Annabell, the beautifully waxy and ultimately flavoursome potatoes which be brought back from Neustadt in September are now officially gone. I just steamed the remainder for one last dish of Bratkartoffeln tonight, then it’ll be back to Elfe or Charlotte varieties. These aren’t bad, but they aren’t good either. They have the right consistency, but are lacking in the deep yellow colour, and in the rich flavour.
Hard times ahead.
(Picture shows Riesling grapes (I think). I didn’t have a nice picture of Annabell or a potato field, but at least the photos is taken in the right area.)
Here’s a nice view on our second 2014 batch of rosehip jam, made from 2.7 kg or rosehip marc, made from 4.5 kg of rose hips. We foraged for the rose hips in and around the local Bunny Park and connected meadows around the Grand Union canal and the river Brent, paying the ultimate sacrifice in blood and loss of skin.
There’s a blood price to pay collecting them, and there’s another price to pay in preparing the jam, as the process isn’t exactly straight-forward. Rewarding though; we love the fruity silky jam on bread or toast, as a vanilla ice-cream mix-in, or as freshly churned rose hip ice cream.
Click here for the recipe: http://food.gauweiler.net/index.php/recipes/34-rosehip-jam
The garden has been very productive this year. We have many, many more raspberries, tomatoes, peas and beans than every before, plus all the herbs, several batches of leaf lettuce three mini-pomegranates and five olives. Only the courgettes were better in previous years.
We enjoyed some of the runner beans when they were green, young and tender. A good amount of those is still in the freezer. I harvested approximately 1/4 of the remaining beans today, after deciding to let them grow into real beans. The girlish colour-scheme aside they look marvellous, don’t they?
We also made Blackberry jam, Mango jam (with late Indian mangoes) and two batches of yummy Tomato Jam.
Not bad for a tiny suburban garden, methinks.
There’s no Golden Mango Season. Not this year, not where we live. In previous years, and for a few weeks only, the streets of London’s suburbia are lined with piles of boxes of the most delicious Golden Mango from countries like India, Pakistan, Afghanistan and Bangladesh.
I asked one of our local Afghani shopkeepers where the mangos were this year. He wasn’t sure but thought he heard rumours about bacteria or fungal infections preventing import into the European Union.
Even Google knows little, but I found this intersting commentary by Tahmima Anam in the New York Times, which sheds light on a number of things in relation to Golden Mangos, and their shortage. Apparently, the Golden Mangoes are rotting on the trucks and in the fields away after having been found sprayed with formalin, a strong solution of formaldehyde. According Wikipedia, the Bangladesh government issued a formalin control law in 2014.
Not sure how this applies to the mangoes of Pakistan and Afghanistan, but at least it explains the absence of Golden Mango from our streets to some extend. Maybe the Pakistani and Afghani are too busy fighting over beliefs or running for their lives.
Turns out that shipments of Indian mangoes (and other produce) are banned from import into Europe after fruit fly infection has been discovered.
Kippers ‘R’ Us today, with this lovely new Kippers Salad. A base from young potatoes, radishes and asparagus in a rouille dressing with boiled quail eggs and smoked oily fish. We used Kippers (Scottish smoked herring), but smoked Mackerel or similar smoked oily fish would also work.
The full recipe is here: Kippers Salad. Check it out.
Over 1400g of broad beans, after shelling. Pretty good for a tiny area, less than one meter square.
I’m mighty pleased with this harvest, especially after finishing removing each bean’s outer skin.
We enjoyed a summer vegetable garden soup with crispy grilled belly of pork yesterday.
Happy Christmas and happy holidays to everyone!
Curious readers may click here for a PDF version of our 2013 Christmas Menu. We find it funny that Nigel recommends a fish and seafood Christmas in this past Sunday’s Observer, but I assure you that our decision was taken much earlier.
You find recipes for most parts of this meal on our new food site (food.gauweiler.net). The scallops, the mackerel tarte, the parfaits.
Turns out there is only so much time in a day, so this blog is falling wayside a little. Not abandoned just yet, it’s still twitching now and then. Just in case anyone has been wondering what we’ve been up to in the world of vanity digital self-publishing, you might want to check out food.gauweiler.net, a new site of our favourite food, focussed on recipes and the missus’ related photos.
Two buckets full of grapes and a considerable mess later, I am reporting a good harvest and a net result of 3.5 litres of our very own grape juice cordial, 2013 W7 vintage.
Turns out to be delicious, and prompted us for a bit of carpentry work, expanding the shelving in the larder (aka the dressing room, aka the box room).
This week, I’ve been mostly eating squid which, I think, are really cuttlefish, also known as Calamari in Italy or, as it happens in our case, Kalamari in Croatia. We didn’t really plan to eat Kalamari every day, and some of our holiday party ate other fish or even meat dishes at times. However, all in all, I think the party ate Kalamari for supper in at least 75% of all cases.
First, it’s tradition in the family, and something that restores childhood memories.
Second, fresh grilled cuttlefish, served with plenty of garlic and a little parsley, is irresistibly delicious.
Third, when you think a change would be appropriate and one shouldn’t eat grilled Kalamari again, there’s always the fried variety (Kalamari fritti).
And finally, after having eaten fried kalamari on one day, there’s always the grilled variety for the following day…
This week, I’ve been mostly eating a couple of lunch-time quickies:
Thai-style fish cakes, juicy and hot, as a lunch quickie, made from left-over fish from the previous day.
A variety of curries, dosa and kufi ice cream at the London Mela 2014. Super-delicious.
Tomato Chutney Tart on puff pastry. Inspired by John Torode’s Tomato Tart, but made as a lunch-time quickie in an even quicker – an slightly simplified – version.
Fresh sourdough bread with a slow-baked, thyme-infused juicy piece of ham.
These past two weeks, I’ve been mostly eating a diversity:
Genuine white asparagus with pancakes,
Boeuf Bourgignon with steamed potatoes.
A good old steak with salad, rouille, and buttered baby potatos,
Paella (with lovely fresh mussels), and Pudim Flan.
Pan-fried pork chops with sautéed potatoes, pillars of leak in a creamy sauce, followed by a pear Tarte Tatin,
and a large portion of German potato salad with pan-fried breaded filet of coley and fresh cucumber salad.