DSC_0936Yesterday’s supper is today’s lunch: a home-made Reuben’s sandwich, complete with home-made salt beef, Gruyère cheese, mustard, sauerkraut and toasted rye bread. D.e.l.i.c.i.o.u.s.

We didn’t take photos this time, but this won’t be the last time I make salt beef.

I highly recommend Diana Henry’s Salt Sugar Smoke, which is both beautifully presented and offers very useful recipes – salt beef is one of them.

I always have my eyes peeled for a nice piece of brisket.

Bye Bye Annabell

DSC_0021Annabell, 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.)

A Rosy View

dsc_0217Here’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:


Kippers ’R’ Us

DSC_0439Kippers ‘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.

Harvest Time


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.


We Fish You a Very Merry Christmas

menuHappy 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 ( The scallops, the mackerel tarte, the parfaits.

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Harvest Season

DSC_0784Two 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).

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This Week, I’ve Been Mostly Eating…

DSC_0514This 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.

Why’s that?

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…


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This Week, I’ve Been Mostly Eating…

DSC_0692This 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.


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Restraining Orders

DSC_0079I’ve got this wonderful Turkish strained yoghurt. I buy it by the 1kg bucket for use in Muesli, or with fruit, for making fresh cheese, yoghurt ice creams, Tzatziki – it’s versatile, cheap, refreshing, and delicious.

When I started a batch of fresh cheese for our Saturday supper just not long ago, I noticed that the strained yoghurt collected quite a large amount of whey. I strained it again and wonder if thus now is officially known as restraint yoghurt?

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This Week, I’ve Been Mostly Eating…

DSC_0995These 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.

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This Week, I’ve Been Mostly Eating…

DSC_0355Pan-fried pork chops with sautéed potatoes and minted fresh peas,

Lazy Chicken with too much lemon juice, sage-infused fettuccine and home-grown courgettes,

Spaghetti Pesto with garden salad,

A roast chicken soup with poached egg and warm sourdough bread (picture),

And a meal for friends, starting with fresh Laugenbretzeln for a welcome, a feta mousse with garden salad for a starter, a pan-fried fillet of Sea Bass with crispy skin on top of a fresh artichoke and croutons stir-fry, served with a roasted fennel puree and rouille for a main course, and mini nectarine cheesecakes for pudding.


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