Bumpy Stew (1938)

Towse self at TOWSE.COM
Fri Dec 20 19:06:22 UTC 2002

"Kathleen E. Miller" wrote:
> At 02:55 AM 12/20/2002 -0500, Mr. Popik wrote:
> >
> >    July 1938, NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC MAGAZINE, pg. 25, cols. 1-2:
> >    Silhouetted there against the dusk were the iron words "St. Mary's
> > Female Seminary."
> >
> >    "Fry chopped onions in butter until they're brown.  Then fry ground
> > beef in the mixture until that's brown.  Sprinkle with flour; add milk,
> > salt, and pepper.  Keep stirring until it gets bumpy.  Then," she added,
> > "it's bumpy stew."
> My grandmother (b. 1918) used to make this, mom (b. 1938) picked it up and
> now I make it and serve it over noodles or some other starchy thing. But,
> we've never had a name for it. My mother swears that her grandfather (b.
> 1886), a PA Dutch Mennonite, had a PA Dutch name for it. Anybody have any
> idea what that was? Or what it's called elsewhere? Nowadays we just call it
> "Grandma Bessie's hamburger gunk," but I'm pretty sure we're the only ones ;-)

Known here simply as "Hamburger Gravy." I like the "Bumpy Stew"
name a lot better. The recipe is something the other half brought
to the household a quarter century ago. I'd never encountered it
before. Usually served over mashed potatoes, although noodles or
rice also work. We add a bit of cinnamon or mace for that je ne
sais quoi.

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