She passed on in 2003, but I still feel her presence when I am making her Bavarian recipes. My "Mutti" had a powerful influence on how I cook. I love German Food, and my husband (who is born and raised in Missouri) has fallen in-love with my Bavarian heritage.
There are very different types of German food, depending on what region you visit. A quick geography lesson-- Bavaria is a "State" and the capital is Munich/Muenchen. They have an entirely different flag than Northern Germany, and the dialect is very different than Northern Germany.
The dialect that I understand, and still speak (though rusty) is Bavarian. If you ask any true Bavarian-- there is a distinct rivalry between the Prussians and Bavarians that dates back centuries.
My favorite recipes are influenced by Bavaria and Austria, and I'll share them as I start to put the recipes in my head, into photos and printable recipes.
My mother's hometown, of Bad Reichenhall, is just yodeling distance to Salzburg, Austria and right down the road to a very famous Ski Resort-- Berchtesgarten. Bad Reichenhall is an upscale spa town that offers so many beautiful things to see-- the Alps, The Arts-- Opera, Outdoor concerts, Music Festivals (They love Mozart), hiking, skiing.
I became very homesick for my mother's Home Land, by viewing photos by "Rotraud" on Flickr. She lives in Bad Reichenhall and has posted beautiful photographs of Berchtesgartener Land. I want to acknowledge that the above photos are hers. She is a talented photographer.Sorry, I got carried away with nostalgic memories... back to my recipe. In honor of my mother's birthday, I made "Schnitzel", Homemade Spaetzle and Red Cabbage. My mother loved that meal!
WARNING: This is not a kid friendly recipe! Well, at least the beer part (and that is a "must"). My son still doesn't like red cabbage. Fine with me! Red cabbage pairs beautifully with pork or any kind of sausage, so it won't go to waste.
I'm going to post the recipes for the Schnitzel and Home Made Spaetzle over the next few days, with directions on how to make these. I promise. If I do say so myself, the dinner was stellar! My mother would have been so proud of how I am carrying on her traditional recipes.
For now, here's a sneak peek at the "Whole Enchilada"...er, "Whole Schnitzel":
I have tweaked my mom's recipe for "Blaukraut" (blue cabbage, in Bavarian) or "Red Cabbage" to adapt to my own taste...just a little bit, by switching from white sugar to brown sugar. I guess, you could say, this is one of my signature dinners. I love red cabbage, but I've had more than my share of bland recipes. Here is how I make it, and it's delicious:
You will need: a head of red cabbage, onion, one Granny Smith Apple (you want it tart), brown sugar, red wine vinegar, apple juice (I use organic, unsweetened, unfiltered apple juice, from Trader Joe's), ground cloves, fresh ground nutmeg and (optional) caraway seeds-- but my family doesn't like them, so I leave them out.
Core a medium head of red cabbage and slice:
Heat a Dutch Oven with a swirl of olive oil and heat. Add sliced onion and cook, till just tender-- 2-3 minutes:
Next, add the cabbage and braise for 3- minutes-- until just tender. Isn't that a pretty color?
In no specific order, add the brown sugar, cored and grated apple, apple juice...
Add the vinegar:
Stir to combine, cover with a lid and simmer on low for about 30 minutes. You want the cabbage to be tender, but not overcooked and mushy.
When I make this dish, I make Schnitzel (breaded veal, chicken or pork with my homemade breadcrumbs) cooked in olive oil to a golden brown. My homemade spaetzle, cooked in unsalted butter with fresh parsley is the perfect side dish to make this one of my family's favorite German dinners. While Germany produces some beautiful wine, I am a beer drinker-- "Pilsner" being my favorite. A glass of beer with this meal makes the whole meal come together:
I'm going to send this post to both of my brothers. I can already hear them moaning with regret that they could not eat this. Every October, though, they know that I make an Oktoberfest dinner in honor of our mother and her Bavarian Heritage.