Travails and Travels and Spaetzle
Feb. 8, 2013 8:12 am
Updated: Feb. 11, 2013 8:48 pm
I'm sitting here in the Daily Grind, in Marshall, Minnesota. It's a nice little place with great people working here, and the coffee is good. I didn't ask for whole milk in my cappuccino, and it shows. I don't care for the flavor
of skim milk, but that's my fault, not theirs. If this is an indication of things to come, I think I'll be able to live here easily. This chubby old fart came cruising into their world with smart alec commentary and a smile, and they didn't miss a beat! I
feel at home.
I am currently expiring from a horrid little head cold that made the flight to Minneapolis at least uncomfortable. The flight on the 20 passenger prop-plane to Marshall was excruciating at points. I tried dosing up on cold medicines before each leg of the flight,
but the congestion was still there. If that is the worst of my travails, I am surely a blessed man. If the forecasted blizzard hits before I have to fly back to New Jersey, I can count that as another travail, I guess.
This is my official house hunting expedition, and the next few days are going to be busy ones. I hope we can find a home that makes us all happy. Personally, I would like 15 acres or so with a stream or pond on the property. The orchard would get started in
the first year, and would include apples, cherries, pears and blueberries. I need to find out if there is a peach variety hardy in zone 4b. Then I would start building a chicken coop and a rabbit hutch. If I can sneak in goats, I would do that too, but I live
in a different reality where I have to consider a wife as well as a self! I would get the vegetable garden laid out by Autumn and have the soil prepped as well as possible. I might even get garlic planted before the snow flies.
Because of that different reality I may end up in a large house on a 1/4 acre. No animals. No orchard. Limited gardening possibilities due to covenants and restrictions. I sort of understand not wanting to live next to people that leave rusted hulks in their
yard, and don't cut the lawn and blah, blah, blah. On the other hand, it isn't any of my business, and it really doesn't bother me that much. It bothers me more that people get their shorts in a bunch over stuff like that. What ever happened to live, and let
live? What ever happened to working things out between each other instead of using the municipality as a weapon? But that is a topic for another post.
Enough of travails and travels. There are more important things to blog about. A few weeks ago, I had promised someone (manella I think) that I would post a Spaetzle recipe. It comes from
Bavarian Cooking by Olli Leeb.
1 pound of flour
1/2 cup of milk
1/2 cup soda water
4 whole eggs
1 tsp salt
Sift the flour into a bowl, and add the milk and soda water, mixing well. Add the eggs and salt, mix and beat the dough with a wooden spoon until small bubbles form. Let the dough rest for 1/2 hour. In the meantime, boil up plenty of salted water in a large
pot. Cut or slice the Spaetzle in batches into the boiling water, bring each batch briefly to a boil, then lift out with a slotted spoon, drain in a colander and chill under running cold water. Spread the Spaetzle on a board to steam off the moisture, then
heat them in butter before serving.
That is Ms. Leeb's way of doing it. It didn't work for me. I have no skill in slicing off bits of dough with a knife and board. It is a skill that can be developed, but I would have starved before success! I use a Spaetzle press, which can be ordered online.
You can also use a colander with large holes, and press the dough through the holes into boiling water. Her last direction to "steam off the moisture" doesn't seem to work either. Perhaps I chilled the Spaetzle too long, because there was no steam after rinsing
in cold water. I used a clean kitchen towel to drain the cold Spaetzle on. Also, she makes note that if you want your Spaetzle to be more firm you should omit the soda water and use 1 cup of milk. I prefer them to be firm.
I hope you enjoy making these wonderful little dumplings. They do go well with a variety of things, but goulash is one of my favorites. Also, Kaese Spaetzle is a delicious treat, and the German answer to Mac and Cheese. Take the Spaetzle and mix in a preheated
oven safe dish with 2 oz. butter and 6 oz of Allgaeu Emmenthaller Cheese (a type of Swiss Cheese). Bake in a hot oven until the cheese is well melted, but not browned. Top with browned onions, or even French's French Fried Onions (not the best but ok).
One thing that this recipe doesn't include is allspice. Often, the dough had a small amount of allspice in it. I'm guessing here, but I can't imagine it would be over 1/2 a teaspoon. If you're adventurous, start with 1/4 tsp and see how it goes!