Monthly Archives: January 2012

Käs Spätzle or Cheese Noodles

Käs Spätzle or cheese noodles on the board

Käs Spätzle or cheese noodles - the cheese mix, emmentaler, bergkäs und räschkäsKäs Spätzle or cheese noodles - filling in the dough Käs Spätzle or cheese noodles with onionsKäs Spätzle or cheese noodles in the casserole to stay warmKäs Spätzle or cheese noodles on the plateKäs Spätzle / Knöpfle or Cheese Noodles:
Last weekend we prepared a Käs Spätzle with some friends. What a feast.
It is a dish best eaten after hard work or a long hike and cold weather outside. We had cold weather but the activities were not too demanding. However preparing this dish and getting the best ingredients is an art form and best done with a lot of friends.

First of all you have to find good eggs – best from a local farmer with a strong orange color.

Then there is a special spätzle flour, which is quite “rough”, so the spätzle have some “aldente” taste when you bite them.

Not to forget the right composition of the different cheese types.You need to get Emmentaler for the ability to  create the typical long strings of cheese, then a Bergkäs (mountain cheese) for the medium/base flavor and last of it some Räschkäs which is a very strong tasting special cheese, hardly eaten alone. (all three of them are hard to find if you live not close to Austria or in the South of Germany, some use  Gouda or Gratin Cheese with some available stinky cheese)

And last of it there is always the issue of how to create the Spätzle.
Probably the most used way is with the Spätzle Hobel, it is a device where you fill the dough in a “open box” and by moving it back and forth the dough will be pressed to the holes. They fall in the salted and boiling water and are picked out of it just after about 2-3 minutes – when the swim.

I have to mention another way of creating the schwabian way of Spätzle
done with just a wooden board. This video show it just perfectly but do not try to understand the Mom oder Granmom with her strong dialect ;-).  See here for making Spätzle (not Knöpfle) with just a board

The Spätzle are then put into a casserole in the oven at about 150 Celsius to keep them warm each layer will be covered by lots of cheese. When you are finished lots of roasted onions with lots of melted butter will be put on top.

Do also not forget to have some good Schnaps/Spirit handy for to “help” you digest all this lightweight meal.

- A video by a german looking freak in english, with Sauerkraut (never eaten it with Sauerkraut, strange)

- A video in german, good instruction but with the Spätzle Press

Drop me a note if you need further advice or instructions, Im we are pretty close to the perfect ones. (Says me)

The recipe for the Spätzle is quite simple take a lot of eggs and some flour, mix it together. Best is to only use little water to get the right dough (it has to form bubbles) so its about 2 eggs per 100g of flour I would say. Less is ok, then you add some water. Do not forget some salt. That´s it basically.

I / we walked the line – cross country skiing

cross country skiing allgaeu hagspiel with lada nina SUVcross country skiing allgaeu hagspiel cross country skiing allgaeu hagspiel scheidegg cross country skiing allgaeu hagspiel 80th outfitcross country skiing allgaeu traditional gentleman outfitcross country skiing allgaeu sundowner lonely treeCross country skiing in Scheidegg / Hagspiel, the Allgäu region:
This weekend we rented cross country skies and did something totally irresponsible. We just took the stuff and went to a cross country run, no instruction, no certificate, we just went. And we came back safe. Yes it´s possible.

The activity itself is probably for people 50++ but it´s great fun. Some pro´s on the run/tack have their skies and there equipment and cloth since decades so be aware to se lots or unique retro pieces.

The if you do not start skating and only go traditionally the activity is quite easy. I would rate it between walking and running. The only danger is when you go downhill and the race/track is suddenly gone. The feeling trying to get some grip or control over these small skis is comparable to Bambi´s fist steps after birth.

Overall very relaxing, no ski lifts, no traffic jam and the driving time is only 20 minutes. Away from the lake and a bit up in the backcountry.

Peggy for president – a full box of x-mas gifts

wein aus deutschen landen box full of x-mas presents for maria & alexchristmas presents out of the big boxhard liqueur lavender bagPeggy for president. We left Germany for Morocco right on the 25th of December and missed one of Maria´s sisters. When we came bag a full box of all homemade presents were waiting for us. We were overwhelmed by the effort to create – craft – cook – prepare – distill all this stuff.

Just to name a view of the presents:
– bottle of apple and cinnamon liqueur
– bottle of “schlehen” liqueur
– bottle of  quince liqueur
– bottle of quince essence
– bottle of chilly oil
– jar of chocolate and plum jam
– jar of quince jam
– jar of apple, plum and cinnamon jam
– jar of tomato and peach chutney
– selfmade muslibars
– selfmade nudels
– a bunch of various pralines
– a bag of dried fruits and chocolized
– a bag of dried lavender with a cute lady beetle

Thanks a lot for all of it.  We appreciate the time you spent in your kitchen and try to payback soon.

Gränsfors Bruks – Wildlife Hatchet

Gränsfors Bruks Wildlife Hatchet sharpening on wetstoneGränsfors Bruks Wildlife Hatchet in grain leather sheat  Gränsfors Bruks Wildlife Hatchet logoGränsfors Bruks Wildlife Hatchet blacksmith signature MMGränsfors Bruks Wildlife Hatchet cuts easily through paperGränsfors Bruks – Wildlife Hatchet:
It was time to give my buddy a bit of care. So it got a treatment on the wet stone. Now its close to razor-sharp again. Sorry I would have made the tomato test, like with kitchen knifes but no tomatoes available.

How to start this story about the ultimate outdoor companion?
Ok about 10 years ago I got a hint from a good friend about this company and their axes. A research in the net showed me some addresses and I decided to buy it at Lauche & Maas because they are a real down to earth outdoor company. A call there and the guy on the phone told me they are out of stock because it is winter. What ? He explained to me that the blacksmith hammer at Gränsfors is driven by water and in winter there river is frozen up in Sweden, so no axe. This really fixed me to get hold of one of their axes.

Every axe/hatchet has got the smith mark on the head and comes with a lifetime guarantee (MM for this one). My one, the wildlife hatchet has got a tough grain leather sheath and a hickory handle. It is about 26 cm long in total and weights about 700g. The size and the weight is just perfect. While weekend Rambos with their Bowie knifes are getting blisters by carving their marshmallow sticks, you have already cut town a tree with this hatchet. A serious tool, and probably the biggest danger on our trips when late at night and after some red wine someone goes away from the campfire to chop more wood.

Ah and not to forget, due to it sharpness it is great as a rough tool for shaping wood before you use chiseling tools and start carving.

Just found a guy who filmed his visit at Gränsfors Bruks.