Friday, April 3, 2020

U Boat Food Project Days 11 & 12


     This post catches me up to the present day and with it we have a special meal, sauerbraten.  Sauerbraten was used to use up the last of the fresh beef which by this time would have been starting to go sour even under refrigeration.  Vinegar has long been used as means of hiding the flavor of beef that is a bit off and while the Romans were preserving meat in red wine over 2000 years ago, the probable origins of this dish go back to the time of Charlemagne.  It was the meal the sailors on U Boats most looked forward to and it marked the end of the fresh food on the voyage, for after this canned food was relied on for the meals.  I used a Rhineland version of the recipe where the sauce is finished off with some honey, currants and cranberries.

U Boat Food Project: Days 9 & 10


     So I got a little behind these last few days, my apologies, life comes at you fast and I was busy with some personal issues.  I made lunch the last 4 days but I did not follow the menu for dinner because I was clearing up leftovers in the fridge from these rather large lunches and one day I skipped dinner entirely because I wasn't in the mood emotionally.

Monday, March 30, 2020

Gluten Free Pork Schitzel and Jager Gravy Recipe



     A week or so before the madness started with COVID-19, I was diagnosed as being celiac.  It certainly answered alot of health questions I have had kicking around in my brain all my life so I immediately cut gluten from my life forever.  It's been a strange transition but I feel better because of making the change.  Needless to say, I have had to make a change to the U Boat recipes that I am doing for this project and this schnitzel is one of them.  I found some chickpea crumbs for breading at Sprouts and I thought that would make an excellent final coating for the schnitzel while keeping it crisp.


U Boat Food Project: Day 8




     Well this first week of this historical project is in the books so to speak.  I shot a video on my youtube channel where I explain my thoughts and feelings after the first week of this menu, you can check it out below.  Today was the last day of fresh milk and cream, from here on out it is evaporated or condensed milk and the recipes will reflect this change.  This will also be the last week of fresh meat.  I had to draw a line somewhere and say they could not have reasonably had fresh meat after this point.  In various anecdotes I have found about food on board U Boats, it was said the men looked forward to sauerbraten day the most but it was bittersweet as it was also the last day they would see fresh meat.  This makes sense as meat lasts about 5 days in the refrigerator before going bad and if you were to load out the ship with frozen beef you could extend it by 3-4 days thawing time but by the 12th day, any beef was getting slimy so you had to hide this with vinegar.  Don't worry though, I'm using fresh beef for the recipe later this week as although I am historically accurate, I don't need to invite disaster while the hospitals are full of sick people.


Sunday, March 29, 2020

U Boat Recipes: Roasted vegetables and Apples



     Sorry for using the same photo for 2 recipes but I wasn't sure if I was going to include the roasted vegetable recipe.  I't been some time since I was writing on this blog and I have to get back into the groove so to speak.  This recipe shows the flexibility of the menu as it is written.  The original document simply said: "Rissoles, mixed vegetables, potatoes, fruit", and I thought to myself, "why can't I just combine them all and make life easier for me?  I am rather happy with the result which is why I decided to share it.


U Boat Recipes: Frikadellen or German Meatballs


     Every country around the world has their own version of meatballs, it's an interesting societal phenomenon that was even mentioned in the old Babylon 5 sci fi series.  The German version is rather easy utilizing ingredients that were readily available on a u boat. 


U Boat Food Project: Day 7

     Today was another one of those days when errand running takes over and you're stuck doing something long past when you thought you would be done.  This is also where the flexibility of the menu begins to shine as well.  Just like with wednesday, I was able to simply switch lunch with supper today to provide myself with an easier meal when we arrived home.  The Frikadellen were very good as I let them crisp up just a bit too much.  For the vegetables the original menu simply said "mixed vegetables, potatoes and fruit" so rather than making separate dishes I just mixed them together and did a roast vegetable and apple dish.


U Boat Food Project: Day 6


     Today is a lighter day of cooking since we have sausage, cabbage and potatoes for lunch.  Since I skipped supper on wednesday and moved the supper from that day to yesterday's supper we missed out on Thuringian potato salad yesterday.  Not to worry though as potatoes are on the menu today and since how they were cooked was left up to the discretion of the cook, I can just make it today with lunch.


