Saturday, December 29, 2012

Eating German

My dad's parents both came to America from Germany.  To this day, I stop when I hear a German accent because it reminds me of my beloved Opa and Oma.  Because we were taking my dad on our Christmas vacation, one of my goals was to make it as much like the German Christmases of his childhood as I could.

A huge part of a German Christmas is the food.  My Oma was an excellent homemaker and cook.  I wish I could learn more from her.  I talked to my dad and read German cookbooks to get the menu ideas I needed.    Here is what we planned (and mostly what we ate):

Day 1
snack: AIR-POPPED POPCORN (to eat, and to let a big bowl of it sit overnight so it would be soft enough to string and put on the tree)  We didn't get there early enough to do this.
dinner: PIZZA (from scratch, like we always make it.  It's not German, but I thought it would be easy to put together as we were arriving.  We were so late... we just got pizza and ate it on the trip.  Dinner fail.)

Day 2
breakfast: SAUSAGE AND GREEN PEPPER OMELETS (with fruit.  Trent is a big breakfast person, so he gets up for the morning cooking.  I think these turned into scrambled eggs without a good omelet pan.)
lunch: CHICKEN NOODLE SOUP & SPAM SANDWICHES (Dad loves fried Spam sandwiches.  Don't know why we didn't do this - maybe this was the day I was most miserable?)
snack: DOUGHNUTS* (*recipe at end.  We still need to make this one, as we didn't get to it.)
dinner: HAM DINNER (with pickled beets, rolls, German Potato Salad*, cooked veggies, and Schaum Torte*.  The cake was heavenly, and definitely a keeper!)

Day 3
breakfast: PANCAKES, EGGS & SAUSAGE (we topped the pancakes with syrup and applesauce)
lunch: PEANUT BUTTER & JAM SANDWICHES (We are so good at this one!)
snack: LEBKUCHEN* (German gingerbread-like cookie.  It isn't Christmas unless I make these!)
dinner: GERMAN MEATLOAF* (with rolls, baked potatoes, sauerkraut, and veggies)

Day 4
breakfast: EGGS AND CHEESY-HAM TOAST* (and fruit)
dinner: CHICKEN SCHNITZEL* with green salad and Spaetzel* and red cabbage (I forgot the chicken in the freezer at home, so I think we had spaghetti instead.  It's yummy, though)

Day 5
breakfast: OATMEAL BAR (with nuts, raisins, coconut, chocolate chips, sprinkles, apple chunks...)
snack: COOKIES (chocolate chip and almond balls*)
dinner: TACOS (so not German, but Sunday tacos is our family tradition - everyone helps!)

Day 6
breakfast: FRIED EGGS & HASHBROWNS with fruit
lunch: CHRISTMAS EVE TURKEY DINNER (cranberry sauce, stuffing, rolls, mashed potatoes and gravy, buttered carrots, sweet potatoes, and jello salad)
snack: APPLE STREUSEL* with ice cream, of course

Day 7
lunch: LEFTOVER SOUP (one of my favorite post-holiday dinner meals!)

This is why I stayed sick.  I couldn't rest because I had to cook.  But it was worth it.  Dad also loves rouladin, and wanted a fruitcake.  Next time.  We all loved the good food.  And at the end of the trip, and several times during, my dad said his stomach was satisfied.  He said he loved eating good food that was familiar to him.  Mission: accomplished.


2 eggs + 2 egg yolks
1/2 cup sugar
2 T melted butter
2 T cream
1 teaspoon lemon extract
1/4 cup flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
2 teaspoons baking powder

Cream together eggs, sugar, cream, butter, and lemon extract.  Add milk and dry ingredients.  Pat out on floured board and cut into doughnuts.  Fry between 350 and 375 in deep fat until brown.

3 pounds small red potatoes, washed well
10 slices bacon (1/2 pound), cut crosswise into 1/4 inch strips
1 large onion, chopped
1/2 teaspoon sugar
3 T cider vinegar
3/4 cup beef broth
2 T chopped fresh parsley

Cook potatoes in salted boiling water until just tender, about 20 minutes.  Cook bacon strips in large heavy skillet over medium heat, stirring, until browned and crisp.  Drain on paper towels.  Drain potatoes and let cool until you can handle them.  Cut potatoes into eighths, combine with bacon.  Cover mixture and keep warm.

