Sunday, June 22, 2014

Last Saturday was one of those few days that I have been able to take a day off from our busy life at Stone Turtle Lodging and dedicate it to an interest that I have had for many years and never had either a chance or the time to pursue - Wildcrafting and learning all the intriguing details that are so fascinating in the plant kingdom. I had the great fortune to find a very unique and special lady who dedicates her life to teach her craft to people like me. How awesome is it to learn from somebody who has years and years of experience and is so wise to pass on the knowledge of generations of ancestors so that the knowledge is not forgotten and can in turn be passed on by others to the next generations. Because, after all, all life on our Mother Earth is a web and we are simply a part of the web. If we hurt the web, we hurt ourselves and the more people know and care about taking care of the web, the better off we all are. Thank you, Jackie Dill, for being the greatest teacher anybody could hope for!!
Well, my trips to Coyle, Oklahoma, have not only been a huge learning experience but also the social highlight of my life for the past couple of months. I love the potlucks that follow the nature walks and having a chance to make great new friendships.
There is usually a small German delegation from Lawton carpooling up to Coyle. We are not experienced wildcrafters as of yet, so our contribution to the potlucks are usually not wildcrafted foods but come from our German heritage. It makes me so happy to be able to share some German dishes with the group and I have been asked to share some of the recipes. So, here is the first one! It is a Bavarian cheese spread called 'Obatzda' or in some parts of Bavaria it is called 'Gerupfter' and usually eaten in a Biergarten with a Bretzel and a glass of Bier (what else when you are in Bavaria looking at the Alps where Bier is legally considered a 'staple food' and not an alcoholic beverage).
So here is one version of this recipe (there are dozens out there and you can change it as you please):

- 1 Brie cheese or 1 Camembert (I used the Brie from Aldi)weighing 227 grams.
- Cream cheese  (about half of the weight of the Brie - I used cream cheese that I had made from goats' milk but Philadelphia or such is what is actually used.
- 40 grams of butter (a little less than half of the cream cheese - I used unsalted butter but salted butter will work just fine)
- 1 finely chopped onion
- salt, pepper and paprika to taste

Let the cheeses and butter reach room temperature before you mash them with a fork. Fold in the onion and spices, let it sit for at least 30 minutes before serving.
I think it usually tastes even better the next day if it lasts that long.

Well, with 'Obatzda' you need a good bread or Bretzel. This is the recipe of the bread that I served with the cheese spread.
It is a no-knead bread and the dough is frighteningly liquid compared to normal bread doughs. I found this recipe many years ago in a Mother Earth News Magazine and changed it until it tasted like a German bread to me.

3 full teaspoons of yeast
A dash of sugar for the yeast
and 3 cups of warm water in a bowl. Let it sit for a little bit so the yeast can do its thing.
Now I add 2 cups of whole spelt flour.
1/2 cup of stone cut oats
1/2 cup of sesame seeds, flax seeds, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds combined
2 1/2 cups of unbleached white all purpose flour (bread flour works great)
3 teaspoons salt

Combine all ingredients and stir until mixed completely. My kitchen aid usually does a great job. Then let it sit in a warm place for 2 hours. It will rise but not overly because of the high content of seeds and whole flour . Put it in a glass container and cover with a lid and put it in the refrigerator. It will rise more in the fridge.
The dough can be kept in the fridge for up to 14 days and the longer it is in the fridge, the more the bread will taste like sour dough. I usually take out some dough about the size of a grapefruit in the morning, put it on a baking sheet covered with parchment paper and let it bake at 450 F for 35 - 37 minutes. If you make a larger loaf, it will take a little longer to bake. And, voila, you have a freshly baked loaf of bread for breakfast. Just like out of a German bakery - still warm and smelling soooo good. Enjoy.

Here is the original recipe that I got out of the Mother Earth News Magazine and you can change it to your taste:

3 teaspoons of yeast and a dash of sugar
3 cups of warm water
6 1/2 cups of white all purpose flour (I think bread flour tastes best)
3 teaspoons of salt.
Same procedure as above. But beware, the dough will really rise and then rise much more when in the refrigerator. Usually it lifts the lid and tries to get out of the bowl. Tell it to behave and put it back in its place :)
Even though the dough does not look formable at all when first mixed, once it is in the refrigerator for a couple of hours, it can be easily taken out and formed into a loaf.
Makes a great white bread that tastes like a sour dough bread.
And you can substitute parts of the white flour with whole grain flours - rye tastes really great, or spelt, or wheat, etc.

This blog is brought to you by the lovely (biased opinion, we know) Stone Turtle – Lodging, a small family owned and operated hotel / lodging business near Lawton, Oklahoma, Fort Sill,  the Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge, Meers and Medicine Park. Yeah, that’s right we’re a small lodging business close to all the awesomeness Oklahoma has to offer!!

1 comment:

  1. Thank you Ingrid! I am a huge fan of your cooking! We have learned much from you ladies from Lawton also and are so glad you visit us.