The virus crisis is forcing all of us to a halt. At the same time, it gives us a wonderful opportunity to stand still, think and remember, to review our life and to find joy in the kitchen:
We can ask ourselves, what was the favorite cake my grandmother baked, my uncle's homemade pizza, or my mother's party stew?
Maybe it's a great time to organize your recipes?
Maybe it's time to think about forgotten tastes?
Or maybe, in case you are in the country or near a park, you can venture out and collect the first wild herbs and make pesto. This is amazingly delicious with pasta.
We have a shack in the country and are experimenting with a wild garden. By wild I mean, we can't water regularly and everything just grows wild. Borage has been growing wonderfully and has come back again now the second year. You can chop leaves, flowers and the smaller stems like spinach and make a wonderful risotto. And its beautiful little blue flowers just make a gorgeous eatable decor.
Skrei is a winter cod and comes from the Lofoten Islands in Norway. Skrei, from Skreid meaning in Norwegian: Wanderer. The season lasts from January till April at the latest. Tt is caught in the waters around the Lofoten, using longline and gillnetting methods. Special fishing licenses with allocated fishing quotas are required, along with certain regulations strictly enforced to protect the fish. The white meat is delicate, tasty and low in fat. The fillet is firm. Skrei can be pan fried, grilled, steamed, dried, smoked, deep fried and salted.
My mother often cooked this soup on Sundays, and always on special celebrations. Later my dad cooked this soup too. The Wedding Soup is served in all the regions in Germany. Usually a beef or chicken stock soup with add ons, typically marrow bone dumplings, peas, white aspargus and cooked egg dices.
Thanksgiving was and is my favorite holidays in the US. Over the years I figured out how to make a turkey moist and delicious, no matter how big. Using middle eastern flavors and soaking it fort 2 days in olive oil and orange juice, makes the meat so tender, that you don't even have to cut it. My turkey rule: the more spices, the better.
The warm temperature do have one good thing, that all the wild herbs are still around. But it still feels like changing the menu to the more hearty stews, soups and dishes.
last wild herb salad with edible flowers...
Königsberger Klopse. Here with herb-tossed potatoes and sautéed salsify, our Gemran winter asparagus.
And of course, all the wonderful apples! did you know that Germany alone is the home of 2000 different kinds of apples, but we only find about 6-8 in the supermarkets and farmers markets. Absurd, isn't it? Anyway, time for strudel!
Even though we still have warm temperatures, craving for foods like kohlrouladen (cabbage rolls) and Königsberger klopse (meatball dish)
Damson plum cake, chanterelles and porcini mushrooms, fresh dates and figs from Turkey, Savoy cabbage, grapes in colors and flavors and elderberries!
Early fall salad: first apples (Boskop, Gravensteiner), red beets, celeriac root and stalks, walnuts, figs and nasturtium leaves, wild sage flowers...
I can eat this every day! Zwetschgen (Damson plums) on a thin tart crust with whipped cream.
Kohlrouladen with sautéed mushrooms, stir fried red beet leaves and elderberry juice. What a delight!
It's from the land! I had painted my wall in this amazing blue and placed all these wonderful mushroom creatures in front of it. And I can't wait to cook them tonight. The white one is a Hericium erinaceus, or Pom-Pom Mushroom, then Pleurotus citrinopileatus, the golden and red oyster mushrooms and a black porcini mushroom, and the regular oyster mushrooms.