As American as…

Photo taken in October, 2011, in Rodenbach, Germany

The other day, I caught a few minutes of a Bavarian cooking show. Six Landfrauen were sitting down to a dinner prepared by a seventh Landfrau. Beautiful table. Elaborate menu. Strong, confident women who looked good in dirndls and who could say things like “That’s not MY recipe for Rinderlende mit Rotweinsoße und Reibernockerl dazu Blaukrautscheiben, but oh, well.”

A Landfrau. A woman of the land. Everything I’m NOT–but wish I could be.

So I got inspired to make an apple blueberry pie. But we couldn’t find fresh blueberries. We couldn’t find measuring cups, either. Time to improvise. A Pilsner beer glass had its markings in milliliters. We used one of our teacups, figured out the conversion, and presto! I had a 3/4 cup measuring cup … more or less. I had no recipe books, either, so I opened up the computer and did a search for my pie crust recipe. The first thing I read was “You are not eligible to join the Betty Crocker community.” Ouch! They know me too well.

Photo taken in October, 2011, in Rodenbach, Germany

But making the crust restored my confidence. I’ve been making pies since I was old enough to stand on a step stool beside my Texan grandmother. (Now, she’s a Landfrau!) Germans believe a beer should contain only four ingredients: malt, hops, yeast, and water. I believe a pie crust should contain only four ingredients: flour, butter (real butter!), water, and salt. (Shortening is an abomination.) No pastry cutter. I used herb scissors instead. Then I had no rolling pin. Never mind–a wine bottle works just as well. It could be full or empty. This one is empty. What can I say? I live in Europe!

Photo taken in October, 2011, in Rodenbach, Germany

I used my usual apple blueberry pie recipe, except that I used frozen blueberries. Also a crust instead of the topping and a pinch of ginger to bring out the cinnamon. And I used more cinnamon. (A real Landfrau never follows a recipe exactly.)

Photo taken in October, 2011, in Rodenbach, Germany

What can I say? It tasted like home. Maybe I’m a Landfrau after all.

Photos taken in October, 2011, in Rodenbach, Germany. Text and photos copyright 2011 by Clare B. Dunkle.

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2 Responses to As American as…

  1. Joe Dunkle says:

    And it was deeelicious!!

  2. Heidi says:

    Oh, yeeeees