Tomorrow is J's birthday. For the next two weeks, we will be the same age. And then...I can look forward to another year of cougar jokes.
But I love the boy. So he got himself a birthday dinner this weekend.
Old school German Sauerbraten, marinated for four days...
Doughy, white potato Klöße...
Sweet pickled red cabbage...
Full glasses of pumpkin beer...
And one happy camper.
We know we're getting older, because we spent the rest of the afternoon sleeping off our individual glasses of beer.
The whole meal was not nearly as good as my mum makes it. My Klöße were a little underdone, I think. But I'm sharing the recipe anyway, as I translated it from German and I want to share the potato love.
3-4 lbs of Russet potatoes*
2 slices white bread
3 tbsp (vegan) butter
*Store potatoes at room temperature; the fridge will change the starch into sugar
1. Cut the bread into cubes and fry in the butter until browned. Set aside.
2. Peel potatoes. Heat salted water on the stove, cut 1/3 of the potatoes into 2-3 chunks each, and add to the water. Bring to a boil, then simmer until the potatoes are soft. When done (at any point during the next few steps), remove from the water.
3. While the potatoes are cooking, finely grate the other 2/3 of potatoes into a bowl, mixing with a splash of vinegar to keep them from browning. Transfer to a linen bag (I used a pillowcase) and strain over the bowl, squeezing as much liquid out as possible.
4. Allow the potato starch to settle in the liquid, then pour the excess liquid slowly off the top. If you lose some starch, you can add a little potato or corn starch from your pantry. Return the dried potatoes to the starch and mix.
5. Mash the cooked potatoes until very smooth. While they are still hot, add back to the dried potato and starch mixture. Mix together until starch is uniform throughout. (I used my hands, but be careful...it's hot!). You can test this by rinsing your hands under cold water, then pressing the mixture...it should not stick.
6. Bring a pot of salted water to a boil. While it's heating, form the dough into dumplings with a cube of bread stuck in the middle of each. They will be about 2-3 inches in diameter. When water is boiling, use a slotted spoon to put dumplings in water. Do not overcrowd; you can cook them in a couple of batches if necessary.
6. When dumplings are in the water, do not allow it to return to a boil. They will be done when they float to the top.