My name is Thien Laitenberger. I am 14 years old and I live in Co Leitrim.
In 2019, I started a YouTube channel called ‘Cut the Crap and Cook’.
In recent months, I have been hosting interviews with my favourite Irish food stars, such as JP McMahon and Darina Allen.
The one thing that really got me through the COVID-19 lockdown was my passion for cooking.
My interest in cooking started from around the age of nine. My first real cooking experience was at Renvyle House Hotel in Connemara. Sally and John McKenna were holding a cookery demonstration there.
I saw this as an excellent opportunity to learn and asked them if they needed assistance.
Within a few minutes, I was standing alongside Sally with my chef hat on. From this moment on, my passion for cooking was ignited.
Know the basics
I think that it is really important that children know the basics of cooking - skills as basic as finely chopping an onion or boiling an egg - and also know where food comes from.
Coming from a gardening background, I believe the best ingredients you can use are the ones that you get from your own garden! I am personally big into using organic ingredients as much as I can.
In this day and age of mobile phones, video games and technology, I think that my generation is losing touch with the outdoors and perhaps don’t know enough about how our food actually gets on our plates.
My aim is to show my generation how easy, fun and brilliant it is to cook for the whole family.
To try out interesting recipes and, most importantly, use ingredients from the richest larder I know - the land.
Cooking provides the freedom to do whatever you want, however you want, with immense creativity.
Here is a recipe on how to make traditional German potato salad. Potato salad is very popular in Germany and it is so delicious!
I remember making this many times with my Oma Iris, who lives in Germany, when I was just a child. This recipe has been passed through my family for many generations and now I am sharing it with you.
I recently uploaded a similar video on how to make German potato salad on my YouTube channel, if you would like to have a look.
If you have any questions regarding German potato salad, please feel free to send me an email to email@example.com.
Serves 4-6 people in most households
1.5kg waxy potatoes
300ml boiling water
3 tsp bouillon powder
5 tbsp sunflower oil
2 ½ tbsp white wine vinegar
1 small onion, very finely chopped
Salt & pepper
Freshly chopped parsley, to garnish
1 Place the potatoes in a large saucepan and fill with cold water. Place the saucepan on a medium heat and gently bring to the boil. It is really important that you keep the potato skins on while boiling the potatoes. If you leave the skins on, it will keep all of the lovely flavour and nutrients of the potato inside.
2 Once boiling, add some salt and allow them to boil for around 35 minutes or until tender. Make sure not to overcook the potatoes (cooking times may vary depending on the size of potatoes).
3 When the potatoes are cooked, drain and leave to cool until they are cool enough to handle. Then gently peel off the skins of the potatoes.
4 Coarsely grate/slice the potatoes and place in a large clean bowl. You do not want to have mashed potatoes, so make sure that you use the thickest part of your grater. Finely chop your onion and pour on to the potatoes with lots of salt and black pepper.
5 Place the bouillon powder into a measuring jug, pour in the boiling water and mix well with a fork. Pour in the oil and vinegar and mix well. It is always very important to taste the dressing to make it just how you like it!
6 Gradually pour the dressing into the potato mixture and gently mix using a spoon. Try not to over mix or the potatoes might turn into mash. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
7 It might look like there is too much dressing for the potatoes, but you don’t have to worry because it will all be absorbed by the potatoes. Leave to sit for at least an hour in a cold room or fridge to allow the dressing to be absorbed by the potatoes.
8 Sprinkle over the chopped parsley. Serve with absolutely anything or even just by itself.
YouTube: @Cut the Crap and Cook