My great-great aunt Freida lived to be well over 100. Raised Mennonite, she lived most of those years near the village of Kidron, Ohio (home of Lehman's, and in the heart of one of the largest Amish and Mennonite communities in the world).
She grew up -- speaking mostly Swiss -- on a dairy farm, in the same old farmhouse where I now live. It's comforting to think my children now play on the same land where Freida and her siblings played, worked -- and worked some more.
With dairy cows, they would have had lots of fresh milk and cream on hand, and of course, everyone had a garden. They had to! Living in a rural area (no supermarkets) with large families (Freida was next to youngest of several children), big gardens were necessary for families' survival. So was using up everything they had, hence the recipe calls for day-old bread.
Try this simple, old-fashioned, Amish and Mennonite treat this season; it can be enjoyed for breakfast, alongside a meal as a side dish, or even as a hearty snack.
Freida's note from an old church cookbook where she shared this recipe: Construbaly Schturm was a versatile dish that could be used all summer and varied according to ingredients on hand and the number to be served. Most gardens would have had currants, but the dish can be made with raspberries, blackberries, blueberries, strawberries, etc. or even with very ripe peaches or pears. The dish is served along with the main meal, like applesauce or a salad. It goes very well with ham.
Construbaly Schturm (Currant Rainstorm or Berry Bash)
Currants or other berries (or ripe fruit)
Day-old bread (too fresh will get sticky)
Light cream or rich milk
Pick and wash currants. Mash berries thoroughly. Add sugar and cream to taste (currants take a lot of of sugar, others may not need as much). Tear bread into small pieces and add to fruit for desired consistency. Serve immediately or chill several hours.