German Breakfast

I recently started a new job at a German Deli. I make sandwiches and serve sausage, and it is essentially the same as my last job, however it is thematically of far more interest to me. I work more hours, and have the opportunity to learn more about both proffessional kitchen technique and traditional German food.

At the moment I work 6 days a week and am in a constant state of going to and coming from. I exercise, I meditate,  I eat a quick meal, I read on the bus, And I work. Sometimes its easy to get wrapped up in a negative attitude towards others being in my way, inconveniencing me in my rush, or just not having the same value systems and therefore causing minor friction in my breakneck flight of survival and personal development. I get mean and tired and forget what it is to like people. At all. Even a tiny bit. Little things help me to pull myself back to my goals of archetypal self manifestation,  remembering that what I do now is to be better and more whole later. As important as ruthlessly pushing to always be more and do more is, sometimes you have to slow down and look at the map to make sure you’re headed the right direction. It would be awful to take a wrong turn and drive off the metaphorical cliff.

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Today, I took some time to prepare food for myself and a friend I haven’t seen in a while. I sat and ate and talked about what I’d been doing and thinking and feeling. I caught up on my friend’s recent adventures, and reconnected in a way that was long overdue. In listening to her stories and telling mine, I gained new perspectives on my personal efforts. The winter is over, we’re halfway through May already- I turn 29 this week, and I feel like celebrating the spring.

The German breakfast is quite similar to the Danish breakfast I remember from visiting family as a child. Some fruit, some bread or pancakes, some eggs… all laid out to be enjoyed at a leisurely pace while you chat with your loved ones. Now that I have sundays off, I may find myself doing it more often as a way to rejuvinate my emotional body, my social bonds and my view of what I’m doing and who I am transforming myself into.

Today, in addition to traditional German coldcuts like leberkäse and black forest ham, we had havarti, butterkäse, fruit, oven pancakes and a kombucha based Maibowle. Maibowle is usually woodruff, strawberry and lemon in white wine…or some variation there of.  I used  a 1:5 ratio of woodruff syrup to kombucha and added half a lemon cut into wedges and  3 strawberries,  sliced into disks. A recipe for woodruff syrup can be found here, though I would omit the food coloring.  Sweet Woodruff is a traditional spring tonic that belongs to the gallium family. It is anti inflammatory and diuretic, and has a light, verdant odor. It looks like cleavers…without the cleave…that is, it lacks the velcro like texture of cleavers, and the two are distinctly different chemically.

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My oven pancake recipe is simple, and loosely base on the one given in Beatrice Ojakanagas’ book, Scandinavian Feasts. My grandmother had a copy I inherited when she passed and it hasn’t failed yet. I’ve halved the recipe, omitted the sugar and made them in an æbleskiver pan or a muffin tin to keep portioning more reasonable.

Oven Pancakes

4 eggs

1/2 cup milk

1/2 cup yogurt whey

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 cup of flour

grass fed butter

Place eggs, milk, whey and salt together in a bowl and whisk together.

Add the flour, and whisk into a smoothe batter.

Let the batter sit, covered for 20-30 minutes while you preheat the oven to 500f.

Put small bits of butter into the hollows of an æbleskiver pan or muffin tin, and place them in the oven until the butter is just melted.

Quickly take out the tins and add enought batter to half way fill the hollows of the pan, and place back in the oven to bake.

You will know it’s done when it is very puffed up, slightly golden brown on the edges, and firmed in the center. There may be a little butter pooled in the center. It happens fast- so watch out!

Serve immediately with low/ no sugar preserves.

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