When I was a child I spent weekends with my grandparents, my fathers parents. I loved them and they loved me. I can’t say that my grandmother loved or even liked to cook, she did it out of necessity more than as a way to get some enjoyment. I’m the opposite, I am happiest being in my kitchen cooking for those I love or anyone who needs a good meal, I love to nourish people and see them enjoy what I make.
The meals that my grandmother turned out were pretty basic to say the least. My grandfather was not an adventurist when it came to food and he ruled the roost at home. My favorite meals that she turned out included her pot roast and spaetzle, her “red soup” which in reality was a very basic tomato based vegetable soup, usually made with some short ribs and it had the addition of some tiny spaetzle in it too……..are you sensing a theme here? I grew up eating spaetzle and have passed my love of them onto my children and others too. I remember when I was very young my grandmother had a round plastic disc that sat over the pot of simmering water, it had holes in it that were approximately 1/4 inch round. It was placed over the pot and the spaetzle dough was then forced thru the holes into the simmering water below. They would cook in the simmering water and then rise to the top when they were cooked thru, she would then remove them from the water and place them into a shallow bowl with some butter, they would then be served with the roast and gravy. At one point my grandfather decided that he liked his spaetzles a little larger in size so the plastic pot topper disappeared and she began to place the dough into the water by small spoonfuls, in all these ensuing years I had never seen another pot topper like she had until about 3 weeks ago when I was browsing Amazon for some staples I usually order from them. Suddenly there it was! A pot topper that looked just like the one my grandmother had all those years ago, only this one was made in stainless steel. I pushed the order button and was left alone with my memories until it arrived, such wonderful memories of a long ago simpler time when life was always sunny wrapped in my grandparents arms. Here is my grandmothers recipe for spaetzle:
1 1/2 cups unbleached white flour
2 large eggs at room temperature
2 tablespoons softened, not melted butter
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup whole milk
finely chopped chives…….optional
Mix batter together and press thru spaetzle maker into simmering water. When spaetzle float remove from water and place into a bowl, mix in a bit of butter to stop them from sticking together. Leftover spaetzle are wonderful re-heated by sauteing in some butter in a frying pan until they are toasty and crisp. If adding them to a soup, prepare them in a separate pot of simmering water so they don’t cloud the broth, add them to each bowl as you serve the soup.
Tonight I was finally feeling well enough to go into the kitchen and recreate one of my grandmothers meals that was one of my favorites. Here are some pictures of it, I have to say it came out excellent and you will find my standard recipe for short ribs on this site, enter short ribs into the search area and it will bring up all those posts. I hope if you try this meal you enjoy it as much as we do. If you love spaetzle I would highly suggest that you invest in one of these pot toppers, they aren’t inexpensive but one will last you a lifetime and one of your children will probably fight the will over it.