Today is the third anniversary of my Oma’s death and rarely does a day go by in which I don’t think about her or Opa who passed away a little bit later. Being back in Europe now makes me remember them so much more…seeing kids here with their grandparents feeding ducks in the park like I used to as a little girl or riding the trams and sharing a laugh….even the scent of my laundry detergent and cleaning products bring back memories.
Oma loved cooking and was an excellent chef of all those yummy, heavy German dishes….It still makes me laugh when I think about her concerns (and she had many!) about us getting sick from the food the first time John and I travelled to Southeast Asia (back in those free, childless days when hopping from country to country on a moment’s notice seemed like the thing to do!). We never got sick the entire time we were away (and *might* have had some interesting food encounters…) … we did get sick though when we returned to Germany and Oma welcomed us with an incredibly delicious heavy creamy meal….(you know, one of those really good German meals that need to be followed up with one or more digestives to keep you from falling asleep?!). We didn’t have the heart to tell her we got sick from her cooking (which, to clarify, was solely because our systems had gotten so used to a very light Asian diet in our 1.5 months abroad!) but she eventually figured it out and couldn’t stop laughing about it….she took it in stride and was able to get our bellies used again to delicious German cuisine in no time.
Oma gave me my first few cookbooks when I moved out and became responsible for my own cooking. I love to cook as well [now] but in those beginning phases had a few cooking disasters (you try frying potato pancakes in a steel pan….nope, not pretty, not even close…and that after I graded potatoes for what seemed like hours).
But that was a few years ago and with all those memories coming back now [and some years cooking disaster-free], I dusted off those old, traditional cooking books (dating to the 1970s – hey, some recipes just don’t change!) and started working the kitchen much to my family’s approval.
First off – Zuericher Geschnetzeles, one of John’s all-time favorite dishes … can we say delish???? See, even my background chefs agree (I love those wall decals in my kitchen!)?
Success #1 was followed by Rahmschnitzel with Bratkartoffeln – I clearly remember both kids licking their plates clean.
So, cheers to Oma for passing on her love for cooking – and take notice of the glass of ‘cooking wine’ that was as essential in Oma’s kitchen as it is in mine.