Too Much is Never Enough!

Sunday 28/11/2004

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Diary and Notes

Once again it's hearty German food. Probably the sort of food that sustained Charles the Fat and his Alemanni tribe, long before the invention of electric nose hair clippers and reflective strips on bicycle wheels. He may have been a king, but he didn't want fancy pastas in a light truffle cream sauce, nor little rolled anchovies stuffed with capers and served on toast, he wanted meat, meat and sausage, meat and sausage and potatoes, meat and sausage and potatoes and grunkohl, well, perhaps not the grunkohl.

My friends were planning to leave after lunch so I decided to make it the main meal of the day. I didn't want them driving all the way back on empty stomachs and claiming they had been maltreaded while they were here (I knew they'd go home and moan to their girlfriends that they had an awful time and had been badly fed while they were here, but that's what everyone says to their wives/girlfriends when they've been away, just to let them know that they're loved and are considered goodly homemakers). Knowing that this was the plan I had gone to a top class organic butchers in town and bought three thick pieces of sirloin steak and three weisswürtse sausages. Lunch was going to be a monster!

But I don't think anyone was really that hungry.

Perhaps due to the eating and drinking of the days before, we weren't really ready for such a feast, but I'd bought it and was jolly well cooking it anyway and they were going to eat it and stop their complaining. We went for a walk to buy good old English newspapers and build up an appetite and I think once the smell of the bacon frying and the bubbling wine filled the kitchen, our bellies relented and said "Ok, if we must". It was a good meal. If it were a little later in the day and we could have slowly savoured it with a fine glass of claret, I think it would have been fantastic. The grunkohl wasn't that good, being from a jar, but everything else was as fine as could be. The steak was particularly tender and just perfectly bloody in the middle. Afterwards we went to Cron & Lanz for a cake and coffee. After my cake I decided that was enough food and ate nothing else for the rest of the day. At least my chums wont have gone back with the taste of girly food on their tongues and the hunger only a diet containing celery and lettuce can produce, in their portly bellies.

And thus the final day of the weekend of feasting, ended with a feast. Simple food, well cooked and forced down onto already full stomachs. Still, as vegetarian week begins tomorrow ,I wanted to go out with enough meat in me to keep me alive until it's over. Let us all pray that I have done my job well and the lamb, goose, steaks and sausages sustain me through the long dark winter of suffering ahead.

Cake Blog

Göthe Baumkuchen: A speciality of Göttignen. Baumkuchen is 'wood cake', so called because of the many layers that make it look like wood grain. This is a chocolate layered sponge cake with a fair amount of alcohol in the mix. The only place that I know to get it from is (of course) Cron & Lanz. It is just delicious.


  • Sirloin Steak,
  • Weisswürste,
  • Bratkartoffeln,
  • Grunkohl,
  • Red Wine Sauce.


    Sauce: Bacon, olive oil, red wine, beef stock (I have to confess I bought a jar of stock from the supermarket, shame on me), black pepper, mustard, butter, steak juices.


  • Steaks: When you cook a steak make sure it's at room temperature first. Don't just get it out of the fridge and whack it under the grill, it will be dry and chewy and don't grill steaks anyway unless you have real flames. Grilling doesn't generate enough heat to sear them properly and lets all the tasty meat juice drain away so you can't use it for sauce. If you have a griddle pan these are excellent, otherwise a heavy frying pan is fine. Heat a pan without any oil. When the pan is good and hot place the steaks in the pan. When they begin to smoke turn them over. When the other side is cooked, take them out of the pan and leave somewhere warm for about 5 mins to relax. That's how to cook a good steak. There is a test to see if they are rare, medium, well done or ruined - simply by touching your fingers to your thumbs. Touch your index finger to your thumb and poke the meaty part where the thumb joins the hand with your other index finger. If your hand is relaxed the texture of your hand at this point will be like a rare steak (poke your steak for comparison when you cook it), if you want it medium, touch the middle finger to your thumb, well done, the ring finger. If your steak has a texture similar to touching your baby finger to your thumb and poking the meaty part of your hand then it's burned and will be horrid and you should not be allowed to cook steak and should become a vegetarian and live as a hermit with the birds and flowers and eat only grass and fresh air.
  • Weisswürste: These are white boiling sausages. I don't know what's in them, but they have a spongy texture and may actually be made from penis.
  • Bratkartoffeln: Peel and slice some potatoes into rounds. Boil for five minutes to soften. Fry in a little oil and some chopped bacon until crispy.
  • Grunkohl: This came in a jar.
  • Sauce: Fry a little chopped bacon in olive oil, add a glass of red wine and reduce. Next pour in some beef stock, a little mustard and black pepper. simmer gently while the potatoes cook. When everything is cooked and the steaks are relaxing, add some butter to the pan with the steak juices, put back on the heat and stir. When the butter is melted and has absorbed all the meat juice, pour on the simmering sauce liquid. An easy and very tasty sauce.