Month of Makeovers Day 17: Thursday Hack Flashback with Crullers

“Use it up, wear it out, make it do or do without” was how the 99% lived during the Great Depression. That’s why my favorite cooking spoon was shaped from a scrap of stainless steel. My grandfather, who was fortunate to have work as a machinist for USSteel, cut it out, hammered it into shape and ground the edges smooth.

It fits in the hand perfectly. It’s darn near indestructible. I imagine it looks as good today as the day he first presented it to my grandmother.

I don’t know how old it really is, only that my grandmother always used it. Now I do, too.

My grandfather also made a pastry cutter for her. Looks like she accidentally put it on the stovetop and caught it on fire.


A closer look shows the cutting wheel has been chiseled into shape by hand. The stem that holds the cutting wheel has also been hand formed and added to a handle that was part of another tool, a screwdriver perhaps. My grandfather made the brass ring at the joint to hold it all together.



Now that I’ve been looking at it, holding it, I start thinking about the thousands upon ten thousands of crullers and apricot cakes she made with it. I go through my recipes and discover at least two recipes she had written out, plus two more that I got from her. They’re all different. I have no way of knowing which one she liked best–she was forever tinkering with recipes to improve them. (One cookbook has a recipe marked “no damn good” which cracks me up just thinking about it.) They all make HUGE amounts which isn’t a good idea for my two-person household.

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The next best thing is to find an authentic recipe for Hungarian Csoroge. My grandmother’s crullers were more like donuts, but these aren’t bad. Some variations say to serve with apricot jam for dipping. Find some friends to share with you! And don’t tell my trainer I indulged!

3 cups flour
4 Tbl. sugar
1 stick butter
1/8 tsp. salt
1/2 c sour cream (or milk)
3 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla

Put the flour, sugar and butter in a food processor and mix like pie dough. Add remaining ingredients and blend well. Turn out on floured board and knead until smooth. Roll very thin. Cut into 5″ diamonds with slits in the middles.


Pull one of the points through the slit and out again.

Deep fry in fat (my grandmother would have used Crisco) until golden brown.

Drain on paper towels. Sprinkle heavily with powdered sugar.

Enjoy while warm! Leftovers will keep in an air tight container for about a day.

These will go to work tomorrow morning with ManRay and get eaten while they’re still fresh.

See the entire list of projects for our Month of Makeovers HERE.