Wow where should I start, it has been 5 months since my last blog entry and as you can imagine a lot has happened. I think I should get the sad news out first, I had to say good bye to my beloved dog Sky and unfortunately I couldn’t even be with her during her last hours. I want to believe that she wanted to make it “easy” on me like the sick animals who run away from their home when they want to die alone and find a quite lonely spot and so she decided it was time for her to let go when I wasn’t around. Mike and I spend every 4th of July in Long Beach (WA) and since Sky wasn’t all that mobile anymore when it comes to stairs and sand we decided it would be better for her to leave her with our dog sitter Chrisda. 1 day after we left her she was in breathing distress and so Chrisda took her to the Emergency vet but they couldn’t find anything wrong with her breathing and suggested some tests and X-rays for the next morning with the regular vet. Chrisda kept an eye on Sky during the night and around 3:00 a.m. Chrisda was holding Sky when she let out her last breath, 3 days short of her 13th birthday. This is Sky with Murphy when he was barely 8 weeks old. She was broken when Kodi passed and was just laying around in the house, so we decided to get a new puppy and with Murphy now at her side, she was somewhat annoyed but he did give her a new will to live and she taught him a thing or two and so a little piece of Sky is now living on in Murphy which makes me very happy.
No matter which circumstances its always very sad to let your beloved pet friend go but at least I find comfort in knowing that she had a good life, reached the “average life span” of an Australian cattle dog and was loved when she passed. I will fondly remember “baby Sky” – she was a handful when she was a puppy – always ate my shoes and even dug her way out of the fence and gone missing for 6 hours but thankfully she returned in the middle of the night. The photo below was taken after the ER visit on New Years eve when Sky decided to eat Mike’s fishing hook while Mike was ice fishing on Fishlake.and this is the last photo I took of Sky a couple days prior to her passing – one of our few “Red – White and Blue” photos. On the bright side, my parents were able to spend some qualify time with Sky and saw her a last time, so that was really good and comforting.
Rest in peace “Skybones” and be reunited with Kodi, Zeek and Xena – I miss having you next to me working in the office, your 6:00 p.m. feed me bark and hearing you snoring in the closet at night. After getting these sad news out first let me bring you up to speed what all has happened since January.
More snow…Another trip to Las Vegas and this time our CEO Satya Nadella came to our booth and I finally got my “Satya” photo..only took 13 years to get a picture with the Microsoft CEO..heheThen it was time to get the house ready for my parents who stayed with us 5 weeks in June/July. And just when I thought we had the yard in shape, Mike decided to build his dream fish pond and so here the bacco comes and destroyed 1/2 of the yard…
But now we have a super awesome Koi Pond – our own Shangri-LaEaster was upon us and we decided to spend it in Fishlake and had Jeremy, Michelle, the Sudore’s and Troy and Brandy join us, we celebrated Sam’s birthday and hid approximately 50 pounds of chocolate eggs for the almost grown up kids to find, the egg hunt was a blast and I also won $80 in Pull tabs in the close by Pizza joint for our mandatory Thursday pizza night out.
And just like that May rolled around and another business trip to London was on the agenda. This time though no stop in Germany since I knew that my parents would visit us just a couple weeks later. This time I stayed in this fancy Yacht hotel (Sunborn) right at the Exhibition center. The view onto the old London docks was an awesome backdrop when having breakfast in the salon. It was also fun to spend some time outside of work with my colleagues and so we took the gondola across the Thames channel to have dinner.
And look at this fancy coffee…they “3D printed” the face of my colleague and mine on my morning Cappuccino – that was done at the Adobe Summit, where its all about driving experiences for the customer. NO rest for the wicked…then it was off to California to celebrate Brittany’s amazing accomplishment, graduating from the California State University Long Beach with a Masters in Social Work – we were (are) proud parents (well proud step mum for me). We stayed at this fancy waterfront hotel very close to the Queen Mary where we took Brittany out for her graduation dinner – and I got to eat Tartar and Snails – it was a great day all around. The RMS Queen Mary is a retired British ocean liner that sailed primarily on the North Atlantic Ocean from 1936 to 1967. Mike and I had a night cap at the ultra cool art deco bar the day prior and I was imagining how it must have been back in the day to use this kind of transportation for a transatlantic voyage instead of a few hours of airplane travel in todays world. We also walked a little bit through downtown Long Beach, reminded me somewhat of Capitol Hill here in Seattle. I’ve seen these little scooters here and there in the different cities but never rented one, this time we rented 3 scooters and had a blast riding those along the waterfront, so I decided to buy my own. Back from California, my parents finally arrived and first on the list of to do’s was the selection of Koi for our pond and cooking my favorite dish – Schopperln (recipe at the bottom of this blog post), as well as home made dumplings and a good German pot roast.In between some play time with Murphy and Luna and weeding the strawberry garden. Then it was time to prepare and pack for our Lake Roosevelt Houseboat adventure with my parents, the Sudores, Ryan and Rosey. From Wikipedia: Lake Roosevelt is the reservoir created in 1941 by the impoundment of the Columbia River by the Grand Coulee Dam in Washington state. It is named for Franklin D. Roosevelt, who was President during the construction of the dam. Covering 125 square miles (80,000 acres), it stretches about 150 miles (240 km) from the Canada–US border to Grand Coulee Dam, with over 600 miles (970 km) of shoreline; by surface area it is the largest lake and reservoir in Washington.We had an amazing time relaxing, swimming, cooking, fishing and just enjoying the beauty of the lake. After that we had a quick week at home and celebrated Nicole’s graduation from the University of Washington and then started to prepare for our yearly 4th of July getaway to Long Beach.Mum and I spent a mother – daughter day in a spa in AstoriaVisited the Lighthouse at Cape DisappointmentEnjoyed a lunch in IlwacoStrolled through Long BeachBuilt a raging fire for the 4th of JulyAnd celebrated 4th of JulyThen it was time again to say good bye to my parents – that is always a very sad day especially when you don’t know when you will see each other again, but then I want to be grateful for spending 5 weeks with my parents, not many people are able to do so. More family was about to visit us, this time Mike’s brother Justin and his family which I have never met and Mike hadn’t seen in a very very long time. And because sometimes all stars are aligned, Brittany and Vanessa also both were in town for a great family get together. And just like that 5 months went by in a blink of an eye.
