Over the last 25 years that I´ve lived on this Earth, I´ve worked at a lot of different jobs. I babysat, sold Bratwursts at exhibitions, served wine, worked as a cashier, distributed flyer, chopped vegetables and cleaned the dishes at a restaurant and worked all night collecting empty glasses at parties. All of these jobs not only helped cash-wise but also taught me many life lessons.
- If you sell sausages for 10 hours, the only thing that helps to get rid of the stench of fat and grease is taking a 3 hour long shower or bath. Otherwise you will keep smelling like a sausage yourself for the next couple of days.
- If I don’t get enough sleep for three days in a row, I can´t guarantee to behave.
- If you concealer can´t fight the shadows under your eyes anymore, just add more lipstick.
- Little kids will do whatever they think is fun. If they want to run in circles for two hours, that´s what they are going to do.
- Stress is better than boredom. Especially if you are sitting a cash register all day.
- Working while other people are celebrating is no fun at all
- It is eye opening though, especially in regards in how better not to behave while drunk.
- When there is a full moon, weird things will happen at a restaurant. Things go wrong, people are weird, basically it´s one big mess.
- Never go empty handed and always keep you working station clean.
- If making Flammkuchen, don’t leave out the edges when spreading the sour cream.
I learned the last to lessons at my all-time favorite job. I was 16 and working in a restaurant that our friends own. I was basically the chefs personal assistant, which included all sorts of tasks from cleaning the dishes, chopping vegetables, arranging the plates, making the Flammkuchen and most importantly tasting everything I could get my hands on. The tasting part was one of the main reasons why I loved the job so much, the other reasons were that I learned a lot about cooking and working in gastronomy and also because the team was great.
Whenever somebody ordered Flammkuchen it was my task to prepare it. Flammkuchen is kind of a like a pizza or a flatbread but with a very thin crust and without the cheese. It originated in Alsace and is usually topped with sour cream, onions and bacon. There are a bunch of varieties to make, I personally love mine with tomatoes, onions and spinach. You can make Flammkuchen with a yeast-dough but I made this one without it because I prefer the crust to be extremely thin and crunchy. Then I went ahead and topped it with a bunch of stuff I like – butternut squash, goat cheese and arugula.
Makes two Flammkuchen:
250 g all-purpose or light spelt flour
125 g water
A pinch of salt
2 tbsp. olive oil
400 g butternut squash
100 g sour cream
A handful of arugula
50 g goat cheese
Sunflower- or pumpkin seeds for topping
1) Preheat the oven to 200°C. Mix flour, water, salt and 1 tbsp. of oil and knead until you have a firm dough. Divide in half and roll out on a floured surface until you have two very thin doughs. Spread sour cream on top
2) Wash arugula. Peel butternut squash and cut into small slices. Spread on top of the dough. Drizzle some olive oil over the Flammkuchen and season with salt, pepper and rosemary. Bake the Flammkuchen for 15-20 minutes until the edges are brown and crispy and the squash soft. Take out and top with arugula, goat cheese and the seeds.