This is a genuine Swiss Rösti, bernese style. It is made with raw potatoes which are grated in a machine into strips and afterwards fried in a pan together with chopped bacon pieces which transforms the normal potato Rösti into a Bernese Rösti. There are many variations to a Rösti, but this is how family Angloswiss likes to eat it – fried with butter although the original farmers dish would be with pork fat (everyone to their own taste).
So it came to past last week that Rösti was on my menu plan for lunch. I peeled the raw potatoes and organised my Magimix (a French super kitchen machine with various chopping knives) to quickly slice the potato into the appropriate size, a three minute job. It was then that it happened. One potato was sliced but the second potato was ignored. My machine had left me in the lurch.
Here the machine in question can be seen at the front middle of the photo. After 20 years of faithful service it refused. There were no sparks or explosions, it was silent. No lights were showing on the control panel, it was dead, gone to the happy chopping grounds of the kitchen machines. Of course we checked the fuse box, but all fuses were operating perfectly. The machine had committed suicide in the midst of chopping a potato. Dinner was to be served in half an hour, so without a further thought I pulled out a manual scraper and did the remainder by hand. There was no time to waste, although Mr. Swiss was still thinking it over. We women are action people, in emergencies such as these we do not think but act. Three broken finger nails and a scraped bleeding finger later, the potatoes were all grated – by hand and in the frying pan. The red blood stains eventually disappeared into the rösti.
We spoke a few words of regret (profanities) over the departed machine which had bravely done its work since almost 20 years, but we all have to meet our destiny one day. The machine, together with its body parts, was placed in the cellar to wait for its final journey to the burial department of the local supermarket.
I shed a few internal tears over this machine, cursing it for leaving me in the lurch at a most awkward time. It was clear to me that all future rösti would be prepared by hand. My special stuffing for a chicken would also now be out of reach, as I would chop the bread and herbs into a fine mixture in this machine. As I prepared the chopped carrots and celeriac for my spaghetti bolognese sauce a day later, I was again reminded of the demise of my kitchen machine. Mr. Swiss found that there was no point in replacing it for the few items that I used it for. Of course he was right, although I do not remember when he cooked a rösti or chopped vegetable for meat, not to mention a stuffed chicken.
RIP Magimix, made in France, never to return.