CONCORD, N.C. – This week, the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series is heading to a state that boasts a full, rich historical culture: Pennsylvania.
While many Hendrick Motorsports team members call the Keystone State “home,” one in particular originates from an interesting background.
GROWING UP IN BEDFORD
Kelly DeHart, who works in the Nos. 5 and 24 shop, is originally from Bedford, Pennsylvania, which is located 102 miles west of the state capital of Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.
“Bedford’s a very historic, beautiful town,” DeHart said. “We have Bedford Springs Resort there, which is a 200-year-old resort that was built in 1796. It’s gorgeous. It’s just boosted that town. It’s just a very historic town with cool shops.”
The city limits of Bedford also contain Bedford Speedway, a 5/8-mile oval dirt track that host Friday night lineups of late models, four cylinders and modifieds, along with other divisions.
And like so many who now find themselves in the world of motorsports, DeHart grew up around racing.
“We have the speedway there,” she said. “I actually sold papers there when I was a teenager. My family was always about racing, my dad raced a little bit but we always had to go to the races.”
DeHart visits home every opportunity she can. Her brother owns The Village News, a newsstand/bar located in the middle of town.
“When I go home it’s fun to sit in the front window and have my breakfast there and look out and get to see people I know,” she said. “I love my hometown, it’s just too cold there in the winter.”
FROM THE PENNSYLVANIA DUTCH COOKBOOK
With her German background, DeHart grew up on the hearty cuisine of the Pennsylvania Dutch, which is very popular throughout many areas of the northern state.
One of DeHart’s favorite recipes to make is ham potpie, although it’s not the kind that is made into an actual pie with crust.
“I make my own noodles and we do ham broth,” she explained. “It’s like chicken and dumplings here but we’ve always done it with ham. It’s always been in my family growing up. I don’t do it as much anymore, but for birthdays, whenever anybody had a birthday we did ham potpie.”
Another staple Pennsylvania Dutch recipe in DeHart’s kitchen is pickled red beets and eggs, a summer treat. She took them to a neighborhood picnic one day and was surprised when nobody ate them.
“Nobody ate them and nobody even asked, ‘What is this?’” DeHart laughed. “I said, ‘Nobody’s eating them,’ and he (DeHart’s husband) said, ‘Good for us, we’ll take them home and eat them!’ He’s learned to like them – all you have to do is try them once.”
Another of the Pennsylvania native’s favorites is her grandmother’s potato salad dressing.
“It’s homemade mayonnaise, which you cook on the stove with eggs and sugar and vinegar and it’s the best,” she said.
Her husband, who is a native North Carolinian, has grown to like Pennsylvania Dutch delicacies.
“I’ve introduced it to my husband, who has always lived in North Carolina,” DeHart said, “so I make him eat Yankee food now.”
SOMETHING OLD, SOMETHING NEW
Over the past several years, DeHart and her husband have cultivated a new hobby: antiquing.
Years ago, after being inspired by the television show American Pickers, they started walking through antique malls. Eventually, they decided to open their own booth, which, after performing well, led to a second booth.
“We have one booth that’s sort of homey and the other is industrial,” DeHart said.
Her husband transforms old metal cabinets into wine bars and enjoys that side of the hobby, while DeHart enjoys going to auctions on the weekends.
She even enlists the help of her friends and family back home in Pennsylvania, who send her pictures of items they think she might want.
“It’s old-fashioned and I like the old things,” she said, “the old recipes and the old stuff.”
RECIPES TO SHARE
DeHart has shared some of her favorite recipes for this week’s edition of the #HendrickSummer guide, straight out of her Pennsylvania Dutch cookbook.
Pickled Eggs and Red Beets
2 cups (about 1 lb.) young beets
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup vinegar
1/2 cup cold water
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 small cinnamon stick
3 or 4 whole cloves
6 hard-cooked eggs
Wash the beets. Cut off the leaves and stems, leaving about one inch of the root end. Cook until tender. Drain and skin. Boil together for 10 minutes all remaining ingredients except the eggs. Let the beets stand in this liquid for several days. Add whole, hard-cooked, shelled eggs to the liquid and let stand in refrigerator for two days.
2 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
2/3 cup water
1 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons lard
Cut the lard into the combined dry ingredients. Stir in lightly the beaten eggs and water. On a floured board, roll out as thinly as possible. Cut into two-inch squares with a knife or pastry wheel. Add a few potatoes and cook for 15 minutes in ham broth. Beef or chicken broth can also be used.
TEAM STORE SUMMER DISCOUNTS
In this week’s #HendrickSummer guide, you can receive a special discount on a Chase Elliott No. 24 Gauge T-Shirt in both the team store and the online store. To receive 10 percent off your Polo, use the code HENDRICKSUMMER at checkout.
And remember, look for another of #HendrickSummer feature next week for new stories and a brand new discounted item and share with us your favorite summer activities and more using the hashtag #HendrickSummer.