Mock turtle soup.
Mention it as nearby as Cincinnati or Shelbyville and you may get a questionable look. For reasons lost over the last century, the soup that's been sold at church festivals and other functions in the greater Batesville area for generations is virtually unknown in other parts of the region.
Pat Schrank, who helps make the hearty meal for the annual Holy Family Catholic Church fund-raiser, has a theory that an early settler came through New Orleans before moving to the area and brought the Cajun-style recipe along.
The gourmet soup, using real turtle, is still on menus in fine dining restaurants in the Big Easy.
The item was also popular in Victorian England (it is mentioned in "Alice in Wonderland") and also Germany, according to Mary Gehring of Phi Beta Psi sorority. The time-consuming process involved in making the thick "spicy vegetable soup," as Schrank calls it, takes place annually at Catholic church festivals in Sunman (St. Nicholas, June); Morris (St. Anthony, early September); Batesville, (St. Louis, mid-September); and Oldenburg, (Holy Family, early October); as well as at the century-old Napoleon Firemen's Festival in late July.
Other churches and groups get in on the act as well. Phi Beta Psi and Holy Family make it in January for fund-raisers. The big cooking pots will be heating up next week (see Activities on pages 6-7 for details).
Gehring says the sorority has been making the popular fare since perhaps before the early 1970s. From her research, she found that farm families in the area would typically make the soup around butchering time. Many old recipes called for cooking a cow's head and tail for the meat. Some families would use beef brains and the heart or other meat and grind it up. "It was a cleanup soup," according to Gehring. (See a typical area recipe in the box.)
- Local News
- Where is this Toyota?
- BCEF sponsors 3K, 5K and 12K races "The Batesville Community Education Foundation will be hosting the Batesville K12 again this year, but it will be a little different," reports foundation administrator Kelly Poltrack. The athletic event is slated for Saturday, Sept 27, in conjunction
- Everyone in the pool! Splish! Splash! Get ready for a nine-hour nonstop open air party.Th city-sponsored Back to School Bash at the Batesville Memorial Pool will take place Friday, Aug. 8, from 3 p.m.-midnight, reports manager Elizabeth Hall. “We wanted to do something fu
- Sewer rate increase eyed Batesville clerk-treasurer Ron Weigel told Batesville Board of Works members during a special July 29 meeting that the city has had to push off a number of sewer projects over the past couple of years “because we weren’t rate adequate” since about 20
- Big plans for Indiana's 200th birthday Indiana’s official 200th birthday is Dec. 11, 2016, but individuals and groups across the state are now preparing for the event. Perry Hammock, Indiana Bicentennial Commission executive director, and René Stanley, the commission’s community resources
- People show faith in Works of Mercy BROOKVILLE – Jennifer and Michael Wiesemann took the leap of faith and bought the former Elsie Dreyer Nursing Home building at 273 Main St., Brookville, and established the Works of Mercy Center, which will provide free help to people in need. Wiesem
- Five new cars and trailer burn on interstate Six Batesville firefighters responded to a car-carrier truck fire on westbound Interstate 74 just behind Batesville High School at 11:25 a.m. Sunday, July 27, according to Fire Chief Todd Schutte. The chief also called for tanker support from Oldenbu
- Symphony highlights arts council's 25th anniversary The Franklin County Arts Council, currently celebrating its 25th anniversary, was established when Franklin County High School opened in Brookville.Vice President Patti Wilhelm, Brookville, who has been involved with the organization for 24 years, re
- Educators work and play in China ”I loved China!” raves Batesville Middle School language arts and special education teacher Alex Davis, who worked in Beijing with five other Batesville Community School Corp. educators June 28-July 18 to sharpen the English skills of Chinese incomin
- State police post meth lab closures online Area residents can search a new Web-based listing of meth lab addresses in Ripley and Franklin counties. The Indiana State Police unveiled the online database on the Indiana Methamphetamine Investigation System Web site, www.in.gov/meth. It lists not
- More Local News Headlines