Look! The theme for March’s What I Ate Wednesday is GREEN! Can you tell I’m a little exited?
But this post is not only about green things, it is actually a tribute to my grandma, who will celebrate her 86th birthday in just a few days. When I was a little girl, my parents both worked full-time, so I often went over to my grandma’s place after kindergarten or elementary school, to have lunch and do homework. Last week, I took a few of her signature dishes and adapted them to my current preferences.
My grandma’s favorite breakfast has always been a slice of sourdough bread with butter and honey. I subbed whole grain bread for the sourdough, and used Alsan instead of butter. I haven’t had honey in quite a while and had totally forgotten how tasty it is!
All of my grandma’s dishes are very simple, cheap, and use mostly unprocessed ingredients. All I had to do to adapt them to my style of eating is to remove the meat. Just like this chunky potato soup. It’s loaded with vegetables, and still delicious and filling, even without any animal products.
As a little kid, I ate a lot of potatoes. They are very cheap here in Germany, as they basically grow just around the corner. Three cheers for local produce! My favorite way to prepare them is pan-fried. We call that Bratkartoffeln. I always chop and boil the potatoes before frying them, so I only need very little oil for my non-stick pan. See, they’re not greasy at all! The key ingredient is a hefty sprinkle of caraway seeds. If you haven’t tried that yet, do it now! Also, please note the green beans on the side.
One of our favorite snacks was a banana, mashed on a small plate, and topped with yogurt and a little sugar. See? So freaking simple! These days I prefer soy yogurt and raw cane sugar, but it still tasted just like I remembered. Oh, and we also used to share that snack with my grandma’s pet bird. Minus the sugar, of course.
About once a week or so, we usually enjoyed a sweet lunch. That is quite an old tradition in our region. Our Austrian neighbors are actually quite famous for their sweet main dishes, known as Mehlspeisen. My grandma used to make French toast, rice pudding, or my absolute favorite, yeast pancakes! I know, the idea of adding yeast to your pancakes might sound strange to most of you, but I those fluffy little cakes are just amazing. They are similar to Russian blinis or Polish racuchy, but still unique. I’ll try to post the recipe in the next few days.
What was your favorite dish when you were a child?