Posts Tagged ‘germany’

a little bit of goose

January 8, 2014

On Christmas day, usually the Big Bird-day in our tradition, my kids, who were visiting, had to catch a train an hour before mealtime (which, in good German style, is around 1 P.M.), leaving me with neither the time nor rest to stand in the kitchen monitoring a goose roast or some other long-winded extravagancy.

I cooked goose breast fillets (skin on) instead – and white cabbage in wine.

Much nonsense about goose breast fillets can be found on the internet. The most objectionable feature of most of those recipes seems to be that they deny the fact that one is cooking goose at all. In order to, as it seems, camouflage the (quite delicious, if fresh) natural taste of the bird, many of these recipes not only seem to go south, but east, west and north as well. (more…)


surviving the shop

March 28, 2008

This is not going to be about food at all, it is my weekly rant about elbows. We are back from the store. It is Friday afternoon, and even this time, we survived. This isn’t so easy as it sounds.

I’m born in Western Germany. One would think that this prepared me for most shopping styles of the world – however, a Friday in a Swedish store makes me wonder. But let’s go generalize nation for nation. (more…)

back to the roots – labskaus

March 17, 2008

Labskaus belongs to my childhood food. As I learned to know it, it was a mishmash of potatoes, red beets and some other fillings a child is unable to analyze, and it came with a pickle wedge (or is it wedge of pickle), a pickled herring of one or another sort and a fried egg. This is, more or less, how my mom makes labskaus. She’ll chime in and protest, I’m sure: labskaus is, in fact, not a recipe: it is once through the pantry and back. Of course, we’re talking a ship’s pantry.

My thoughts keep returning to Daffy Duck and the line, halfway into the cartoon “Duck Amuck”: “Thea picture, eh? I alwayth wanted to do a thea epic,” (I did supply a YouTube link, but it died). So, yes, when I looked on the web for orrriginal labskaus recipes, fantasies of twenty hungry sailors, of a stiff breeze and of shrieks of greedy gulls started forming in my mind. Here’s a list of ingredients with which someone’s father used to cook true navy-style labskaus forty years ago: 5 kilogram (11 lbs) of salted pork, same amont of salted beef. 8 kg (17 1/2 lbs) potatoes, the non-fluffy kind. 2 1/2 kg (5 1/2 lbs) onions. 1 1/4 kg (2 3/4 lbs) butter. Pickled herring and eggs to serve.

The author of this writes that those recipes that add red beets to the mash are Not Authentick; the red color of labskaus comes from the salted meat. I have an issue with red beets: they upset my stomach and give me a headache. One day shortly after a lunch with warm beets, a neighbor’s kid split my head open with a huge enameled green pan that functioned as a toy in his sandbox (I was about five years old). I saw too much red on that day. A good reason to test the sea picture mash. Since there are no twenty hungry sailors here who have been scraping rust or done whatever else sailors do in the cold for a whole morning I scaled the total amount down a bit, as can be seen on the pictures.

The meats are boiled in separate pans, “until firm to the bite” (I wonder what they were before boiling, but okay…), as well as the potatoes.


the country of kartoffelsalat

December 12, 2007

So I spent three days in Germany. Transportation logistics excluded proper restaurant visits, so I made the stay a wursty experience, in spite of my freshly triggered reservations about meat freshness. Sausage consumption began on Friday afternoon at the Göteborg bus terminal, where the Frankfurter & Cabanossy grill sells what I believe to be the best sausage to be bought anywhere in Sweden (as a touring musician, I’ve tested them all). I remember that their many kinds of sausages are made by an Austrian specialist – I don’t know whether this is still true, but the products are in any case better than what you get in the kiosk at the other end of the station. They also provide unsweetened German mustard, if you ask for it.

One cattle-shuttle flight trip later I found myself back in Frankfurt Hahn airport, a place lost in the countryside somewhere between Koblenz and Trier that has as little to do with Frankfurt as Berlin has with Hamburgers. Here I bought a dry slice of hot ham-cheese-something that kept me chewing until the bus to Koblenz arrived. (more…)