Going native?

Jan bought me a recipe book for Christmas entitiled “German Cooking Today”. No, not a hint ūüėČ but I kept asking him about traditional German foods other than the ones from this region and he didn’t know any, hence the book.

I’ve never really done much real German cooking, despite living here for 6 years! The couple of times we’ve had homemade Sp√§tzle Jan did the cooking and for Maultaschen we just buy ready made ones and heat them up. Jan made them once with some friends (before we were together) and apparantly it takes ages!

Since we had some baguette left over from the weekend, which had gone pretty stale, I decided it was the perfect opportunity to make Semmelkn√∂del (bread dumplings) using the recipe in my book. I won’t post the recipe here for copyright reasons, but here is someone else’s: http://cookingweekends.blogspot.de/2011/04/semmel-knodel-german-bread-dumplings.html It’s similar to mine, but I had to beat the eggs before adding them to the rest of the mixture.

Semmelknödel floating in water while I telepathically beg them not to fall apart...
Semmelkn√∂del floating in water while I telepathically beg them not to fall apart…

It took me forever to make the Kn√∂del plus the side dish of pumpkin in a garlicky-tomato sauce (I suspect with practice it will be quicker), but they didn’t fall apart and ended up looking as they were supposed to. They’re pretty filling, and I couldn’t manage to finish all of mine, so Jan ate the last one. I’m taking that as a compliment ūüėÄ

The finished product.
The finished product.

Cooking in the Secret Garden with Gordon Ramsay

I’m sure I’ve asked this question before but… where on Earth do Amazon get their recommendations from? I admity they’re usually pretty good at predicting what I’ll like, and in this particular case they may be right again but I’m totally confused about their reasoning.
Amazon UK says I should buy “Gordon Ramsay’s Healthy Appetite”. Fair enough. I’ve bought cook books from Amazon before, it’s not entirely out of the question that I might want one written by Gordon Ramsay. Maybe I’ll even buy it. But… underneath the recommendation there’s always a little sentence telling you why they think you might like it. Under Gordon Ramsay I spotted the words “Recommended because you rated The Secret Garden and more.” What? Why? What on Earth does a recipe book by a TV chef have to do with a children’s book about an orphaned girl who finds her way into a locked garden? As far as I can remember there’s no cooking in The Secret Garden and I’m fairly sure there are no orphans in the Gordon Ramsay book (although I suppose there may be gardens… or at least stuff that comes from the garden), so how does the fact that I enjoyed The Secret Garden lead Amazon to believe that I might want to buy a cook book? The mind boggles, or at least mine does.

I’m off to bed now. I know it’s not even 11 o’clock yet but the alternative would be falling asleep across the keyboard, which would be much less comfortable and leave me with key shaped imprints all over my face… not quite my preferred look for work.