Pour off all but 3 T fat from skillet and saute onion over medium heat until softened, about 3 minutes.  Add sugar, vinegar, and broth.  Simmer 2 minutes.  Add onion mixture to warm potatoes.  Add parsley and toss gently.  Season with salt and pepper.  Serve warm or at room temperature.

1 cup cold egg whites
1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
2 cups sugar
1 pint whipping cream
1 T powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla

Beat egg whites, vinegar, and cream of tartar until very stiff.  While mixing on high speed, slowly add sugar.  Drop into 2 well-buttered pyrex pie plates.  Bake at 300 for 10 minutes, then 250 for 30 minutes.  Turn oven off and let cool in oven.

Take out of pie dish and put on  serving platter.  Lift off top crust - it will break - fill with 1/2 of whipped-stiff whipped cream, powdered sugar, and vanilla.  Put fruit(fresh or frozen berries, peaches, cooked sour cherries, etc.) on cream, and put the top back on.  Amazing!


2 pounds ground beef
2 pounds ground pork (we used breakfast sausage!)
1 large chopped onion
1 cup bread crumbs
1 cup milk
3 eggs
1 T onion salt
1 teaspoon garlic salt
1 T majoram
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/4 cup fresh chopped parsley
1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
1 teaspoon thyme
1 teaspoon basil
4 strips of bacon

Mix all but the bacon, and pack into 2 loaf pans.  Put 2 strips of bacon on each loaf.  Bake at 300 or 325 for an hour.  Let meatloaf rest 10-15 minutes before serving.

EGGS AND CHEESY-HAM TOAST (an awkward name for Egg McMuffins on toast instead of English muffins)
layer a fried egg, a slice of ham, and some cheese between two slices of bread.  Put sandwiches on a cookie sheet and bake at 350 for 15 minutes - or fry up individually in a frying pan.

SOFT PRETZELS (My recipe is handwritten, in German.  Love it!)
1 T (small package) yeast
1 1/2 cup milk or water
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup butter
4 cups flour

Mix.  Roll into snakes and shape.  Bake 15 minutes at 425.

2 pounds veal stake or cutlets, or pork tenderloin or chicken sliced
2 eggs
1/4 cup milk
1/4 cup flour
1 T salt
1/4 teaspoon majoram
1/4 teaspoon pepper
2 cups bread crumbs

Cut meat 1/4 inch thick and then into nice sized portions.  Dip meat in batter of eggs, milk, flour, and seasonings.  Roll in bread crumbs.  Let sit in fridge for an hour or two (helps crumbs stay on better).

Fry in 1/2 inch of melted butter or oil or shortening.  Brown on both sides at 350 to 400 about 10 to 15 minutes.

1 cup milk
1 T salt
5 egg yolks
2 1/2 cups flour

Beat well, let rest for 15 minutes.  Bring 5 or 6 quarts water and 2 T salt to a boil in a large kettle.  Put part of dough through spaetzel machine and drop in water (or roll out thin, cut into strips, and drop in water).  Let boil 1 or 2 minutes.  Take out with strainer and put in cold water.  Drain.

To serve, put in bowl and mix in 1/4 cup melted butter.  Put in baking dish or double boiler.  Heat or bake for 20-30 minutes at 300.

3 pounds potatoes, peeled and cut up fine
1 onion, chopped
2 carrots, chopped
3 cups chopped celery
3 or 4 sprigs parsley
2 quarts water
2 pounds beef bone
1 T salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/4 teaspoon thyme
1/4 rosemary
1/4 teaspoon basil

Cook all together for 1 1/2 hours.  Blend until smooth.

1/4 pound butter
2 T sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup almonds, chopped fine
1 cup flour

Cream butter, sugar, and vanilla together.  Mix in nuts and flour.  Roll out into small balls and bake at 200-250 degrees for 30-45 minutes.  Cool.  Roll in powdered sugar.


1/4 pound butter
1/4 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 cup flour
1 teaspoon baking powder

Cream butter and sugar.  Mix in eggs,flour, and baking powder.  Pat out dough to about 1/2 inch thick in a greased pie dish.  Can bake first, then add fruit, or the fruit can be baked with the crust.  (We poured apple pie filling into the unbaked crust, sprinkle with streusel topping, then baked.)

STREUSEL (crumb topping)
1/4 pound butter
1/2 cup sugar
3/4 to 1 cup flour
1 teaspoon almond extract

Crumble together and put on top of fruit.  Bake at 350 to 375 for 35 to 40 minutes.

1 comment:

  1. Yum! I want to be invited over for the next German feast! It all sounds great.