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.
STARTING THE NEW YEAR. THE REMAINING WINTER MONTHS REQUIRE CREATIVITY. ANd who says there isn't enough local produce?
going to the market had the effect of reducing my foggy jetlag brain, bringing me right back into the here and now!
Laszlo went home to Hungary and brought back home made sweet paprika. Couldn't resist that. Neither these wonderful large cipolini onions from Italy, which he said make the most delicious onion jam. I'm going for it.
Could not pass the bright red glowing lingonberries, nor those cranberries, both from poland. So busy tonight preserving them.
And last the wild herb salad. Something I missed in California.
What we consider to be a nasty weed, that grows in every corner of urban or wild spaces and stings us on top it, is the stinging nettle. The leaves and stems are covered with hollow stinging hairs called trichomes. They act like hypodermic needles, injecting histamine and other chemicals producing a stinging sensation when we touch them.
They have a flavor a bit to spinach and are rich in vitamin A and C, Iron, potassium, magnesium and calcium. So voilà! Everything we need in a weed!
Now they are in bloom and full of seeds! The seeds have protein too and taste nutty. You can throw them into a salad or simply caramelize them quickly in a fraying pan with a bit of sugar or honey. Simply wonderful!
(ha!, I have been eating lots of them in the last couple of weeks and recently had my blood checked. The doctor asked my why my blood is so iron rich, if I'm eating a lot of meat these days?)
Summer salad with wild herb salad, cornflower leaves, black currants, caramalised nettle seeds and cucumber.