oh, that moment!
oh, that moment!
During the walk through the almost magic autumnal black forest (Schwarzwald) I collected some bits and pieces and that's what they look like now. A pretty easy project, I only needed a wreath base and a wire.
Latte macchiato with freshly made Mokka brezel cookies warms up the soul! The recipe for the cookies comes from the Christmas Pastry book but honestly, who said that chocolate & coffee are reserved for Christmas? Certainly not me!
What a tough beauty! It fights against froast, grey sky and lots of rain and still looks perfect... I wish I had the stamina!
Just a couple of days ago the sun caressed the last grapes. Now everything fall asleep, got cold and grey. Only grass is as green as if it was freshly painted. Goodbye autumn, hallo winter!
It was rainy today, perfect weather to curl up and cook something tasty. And there were the last quinces that fell down from the tree tonight. Quite a good coincidence! Or shall I say quincidence? Quince is a pretty new discovery for me as it is nothing that you get in a supermarket and to my shame I used to ignore this fruit on the farmers' market. Here in the Bodensee region you see a quince tree here and there, so I got excited and started to experiment with them. The first thing I did was a quince pie which turned out to be all right, but since I just cut quinces into slices, it was full of little grains. Not really my thing...
Quince Jelly on the contrary is so smooth and so tasty, that we are opening one jar after another, a reason enough to fill up the stock. So here is the recipe. There is a basic one and a Christmassy variation I did today. I have to admit, it is time-consuming but it totally pays off! It tastes great on the toast, fresh bread or with a cheese cake and is just the right thing on a delightful cheese plate.
This is how it goes:
Basic recipe: 6-7 quinces, 2L cold water, 2 lemons (juice and peel), sugar with pectin. I prefer the 3:1 sugar (1 part sugar - 3 parts fruit) but it is up to you how sweet you like it.
Variation: for the Christmassy taste I replaced the lemons with two oranges and added 3-4 pieces of cardamom, 3-4 cloves and one star of anise.
1. Remove the external fur from the quinces with a towel or a brush, wash them and cut them into slices.
2. Put the lemon juice & peel (optionally - orange juice & peel plus the spices) into the pen with cold water. The peel should be thin and with no white on it. Add the quinces and bring to the boil.
3. Turn the heat down and cook until the quinces are really soft. It can take up to 1,5 hours.
4. Take another pan, put a clean kitchen towel into a strainer and place it onto the pan. Put the cooked fruit into it. You can leave it there for 24 hours allowing the juice to drip trough the towel if you want your jelly to be transparent. If you don't mind it to be cloudy and want to fill the jars as soon as possible you can put the fruit into the towel portion by portion and squeeze it.
5. You are almost there! Measure the juice you got, add sugar and boil it. As I use the 3:1 sugar with pectin I only take 500g sugar for 1,5L juice and let it boil for 3-4 minutes or as long as I am sure that the sugar is completely dissolved. Remove any foam from the top, it will be a nice addition to the tomorrow's breakfast and your jelly will keep longer without it. Actually you can store it for up to 2 years!
6. Pour the jelly into the hot sterilised jars, close the lids and put the jars upside-down for 5 minutes. Allow the jars to cool down and press with your finger in the middle of every lid to make sure that there is a vacuum effect. If no, you will have to repeat the procedure once again with a new lid or just put the jar into the fridge and eat it promptly.
7. Enjoy it!
Simple things are the best. Like taking time for a walk to a milk farm, putting a coin into the dispenser and watching the milk stream into the bottle like a wild waterfall. One more thing on the plus side: a delightfull cappuccino with this milk half an hour later!
Here around the Bodensee there are lots of fields and gardens where you can cut flowers yourself and just put some money for it in a little box. It feels great to walk across the field selecting the flowers that smile at me. Inspired by the freshly bought flower book by Vic Brotherson I could not resist the temptation to go to the island Reichenau to pick some flowers for a quick and easy autumnal bouquet.
We have had a superb day today: lots of sun, a beautiful view of the Alps and 18 degrees C. Pretty special for November! The fact that we can still eat our lunch outside inspired me to make some quick decorations for our terrace.
Here I am starting this blog about the everyday charms of the country known all around the world for its leather throusers and beer. Ten years ago I wouldn't believe there was anything charming about Germany. Five years ago I was an alien here. Since then I have discovered many unexpected treasures, the hidden beauty, the whole lot of amazing food and poetic details which I want to share with you. I may see them just a bit better than many Germans because I used to be an alien and I am still on my discovery trip. Come with me to see that France does not own the licence for romance and not only Italians can cook... And now to horse!