Now its time to share with you this very rare and very Bavarian Potato and cabbage recipe. If you follow my blog/read my recipes here and there then you might already have seen photos of this dish, since I eat it EVERY time I am visiting my parents but because it is very time intense to make and the outcome is very basic and meatless I have never posted it; thinking that most likely no American (or any other nationality for that matter) will ever make this but you never know and I always get asked to post German recipes, so here we go.
Originally this recipe comes from an area in Germany called “Oberpfalz” and back in the day right after the 2nd world war food and money was spars but you could usually always find potatoes and cabbage somewhere on the fields and grab a couple of eggs from the neighbors chicken coop and so this recipe was born.
My mum tried this dish in a Bavarian small town restaurant and then by accident years later found a cookbook that actually had a recipe for this dish. Since then my dad and mum have made it many times. In essence its dumpling dough that gets formed into “finger like” dough strips and then gets boiled, fried and served with red cabbage and scrambled eggs. Sounds strange? I get it, its a lot of work for some dumplings with cabbage and no meat and its hard to say why this is so good, its something that I crave and only this dish can satisfy the craving for dumplings and cabbage.
Here the original recipe which makes 15 dumpling strips:
- 1,5 kg raw potatoes
- 500 gram boiled potatoes
- For the frying you need::
- 2 tablespoons Schmalz/crackling fat
- 4 eggs
- 1/8 liter of milk
- Peel 500 grams of potatoes, cut them into quarters and boil them for 25 minutes, drain, set aside and let cool out.
- Peel the 1,5kg raw potatoes and grate them. You will need a special potato grater, similar to a micro plane but much much bigger. You will also need a potato sack which you can get at Amazon. Fill the potato sack with the grated potatoes and press the liquid into a bowl. You want to press out as much liquid as you can. Below a picture of my dad’s potato grater and you can also see the brown bag in my hand is the “potato sack” in which you press out all the potato liquid.
- Let the liquid sit for a while so that the starch from the potatoes can sink to the bottom of the bowls. Carefully drain the liquid and keep the white starch on the bottom back in the bowl.
- Press the boiled cooled potatoes through a ricer. Below you see the “riced potatoes” and the grated potatoes that have not yet been pressed through the potato bag. So make sure you are not grating the potatoes into strips, find a grate that will pretty much turn the raw potatoes into a mush/pulp when you grate them. You can see in the photo above with my dad how the potato turns into mush on top of his grate. Its very important you find the right grater, my dad always brings his own grater from Germany when he comes visiting me in the US.
- Now mix the raw/shredded/grated (and liquid pressed out) potatoes with the boiled/riced potatoes and add a pinch of salt and the starch that you held back from the raw potato liquid (on the bottom of the bowl).
- Then fill the mixture into a pastry bag. You don’t need a tip. Press the dough through the pastry bag and make finger long logs and cut them off with a small knife and move on to the next finger log.
- Fill a medium to large pot with water, add a good amount of salt and bring to a boil Now carefully add the dumpling strips into the boiling water, once they come up to the top reduce the heat and let the dough strips simmer for 15 minutes.
- Take the dough strips out of the water and let them dry off on a paper towel.
- Now mix together the egg, milk and salt and set aside.
- Heat the crackling fat in a pan and fry up the dough strips until they are lightly browned, then pour the egg/milk mixture evenly over the dough strips and let the eggs solidify – do not stir too much, just shuffle the egg mixture in the cracks a little bit back and forth so that the egg solidifies.
- Serve with Red cabbage.
Directions for making Red Cabbage:
- cut 1/2 an apple into small pieces
- heat 1 tablespoon of crackling fat, add 1 Glass of red cabbage, a little bit of salt, pepper and sugar, add 1/8 liter of water.
- Lastly peel an onion and pinch 3 cloves and a bay leave into the onion and add to the red cabbage.
- Let the cabbage simmer for 15-30 minutes depending on how crispy or soft you like it.
- Serve with a nice Germany beer ;-).