Ethan’s Meusli Cookies

Ethan suggested that his favorite cookie to make this time of year is an oatmeal cookie with golden raisins and currants. That sounded lovely, especially because I love oatmeal cookies and because Europe is the land of many currants. So, off to the local grocery store I went to stock up on cookie makings. Later, in the kitchen, T and I agreed that the following items were interchangeable:
-brown sugar to raw sugar
-baking soda, baking powder to baking pulver
-raisins to little dried wine grapes, currants, golden sultanas, candied ginger, dried apricots
-walnuts to walnuts, pecans, and pumkpin seeds
-1 dry cup to 1 mostly full coffee cup
-quick-cooking oatmeal to meusli
-vanilla to weird off-white, vanilla-smelling fine powder that neither of us had seen before
-nothing to chopped dark chocolate

…and so we followed the recipe in terms of technique, made our substitutions, and we ended up with some pretty seriously delicious cookies. Of course they spread all over the pan and came out one big thin cookie, and of course there’s a weird little pumpkin seed surprise every once in a while, but the double-toasted goodness of the meusli is freaking delicious. They’re worth a try! I used the Joy of Cooking recipe (given the substitutions, we should probably be referring to the cookbook as the Gladness of Roasting,) and meusli with oat flakes, corn flakes, and wheat flakes. If you don’t have meusli, maybe just toast the oatmeal first?
Ethan was right about the currants – they’re way more flavorful than plain raisins, and the golden raisins seem to absorb more liquid (hint: the liquid in these cookies is butter.)

Squash with Sage

You know how every once in a while you eat something that you made and think, ‘Boy oh golly gee, that was better than I thought it was going to be’? This is one of those:
2 cups of roasted winter squash (I used the orange ones that look like pumpkins but brighter and squatter- Kochiba? Kobucha?)
2 pats of butter (a pat is 1/16th the size of a love handle – you be the judge)
1 Tbs chopped fresh garlic
1 tsp chopped sage (mine was accidentally kind of freeze dried, so not fresh and not dried, but I threw in more than I thought was wise and it could have used more. I trust your judgement, especially if you’re not making this as a main course.)
salt and pepper
parmesan (grated using the big grater if poss)
Roast the squash at 200 degrees C (whatever that means minus 32 and times something and adding in the convection oven factor – maybe 400F?) and scoop out the flesh, then mix it with the other ingredients. You can serve as is, or throw it under the broiler with some parmesan on top.
Something about the fresh garlic and the sage and the parmesan made this taste like it was the product of careful study and tremendous effort. The leftovers were good, too!

Warning: Gross

If you know me at all, you probably know that my favorite word in German is fleisch. It means flesh, or meat, but it isn’t really a word: it’s used in conjunction with other words, to wit:
Fleischsalat – the lighter of the fleisch options, this one is mixed with mayo and is therefore a salad.
Fleischkase – the word for meat and the word for cheese (kase). I think that this is a very soft bologna, which means that it has a taste but no smell besides a soft rubbery pink smell.
Hackfleisch – this one is more about sound. Hackfleisch. It’s the word for ground fleisch, and it makes way more sense than its English counterpart, ground: Is it part of the floor? Does the meat safely stow an electrical charge? Does the Pope kiss it when he alights in a foreign land? No? Then why the ground beef? It’s hacked into pieces, so it’s hackfleisch.


I would like to take a moment to give thanks for the grocery within reasonable walking distance from the flat that carries things like lasagna noodles AND bio-milk AND yeast packets AND cottage cheese.
I would especially like to thank the grocery for carrying the frozen ducks, fresh cranberries, and whole pumpkins with which I will approximate a traditional Thanksgiving meal. As with the recent Halloween, I revel in the liberties that I can take in redefining American holidays to those unfamiliar with them:
-Halloween is when we giggingly watch America’s Next Top Model with our sister while the kids and men are off Trick or Treating,
-Veteran’s Day is when we explain who Martin Luther King was, why he should have an official holiday, and why the 59% of American government spending on war would be much better spent on social justice work,
-Thanksgiving is when we roast our favorite lavender-honey duck because we’re not tremendous fans of turkey and we always get the gravy wrong, anyway.

