Sunday, October 01, 2006

move to Germany and gain 30 lbs. without even trying!

I managed to hold out until now, but it IS Oktoberfest time, after all, and Mr. M had been whining about not having had a good German meal for soooo long that I broke down and made his favourite tonight - Schweinshaxe - pork hocks. He claims he only eats them once a year but he is wrong and I can prove it (for once)! Thanks to my blog I was able to check and found that the last time he indulged was in January 2006. I even wrote a post about it.

Anyway, I made three smallish ones this time, seasoned with onion, bay leaf, juniper berries, cloves and, of course, beer. Oktoberfest beer, naturally. Potato dumplings and sauerkraut rounded off the meal. If you only eat the lean meat and discard the fatty skin (or give it to your husband and let HIM clog his arteries) this meal probably won't kill you.

In other artery-clogging news, I tackled still more of those silly plums on Friday and made this cake.

It's really, really easy and actually fairly low-fat (if you leave off the whipped cream!). You can use almost any kind of fruit you like, fresh or canned - the amount will depend on the size of your pan. I've used peaches with great success and I'm sure apricots would also be lovely. I fiddled a bit with the streusel recipe and added a bit more butter along with some flour and a couple of spoonfuls of rolled oats until I got a consistency I liked. The glaze is optional, but since this cake is not too sweet, I think it adds a nice touch. I prefer a thinner cake so I made mine in a 10-in flan pan.

Streusel Plum Cake (from The Lighthearted Cookbook by Anne Lindsay)

1/4 cup butter or margarine
3/4 cup granulated sugar
2 eggs, separated
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 cup milk
2 cans (each 14 oz/398 ml) plums, drained, or 2 cups halved ripe plums

Streusel Topping:
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1 Tbsp soft butter or margarine
1 tsp cinnamon

1/4 cup icing (confectioner's) sugar
1 tsp milk
1/4 tsp vanilla

Grease 9-in/2.5 L square cake pan. (or use greased 9 or 10 in. springform or flan pan with removable bottom).

In large bowl, cream together butter, sugar and egg yolks until fluffy. Combine flour and baking powder; beat into egg mixture alternately with milk. In separate bowl, beat eggs whites until stiff but not dry; fold into batter. Turn into prepared pan. Halve and pit plums and arrange over top, cut side up.

Streusel topping: In small bowl, combine brown sugar, butter and cinnamon; mix well and sprinkle over fruit.

Bake in 350°F (180°C) oven for 35 to 45 mins (depending on size of pan used)or until top is golden and toothpick inserted into cake comes out clean.

Glaze: Combine icing sugar, milk and vanilla; mix well. Drizzle over cooled cake.

Peach: use 2 fresh peaches, sliced into wedges or 1 can sliced peaches, thoroughly drained

Apple: Use 2 apples (peeled or unpeeled is your choice), sliced into thin wedges

Pear: Use 2 pears, sliced into wedges or 1 can sliced pears, thoroughly drained.


At October 02, 2006 1:39 a.m., Blogger Cathy said...

It's a darn good thing that an ocean separates us, otherwise I would be drooling on your doorstep!

At October 02, 2006 1:56 a.m., Blogger Maribeth said...

Oh my, could you send me the Sweine haxe recipe? I have searched high an dlow and not found a good one. And I already have the hocks in my freezer!

At October 02, 2006 3:45 a.m., Blogger Expat Traveler said...

Now that looks amazing!!! WOW!!! Ok - really I need to buy one of those small pans and get to work (yeah we have no cookware and no room!)...

And I have another rather stupid question, how did you make your potatoe dumplings? The girls love potatoes and another variation would be great!

And then there is Ginnie and Donica. I'm so bummed that the darn airplane was late because today was picture perfect!!! Like it was just amazing for them and now I'm not even sure they'll make it to see any of this gorgeous day....

At October 02, 2006 3:46 a.m., Blogger Expat Traveler said...

ok - more like worried about them and their plans which have to be changed!

At October 02, 2006 8:56 a.m., Blogger Claire said...

After reading your post, I realized that I have not vacuumed or been to the market in 2 weeks. So, I have been inspired. I will go to the store and try the cake tomorrow.

At October 02, 2006 11:27 a.m., Blogger Alison said...

I dare not show Andrew the first photo because he LOVES Sweine haxe and gets it whenever he goes to Germany for work :)

At October 02, 2006 12:43 p.m., Blogger Ms Mac said...

Mr Mac loves Schweinshaxe too. I didn't know you really make it at home. I'm not telling him that you can though.

