Like a lucky Dream
by
Jochen Kern

Germany 1968

 

THE GERMAN CHAPTER

 

1968 - I was in Norderney, an island in the North Sea and stationed at the Hotel Kaiserhof. Four hundred beds, a large kitchen brigade but without water supply in the kitchen. Water had to be carried daily from the cellar by a commis.

My position as Commis de Cuisine was similar to a kitchen hand or in Kaiserhof, a water carrying donkey. I was 18 years old, making 20 Deutsch Marks and felt rich! Alone and also away from my family and fre—ee!

Four months later, there was no salary because the owner was suffering from bankruptcy.

There was also no bed for me because my friend who shared the room with me had found a girlfriend (due to his nightly exercise) and I only got a locked door with an envelope under the door mat filled with a 5 Mark bill for a beer drinking session and a reminder - "Don’t come back! See you tomorrow." 5 Mark was about 8 beers or 2 hours in bar.

For the rest of the night and every night, I was sleeping in a laundry trolley covered with dirty tablecloths, result of the days’ restaurant business. This gave me dreams; projecting great expectations of my job and also about starting a fresh and brand-new future...till the laundry personnel trolleyed me out at five in the morning.

I tried to resign but the owner had other things in mind. We were not permitted to leave this island without the identity card which he kept and controlled.

After a small hassle in his office, I accidentally touched his painful arm. He was suffering from deep and severe cuts, as a result of breaking into his wife’s apartment through a glass window. Upon returning from the hospital with stitches all over his arm, he encountered another mishap. This time, he had released a cigarette puff into the toilet bowl causing a huge explosion - someone had apparently disposed fuel in the wrong place! By then, the pain from the second incident and the daily hospital visits because of the "burned bum" showed on his face. He then finally decided to release me from this unbelievable or "negative outstanding" hospitality job. Kaiserhof Hotel, Norderney, was finished...for me.

I was lucky that I didn’t have to survive the last 3 months of the season there....

My new inventory among other things consisted of a 1.35 Deutsch Mark collected from the waiter’s tip box....

 

The local Recipe

HOW TO CUT THE FOOD COST / LABS KAUS

BLEND PICKLED BEEF, BOILED ONION, BOILED BEETROOTS AND BOILED POTATOES. AFTER MINCING, SEASON WITH SALT, PEPPER, NUTMEG AND FRESH PARSLEY TO MAKE A FINE RED-COLOURED PUREE. TOP UP WITH FRIED EGG AND SERVE WITH A COLD GARNISH FROM ROLLMOPS (PICKLED HERRING ROLLS), PICKLED GHERKINS AND PICKLED BEETROOTS.

 

HANGOVER GONE AFTER THIS

NORDERNEYER KRABBEN BROT

Island Shrimp Sandwich

MR. UDEN, THE 80-YEAR-OLD KAISERHOF HOUSEMASTER’S RECIPE.

THE NORDERNEYER SHRIMP SANDWICH. SEASON FRESH NORTH SEA SHRIMP WITH A LITTLE SALT, THEN SAUTE IN BUTTER WITH CHOPPED ONIONS. ADD ON BEATEN EGG AND FRY ONE SIDE BY PULLING THE EGG FROM THE SIDE OF PAN WITH A WOODEN SPATULA TO THE CENTER. FRY UNTIL THE EGG IS MEDIUM-COOKED. PLACE ON TOASTED AND BUTTERED BROWN BREAD, AND GARNISH WITH FRESH PARSLEY AND TOMATO SLICES.

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