Sunday, December 26, 2010

Schweinebraten & Käsespätzle (Deutschland)

Steffi Hiemer and Laura Rombach are more than willing to record their favorite recipes in my notebook. Seated together at a table outside the UAA Bookstore, squeezing in some last-minute studying before they head off the practice. Steffi is a Biology major and Laura studies Business. Both are in their junior year at UAA and both are standouts on the university's Ski Team, each having travelled to the NCAA Championships to record strong finishes at this event.

"Schweinebraten," Steffi exclaims in her wonderful Bavarian accent when I explain my project and then happily begins to record to procedure for this Southeast-German specialty.

Traditionally eaten on Sundays, Schweinebraten is a dish of roasted pork that CHARACTERISES the time after church.

"My mom puts it in in the morning and then we go to church."

"Or actually I go out rollerskiing (a form of training that Steffie practices over the Summer to stay in shape for her competition season) and my mom cleans the house or something," she confesses with a laugh.

"We usually eat it with Blaukraut (red cabbage) and Semmelknödel (bread dumplings) that we cook with other vegetables from our garden," Steffi explains.

Having finished recording the recipe for this Bavarian specialty, she hands the notebook to Laura who, after a moment's pause puts her pen to the paper and begins to write out the ingredients for Käsespätzle.

Käsespätzle is a staple. While Schweinebacken is specially reserved for Sunday dinner, Germans from the Southwest state of Baden-Württenberg enjoy Käsespätzle on any day of the week.

Käsespätzle is one of many varieties of this traditional Black Forest fare. Käse is the German word for “cheese” so it is fitting that the addition of finely-grated cheese to the egg-noodle base is what distinguishes Käsespätzle from the other forms of this South-German specialty. But the Rombach family also embellishes the basic Spätzle recipe with Muskatnuss (nutmeg) and Speck (bacon).

To taste these German specialties for yourself, follow the recipes below.

--Schweinebraten & Semmelknödeln

Ikg pork roast
Day-old bread
3 eggs

Cut onions, carrots and potatoes into small slices
Place in pan with pork roast
Roast in oven for 3 hours at 200˚C or 4 hours at 375˚F
Baste occasionally with liquids from the bottom of the pan

To make the Semmelknödlen, cut bread into small pieces
Mix in bowl with eggs, onions, salt and pepper
Roll into dumplings
Place in boiling water for 20 minutes

Enjoy Schweinebacken & Semmelknödeln with red-cabbage sauerkraut.


1kg flour
5 eggs
500g Mineral-water
Different sorts of cheese (e.g. Gouda, Emmentaler, Bergkäse, etc...)

Mix flour, eggs, salt, nutmeg and mineral-water
Once the dough is smooth, beat until it has bubbles
Put through a Spätzleschaber (or a potato ricer or a large-holed colander) and drop into boiling water
Cook for about 3 minutes or until the dough is tender but still firm
Remove from water with a slotted spoon
Place in a pan and mix with cheese and bacon
Bake at 190˚C/375˚F for 20 minutes
Enjoy with a bottle of Hefeweizen

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Ugali (Kenya)

I meet Paul Rottich in the Student Union at UAA. He is hunched over one of the several monstrous textbooks lying open on his table, studying for his Statistics class. A native of Kenya, Paul was one of the first in the slew of the Kenyans recruited by the Seawolves' coach Michael Friess to run for the University. He has just returned from Yakima, WA, where he helped the Seawolves to their conference victory with his eighteenth-place finish in the 5 mile race. After four years on the XC Running Team, Paul is now in his final semester of studies, finishing his degree in Finance.

Despite being hard at work, Paul is happy to take the time to chat with me about life in Kenya and to record a recipe for their staple dish: ugali.

"We eat it every day," he tells me.

In elemental terms, ugali is cornmeal and water. But Paul notes that it is often served with vegetables, such as kale, cabbage, spinach, or beets, and milk.

"We used to have a goat, but now my family owns a cow, so we get more milk," Paul tells me.

To make ugali, follow this simple recipe:

(1) Cornmeal
(2) Water

(1) Cooking stick
(2) Cooking pot

(1) Pour water into pot and boil
(2) Add cornmeal
(3) Reduce heat
(4) Stir with cooking stick until it thickens
(5) Turn off heat, cover with a plate, and let sit for 10 to 15 minutes
(6) Serve it
(7) No spices

"Ugali is an African meal made by mixing cornmeal and water only." "Mix it until you can smell it. It usually has a smell that indicates it's almost ready."

Friday, July 16, 2010

Recipes! We want 'em!

The Anchorage Food Mosaic Recipe Blog will contain recipes from all the amazing people that make up our community. Now more than ever we need to come together and celebrate our incredible diversity (there are 94 languages spoken in the Anchorage School District!) And what better way to do that than FOOD? Let us cook each others cultural foods, and share our stories with one another.

This Recipe Blog will contain photos of each person and the story behind their cultural food, as well as tips on where to buy ingredients, and local sourcing.

Please email recipe submissions to akfoodmosaic(at)
The Anchorage Food Mosaic Project’s mission is to build community through our cultural foods.

In agriculture, a monoculture replaces lots of genetically diverse plants with one uniform crop, which is highly susceptible to disease and failure. In the same way that monocropping is dangerous to the future of a crop; we must encourage diversity within our community to prevent disease. In order for our community to thrive we need to embrace and nurture the “mosaic” of people in this city.

Check us out on facebook!!/pages/Anchorage-Food-Mosaic-Project/106788686031141?v=info&ref=ts