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Spaetzle cooking fun and new food tips

Posted by on May 8, 2014 in Blog Posts |

Pandel-Spaetzlephoto from jamesbeard.org and recipe for dill spaetzle

Last night red cabbage and maple-dijon glazed pork were on my meal plan, but what to cook with it? I’d made potatoes already twice this week, and didn’t want noodles… Spaetzle! I’d had home made only once about 20 years ago, thought it looked complex, heck there are even special gadgets to make them! I looked up the recipe in Joy of Cooking, glanced at a few online resources and thought it looked like fun.

This method of mixing in a bag may be great for kids who don’t want to touch the batter or get messy. or if you are looking for food-related sensory activities.

If you want to get messy, do what I did… I made the dough then tried smooshing it into the boiling water with the back of a spoon through a colander as instructed, which was hard work and  ineffective. With my daughter’s help we tried the back of a bowl, like a press, and then her hands (messy!, sticky!, and careful with the steam and boiling water!). We cooked in batches  though honestly we didn’t even finish 1/3 of the batter as it was sticking to us, bowls, colanders… They cook in about 15-30 seconds! My daughter scooped out finished ones and put them in a sieve and then in a bowl. Then reheated for 30 seconds in the microwave. It was lots of fun and the spaetzle were tasty! We didn’t fry them in butter, but maybe next time. I liked the bite to them, in contrast to noodles.

I’m wishing I had taken pictures, but my hands were so messy and sticky I simply couldn’t! Spaetzle gadget is on my  wish list for sure. Whole family enjoyed them.

Tips:

  1. When trying something new, have a few options that are accepted or favorites.  My daughter likes the pork chops and red cabbage, so I knew she wouldn’t go hungry if the Spaetzle was a flop. Same for me actually! Can also plan on a more filling dessert.
  2. Serve new foods with a familiar sauce to make that flavor bridge. Put a ketchup bottle out if that’s the preferred condiment.
  3. I omitted the nutmeg and kept things simple: eggs, flour, salt, baking powder and milk.
  4. Give kids a context. “These are made with the same things as the noodles you like.” Or, “This is how Germans made noodles, aren’t they fun looking?”
  5. Children are more likely to try something they helped cooked, but no guarantee! Remember not to pressure them to eat.

Cooking new foods is fun, messy, and a learning experience! What new things have you tried recently and how did it go??

 

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