I’ve received notification from WordPress that I have an anniversary. I’m blogging for one year now. Actually I thought I would have started this blog longer ago, but… what do I know. It proves that my apperception of time isn’t correct. And that it is nice to have such a reminder (or service).
To celebrate the anniversary (which I stopped in real life, but you know, it is not the same on the internet) I write about being schwäbisch. An idea I’m carrying with me for quite a while. You see I am schwäbisch. I looked up schwäbisch in the dictionary and they proposed Swabian but I don’t like that. I stay with schwäbisch despite I’m writing in English. That already describes one character of being schwäbisch – we are stubborn. Others say we are also stingy with spending money. Those malicious tongues claim we are the german pendant to the Scots. As far as I know I meet only ones a real Scotsman closer, an opera singer, and I couldn’t find him very miserly, but… it was just one. So, I can’t speak for the Scots but a Schwabe is not miserly, he is economizing. He loves to spend money but he don’t want to waste it. He doesn’t just by any car, he is saving for the big one – and he prefers Mercedes or Audi. He is looking for the single house in good schwäbisch neighbourhood to have. Therefore he feels up to keeping his Euros together until he can afford a hell of a house, with a hell of a kitchen, a hell of a bathroom and a Doppelgarage (double garage). In schwäbisch that way of life is labeled as schaffe, schaffe, Häusle baue.
I didn’t took on all schwäbisch habits and attitudes but the longer I’m living somewhere else the more I discover that there is quite more schwäbisch about me that I would admit. I developed a typical love-hate-realtionship on being schwäbisch. One I can tell for sure, I don’t have the schwäbisch single-house-big-car-owning-mentality, and for sure I am not attracted to the obsession of cleaning and keeping everything in proper order which is very popular among schwäbisch people. I totally failed there. We are known in the rest of Germany for an accomplishment called Kehrwoche. This means that, if you live in an appartement building, the inhabitants of one floor have to clean the corridor in turns, for example. Or, if you live in a single house, you have to sweep the sideways on Saturdays. Yes, I mean it. That is still common in small towns and villages. They can not force you to do so, but just wait and see how they will look at you…
I’m exaggerating… schwäbisch guys can be very warm-hearted. They like to eat and to drink and to invite people to eat and drink with them. Which brings me to one schwäbisch feature I’ve been in for sure. The schwäbisch cuisine. I don’t cook, so I can’t provide you with recipes. And maybe it’s better this way because nearly everybody who is schwäbisch is convinced that no on else besides themselves can make a schwäbisch dish properly. The main schwäbisch side dish is a good example therefore. Yes, let’s talk about Spätzle. The Bavarians claim also to have Spätzle, but schwäbische Spätzle are the only real Spätzle.
A schwäbisch person never ever orders Spätzle in a restaurant because they can’t be good. Spätzle have to be homemade. Everybody knows that his mother makes the best Spätzle – and it is true, my mother’s Spätzle are the best. Spätzle are most liked as side dish to Zwiebelrostbraten or Sauerbraten. Me, I prefer another classic of schwäbisch cuisine, Linsen mit Spätzle/Lentil soup with spätzle.
My other favourites of schwäbisch cooking are Schupfnudeln mit Apfelbrei/Schupfnudeln with apple mash
Grüne Knöpf/dumplings made of potatoes, parsley and sausage
Kartoffelsuppe mit Apfelküchle/Potato soup with apple fritters
The last dish is my absolute favourite which I never ever manage to do myself. The problem is not the potato soup but to get the right texture of the dough so it sticks with the apples and doesn’t separate when being fried. Because I prevent to cook I closed the chapter of making apple fritters after a few failed attempts.
Edit: Doing research for this post (means googling the hell out of my computer) I found this website with recipes from a german grandma. Maybe that’s a start for those of you who are interested in cooking.
Edit II: Just changed the title of this post, because I think it is going to be my longest post ever.
Some have the view that schwäbisch guys have a lack of humour and they especially miss the capability to laugh at themselves, but I don’t share that opinion. The fact that most of us like the myth of Die 7 Schwaben, although we’ve been described as lethargic, brainless village folk and the existence of traditional songs like Das Lied der Schwaben showing the opposite.
Das Lied der Schwaben
Kennst Du das Land, wo keiner lacht,
wo man aus Weizen Spätzle macht,
wo jeder zweite Fritzle heißt,
wo man noch über Balken scheißt,
wo jede Bank ein Bänkle ist,
und jeder Zug ein Zügle,
wo man den Zwiebelkuchen frisst,
und Moscht sauft aus dem Krügle,
wo “daube Sau”, “Leck mich am Arsch”,
in keinem Satz darf fehlen,
wo sich die Menschen pausenlos
mit ihrer Arbeit quälen,
wo jeder auf sein Häusle spart,
hat er auch nichts zu kauen,
und wenn er vierzig, fünfzig ist,
dann fängt er an zu bauen.
Doch wenn er endlich fertig ist,
schnappt ihm das Arschloch zu!
O Schwabenland, gelobtes Land,
wie wunderbar bist du!
And as an end of post sweet: The expression Leck mich im Arsch (I’m not going to translate it) is refered to as Der schwäbische Gruß (schwäbisch greeting) – although I would not recommend its use. J. W. v. Goethe gave it a literary monument in his play Götz von Berlichingen and W. A. Mozart even used it for a canon.