Sunday March 29, 2015
Since we had spent a good portion of last week introducing Hannes and Ben to a number of new American things they had never experienced before (Walmart..smores) they figured it was time to pay us back by bringing a little German into our lives. Or, one good night Germanizing us.
This would include a German dinner cooked by our very own Smutje Hannes, master of the galley, and enjoyed with real German beer. Whichever one we could find here in Southern Florida. The meal our master chef ended on was Königsberger Klopse, roughly translated to King’s Meatballs. Yesterday we scoured the local Walmart for all the ingredients where each of us had to memorize a list of 3-4 items as Ben’s phone lost battery power and we were left to remember on our own how much pork, veal and bay leaves went into the recipe.
(On a side note, this was the same day we had the Magic Bus break down on us in the parking lot of a Taco Bell when we went to leave and discovered the power steering lines busted and drained fluid all over the lot. If you ever want lots of stares and random photos taken of you, try crawling under, in and above the hood of a short bus just off US-1.)
When our German night came up on us we found ourselves in the middle of a Polar Freeze with temperatures plunging from high’s in the mid 80’s to the mid 60’s. Nights now in the low 50’s. It was too much for our now tropical blood to handle and we all showed up to the patio in long pants, long shirts, and jackets. I may have even run back to the boat to grab a scarf because heaven forbid a cool breeze pass over my bare neck.
Getting ourselves set up outside we put Ben to work peeling potatoes as one of our sides, a job I quickly took over once he realized he was also on broccoli duty and our master chef saw that getting those cooked was of leading importance. Before the sun could fully go down on us and we’d lose our nightly ritual of an evening drink, we made sure to stop and smell the German beer. And taste it too. What we had been able to find was Warsteiner which I guess is actually a pretty popular pilsener back home in Deutschland with some very entertaining commercials that we looked up on Youtube.
I thought at this point that becoming Germanized meant I could just to sit back and enjoy my beer as I watched on. Smutche Hannes had other plans and continued to bark out orders for the rest of us to follow as he oversaw the operation. Ok, maybe that’s not true, but we all withstood a little more time getting our hands dirty preparing this meal.
I may not have had the worst part of it as Hannes actually was the one getting his hands dirty, mushing up all the ground meat while I tossed in things like bread crumbs, spices, and anchovie paste. Soon the blended flavors began to smell so good that I couldn’t keep myself from swiping the rim of the bowl with a piece of bread and eating just a bite of it raw. It.Was.Delicious.
It always cracks me up how we take up about three tables outside whenever we do a meal. One table to sit at and eat and drink, one table to keep all our ingredients and supplies on, and one table to actually cook on since the kitchen doesn’t have a stove and the guys bring out their two burner that runs on denatured alcohol.
Before I could worry myself about eating too many pieces of raw meat though, Hannes had turned his bowl of ground veal into a plate of large meatballs and we were now working on the white wine sauce. While taking a few swigs directly from the bottle after pouring a cup or two into the pan of course. Then there was testing one of the meatballs after it had been cooking for about 15 minutes and still a bit pink inside. Still delicious.
Even though Smutje Hannes and I had decided from our taste test that we were ready to dive into this meal we still let the meatballs sit another 15 minutes since there were others in the crowd that didn’t want any pink in their meat. Cowards. However, this did give us a little more time to thicken up the sauce and before we knew it we were ready to eat. My mind was full of images of me stuffing 3-4 of these King’s Meatballs in my face although my stomach was only able to handle too. I think it also knew that dessert was on it’s way from another boatyard friend of ours, Mack. Strudel and ice cream. A perfect complimentary German last course.
To finish up this great night and because it was so ridiculously cold to all of us, we moved ourselves over to the fire pits to enjoy the remaining bottle of wine before we all burrowed under our covers for the night.
Overall I think our German night was a huge success and Matt and I did very well on our way to becoming Germanized. Or as Bob Marley may have sung if he were with us:
Yeah, we’re – we’re German,
See, I wanna German wid you
We’re German (German, German, German)
I’m German: I hope you’re German, too.