Childhood Memories Friday: Panhaus

childhoodmemoriessummer1When I was little, both set of grandparents lived on farms.  My mom’s parents’ house burned down when I was really young and they moved into town, so I don’t remember their farm.  But I do remember my dad’s parents’.

I remember a barn with a lot of farming implements and vehicles … and a pony.  We also got meat from them fairly often from butchering.  I remember the packages wrapped in white paper in the freezer.  Actually, I’ve never been big on meat and I just hated most of it.  To this day, I have no desire to ever taste steak again.  My memories of it are tough and chewy.

Anyway, my mamaw (yes, we called her mamaw – we’re just classy like that) made something from butchering scraps called “ponnus” (that’s how it sounded).  I had no idea what it was made of, but I LOVED it.

Ponnus kind of faded from my memory until recent years when I was reading a column in our newspaper by an Amish woman.  She was describing “pon hoss”, a fried dish using leftover hog meat.  Basically, you mix meat scraps (from Wikipedia I learn that the head, heart, and liver are often used – lovely!) with onion, corn meal, flour and broth, then bake it in a loaf pan.  Then fry it up.

I also learned that its origin is German, called Panhaus.  It’s still popular in Pennsylvania, where it can be called “panhoss” or “pannhas”.

I often think of food during my childhood.  You didn’t hear (at least I didn’t) talk about what was healthy, reducing fat, etc.  I doubt that Panhaus would be recommended on any healthy eating list.  However, it is a fond childhood memory. Here’s a panhaus recipe.

Panhaus – Mamaw’s recipe
1 lb. pork sausage

2-3 chopped onions

1 t. salt

1/2 t. pepper

Cook until pork is done.

Add water to pan until it is 2/3 full.

Mix 2 cups cornmeal and 1/2 cup flour in loaf pan.

Turn burner to high.

Add cornmeal/flour to broth using mixer.

Cook until it pulls away from the sides of the pan.

Add to loaf pan until chilled.  When ready to eat, slice it and fry in a hot skillet with oil in the bottom to prevent sticking.

(I have to admit, as I typed this recipe much of it did not make sense to me – but there it is).

Childhood is the most beautiful of all life’s seasons.  ~Author Unknown



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7 thoughts on “Childhood Memories Friday: Panhaus

  1. My question: would you eat it now that you know what it is? They say to never watch how sausage is made. LOL

    My grandma lived on a farm. Fond fond memories.

  2. I think it would be cool for you to make this for your family. If you do, I would suggest using some good meat. If you use tofu, I doubt anybody would like it, really. Make it, and talk it up to your girls. They will appreciate your effort. Years from now, grandchildren will be making up some of your favorite recipes. The circle of life continues…

  3. I wonder why we never had that. I never heard of it until this reading.

  4. You’d think we’d of had that on my grandparent’s hog farm. Grandpa was German to boot. My mom just sold the farm this week, it feels so weird that it’s gone.

  5. I remember and still make it! Love it! When we mix it with the flour and cornmeal, we also add cloves and allspice. It is delicious!

  6. I too grew up eating ponnus. My German grandmother made it, and then my parents started making it. I now make it too. It’s one of my favorites, although I don’t make it very often.

    I’ve also made my from beef soup bones.

  7. Panhaus, scrapple, liver pudding … all different ways to use the most nutritious parts of the pig in a flavorful way. Yes, I said nutritious – google Weston A Price and read some of his research. People all over the world ate the whole animal, whether pork, fish, cattle, poultry, or large game, and never developed heart disease.

    Animal meat & fat is not the cause of heart disease. Processed food, sugar, and excess grains – the new things in our diets (yes, excess grains is new – no traditional society ever ate the 7-11 servings/day recommended by the Food Pyramid) – are the causes of heart disease. This can be verified simply by searching the AHA’s website for the causes of high triglycerides and “apolipoprotein B”.

    No matter where they lived in the world, no matter what they ate, as long as it wasn’t processed, human health was superb. No depression, no cancer, no diabetes, no obesity, no cavities even.

    So your grandparents were simply doing what all people before them did – eating the whole hog. It was the white flour & sugar introduced in their generation, and the endlessly expanding array of processed foods in our generation, that led & lead to increasingly early & prolonged debilitation that we see today.

Thanks for taking the time to comment. I enjoy hearing from you.