So my kids don’t eat.
Well, they do, but they just don’t eat a “variety” of foods. The kids however, LOVE Japanese food and sushi, so I know if we were travelling to Japan they would find plenty of food they love to sustain, and nourish their little bodies. This could be partly due to the fact that we have “Sushi Fridays”, almost every Friday, since before they were born. It’s a fun little routine we have gotten them used too. Since planning the trip, Mike and I have decided that the kids needed to be more adventurous when it comes to food. There will be a lot of amazing foods that they will encounter being in Europe, (some they most likely would not encounter in our day to day lives here in Vancouver), so Sushi Fridays have now been replaced with our own “Culinary Tour of Europe”. Every Friday I will be cooking a menu consisting of foods from one of the countries we will be visiting while we are away.
This past Friday we visited the foods of Germany.
The menu consisted of Schweine-Schnitzel, Grainy Mustard Spaetzle, and Brodie decided he would make Kale Chips. For those of us over 19, I picked up a German Riesling, and some Becks beer.
I went to a butcher on Main Street with the intent to pick up veal for the schnitzel, but it ended up that they didn’t have veal. Really? Because that’s why I SPECIFICALLY went to a butcher… ’cause I knew they would have veal! Since I was wrong on the veal, I decided to go with pork. The kids like pork….. well, sometimes anyway. I also thought it would be fun to have soft German pretzels on the menu. I did a bit of research to find a bakery that made authentic ones, and was directed to The Swiss Bakery just off of Main Street. I popped in just after 2:00pm and was told they were sold out….. I guess I didn’t realize how popular (and hard to find) authentic soft German pretzels would be! For my own curiosity, I now have to get there one morning before they sell out just to see what all this hype is about, and to give myself something to compare to while in Germany!
I headed home to make the mustard spaetzle and organize my “mise en place” needed for the dinner. Now, I’m pretty sure, that with all my days spent in a professional kitchen, I must have made spaetzle at least two dozen or more times. Well I have obviously forgotten the finer points of making spaetzle dough….. and I had to make it twice…. I am slightly of embarrassed about that, but at least I knew when to throw in the towel, and start again! I am a huge fan, while working in the kitchen, of “using the right tool for the job”, it just makes life easier. Well for the spaetzle I did not have the “right tool”…….so, if in the future, I decide to make spaetzle again, I will go out and purchase a spaetzle maker to push the dough through…. would have made making spaetzle so much easier, less messy and much more enjoyable for me! For the veggies, it was going to be just a simple sauté of garlic, shallots and kale, but Brodie said he REALLY wanted to make kale chips, and since I love having him help me out in the kitchen, we set the oven and he began to tear and wash the leaves. For the schnitzel, the butcher pounded out the meat for me so all I needed to do was set the breading station up and get the pans at the right temperature as to cook the schnitzel and have it golden brown. It was cooked perfectly, the breading not sticking to the meat, instead, creating a “crust” around the meat, then garnished with lemon wedges. It was simple and super tasty.
In the end, I would say our first stop on the “Culinary Tour of Europe” was a huge success. Brodie ate all the schnitzel saying “its kind of like chicken fingers”, devoured his kale chips and seemed for the most part to like the spaetzle. Sydney wasn’t as adventurous preferring only the schnitzel and kale chips, and not touching the spaetzle, all while making “that face” and shaking her head no.
I addition to the food we also printed off maps of our drive to Heidelberg from Paris, printed off a page of useful German words for us all to try to learn, and used those words to converse through dinner. It was a great night and I can’t wait try authentic German Fare, use our limited knowladge of the German language all on the streets of Heidelberg.
Enjoy your Daily Dose
My little “sous chef”