Friday, February 25, 2011


The fact is that making traditional Kartoffelklösse by hand is "hard work." When I found out that there was a Kartoffelklösse museum in Germany (YouTube, I soon realized that I wasn't alone, or was I? While watching the video I saw "the machine," you know, the one, the "Thüringer Kloßpresse," that squeezes all of the water from the grated potato pulp.  I just had to tell my sister's, brother, children, aunt, cousin... everybody. What was I expecting? 
My sister was the first to respond with "it’s prehistoric... you still need muscles to turn that crank….and then clean all that potato residue out of the cotton cloth. Some things are better left in museums." People today really prefer to have lighter fare, they don’t do hard manual labor like the old Germans did. I don’t see Grandma’s children's, children's, children (great grand kids) making them." 
Actually, a couple of years ago, I invited one of my sisters over to watch my two daughters make Kartoffelklösse. Everybody had a job to do. My wife made the pork roast and gravy, my sister opened the wine as she managed the job. My daughters made the Kartoffelklösse, and I took pictures and video. Even with the professional juicer doing what use to be manual labor, it is still a big project ,and creates a lot of dirty dishes. So how do I pass on these traditions? By making more Kartoffelklösse! That's how.

If you've ever watched "Fiddler on the Roof" there is a song about "Tradition."  The lyrics go like this:

"Who, day and night, must scramble for a living,
Feed a wife and children, say his daily prayers?
And who has the right, as master of the house,
To have the final word at home?
The Papa, the Papa! Tradition.
The Papa, the Papa! Tradition."

"And how do we keep our balance? That I can tell you in one word: Tradition!" Fiddler on the Roof. 

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