Friday, July 30, 2010


I attended a small Christian school in Kansas City for a year after high school, to earn my Certificate of Worship Ministry. For the last three months, I lived with a wonderful German lady named Esther.
I am so glad God let us spend those three months together. I was very apprehensive about taking on a roommate that I'd never met, but I needed someone to share the rent, and she needed a place to live so she could attend the school. Esther was older than me - my parents' age, but I enjoyed every moment that we were roommates. She really was a great example of walking with and trusting the Lord - she still is! Nearly 10 years later, we still keep in contact by email.
The reason I am writing about her today is that not only was she a gracious, classy lady.... She was also an amazing cook! I definitely didn't have a gourmet kitchen - I knew I was only going to be living on my own for 9 months, and so the kitchen was furnished as such. But nearly every evening she had some savory dish that she insisted on sharing with me. I tried to help, but given that they were her recipes from memory, and she didn't know English names for most of the ingredients, mostly I just sat back and let her go to work. I tried to get her to let me supply food if she was going to be cooking for me, but even that was difficult.
As an aside, I now realize why she said the things about the selection at the grocery stores in America. After visiting a small-town grocer in Germany when I visited her and seeing the huge, fresh selection.... It really is pretty pathetic what we have here.
So in honor of my dear German friend, I am posting two of her dishes that my extended family always enjoyed. And we call them by her name. I made the first one for lunch today, which is what got me thinking about her.
And Esther.... In case you are reading - I hope I have done these recipes justice, and haven't "Americanized" them too much. There are several other recipes you made for me that are in my recipe box. Even friends have recipes with your name on them

Esther's Pancakes
Mix up batter for your favorite pancake recipe (but leave out the sugar if it calls for it). To it, add finely chopped green onions (1/2 to 1 bunch) and about a cup of shredded Swiss cheese. Grease a skillet well, and pour batter into desired size. Cook until lightly browned on each side. (Note: because of the cheese melting, it will look like the batter isn't cooked all the way through.) Re-grease the skillet between every batch you pour.
An even easier version of this that I discovered (because these things are always on hand at our house): use 1/4 c dried green onion flakes and 1 c of colby-jack cheese.
These are great as a light meal, or as a side to a meat and veggie (think of them like a biscuit). When we eat them as a meal, my family (as in my parents and siblings, not my husband) eat them with cream cheese on them!

Esther's Chicken
Grease a casserole dish and layer vegetables of choice in the bottom (potatoes, onions, carrots, peppers, zucchini, etc). Sprinkle generously with salt, pepper, and paprika. Arrange chicken on top (can use "bone-in" chicken or just breast pieces). Sprinkle again with salt, pepper, and paprika. Cover and bake for 1 hour at 350, or until chicken is cooked through.

These are super-simple. I hope you get a chance to enjoy them yourselves!

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