Thursday, October 13, 2011 (Angela) Jean

Many of the memories I have of my Pake (Pa-ka) involve him sitting in our kitchen peeling potatoes.

We were very fortunate to be able to have our grandparents around a almost every day, a lot. We would come home from school and they would be there. Beppe (Bep-ah) would be cleaning something, and Pake would be peeling potatoes.
He was an expert. His technique focused on ensuring as little waste as possible, so the peel was paper thin. He was also very quick. His goal was to peel each potato in a spiral motion without lifting the paring knife once. The result was one long peel that resembled a slinky. If you threw it over your shoulder, the shape of the peel on the floor was supposed to be the initial of the man you would marry. (Incidentally, mine always looked like an S.)

More times than not, the peeled potatoes would be boiled for stammpot, a traditional, hearty, one-pot, Dutch supper. When the seasons change from summer to fall, it's stammpot time! Here's my twist on my family's autumn comfort food.

Peel and chop onions, carrots, potatoes and sweet potatoes (sorry Pake, but you would not be impressed with my peeling technique.) I used this many.
Now, I should mention that using sweet potatoes is not traditional. I didn't grow up eating them, but over the last several years, I've developed a deep love! I find they add a lovely subtle flavour and a pretty colour too.
Toss the veggies and onions together in a large pot, cover with water, add salt, and boil until almost soft.
Add sauerkraut. I used the fermented kind, not the pickled kind. Add several smoked sausages on top, to steam.
When vegetables are completely soft, and sausages are fully steamed, remove the sausages and drain the cooking water. Add butter....about a stick or so. Add milk or cream....about a cup or so. Mash everything together.
You can make it as smooth or as chunky as you like. I like it a little chunky so you can get a taste of each vegetable in each bite. Slice the sausage and stir in with the mash.
This is a stick-to-your-ribs dinner that brings me back to my childhood. Make a big pot. The leftovers are amazing reheated in a casserole dish in the oven.

1 comment:

  1. My Japanese-Filipino-French Canadian husband would love this! I however, despite my German roots, have never been able to tolerate sauerkraut :-(

    Still, looks delicious!