Well, since Mom2Fur asked about DH’s birthday dinner, I’m posting about that today and will follow up tomorrow with the hummus recipe. I promise!! It is actually already all typed out, so I really will put it up.
DH and I met while we were both in the Army over in Germany. We were in a small town called Baumholder*, which is sort of in the middle of nowhere. I remember before I left I was talking to one of my very good college friends Evelyn (Hi Evelyn!!) who had been in Germany with her husband for a tour before they both came back from college. She said “Oh, German food is so good”.
I remember thinking what could be so good about sausages and saurkraut? Well let it suffice to say that Evelyn was right and I had no idea what German food tasted like from the greasy sausages and kraut folks serve over here when they are pretending to be German. Their food is totally delicious. Most of it is a heart attack waiting to happen, but boy is it good 🙂
Actually, despite the lack of concern about fat (for example, the prefered German method of eating french fries, which have of course been fried in beef lard, is with mayonnaise. Don’t try it, you might like it) Most
Germans are actually pretty slim. This is because of 3 factors. #1 Germans don’t eat between meals. They have a simple breakfast, a mid morning coffee break (which is usually just coffee and a bread roll or something) then lunch and dinner. No snacks in front of the TV, no afternoon munchies. #2 Germans walk a lot. Cars are just so expensive to run, and things are much closer together. #3 There is a mysterious substance in beer that counteracts calories. . . . . . well ok, I’m just joking about the beer.
So to celebrate DH’s birthday I decided to commemorate our time in Germany by making a German supper. I only do this about 3 times a year or so. The menu was:
Osman’s Schnitzel (recipe link)
Spaetzle (Homemade German Noodles) (recipe link)
Gurkensalat (cucumber salad) (recipe link)
Garden Fresh Greenbeans
Pumpernickle and Rye bread
Cherry Pie (recipe from Betty Crocker Cookbook)
The reason this meal is infrequent is because of the homemade spaetzle. The sticky, elasticy dought has to be cut into little pieces as it is dropped into boiling water, then fished out as they float to the top in batches. I boiled a big pot of water, then scooped up a big spoonful of the batter and used kitchen scissors to cut little slivers off. You need to make them a bit smaller than you want them to end up as they puff while cooking. When they started sticking to the scissors I simply stuck the blades into the boiling water.
All in all the cooking part of the process probably took at least a half hour, if not more, of standing over a pot of boiling water. I had sweat rolling down my back while I was doing it (AC would be nice when cooking this dish, although it was cool yesterday). The recipe made enough to feed 3 adults and 2 kids, with plenty left over to be a side dish for another whole meal. So most folks could probably halve the recipe no problem (or even 1/4 it if you can figure out how to use half an egg).
The cherry pie isn’t really particuarly German, but it is DH’s favorite dessert so I made it instead of a cake. I bought the crust, bought canned pitted dark red morelli cherries at Trader Joe’s while visiting my mom and made the pie filling from scratch. Usually I make the recipe where you toss the cherries and a bit of juice with some sugar and instant tapioca and then throw it in the shell, but of course I was out of instant tapioca (this is one of the few recipes that I use it for) so I had to do the filling where you boil the juice with cornstarch to thicken it.
Actually since I used 2 cans of cherries, there was plenty of juice left over, so I thickened it up with a little bit cornstarch and added some extra sugar and put it in the fridge to be used over icecream, pancakes or cake later. Yum! One tip for making cherry pie-even if the recipe doesn’t call for it, add about a 1/2 tsp to tsp of almond flavoring and a dash of lemon juic-it really adds to the flavor!
There you have it, not exactly low calorie but very yummy~and hey, it was for a birthday.
Tomorrow, the Hummus!
*If you click on the link and go to the article about Baumholder, you will notice that it says there was a major deployment of troops from 200-2001. I don’t know about that, but I know that while I was there almost the entire post (including yours truly and DH) deployed to Bosnia/Herzogovina in 95-96 for 10 months as part of the intial force going into that country.