Thursday, 23 January 2014

Grated Apple, Horseradish & Schmarrn!

A recipe with a twist that is irresistible.

Forget about that old fashioned way of garnering your cooking ideas. You know, such hunting through the online community or taking down that big dust collector...the heavy cookbook with the decorative cover! Only the very dedicated chefs use those cookbooks. Apart from anything else, it takes time, effort and money to follow any printed recipe.

Dash it, there is always an ingredient on the list that no one has in their spice rack. I have often left out certain of those ingredients and hoped that they weren't the main ones. ( That could explain a few culinary disasters in my kitchen career... )

There is a nice couple in a neighbouring village who are in their 70's and I went to visit them yesterday morning. They have their own chickens and when the hens behave, they have plenty of eggs. Free range eggs. Eggs that any big city chef would give his eye's teeth for. Even the yolk is a deeper and richer yellow colour than the store bought variety. That's living in the country for you!

Apples trees are scattered all over our area. Some are planted in a straight line and others look as if the thrown away apple core took root then and there. As is the norm with these apple trees, they tend to only bless us with an abundant crop every other year. Gosh, when your apple tree is in hibernation, guess what? The neighbour's one is on duty. No one can eat all the apples and sharing apples is the thing to do!

Anyway, when I arrived to " Say Hello ", she was in the kitchen baking. There is a comfortable chair next to the counter and I plonked myself onto it. In between the odd helpful stints such as fetching the milk or getting a spoon, I watched with avid interest and stored the idea away like a squirrel collects his nuts for winter.

These country kitchens have something magical about them. I have decided that it must be the Aga-like stove that is almost a staple fixture in any country kitchen. It is a stove that is still heated with wood. Usually it is a big one, that has enough stove top space for several pots and also has a water warming compartment on the side. Naturally it also has an oven in it. In Winter, these kitchens are so lovely, warm and comforting especially if, like me you are sitting next to the window. A window that accurately depicts the cold day outside.

The simple things are often the best. A Schmarrn is a pancake that is chopped into bits with a fork before it is set in the pan! I know this sounds brutal, but it is one way to not have the stress of flipping a pancake perfectly. This Schmarrn has eggs, flour, milk and a dash of salt. But it was the topping that held such interest for me.

Pancakes come with all types of fillings: ice cream, cream, chocolate, peanut butter, Bovril ( Our niece tried it by liberally smearing the inside of her pancake. She did it as a lark, but seemed to love it or perhaps our shocked expression! )....

Now this topping for the Schmarrn ( chopped up thick pancake ) was grated apple, grated horseradish mixed with a liberal dash of sugar. Oh yes. Sweet, tart and definitely a tear jerker!


When we were fixing up our house, we used an aga-like stove ( the previous owner left it ) to heat the house. Knowing how to build & light a fire is a must. A must that I have not quite mastered yet...