Today’s meal doesn’t actually look very nice, I have to admit, but it’s a local classic. the region I come from was formed by two factors: industry and agriculture. While many parts of Germany went either way, we always kept our rural character while still becoming important centres for mining and steelwork. the local industry bosses found out that keeping people in small rural areas instead of dense cities like Düsseldorf or Bochum had its advantages, too. They gave “generous” credits to their workers so they could build modest houses, and where now completely dependent on that one employer. The other advantage was that they could get away with lower wages because the people had gardens to do some small scale farming and supplement their income.
This means that most of the local diet is based on potatoes, poor people’s food all over Europe.
This particular dish has many names and probably as many “secret” family recipes as there are families. In my family it’s called “Grumbeere un Kneppcher dorjenanner” (potatoes and dumplings mixed together). Most people call it some version of “married ones”. All these names hint to the fact that the main parts are cooked in a single pot.
Enough history, lets get started.
Peel potatoes, slice them into wedges and bring to boil in a very big pot. This is not pictures due to being dull.
Next, make the batter.
Per person take 100g flour and 1 egg.
Mix together with enough milk to make a not too runny batter, add chives, salt, salt again, it isn’t salty enough, add some more, and nutmeg. Most people, me included will add something to make them lighter. My mum sometimes used sparkling water, i just add a pinch of baking powder.
When the potatoes are 5 minutes from being done, take a big spoon and put it into the boiling water to make it hot and wet, then scoop out batter and put it into the pot, always dipping the spoon after each turn. Best wait a second or so after the first one to see if it holds or if you need to add some more flour.
They will rise to the top quickly, but need a few minutes to boil completely. Best take one out and check.
When they’re done, scoop potatoes and dumplings into a big dish and fry some bacon cubes. People rarely had large servings of meat, but often a slice of bacon to add flavour to their meals. Usually the sizzling bacon is poured over the dumplings and potatoes, but since the kid no longer likes bacon, I serve it at the side.
Use the bacon frying pan to heat some salted milk which is poured over everything. Serve with a green salad and enjoy.