Daily Prompt: In the Lurch

Bernese rösti - with lardons

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.

Cleaning kitchen

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.

Daily Prompt: In the Lurch

17 thoughts on “Daily Prompt: In the Lurch

  1. Well while they say that necessity is the mother of all invention, I suggest you make a list of all the different jobs you used the machine for. Whatever the food or need. Then list the alternative ways of doing it or preparing the food. Then take the list and throw it away. Then open the sales catalogs or go online, find a machine(s) you like, Buy them and enjoy. A great lady friend of mine says want has nothing to do with need. SHe would invite me shopping, and I would reply I don’t really need anything. She thought that answer silly. Be well, enjoy the new kitchen devices. Hugs

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    • The thing is I don’t really need the machine as I do not use it for life’s necessities, just out of comfort. Many years ago when we were young and lovely (well young) Mr. Swiss worked for a Swiss baking machine company and of course he had connections. He got the Magimix from a french company at a very reasonable price. When the first one died (cannot remember when, why or how) we bought a scond machine and this is the one that has now given up the ghost. Quite honestly speaking we do not really need it. I can do Rosti by hand and the other stuff was just a side dish. I probably spent more time on washing the machine up after I used it, so we have decided that at the ages of 70 and 78 we can live without the machine. I began the list and discovered it was not a list, but just a few small notes.

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    • 🙂 This really gave me a chuckle. Before my dad passed away I was in London every year to see him and stayed with my friend. She showed me proudly that you can now buy frozen Rösti in the supermarket in London, although mini Röstis. I make my own. A real genuine Rösti is actually made with potatoes boiled in their skins a day before you eat the Rösti. It was the ingredient of Swiss farm labourers breakfast in the good old days. My Rösti is a so-called raw Rösti, and I have always made it myself. Somehow I don’t think I could persuade my 100% Swiss husband (original birthright in Emmental) to eat a Rösti out of the freezer.

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  2. Ah, Your food processor died. I had a really expensive one that died a year or two (?) ago, but I got a new one, MUCH cheaper and it works rather better than the earlier one. It’s just a lot noisier. I don’t use it very much, though. I tend to do it by hand. A little blood of the cook makes a magical sauce!

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    • Food processor – yes, there are words I really do not know in the english language, especially if they are to do with modern objects. We have decided I really do not need one, it is not a life important necessity. Being a family of vampires, we had no problem with my hand made Rösti.

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  3. While your Magimix rendered its soul I had the same experience with our Swiss (German really) tumble drier. It only reached the age of 12 years but since we bought it in CH and had it rehoused to France (and since it’s an expensive top model which is literally unknown in F), I don’t think we stand much of a chance to have it repaired here. SO annoying and of course, it’s always in the wrong moment this happens. I miss the onions in your Röschti…. forgotten, or are you allergic? And my Röschti is mostly made from ‘Gschwellti’, boiled spuds, usually the second day – but I love it dearly also from fresh raw potatos.

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    • I once had a tumble drier, but decided it ate too much electricity and I did not need it, so I no longer have one. I can understand if you have a lot of linen to wash, which you probably do with your business, it has its purpose, but not for a 2-3 person household like ours.
      As far as the Rösti is concerned, I know that the original waschechte Röshti is made from geschwellti from the day before, but my Röschtis are usually more spontaneous so I do them with raw potatotes and we like them. As far as the onions are concerned I asked Mr. Swiss and he said he had never heard of onion in a Rösti. I love onions, but never thought of putting them in a Rösti, although I have seen Rösti served with a sprinkling of fried onion on top. Perhaps it might be something more cooked in the Ostschwyz. We like the Bärnerröschti mit Späck würfeli.

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