Did you know that last week was the European Week for Waste Reduction? I learned about it when I was randomly surfing around the net the other week and stumbled upon an article on the ‘Zero Waste Lifestyle’. Meanwhile, I have done a bit of binge reading on the topic, and I am HOOKED on the idea of reducing the amount of waste I produce to an absolute minimum. So much so that I want to share a few thoughts on it with you today, along with this homey turkey fricassee, with tender and juicy turkey meat, sweet peas, crunchy leeks and a lusciously creamy and lemony dill-sauce. How they go together? My delicious lunch for two is entirely made of leftover bits and pieces I found on a little fridge forage – a taste of zero waste.
I cannot write too much about this dish before actually giving you the recipe, since you have to make this rather quickly. Firstly, because it is utterly delicious, and secondly, because this dish depends on all its components being at the height of their existence: in absolute high season. And let me tell you: winter is coming (I was woken up by crows shouting this morning – no kidding). At least these last days here in southern Germany: I have started to put on a jacket again and I am wearing thick woolen socks as I’m writing this. So: Get to your nearest farmer’s market, harvest everything you need, and treat yourself to this plate of summer. Continue reading
After just over two weeks of the laziest and most relaxing Mediterranean summer holiday, with a total abstinence from every form of electronic communication and digital devices, I do feel a bit out of practice as I sit down at the little table on our balcony to share some memories (and a recipe) of my summer vacation with you, an old (ancient!) laptop before me (when have I last used this thing?!), a glass of chilled blanc de noir next to it, and the last hours of sunlight (and the last 40% of battery) ticking away. Continue reading
I am living the absolute Einstein experience these days. I don’t know about you, but each time my annual summer holiday draws near, the relativity of time becomes oh so apparent to me: at the office, time seems to go by both ultra-slowly (what? five more days?!) and ultra fast simultaneously (what? so much left to do?!). In-between freak outs and trying to retain composure, there wasn’t much time for any cooking or fancy eating these last weeks (except for the wonderful cook-out at Summer of Supper two weeks ago), let alone coming up with a blog-post from scratch. So before I leave you for my well-deserved and much needed summer vacation, I took to the “Picture Pantry” of food photos I have taken ages ago, way before I started writing brag&butter, and went foraging for something I could maybe add to some quick writing and turn into a last post before I take off for my vacation. Hey! Nothing bad about that: haven’t we all turned pantry staples and preserves into delectable dinners? There you are. Scrolling through some really bad and some rather good photos of some well-remembered and some long forgotten suppers with friends, I discovered a gem – both because the photos looked decent and it’s a perfect recipe for these summer days: my Zucchini & Feta Yufka is simple, rapid and oh so picknickable. Continue reading
Whenever someone asks me what my ‘most favorite dish in the world’ is, I’m really just baffled by this question. How could anyone have just one favorite dish?! How can you compare, say, sticky Korean ribs, a moist and glistening risotto milanese and braised lentils? Exactly. I just love eating. In general. Which means I basically love every food, cuisine, ingredient, style – as long as it’s well produced and prepared, tasty, and fits my cravings. And cravings (I am not telling you anything new here, I know) can take you to weird places. Such as the place where I am preparing a cold soup that is downright able to save the world (according to other people’s standards or wild imagination): it’s simple, quick, raw, vegan, gluten-free, dairy-free and – wait for it – really delicious at the same time. You wanna come to my weird place? Follow me!
Think of this as my version of a green smoothie. The best thing about it? It’s not an actual green smoothie. This salad will most probably not make you live considerably longer, cure any diseases or make you lose 6 pounds in two hours, I’m sorry. But, instead of being a more or less desirable pulpy concoction of fruit and leafy greens, it is an appealing and delicious assembly that celebrates the textures of spring vegetables and comes with a ton of flavor: creamy fava beans and tender green asparagus, tumbled with crunchy watercress and cool mint are tossed in a simple dressing of sharp young garlic and pungent nigella seed. It’s a joy to eat and look at, and to me, joy is what eating and food should be all about.
It’s been a while since I last shared something with you. Almost a month has passed, and in that time, so much has changed. In a good way, that is: the world has turned from grey to green, there are flowers and blooming trees everywhere, mild weather, whiffs of flowers and grass, open ice cream parlors, kissing couples, a slight tan on my face already. Although I’m not much of a spring person, I can’t but feel revived. Walking around the city and along the banks of the Rhine river, I keep hearing the first three movements of Vivaldi’s Four Seasons in my head (even without my iPod): the quick movements in a pronounced electro-pop-ish version, a kind of “Vanessa Mae and Emily Autumn wearing neon catsuits and playing their e-violins hanging from helicopters over Shanghai by night” interpretation (excuse my imagery). The slow movement in a solemn, almost sacral character, with hints of sadness laced through (gosh, I really am dramatic today). Springtime, in both its facets – happy and contemplative, vivacious yet still a bit drowsy – seems to be “on steroids” to me this year. Maybe that is why I don’t feel quite there yet with all the springy lightness. I’m allegro non molto this year. Continue reading
My trip to Hamburg last weekend has left me with many good memories, wanting to go back, and – an annoying cold. I clearly underestimated the wind up north. So as I lay in bed sick the last days and Alex was out and about most of the time, we were left with a rather frugal amount of fresh things in our kitchen today. And as in the (very catholic) region of Germany where I live, shops are closed on Sundays, we had to make something out of the almost nothing we had. To be exact, there were no more than six kind-of-fresh mushrooms at the bottom of our fridge. Although I feel a lot better today, I never feel like going out before I’m not completely back in shape. The first real trip I usually make is – back to the kitchen. I know that I am on a good track when I’m able and willing to go back to the stove again. And nothing says “back in the game” like a fridge forage and store cupboard stir-up.
Some people say everything tastes better with bacon. For others it’s chocolate. For me, everything tastes better with – well, okay, butter of course, but I’m trying to make a different point here – with company. Eating is a profoundly social activity and I am a very social eater. I hate eating alone, even if it is the tiniest snack (my snacks are never tiny, but anyway). Apart from the actual eating (which I love), I so much enjoy the talking, laughing, caring for each other, and spending time together, that sharing a meal is as well. However, every now and then, a solitary supper all by myself, cuddled up in bed with a bowl of spoonable goodness can be a true solitary pleasure. Continue reading