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I dedicate this blog to my children. May you eat healthy and live long.
May you remember our family dinners, my outrageous dagwood sandwiches, Wiener Schnitzel, our Old English sheepdog and secrets kept.
I'm happy to see your enthusiasm for cooking and baking.
May it bring you joy!
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Table of Contents
Beginnings — Active
- Bouquets, Sachets and Oignon Brûlé
- Clarified Butter
- The Roux
- Pure Starch Slurries
Stocks & Broths — Active
- Beef & Meats
Gravies — Active
- Béchamel – White
- Tomato Sauces
- Beef Gravy
- Chicken Gravy
Salad Dressings & Vinaigrettes
- Cream Sauces
Expansion coming soon ...
A Small Story
Oh, the burden and weight are overwhelming. I must also be mad—telling or suggesting to anyone how to cook? But, then, at the tender age of 70 I will presume the unmitigated gall. My father was an apprenticed Master Brewmeister with a master's degree in chemistry from Germany. He knew how to make a beer and, oh yes, I learned how to enjoy a small glass at the age of 5 during Sunday dinners. He thought life would be better for a family in the states and we emigrated in 1953. He spoke not a word of English. Now that takes guts!
Offering what I know and don't about cooking does not take courage—just a little delusion. My father was transferred to Tegucigalpa, Honduras in 1955 to open and oversee the operations of an American brewery. I was 7 at the time, and mother put me to work in the kitchen with a wood burning stove making sauces, chopping, brazing vegetables and stewing meats. A Honduran woman across the street sold us flour and taught me how to hand make tortillas. I remember the experience as if it were yesterday.
Now, those beginnings don't make me a Mario Batali, Wolfgang Puck, Julia Child or Giuliano Bugialli, but I have cooked a meal or two. None of my children ever had food poisoning to this day from eating at my table. Some years ago, (retired and never wanton for being idle) I created a company and introduced seven of my gourmet sausage recipes (USDA certified) to specialty restaurants. That gave me great exposure to see chefs working their craft.
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Additionally, I have been fortunate enough to have opportunities to teach cooking classes to adults interested in German fare. Life has been good and I am now on a mission to tell what I know and what I continue to learn. Perhaps this blog can serve as a starting depository of basic cooking skills and common, but carefully prepared recipes. You will find references—from which I have learned much—to support articles, ramblings, comments and propositions.
The list below are books which are in my cooking and baking library. It’s an extensive resource which allows me to compare recipes and methods from some of the world’s most renowned chefs and culinary institutions.
What I have found interesting or concluded is that, once a few basics are learned, (making a roux, the basic processes of sautéing, broiling or roasting, etc.), the only value of a recipe is its flavor. Claims of “authenticity” are meaningless.
Whether a dish of “original” Bolognese sauce contains red or white wine, milk or cream, or a Hungarian Goulash is made with beef, pork or lamb, with or without tomatoes or potatoes, is irrelevant. The bottom line is all about flavor.
Recipes change through time and by region. For example, Wiener Schnitzel is commonly thought of as a German creation. Actually, it is an Austrian dish made with veal, but has its roots in Italy. Austrians will be the first to admit that Wiener Schnitzel doesn’t come from Vienna. Interestingly, Schnitzel (the technique of breading and frying thin cutlets of meat) appears to have originated and is attributed to the Romans around 1 BC.
This traditional German Schnitzel is prepared the same way as Austrian Schnitzel. The German Schnitzel is made with pork instead of veal and many recipe variations are offered. This is only one example of hundreds of primary dishes within countries and regions.
Learn some basic methods and procedures for meals you enjoy. Add or subtract ingredients which appeal to you. The only thing that counts is enjoying the flavors you concoct!
- 400 Soups by Anne Sheasby
- Appetizers, Fingerfood, Buffets & Parties—Hermes House
- Baking by Martha Day
- Betty Crocker's Slow Cooker Cookbook
- Cheese Making — Ricki Carrol
- Coming Home to Sicily by Fabrizia Lanza
- Culinaria—Germany by Christine Metzger
- Essentials of Classic Italian Cooking by Marcella Hazan
- French Women Don't Get Fat by Mireille Guiliano
- Gourmet Burgers — Publications International, Ltd.
- Herbs for the Home by Jekka McVicar
- Hot Links and Country Flavors — Bruce Aidells and Denis Kelly
- How to Cook Everything by Mark Bittman
- Italianissimo — McRae Books
- Main Courses-365 — Hermes House
- Meat & Poultry by Lucy Knox and Keith Richmond
- Pasta by Linda Fraser
- Soup by Debra Mayhew
- The All New Joy of Cooking by Irma S. Rombauer, Marion Rombauer Becker and Ethan Becker
- The Art of Quick Breads by Beth Hensperger
- The Best Ever 20 Minute Cookbook by Jenni Fleetwood
- The Bread Baker's Apprentice by Peter Reinhart
- The Ciao Bella Book of Gelato & Sorbetto by F.W. Pearce & Danilo Zecchin
- The Complete Book of Sauces by Sallie Y. Williams
- The Culinary Institute of America
- The Elements of Pizza — Ken Forkish
- The Essential Pasta Cookbook — Bay Books
- The Fine Art of Italian Cooking by Giuliano Bugialli
- The New Grilling Book — Better Homes & Gardens
- The Perfect Scoop by David Lebovitz
- The Pie and Pastry Bible by Rose Levy Beranbaum
- The Science of Good Cooking ― Cook's
- The Way to Cook by Julia Child
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