U Boat Recipes: Bavarian Potato Salad



     We are all familiar with German potato salad that has a dressing made of mustard and bacon fat and is served hot but in Germany many variations on this theme exist.  Germans still prefer their potato salad hot, but in this variation the bacon is omitted and the dressing is thinned out with some vegetable stock.  Traditionally this is served with real vienna sausages which are best represented by Hoffmann's Brand Hot Dogs here in the states.


Friday, March 27, 2020

U Boat Food Project: Day 5


    This morning is a continuation of last night since every place is closing early because of COVID 19.  I was up at 5am and out the door by 6 so I could finish getting the stuff for my girlfriend's home office.  So breakfast was coffee and I just stayed hungry until lunch.  I t was a very good lunch though.  It's hard to find a German pot roast recipe that isn't sauerbraten but this one comes from the writer's grandmother who emigrated from Bavaria.  The meat was very tender and the sauce created by the cooking is amazing.


The U Boat Food Project: Day 4


     I apologize for me lateness in posting this but day 4 was a very wild day.  My girlfriend was dumped unceremoniously into working from home so I had to go store hopping to try to find a lan cord to set up a home office for her in the spare bedroom.  Needless to so I skipped dinner as by the time I had rigged up a temporary solution it was past my usual bedtime let alone dinner time.  Of course on a U Boat things like this would have happened as well.  Nobody was eating while an attack was underway.


Wednesday, March 25, 2020

U Boat Food Project Day 3


     Day 3 of the U Boat Menu brings us with a couple of very nice meals, especially supper which is a specialty of the city of Hamburg and also a favorite treat of mine.  My Polish grandmother was fond of making the Polish version of herring salad with lots of sour cream and so I acquired a taste for it as a teenager.  My girlfriend was not impressed and although she is quite adventurous with food she gave the herring salad a hard pass.  Not to worry, I cooked her the other steak from lunch with the potato and broccoli and she was appeased.


U Boat Recipes: Herring Salad



     This is a dish that definitely has an acquired taste due to the use of soused or wine pickled herring.  My Polish grandmother made the Polish variant of this dish when I was a teenager so I grew fond of it although it's not something I make often.  It wasn't until I started the research into this project that I was introduced to the German version of herring salad and I have to say I like it.  There are only 2 types of wine pickled herring that I see locally, Aldi and Vita and I prefer the Vita because it comes in a small container compared to what Aldi carries.  If you can find this item then the rest of the ingredients are easy.


Tuesday, March 24, 2020

U Boat Food Project: Day 2



     In day 2 of following the u boat menu plan we continue with mostly fresh food rations.  Fresh food, especially meat, was available for the 1st week and a half or so and then it was on to the tinned stuff.  It will be interesting when I make that transition although it's still a long way off.  I grew up eating canned meats and such thanks to spending so much time with my depression era grandparents so I have a fondness for canned ham and tinned fish but it's a rare day I've been in a position where I have to eat it every day, the exception being hurricane season and power outages.




Breakfast: preserved biscuit with butter and honey, tea & sugar


Lunch: fried cabbage & onion, blood sausage and mashed potatoes


Supper: ham & cheese sandwiches with butter toasted open face, tea & sugar

Monday, March 23, 2020

The U-Boat Food Project: Day 1



     Welcome to the U-Boat Food Project!  Each day for the life of the project I will post the menu and either a new recipe or a link to a recipe on this site that i have used that day along with the youtube video for that day.  Due to editing constraints I will be 1 or 2 days behind the actual day I ate that particular meal.  So without further ado here is the menu for day 1.


U-Boat Recipes: German Paprika Gravy



     As I go through with this project I have to ask myself what ingredients were available at that particular point in the voyage.  Since this a day 1 recipe, it is safe to say that sour cream was available as opposed to day 15 where it would have been tinned evaporated milk.  I don't know if I will be coming back to this recipe later so I will write it as both fresh ingredients and preserved.


U Boat Recipes: Herbed Braunschweiger




     This recipe was inspired by a local German style beerhall that I went to once before all this pandemic started shutting everything down.  Their herbed braunschweiger was part of a charcuterie board and I'm afraid my attempt does not do it justice.


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