boy's birthday dinner

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.

German Klöße

3-4 lbs of Russet potatoes*
2 slices white bread
3 tbsp (vegan) butter
white vinegar

*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.


  1. Stop stop stop. I just ate a full meal and yet reading/looking at this is still making my mouth water like crazy. YUM!

  2. Sounds delicious. Happy birthday to J. And wow, what an involved dinner; you are clearly a devoted and caring partner to go through all that trouble!

  3. Oh my goodness. That looks amazing. Happy birthday to J!

  4. Wow,nice pics! Happy B-day to your BF:)

  5. lucky guy - that looks delicious!

  6. Looks verrry tasty and happy birthday J!

  7. I loove pumpkin beer...and beer always makes me sleepy ;)

  8. Me too! Shipyard pumpkinhead! I love special birthday dinners. We have this tradition too. It's the best way to show a little special love ;)

  9. Happy Birthday to your boy, he's quite handsome :D

    The Klöße sound great, do you have German ancestry? Lately iv'e been talking with quite a lot German people ( like exchange student in class ) and i'm starting to like the country and language more, which is a good thing because i have to learn it at school.

    1. A little bit, yes! But I studied it in high school and college, and that is really where my love of the language and culture comes from. Do keep exploring!

  10. Clair, the dinner looks awesome, so totally!!! Great job!

  11. oh mylanta, i LOVE that you are a cougar! if just barely, that still cracks me up! :) also, we need a tea date soon! just not a groupon one, haha ;)


Thanks for making me smile. =)