Let me just start by saying there are no English words to describe this meal adequately. I can give you a few different meals it is similar to in theory, but in actuality, it is NOTHING like any of those meals. I hesitate to use our language in comparing Frikadelle to our meals because this meal far outweighs those I might use in said comparison. SO, I’ll skip on the comparison altogether.
I’ll start at the beginning. A few Sundays ago my family went to the Wiesbaden Ostermarkt, (Easter Market). One of our friends, Cory, kept trying to find a vendor selling Frikadelle. Each one he approached had sold out. Cory then casually mentioned that he had a real-live German friend who had made Frikadelle for him on a past occasion. This was enough. I had to try this. So, I half-jokingly said, “Tell you what, you call your friend and see if he’ll teach us how to make it.” Fast forward a week and we had a date on the calendar! A few weeks later and I have a sitter for the big three and we were on our way!
As soon as S arrived at Cory and Aimee’s house (I write “S” for two reasons… a) I don’t have permission from S to use his whole name and b) I don’t know how to spell it anyway!) we waited a bit for H (his daughter) to get warmed up a bit to the strangers (that would be us). And then it was off to the kitchen with pen, paper, and camera in hand. That lasted all of 4 minutes until I decided to get in the action, cutting and dicing onions. Before long, I was dicing apples for the apple-red-kraut not something I would have normally eaten but I couldn’t resist the traditional German fare. I was not disappointed and will be making this again!
Then I dove into even more a labor intensive task… making the Frikadelle! I was mixing by hand the meat, bread, seasonings, onion, and eggs. (If you cook homemade, from scratch food, you might start to recognize one of the English meals this could be compared to.) After the meat mixture was ready, I started making the Frikadelle shapes. I was highly complimented by S on my dicing of the onions AND the shaping of the Frikadellen! (Not that I’m proud of that or anything.)
While I was patting away, S was creating a killer sauce, a gravy of sorts: it was a mushroom and cream based goodness that I could have eaten as a soup. At the beginning of our evening he asked us if we wanted our food swimming in sauce or just a little. Cory and I both unashamedly announced we wanted our food swimming, and S made the switch from a small pot to a larger one. SO worth it!
As the evening progressed and time literally FLEW by, we sat down to dinner after a couple of hours in the kitchen. I assure you, it felt like 30 minutes, though we could have been a bit tricked by the fact the sun is setting later and later each day. By the summertime, it’ll be 11 pm and we will still be able to see light in the sky.
So, because my hands were literally in goo most of the night, the pictures are scarce. But I assure you, I was snapping away in my mind, hoping to remember everything I could. The conversation was easy, with S and his wife being willing to answer any culture-related questions I had. They were ALSO very happy to answer any language questions I had! I wish I knew more German.
The meal was, by far, the best I’ve had since I arrived in Germany.
And, to top it off, at the end of the night when we were saying our “Tschusses” and “Ciaos” I was able to give the official, European double-cheek kiss! I didn’t forget and make a fool of myself! (I had fears that when the time came I’d forget and leave the other person hanging and I would awkwardly stand there wondering what I had missed. Shew. Got that one behind me.)
And without further adieu, the pictures.
(Okay, so I’ll give you a hint. I’m not a big fan of meat loaf, and hamburgers are not my favorite food, either. But those are the two meals that most resemble this in preparation. As far as taste goes, these meals are nothing alike. My goal is to spend the next 18 months perfecting this meal so that I can bring it home to the states and share it with my family. Yes, it was that good. And I think it was made even better by the fact that we were enjoying it with good friends and had made new ones over the course of the evening. Thank you, Cory and Aimee, for the fun night. And please, thank S and J for the lesson in German cooking!)