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traditions

The Poor Man’s Food that will keep you healthy….


In Germany, there are so many traditions around spring time!

In Frankfurt, you would know spring is coming when the market stands began selling “Gruene Sosse”, packets of herb that you used to make a traditional food for Green Thursday, the Thursday before Easter. Of course, you can eat this any time you want, the Green Thursday has a reason :).

As the lore goes, the farmers, poor and famished, would always have potatoes that they grew themselves, and their chickens, who also fed themselves, would lay eggs. As the spring rains fell over the land, herbs and weeds grew abundantly. The farmers picked the herbs and weeds, and turned it into a green sauce, which they served over potatoes and boiled eggs. The green sauce was said to have magical qualities, helping the farmers ward of sickness (now we know they were packing the vitamins!), and so it was eaten every year on Green Thursday to keep them healthy all year!

Gruene Sosse

7 green herbs, including parsely, sorrel, dandelions, cress, borage, dill, chives (I had borage & sorrel in my garden, bought the others. Also added Miner’s lettuce, as I happened to find a patch on my walk today :)….in the spirit of the dish).

Chop fine in food processor or mixer. Or go the ‘old way” and hand chop very fine….

Add just enough sour cream to make a thick sauce.

Add salt n’ pepper to taste.

Serve over boiled potatoes (new ones are best) and boiled eggs that have been halved.

Voila! πŸ™‚

Gruenkern Suppe


Tomorrow my Mama goes back home after staying with us for 4 weeks :(.

Time always flies when she is here. This time we did nothing but hang out. She babysat for me so that I could spend a FABULOUS weekend with my girl friends, cooked, hung out, watched a zillion episodes of WEEDS with me on the internet, and just discussed my woes of the world with me :).

We also experimented with new grains, and called forth the old ones I grew up with.

Here is a fav, my kids love it too.

Gruenkern Suppe for 4

1.5 cups of spelt
half of an onion
Veggie broth (or chicken or meat, to taste)
Miso (if preferred)

Cube onions and saute’ lightly in olive oil. Add spelt and toast until browned. Fill up with about 4 cups of water (or chicken or meat broth if using). Cook for about an hour, or until spelt “bursts”. Add about 2 tbls dry veggie broth, and about 2 large tbls Miso. Both of these are to taste, add more if you like it. If you like your soup thicker, take a good ladle of the soup and spelt and puree in the mixer. Add that back to your soup.

Now you can add grated carrots, chopped greens, ginger…it is limited only by your imagination and what you have on hand :). Salt and pepper to taste.

Enjoy some nourishing tradition :).

Show me your Buttocks, and make me smile :)…

When I was growing up, everything happened in the kitchen. I grew up in big, brownstone buildings, and the winters in Germany were COLD. There was only one room that was heated during the day, the kitchen :). In the evening, the oven in the living room would be fired up for a few hours, but the kitchen is where it was happening. I think it is in the blood, the kitchen is still my favorite part of the house, and I am not the greatest cook!

A few months ago, when my mama was here, she inspired me to try my hand at an old craft :). When I was many years younger, I made her a Kitchen Witch, one that still hangs in her kitchen. She said it made her friends laugh when they visited, and that she would like to give one to some of her dearest friends. How could I say no? So, while she was here, I began rummaging in my brain archives to see if I could remember how I made her.

I made a few prototypes, and finally figured it out again. I am sure the original looks different, but I am digging my new witches. For one thing, they make me laugh. Constantly.

Meet Letti:

Not only is she cute, but she has a naughty side. Meet Letti’s naughty side:

πŸ™‚

Letti is one of the many witches that come from my hand lately. Each one, just like my Goddesses, have a very distinct personality. Every once in a while, they will look like a close friend, LOL.

Now these little witches are not here only to make us laugh, they have a serious mission:

“A kitchen witch, sometimes called a cottage witch, is a poppet or homemade doll resembling a stereotypical witch or crone displayed in residential kitchens as a means to provide good luck and ward off bad spirits

The poppet is supposed to depict a “good”witch who inspires productivity and safety in a kitchen, but also counteracts any ill-will directed to the home. It is considered good luck to give a kitchen witch to a friend or family member. So that those unfamiliar with the kitchen witch can understand its meaning, sometimes a note will be hung around the witch’s neck stating her purpose. It could say β€œSo your pot never spills over and your sauce never runs.”, or β€œTo keep your home safe & cozy.”….or whatever your heart desires.” (most of that is from Wikipedia.com, it short and to the point. You can get really in depth by digging further :)…)

There is all kinds of lore about Kitchen Witches.
I hope you enjoy it :).

Much love,
Heike, Letti, & the Kitchen Witch crew

P.S. Some of the “Crew” can be found on my Etsy store at www.goddessinthegroove.etsy.com

Cooking with the Spirits – Hello, Papa :)


Certain things I cook are not only tradition, they are linked to certain loved ones in my life. If they have passed over, the process of preparing, cooking, and then enjoying “their” dish brings them rignt into my kitchen, and to our table.

This one is from my Papa. You can buy Rotkraut in a jar in Germany (and now in the states in certain deli stores), but there is nothing like the real thing. This goes well with turkey :).

P.S. We all cook with the Simpler’s Method, or like Amelia Bedelia…a little bit of this, and a little bit of that. Adjust to taste.

Rotkraut (Red Cabbage)

1 or 2 heads of red cabbage, cut into “shreds”, not too thin
1 large onion
Bay leaves and whole cloves
1 sour apple
Nutmeg
Sugar, vinegar

I use a large cast iron pot for this recipe :).

Glaze cut up onion in vegetable shortening. Add cabbage, and about 2 cups of water (you can do a half water, half red wine :)..), seasonings. Let cabbage cook down a bit, add quartered apple. Simmer for about 60-90 minutes. Add a little apple cider, sugar, and salt to taste. If you like your Rotkraut thicker, you can mix a little cornstarch with cold water and add it, it makes the sauce thicker.

Voila’!

Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy New Year!

Just a quick post to wish you all a wonderful new 2009!

Remember, anything can happen :).

Here are a few of my favorite New Year’s Traditions:

` Clean today, not tomorrow! Sweep out the old, sit back and let the new come in and get comfy. No washing (not even hair!!) clothes, no sweeping or cleaning out closets….Do it today, if you must, take it easy and enjoy tomorrow.

` Black Eyed Peas – good luck and happy digestion :).
My simple recipe: Soak beans overnight. Drain. Fill up with water, chopped onions, chopped garlic (I use lots of both), salt pork (there’s that pig again!!), cheyenne pepper, salt, regular pepper. Cook for 2 hours or until beans are done. Yum.

` Make a list of things you want to happen in 2009. Hang it somewhere you will see it every day. Cross of things as they happen. I like to read mine over and over…great family activity πŸ™‚

Today I spoke to my Tante Erna, who raised me for much of my life while my mama worked. She makes “Krapfen” every New Years, and puts money into a few of them. As kids, this was a thrill, especially when you got the BIG FIVE :). I am calling her next week to discuss the recipe, and will post that for 2010…

Much love. Have a safe, happy, healthy, and prosperous 2009.
Heike

What I am grateful for: My life.

What I am manifesting: Health