Day 132: Losing enthusiasm, one schnitzel at a time

May 12, 2007

Some days doing this project is really hard work. Most days we just get on with it, pretty much cooking on automatic pilot. Other days, I’d rather chew on my own foot than go to the kitchen and see what Rachael Ray has in store for us. Sometimes, despite the fact that this venture is entirely self-imposed, and that giving up now would only really change things for us, it’s just a bit overwhelming. This thought of cooking and eating schnitzels for dinner tonight sent me over the edge into a monstrous grump, complete with muttering and cursing and general horribleness. I am a treat to live with, no really. It’s not even that schnitzels are the worst thing that we’ve had to cook, it just really annoyed me that we are literally having the exact same meal tonight and tomorrow. Tomorrow we get to make a bacon and pickle gravy to go with the schnitzel and cabbage, today we were gravy free, with a lemon wedge on the side. When does gravy become a whole new meal? That’s like saying tonight we’re having pasta with pesto, and tomorrow we’ll add cheese on top, ta da! It’s a whole new recipe. And the names are so stupid, tonight at least the meal is called Chicken, Veal, or Pork Schnitzel with Red Caraway Cabbage, tomorrow it’s called Fa-schizzel My Schnitzel: Cutlets with the Works! Breaded Meat with Mushroom and Onion Gravy, Bacon and Cornichons. That title is disproportionately annoying. It shouldn’t matter, at least once a month we eat “stoup”, we should be past caring by now.

Anyway, so yes we made pork schnitzel with red cabbage. And I burnt my finger on the pan. And did I mention that I’m grumpy? The pork chops we had were super thick so L cut them down to size and pounded them with a variety of implements and condiments. We floured, egged and bread-crumbed the pork, then fried it in a little oil. The cabbage dish consisted of fried red onion, green apple, red cabbage and caraway seeds. Red wine vinegar, brown sugar and Worcestershire sauce were added to the pot, and the whole lot was left to cook for a while.

L enjoyed this meal, he thought it was a little taste of back home. Whilst this would not be something that he would necessarily have cooked while living in Denmark, it is very much the stuff of which nostalgia is made; Grandmother food. Also it’s the sort of food that you should really eat with a beer. I don’t have that same Scandic/ Germanic sense of comfort-food; my European tastes are all of the bacon sarnie/ cheese on toast variety of British cuisine. I thought this food was ok. The schnitzel seemed a little too salty, although it was very tender and succulent. The nutmeg added to the breadcrumbs provided an interesting note. The cabbage was more edible than I imagined, but just not really my cup of tea. L makes a similar red cabbage dish as part of Danish Christmas dinner (yes we have two Christmas dinners most years; this year we’ll probably be having stoup two days in a row, with melted cheese on the second day), but his version is much tangier. The vinegar and sugar elements are much stronger, so the cabbage is much more sweet and sour. This recipe was a little bland in comparison.

Overall, we have a difference of opinion on this one. Maybe having the exact same meal tomorrow but with the addition of gravy will swoop me over to the schnitzel side. At the very least I’ll try and be in a better mood- after all, when else in life am I going to get the chance to cook schnitzel two days in a row? Let’s look on the bright side. But, if you like this sort of food, L says it’s pretty good. Well maybe not good as in good quality, but good as in tasty and quick.

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  • Reply Joannie May 13, 2007 at 7:15 am

    Did you double this recipe to cut the cooking for tomorrow? Are the recipes really exactly the same except for gravy? That’s ridiculous. And if they are the same, I agree with you about the silly name for tomorrow’s dish.

  • Reply Helen | One Year Project May 13, 2007 at 1:53 pm

    We should have cooked double yesterday, but didn’t, although the cabbage is chopped in advance, saving us literally minutes tonight. And it really is exactly the same recipe, but with gravy. Inventive stuff.

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