Post #388 A Couple of Random Eating Thoughts

July 1, 2015 at 3:38 PM | Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Post #388 A Couple of Random Eating Thoughts

I’ve had a couple of random thoughts about recipes bumping around in my skull (which, for me, can be a dangerous thing since my skull has taken several severe knocks in my adult life.)  So, I though I’d share the couple of idea rumbling around, and then take a few days off to celebrate the holiday, memorialize my father, and relax.

Years ago, I was working in Frankfurt, Germany for my first time.  It was in September so Oktoberfest activities were in full swing and each night was like carnival.  We’d get off work, go back to the hotel to change, then walk to Zeilestrasse (Main Street, sort of) where the vendors and food trucks and entertainment were.  We’d walk up and down, drinking and eating, laughing and singing, until it was time to head back and get some rest.  It was fun and enlightening.

I stuffed myself on fresh pretzels, brats, salads of a hundred different kinds.  But one thing I had just once that has stayed with me and I have yet to figure it out.  I had two bowls of stewed mushroom with a dollop of sour cream.  I watched them making it and it was an ingenious process.

They took a very large, rectangular metal pan and tilted it over a fire so just the top third was over the flame.  Since it was metal, the entire pan heated up, but the cooking took place at the top.  At the bottom was a broth of beef juices, red wine, herbs, and tomatoes and onions.  The mushrooms were packed into the pan.  The mushroom juices were released and ran down the pan into the broth.  The mushrooms seared as they slowly moved down the pan into the broth.  When an order of mushrooms was sold, they were scooped out of the bottom of the pan in the broth with a slotted spoon.  They were put into a small disposable bowl and a small dollop of sour cream was put on top.  As mushrooms were removed from the bottom of the pan, the mushrooms higher up in the pan moved down to the broth.  They were seared and stewed at the same time.  And they were delicious.  I don’t know what kind of mushrooms they were, but they were small, meaty, and tasty.  They took on the flavors of the broth.  The added tanginess from the sour cream complemented the dish perfectly.  If I could find someone to make those for me,  I’d pay another euro (about $2 at that time) to eat another bowl.

My mouth is drooling just thinking about it.

The second thing bumping about in my brain is a salad I had once way back in the misty yesteryears of my youth.  I was at a friend’s house one weekend.  His family was hosting a pool party that started at noon and lasted until they were tired of having guests over.  I showed up about 4, after I got off work.  They had set things up buffet style, with a barbeque in one corner of the yard with burgers and dogs, a wet bar kind of thing nearby, and a large table full of desserts and salads, etc.  They had a big bowl of one salad that I went ape over.  It was a watermelon salad.  And it was GOOD!

They had cut a whole watermelon into bite-sized chunks.  Then they had salted them for a couple of hours to drain off as much juice as possible, which they reserved for the dressing.  When the cubes were as dry as possible without crushing them, they put them into a big bowl, and then added small chunks of cucumber, very thinly sliced red onion, different olives pitted and cut into halves, and very small chunks of feta cheese.  They gently tossed everything with a quarter cup of olive oil then used a half cup of the reserved watermelon juice mixed with three tablespoons of apple cider vinegar to pour over the salad.  They topped it with a sprinkling of shelled and roasted sunflower seeds and ribbons of mint leaves.  I had to stop myself being a pig and eating it all.  I don’t know why I’ve been thinking about just now, but I swear I’m going to make it soon.

Have a great weekend and a wonderful 4th!


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