As the person who made us the food fanatics that we are, and one of the first contributors to the blog, we would like you to introduce you to our mother. See what she says about herself – the below text has been translated by us: click here for the original German version.
Recipes from Christine on FoodFamily:
- Rolled pork roast with basil stuffing
- Asparagus threesome 1
- Asparagus threesome 2
- Asparagus threesome 3
- Strawberry Pavlova with basil sugar
Relation to FoodFamily
Where do you live?
Walchwil at the lake of Zug, Switzerland
How and where did you learn to cook?
I had it in the genes. My grandmother was an excellent cook, my father was always responsible for the special meals in the kitchen and each Sunday, I used to help my mother to prepare the roast and the dumplings (note: traditionally, roast and dumplings, “Braten und Knödel” were the sunday family meal). Hospitality was a core value I grew up with – as soon a guest showed up on our doorstep, all available was served. Christmas bakery was another highlight. The whole family was unified around the table and diced the ingredients for 20 Christstollen (a traditional christmas loaf with lots of butter and dried fruits). My mother is still baking christmas cookies from recipes that have been passed down from generation to generation – and they are the best of the world!
In my early years, I tortured myself through the foundational cook books from A. Mosimann, Walterspiel and Bocuse, amongst others – all books without pictures – until I discovered the Timelife books, which showed the cooking process step by step in pictures. The next step was the appearance of the magazine “Essen & Trinken”, which also offered cooking classes for many “exotic” topics. That’s where I learned the real basics of cooking, including the “mise en place” and the dishwashing afterwards. Not to imagine these days! Mrs. Margarete Schmuck taught us about the french kitchen in Alsace and amongst others also in a private castle in Weissenburg. For that course you would get paid nowadays – the condition of the castle was really nasty.
It was my intention to make everything myself, and as we had guests very frequently, I got routined with the years. I tried to reproduce everything that I liked in good restaurants. The small and fine dishes really were my thing – not so heavy, looking good, bite-sized portions; not only for the sake of the kilograms! This went well until I hit my limits – when starting to experiment with molecular kitchen recipes. I just can’t be bothered anymore. These days, our single friends and the couples in our age are happy when they get served a roast at a large table, rather than another steak. Now and then I sign up for another cooking class – but mostly for social reasons.
What is your signature dish?
Early on, I started to work with fonds, sauces, stocks and soups. That results in divine stews and roasts, which everyone likes. (But this is also Big Uncle Tom’s specialty…).
What is your favourite food?
Unfortunately, I like everything. Traditionally, my parents and grandparents came from Sudetenland, the food was bohemian-austrian. These days, I rather leave the sweet dishes away, but I love for example Tafelspitz (boiled beef) in all its varieties.
What was your worst cooking experience ever?
A christmas dinner – thanks god only in the circle of the family. For sure you all remember. First the fried goose liver which I – following the instructions of a famous chef – wanted to keep warm on a gridiron. And which melted and dripped sadly through the grid… As a main the venison shank roasted at low temperature which didn’t get done, and which we had to wait for for ever. Big Uncle Tom, who’s tummy rumbled, may forgive me.
What is your favourite restaurant?
Here in Switzerland the local food does not live up to the standards of ours in Bavaria or Baden. So in the everyday life, I rather cook at home and now and then we go out to gourmet restaurants. A trip to close-by Tessin or northern Italy is always a pleasure.
Your favourite FoodFamily recipe?
I like the self-smoked salmon on cedar wood a lot. Yesterday I tried an asian version of it – with cucumber spaghetti and asia dressing. Delicious!
What is your most crucial kitchen equipment/ tool?
The blender is indispensable.
What else should we know about you?
I think this is enough.