A Mid-Summer’s Frankenmuth Tale

Aug 29, 2011

By Chef John Zehnder, CEC, ACE, HGT, AAC

Whenever I think of raspberries, I am reminded of a story my father told me. Scary stories were part of the early Frankenmuth culture and tradition just like telling ghost stories around a campfire today. The origin of this story probably dates back at least 150 years since it was told to my father, who was born in 1916, as a young boy.

One day, Widow Kern went out to pick raspberries from bushes in her front yard. To her surprise, all the ripe berries were picked. She remembered hearing noises in those bushes the night before that woke her up about midnight, but she was afraid to go out and investigate. She told her neighbor about the incident the next day at church. The neighbor told her it was a witch who was stealing her berries and there was only one way to stop the witch from returning for more berries. So…that night the terrified Widow Kern followed her neighbor’s advice. About midnight, a rustling ensued from the raspberry bushes again! She quickly pulled out her darning needle and pushed a thread through the needle’s eye. To her surprise, she heard an ear shattering scream! Running to the bushes, the widow confronted a gnarled old woman, dressed in rags, with her head stuck firmly between her knees. The witch screamed for the widow to remove the thread from the needle. The frightened widow said she would only remove it if the witch promised never to return. The witch agreed and when the thread was removed, the witch ran away and was never seen again.

Peach and Raspberry Cobbler:
4 cups sliced, fresh peaches
1/2 cup fresh raspberries
1/4 cup sugar
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 TBSP lemon juice
1/2 cup butter
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 TBSP baking powder
1 cup sugar
1 cup milk

1.  Mix the peaches, raspberries, 1/4 cup sugar, cinnamon and lemon juice. Allow to set while mixing all the other ingredients.
2. Preheat oven to 350F. Melt butter in a 9″x13″ glass baking dish in the preheated oven. Evenly coat the dish and remove from oven.
3. Mix the flour, baking powder, salt and 1 cup sugar. Add in milk until dry ingredients are all moist. Pour into the buttered baking dish. Scoop peaches and raspberries over the batter.
4.  Bake 45 minutes in a preheated 350F oven, until golden brown.


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