I’m trying and trying to wait until after Thanksgiving to start making Christmas cookies, but I am here in the apartment with a fresh pound of butter, with the cozy-making properties of tea beginning to wear off after the fifth cup, and it just started snowing… it’s a lost cause. Bring on the cinnamon!


Let’s begin with the image:

I'll take the eleventh one from the left, please.

I'll take the eleventh one from the left, please.

Today’s Game:
What’s Wrong With This Picture?
• The items featured are named Stabmixers in German. Duh, Germany, they should obviously be called immersion blenders. You couldn’t possibly stab anything with that three-pronged exposed blade.
• Apparently to get a really good stabbing mixer you are welcome to pay as much as 179 freaking Euro. That’s $250 at today’s exchange rate, which takes approximately one and a half professional hits to pay off (at the $175 no-guns, stab-only rate.)
• There are 24 Stabmixers featured, with varying engine torque, blade strength, rotation speeds, setting options, housing materials, warranty coverage, and grip styles. The display is located on the third story of the Saturn electrical appliance store, which means that the dizzying nature of the options presented is, in fact, quite dangerous when it comes to negotiating the escalators on the way down to the till on the first floor. Just sayin’.
• Of the myriad options, not a single one doubles as either a wood borer or a Brookstone/Hammacher-Schlemmer-style personal massager, which is about all I can think of when I see the grip shape.
• Escpecially with the word KUCHE in all caps in the background of the picture.
• Nothing, nothing, not ever, should have a both motor-driven, rotating, three-pronged blade, and a resemblance to a personal massager. And if it does, it should definitely not be called a Stabmixer. Or maybe it should.

Butter, Part II

Tobias makes ridiculously good scrambled eggs. They are flavorful, buttery, and often contain bits of bacon, onion, or the tiny sweet shrimp from the North Sea. They are rich enough that they should be treated as a condiment rather than a main course. This morning, I didn’t watch him make them because I was trying to brush 18 hours of flying and a nine-hour time difference from my teeth. (It worked, but I think my tongue is going to need a Lysol bath before it feels clean again.) I didn’t see how much butter he put in the eggs; today’s game is called ‘How Much Butter Does a Butter Lover Use to Better Basic Breakfast Eggs?
I have assembled the following evidence to guide your guess:
• The cook butters his bread in a layer thick enough to suggest that he is in training for the Iditerod*,
• This approach to buttering baked goods includes croissant. He smears butter on croissant.
• He went to the grocery yesterday, and by the end of breakfast the butter is almost gone.
• After I finished my delectable eggs, it took two bread rolls to soak up the suspicious yellow pool on my plate.
Your options are:
a.) 150 grams
b.) Enough to make snorting gravy look like a healthy option
c.) So much that I should eat nothing but air and sparkling water at every other meal
d.) All of the above

*as a dog. Apparently sled dogs use 12,000 calories per day during the Iditerod!

That’s What She Said

The breakfast ordered by the German in the diner in Aztec, New Mexico:
Bob’s Big Breakfast
-four eggs
-four pieces of bacon or sausage
-hash browns, approximately one mountain
-full order of biscuits and gravy (including three biscuits, more than a pint of sausage gravy, and 6 packets of butter substitute.)

His comment:
‘I didn’t think that it would be so big’.

Today’s Game – Hit That Softball Out of the Park
There are so many possible things to say after a comment like that. Here are a few examples:

-As the country with the highest per-capita health spending in the world, how did YOU think we were supressing our life expectancy to the lowest of any developed nation? Cheerios?
-Wait until you see the lunch special. It’s a cheese and bacon sandwich with fried chicken in place of a bun!
-(singing) Heart attack! Heart Attack Man!
-If you get sick in the car, you’re cleaning it up.