Sunday, October 09, 2005

Saturday Evening

Though public diplomacy is my official project this year, it is not a big secret that I am on a quest. My mission is to find Germany’s best cheese spaetzle. This morning I am happy to report that I had my first plate of real cheese spaetzle last night and it was FANTASTIC! My initial research in 1997 and 2001 revealed that Germany’s best spaetzle comes out of the Schlecker kitchen in Ulm. Indeed in 2005, I proclaim that the best cheese spaetzle is still made by the Family Schlecker:-)

Matthias invited myself, a friend from Munich and 2 other couples (who he knows from the Berlin blogosphere) to a Swabisch dinner party. I arrived an embarrassing 40 minutes late after getting lost (my raspberry walnut salad was extra tossed by the time I arrived!) But once I finally found the apartment, the evening was great. Matthias’s altbau apartment has great ambience, the music and wine was well selected and the other guests were very friendly.

Now on to what makes the Schlecker family recipe so good… I believe there are three primary factors. The first is homemade noodles. For years I have heard Matthias say to people that making the noodles is “so simple.” Though as the mess in my kitchen has shown whenever I have tried to make noodles, spaetzle-making does require some skill. The second factor is the proper proportion of cheese, noodles and carmelized onion. The final factor is greasing the pan properly so that the cheese on the outside gets a little crispy (like Buddy’s deep-dish pizza crust, for those from Michigan.) Since I have tried to make this recipe with little success, I believe there might also be a special 4th factor, like a spaetzle elf that Matthias keeps hidden in the cabinet. Whatever the secret is, dinner last night was wonderful!

For dessert, Matthias made a baked apple, raisin, almond dish with warm vanilla sauce. I think that description requires no commentary other than Yum!

When did the party end? I don’t know! As Matthias uncorked yet another bottle of wine at 1am, I bid everyone adieu and headed home. Matthias tried to explain that it is not until 1am in Berlin that people decide whether they want to go out and party. Maybe this is what Berliners do, but this American was exhausted!


At 9:30 AM, Anonymous said...

It's a pity the "sample food blog" (kulinarische Kostprobe via Blogeintrag) hasn't been invented yet ... I'm hungry now!!!

At 4:41 AM, Anonymous The Exit said...

Mr. Tom, you could visit us in Berlin!

Erin, thanks for the wonderful entry, and for visiting my house!

At 10:18 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Spaetzle sounds delicious. Your detailed note-taking is also quite remarkable! Will you attempt the same when you head to Schlappen in Freiburg?

At 11:08 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

You are going to Shlappen in Freiburg??? Erin, please this time get a detailed account of how they make the secret sauce. As you know, the key ingredient is the Maggie Sauce -- so, please find out what in the world this is and how we can find it! Big hugs, Anuradha

At 7:12 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Erin,
Your mom told me about your adventure in Berlin. Sounds great and like you're having a wonderful time. Hannah and Kerry are now both in High School. Time sure goes fast! Carol

At 10:15 AM, Blogger Erin said...

Indeed a trip (or two or three) to Schlappen is planned! How do they make those french fries and sauce so tasty! My plan is to get the recipe and market it world wide;-)

At 10:36 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

You're such a capitalist! Keep Schlappen's sauce to the Freiburgers. Marketing the sauce would ruin the uniqueness of Schlappen if you knew you could get the same sauce at your local Safeway. ;)

At 12:35 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Erin, You have to keep us in mind also when you get the secret recipe! We will require that we get a personal demonstration of the sauce preperation!!
We are at Fairfield Glades in Tenn. with Larry and Barb. played golf yesterday and will be playing again this afternoon. Granny will be getting off a reply to your e-mail. Love, G&G

At 6:17 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Whatever Jennie, it is all about instant gratification. We shouldn't have to travel all the way to Freiburg for the secret sauce! Erin, do you think it will freeze? Could you pack it in some dry ice and mail it to me? Anuradha

At 6:19 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

one more thing Erin -- perhaps you could take one of those trips to Freiburg when I visit in the Spring (keeping my fingers crossed that the dept head approves of my trip). That way we can 1) make Jennie jealous and 2) combine our persuasive powers (if you know what I mean) to figure out what's in the sauce! hee hee hee. And then we can market it all over the world and make millions! -- Anuradha

At 8:11 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

We so enjoy your notes from Berlin! They inspired me to make Krissa a German meal for her birthday. Our spaetzle in Richboro comes in a box with a recipe for cheese spaetzle on the back. Nothing like the real thing, I'm sure. Would love to have "the recipe"! We had bratwurst (from Wisc., via Trader Joe's in Abington, and red cabbage and apples which I made myself. Also applestrudel which I did not even attempt to make!

Jo R.

At 11:31 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anuradha and Erin,
I know what mischief you can get into if you both put your minds to it. However, imagining Schlappen with a generic sauce is tantamount to stripping the skeleton from the men's bathroom. (I'm so happy I can reference that and know that you both know what I'm talking about). Also, I would be horribly jealous if there was a GW reunion in Freiburg and I was not part of it!


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