Nanny A’s Story: “I Ate Well on that Farm”
After a few months off, I’m going to start telling bits and pieces of Nanny Antoinette’s story again. Today is just a short little tidbit:
Nanny spent some time during the war doing forced labour on farms in Germany. Many German farmers who were away at war were given prisoners from the occupied territories as slaves to help work their farms (Nanny had disguised herself as a Russian prisoner and hopped on the train passing through her town). Over the course of the war, Nanny lived and worked on two such farms.
I posted the above picture last week. It’s Nanny working away on the farm. I asked her why she was smiling. She told me she always kept a smile on her face no matter how much pain she was in because she didn’t want to let people to know how she was feeling. She also thinks people liked her because she smiled – wise words in my opinion, and perhaps part of the mystery of her survival.
On one of the two farms, Nanny told me that she “ate well” because every morning they would have Milchesuppe. She described it as fresh whole milk (that she had milked from her bovine roommates that morning), cereal (not sure what kind) and sugar. I did a search and found this recipe for Milchesuppe. It sounds similar to what she ate during that time, though she did tell me that eggs were precious and she would often steal those, so I don’t imagine they were part of the labourers’ breakfasts. This is probably the recipe from a more prosperous time.
Milchsuppe – milk soup
1 liter (36 fl oz.) Milk, 4 Eggs, 150 grams (5 ½ oz.) Flour,
1 Leaf of Vanilla or 1 pack of Vanilla-Extract, Salt.
Mix flour (except for 2 tbsp.), eggs, and a little milk together, and knead a dough.
Take 2 tbsp. flour and stir it in a cup of cold milk. For the rest of the milk, stir in some salt and the Vanilla, and bring it to a slow boil. Then take the milk-flour mixture and stir it into to the slow boiling milk. Let it cook for a few minutes on low heat. Next, take a teaspoon, form spoon size dumplings from the dough, and put it in the slow cooking milk. Turn off the milk. Let it sit there for about 10 more minutes. Serve this soup with sugar and cinnamon.