At October 02, 2006 4:52 p.m., Anonymous Neil @ In Actual Fact said...

30lbs - and how long has that taken? 15 years? Pah! I managed 30lbs in the first six months. That's when the diet started - I never did get back below 70kg though.....

At October 02, 2006 10:02 p.m., Blogger Sal DeTraglia said...

I just might come live with you guys for a couple of months.

BTW...that bottle of beer looks awfully familiar. Is Anders a friend of yours, too?


At October 02, 2006 11:31 p.m., Anonymous J.Doe said...

Looks really good!! I think I'll go have lunch now...

At October 02, 2006 11:48 p.m., Blogger christina said...

Cathy - Aww, you're so sweet. Swim on over any time.

Maribeth - I'll post the recipe on my blog ASAP!

Expat - I didn't make the dumplings myself (hangs head in shame) - they come dehydrated six to a package in their own little round bags and you throw them into boiling water for 15 minutes. I've never made my own so I'm not exactly sure what's in there.

Good to know that Ginnie and Donica arrived safely!

Claire - I haven't vaccumed in two weeks either! Hope the cake turns out for ya - it's pretty foolproof.

Alison - What is it about men and pork? :-)

Ms Mac - Another man and his pork! It's really just a matter of throwing the thing in the oven, but you are smart to plead ignorance.

Neil - But...but...I'm sure 30 excess pounds looks much better when you're over 6 feet tall, which I am definitely not. I'm blaming it in part on the two kids, but the rest of it is all my fault.

Sal - So you want to gain 30 lbs too?? The key is under the first flower pot on the right. And hey, this is Germany - Oktoberfest beer magically appears in every German household around this time of year. :-)

At October 03, 2006 12:25 a.m., Blogger hexe said...

Yum - that cake looks so good! Enjoy your Oktoberfest!

At October 03, 2006 9:56 a.m., Blogger Haddock said...

I'm hungry again now! :)

At October 03, 2006 7:31 p.m., Blogger CanadianSwiss said...

I will NOT show this post to OrangeX, otherwise I mightbe doomed to gain the weight WITH him!

At October 03, 2006 11:59 p.m., Blogger Dixie said...

You have the knack for making tastebuds happy!

At October 04, 2006 6:18 a.m., Blogger Angie said...

Wow! I wander into the Tapas Bar and Sal's coconut madness made me pretty hungry... but then I came over here, and that food is calling to my German roots! YUM!!!

I finally got around to watching the monkey tutorial, too... what a talented Boy! :)

At October 04, 2006 8:46 a.m., Blogger Ginnie said...

I'd probably pass on the hocks, Christina, tho' I have the patience to trim away the fat. But the plum cake looks marvelous the way you've made it! You are such a cook!

We DID make it here to Ucluelet safe-n-sound and have had such great memories these past 2 days. I can hardly wait to tell you all about it!

At October 04, 2006 10:36 a.m., Anonymous Emily said...

It feels like I am heading towards the 30 lbs. in this past much yummy German food that I have to try. The plum cake looks very yummy :)

At October 04, 2006 12:03 p.m., Blogger Christina said...

I worked with a guy who had Schweinehaxe once a week for lunch. Hubby says they don't know how to make it around here (east Germany) - hmmm... that's a common phrase of his. I'm just not that into pork.

And I'm with Neil, I managed the 30 lbs in six months. Still trying to work it off...

At October 04, 2006 12:44 p.m., Blogger christina said...

hexe - Thanks!

Haddock - I think you'll live longer if you DON'T eat this! :-)

CanSwiss - I know! Once you get started you just can't stop.

Dixie - Why thank you, Miss Dixie.

Angie - I think you're one of the people who could gain 30 lbs and still look fabulous. :-)

Ginnie - Yes, I can only eat a little bit too before I give up and go for the vegetables. I can hardly wait to hear about your trip!

Emily - It can really sneak up on you. I went to Austria once for 3 weeks when I was 11 and my mother swears I gained 15 lbs. My advice? Get on the cross trainer NOW before it's too late. :-)

Christina - There's also that other pickled pork hock with the pink skin that looks really horrible. I wonder if that's the way they make it in the east? We should coin a new phrase - instead of the "freshman 15" it's the "expat 30".

At October 08, 2006 12:01 a.m., Blogger Tim Rice said...

The cake looks and sounds delicious. But I'm not a pork and sauerkraut type of person even though my ancestry is mostly German. But you may surely enjoy it in my place. ;)

At October 08, 2006 1:11 a.m., Blogger Mike B said...

I think I gained a couple of kilos just looking at the pics. Mmmm !!!


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