Whenever I use a recipe of my Nan’s on a menu or these here Blogland pages I allocate credit due. I would happily tell every one I met about the food my Nan would make for us because the way that lady cooks is a crazy, intermingling, goat cart driven journey of hearty, soul warming comfort food and childhood memories and nostalgia fixes. And well it should be, she is my Nana after all. The funny thing is though, when I tell her about the credit I’ve given her for those recipes, she kinda doesn’t believe me. She humbly chuckles and, in her still cracking after being here for sixty something years German accent, she says “Oh, Graeme”, and then chuckles a little more, not quite grasping that I would seriously put her name on a menu or why people would love the war torn, poverty born dishes that she has been cooking for all of those years. She chuckles some more when I thank her for the umpteenth time for all of the inspiration her cooking and love for the love of food has given me. I pull my phone out and show her a picture of a menu or specials board where I have credited her for a dish as, although I never make a point of trying to beat my Nan in an argument (well, I would never argue with her regardless but if I did I certainly wouldn’t be winning), this is a story she is going to have to believe. I think she is still dubious, which is fine with me now, but I really do hope she knows how much her cooking means to me…
My Nan has been getting some mad props on these pages recently, and here is another favourite of ours as children, and now a favourite of my children, that she may or may not believe I have told the world about.
My mum would put onion and bacon in hers but Nan stays the purist, stating that back in the old country (not that she would say it like that, I just think it gives the statement more of an authentic, post world war two type feel) the reiberdatschi would often be eaten with sauerkraut, but some times they would be garnished with sweet stewed apples – so the onion and bacon just didn’t go. Another vote for the sweet camp came from my Grandad, Jo, who ate his simply sprinkled with castor sugar. I seam to recall us eating fat piles of these things flavoured quite simply with the all-purpose seasoning of my youth – tomato sauce (ketchup), and lots of it! You can make your own grown-up decision on how you’d like yours to come.
However they came, our bellies always cheerfully received these reiberdatschi. Whether for breakfast, lunch or dinner, these things are the shit!
BREAKFAST REIBERDATSCHI (for 4)
1 kg potatoes (sebagoes work well but at the end of the day, I’ve used most common varieties with pretty similar results), grated and squeezed of excess moisture in a colander
1 onion, small dice
2 rashers bacon, chopped
2 – 3 tablespoons flour
A good pinch of salt and pepper
Oil for frying
Eggs (cooked would probably be best), bacon, tomato relish, cherry tomato salad (the boys want cherry tomatoes with everything at the moment) and parsley to serve
• In a large bowl, mix all ingredients thoroughly to combine
• Heat a good splash of oil in a pan over medium-low heat
• Form medium handfuls of mix into balls and press gently into pan with a spatula until 1cm thickness. An average pan is good for 3-4 reiberdatschi per go
• Fry until golden brown on the first side, should be 4-5 minutes, flip and fry until the other side is also golden and crisp. Drain on absorbent paper. Keep in a warm spot
• Continue frying the reiberdatschi in batches until they are all done
• Season with a little more salt, garnish and get it in your belly