissues broken down.  Spread with pickle slices, bacon, mustard.  

-Roll up, dredging each roll in a little flour.  Secure with toothpick.

-Saute in hot fat until brown.  Cook awhile and add remaining flour to pan drippings.  Slowly add beef broth till thickened-pour over meat in tight covered casserole.  Simmer 1.5 hours until tender.

Angie’s notes:  Seriously good food!  We bought the meat pre-sliced, much easier.  For pickled I had little round ones, worked great.  For mustard we used about 1/2 tsp for each slice for more pronounced mustard flavor, also whisked a little mustard into gravy.  For bacon, we cooked first until almost crisp and used that fat to brown the rolls.  Delicious!

Potato Dumplings

By Millie

2lbs potatoes boiled and peeled

1/2 cup flour 

1 egg

Salt & pepper to taste

Croutons, store bought or homemade

-Combine everything except the croutons to form your batter.

-Have ready a deep pot of boiling of salted water.  Drop a Tbsp of the batter into the water.  If it breaks apart as it cooks add a little more flour and test again.  

-Flatten a Tbsp of the mixture on your hand.  Put 3 or 4 of the croutons on the dumpling and roll into a ball.  Repeat until the mixture is used.  

-Drop into boiling water, lower heat and cook uncovered about 6 min.  Remove with slotted spoon. 

-Serve plain or roll in butter crumbs.  Especially good to serve with Sauerbraten or other stews as well.

Angie’s notes:  Wow my husband was pretty excited about these and now I know why, very good!  For the croutons I made my own, super easy.  Cube your bread and sauté in butter with a little garlic salt.  I am going to try cooking a little longer next time.

Red Cabbage

1 head of red cabbage

1-2 bay leaves

2 cloves, peeled & chopped

1 large apple 

2 Tbsp wine vinegar

Water to cover

Angie’s notes:  I had to research this a bit and found out it takes a long time to cook.  I cooked it 3 hours and which was about right.  After tasting it I added in more apple vinegar and some sugar.German Apple Cake 

By Millie


3 eggs

1.5 cup brown sugar

1 cup vegetable oil

1tsp vanilla

2 cups all purpose flour

2tsp cinnamon

1tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp salt

4 cups chopped peeled, tart apples

3/4 cup chopped pecans or walnuts


6 oz cream cheese, softened

2 cups sifted confectioner sugar

1 tsp margarine or butter softened

-Beat eggs, sugar, oil and vanilla

-Combine the flour cinnamon baking soda and salt

-Add to egg mixture, mix well.  Fold in apples and nuts.  

-Pour into greased 9×13 pan and bake at 350 for 55-60 min or till toothpick comes out clean.

-Make frosting by beating together until smooth.

Angie’s notes:  Ovens vary, my oven had this cake done by about 50 minutes.  In the future I might toast the nuts and also sprinkle some on top.  It will definitely be better when apples are in season.  Yum!