Having seen Julie & Julia in its entirety I am absolutely convinced that I can learn German cooking. And that I am absolutely crazy. Oh I don’t have any grand plan so ambitious as Julie’s, a recipe a day. I still have to translate the German to English, the measures from metric to American
stupid Standard and find money for basic bills. I do not have the income to support a full time cooking habit like that. Bless my housemate though. She’ll let me do what I can to whatever protein (meat) she buys. And almost without question. At some point she did ask me “Why German?”
It isn’t as though I have a man with a adventurous palate to satisfy. I don’t have a man. There are not relatives living close by to impress with the mastery of German kitchen skills. And I do not have the culinary chops to make it as a pastry or sous chef in a local kitchen. So why bother? Aside from missing the three things that my Grampa made for us: Holiday loaf/cake/strudel, cinnamon rolls, gingerbread, why do I want so badly to learn German cookery?
Why do I want to do anything? Why do I want to learn anything? I am German. I am an Aquarius and I am a Geek. Learning is what we do. I am type A so I am easily bored without some kind of a puzzle to busy my brain with. As I said in the introduction, I am German and I would like to know more about that part of who I am since it appears that I am as much German in spirit as I am American by birth. But basically, it’s so I don’t shoot up the walls like Sherlock does when he is bored. (Kidding)
It’s just something that I need to do. To that end, I asked my German pen-pal to send me a couple of magazines on baking. Lecker for one. I saw it on the web and fell in love with the magazine. Having a physical copy in my hands has only made love blossom all the more. The photos are excellent and I love the layout. It’s printed the wrong way. Which actually…. is the right way if you want to lay it out flat next to you on the counter while you are cooking. Simply Brilliant.
And so much more than just baking! I live with an omnivorous Celiac so when I saw all the pork recipes I knew that was where we would start. And this was the first attempt.
Die Krauterpfanne. Green cabbage and pork sausage with apples. It isn’t the exact recipe since I had to deal with the ingredients that I had on hand. For whatever reason this year this is the season for cheap pork. I am not complaining! We gorged ourselves on this for about three meals apiece and it might have cost a grand total of 4 dollars to make. You can’t beat that when you are poorer than a college student.
And let’s face it. Most of the food that Germans are noted for would have been considered peasant food to those of society or breeding. The ingredients are common enough to be found at the grocery. And some of the more “uncommon” items are actually quite common to foragers. Everything is used, nothing goes to waste and just about everything about German cuisine would make the Frugal Gourmet happy. As German chefs increasingly have had to compete in the world market with “gourmet” cuisines from the Mediterranean and its more fashionable southern neighbors, German food is getting quite the visual makeover to help reintroduce the cuisine to discerning palates. And I’d like to help that along if I can.
In fact, now that I think about it, this whole thing might be Harry Ulrich’s fault.