Archive | 10:00 am

From The Back Of My Pantry: Sausages And Sparrows

20 Jan

Editor’s Note: Greetings all! The big move is underway, and the eating hasn’t been pretty (meaning, there’s no way I’m going to share some of the bizarre food we’ve been eating in an effort to clean up fridge and pantry), so I’ve decided to dig way, waaay into the back of The Granny Cart pantry and resurrect some old, seasonal posts from the early days.

Here, we have my attempt at recreating my Aunt’s amazing spätzle. A take-home container of these delicious German dumplings was hands down my favorite Christmas gift this year. I hope you enjoy them as much as I do.

Sausages And Sparrows. Originally posted March 27, 2006.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

My aunt will be so proud. She will also be relieved… I taught myself how to make spätzle yesterday.

Spatzle

My aunt, the daughter of German immigrants, has been making her brand of spätzle for family gatherings for longer than I can remember. In the weeks leading up to, say, Easter, I’ll call my mother, “Are we going to Syracuse? Is Aunt L going to be making spätzle??” over, and over and over, even now that I’m old enough that I really should know better.

Aunt L’s spätzle are different than any other I’ve tried at any German or Austrian restaurant anywhere in the world. Hers are much thicker, closer to a dumpling and less a little sparrow (and no, I don’t mean this kind of sparrow) and more like a gorgeous, fat goose. Also, as a bow to my family’s obsession with garlic, she browns them off in oil and garlic until they’re golden and crispy. To me, they are the picture of culinary perfection. I truly believe I could eat her spätzle every day for the rest of my life.

Sausages & Sauerkraut

For my first attempt, I think my spätzle turned out pretty well. Mine were smaller, but they had the same chewy, toothsome feeling as my aunts. When I make them again (and I will make them again!) I will use fewer eggs, maybe 2 whole eggs and 2 yolks, plus more milk and even a little more flour. Then again, maybe I’ll hold off until Easter, when I’ll badger Aunt L into making hers for me again, you know, as research…

yum

I served my spätzle with kielbasa (we’re a melting pot of Eastern European culinary traditions my family is…) and sauerkraut all braised with caramelized onions and dry vermouth. The kielbasa was much different than what I’m used to. I was inspired to try some local sausage from the East Village institution, Kurowycky Meat Market, which was unfortunate, because well, to be frank (heh), I didn’t like their kovbasa at all. It was nicely spiced and full of large chunks of meat but had a strange, gamey smell/flavor that I just couldn’t get past. I’m a little sad really. I thought maybe, finally, I’d find a more convenient local source for my kielbasa fix, but alas, I’ll have to keep making that trip to Eagle Provisions in Brooklyn. It’s a sacrifice I’m willing to make.

Recipes for both dishes below the break.

Continue reading