Friday, May 27, 2016

Les Vosges: Markets and hiking

After having been to my aunt's vacation house dans les Vosges for the first time in over ten years last fall, I decided to also spent my spring vacation there. The plan was to spent one week on the balcony there, reading, sweating in the sun, eating delicious food and occasionally go on a hike. 

Of course the weather forcast then predicted one week of constant rain and "mild" temperatures. But as the saying goes, there ain't no bad weather, only inappropriate clothing, and so we hiked anyways, at 0 degrees. And on the way up the mountains, we stopped at every market we happened to come across. 

Pain d'epices and serious cheese in Munster.

Hiking around the mountain left to le Honeck whose name I have forgotten. In May, you get both, what's left of the skiing season's snow and les jonquilles!

This time, we didn't but next time, we should hike from le haut du tôt to Gérardmer, town of the famous pâtisserie Schmitt. This time, we were lazy and just took a short walk to then take the car to Gérardmer.

The myrtilles bushes were already full of tiny huckleberries!

copyright of all photos j.

Sunday, March 6, 2016

Is it spring yet? // Buchteln

I bought some flowers at the market yesterday and called my (please pronounce with a French accent) arrangement  "spring is coming, get out of the way winter". 

But that didn't really help. It's cold and rainy, and in my living room, just five minutes ago, it was even snowing. Fine, it was only a thin layer of confectioner's sugar, but still.

 1 mm of powder, hit the slopes!


I opened my last glass of home made "Powidl"(= Austrian Plum jam) this morning to at least let its frangrance remind me of summer. Quickly made a yeast dough, foulded in the Powidl, and now I can't wait for dessert tonight (like in literally can't wait...of course I already had one...or two...).

Powidl  (keep this for late summer when plums are ripe, until then, just use store bought Powidl)

1,5 kg of plums, pitted
75 gr of brown sugar
vanilla powder
ground cinnamon

Mix the plums with all the other ingredients. I wouldn't use more than one teaspoon of each spice, but actually, that is totally up to your liking. Let sit for about one hour. Then, place everything in a deep pan and put in the oven at 180°C for up to 3-4 hours. You want the plums to turn really brown, sticky. Then, mix everything (this can be difficult because the jam is really stiff) and fill into glasses that you washed in boiling water. I'm sure the Powidl keeps well for a year, but it usually never lasts that long.


makes about 12 

250 gr of flour (550 type)
125 ml of milk
21 gr of yeast (half a cube in Germany)
15 gr of sugar
some lemon zests
a pinch of salt
some vanilla powder (or subsitute half of the sugar with vanilla sugar)
1 egg
60 gr of butter
Powdil (about 12 tablespoons)

Put the flour in a bowl, create a little crater with your hands. Heat the milk (don't let it get too hot, just warm.) Crumble the yeast and place it together with the sugar into the crater, top it with about 5-6 tablespoons of warm milk. Sprinkle with some of the flour from the sides and then let the yeast rise for 10-15 minutes (I usually cover the bowl with a towel and place the bowl on my radiator in the living room, mm, dad yeast smell, mmm). Next, melt the butter in the remaining milk and, once the yeast has risen, add all the other ingredients (salt, sugar, zests, vanilla, egg, milk with butter) and mix for about 5 minutes (kneading with the mixer is important. it's kind of boring to do that for 5 minutes, but it is worth every minute). Let the dough rise for another 40 minutes (again, on the radiator). Then, softly knead the dough again, cut it into 12 equal pieces, spread them out, fill each with a tablespoon of Powdil, fold the littel dough ball and place it with the seams facing down into a pan that you greased with melted butter. There should be about 2 cm between the Buchteln, don't worry, they will rise and snuggle to each other in no time. Add some melted butter on top and then let rise for another 15 minutes. Then, place the pan in the oven at about 180°C for 20-30 minutes, until the Buchteln are slighlty browned on top.

Take out of the oven, let it snow, and enjoy! (to make things unbearably luxurious, but also to add a shitload of work, you could also make some home made vanilla sauce to go with the Buchteln...)

copyright of all photos j.

Monday, January 18, 2016

Happy international snowman day!

If you think I've lost my mind, think again, because today really is international snowman day! Since I strongly believe that there is no bad weather, only insufficient clothing, I embrace snow and without knowing that today would be their big day, I took a photo of every snowman I met in Mauerpark yesterday:

"Mit dem dritten sieht man besser!"

 "Mein Hut der hat drei Ecken, drei Ecken hat mein Hut!"

"What? Never seen a snowman with a bad hair day?!"

 "Paule, sach doch wat!" 

 the anarcho-snowman 

"excusez-moi, where can I buy some baguette?"

the mother from Marzahn

  "it wasn't me!"

the snow owl 

 And finally the "braucht sonst noch jemand was vom Späti?"-snowman!

copyright of all photos j.

Sunday, December 27, 2015

And a happy new year!

I guess I unintentionally started a new family tradition last year: making fresh breakfast rolls. This year, I took breakfast to a new level by making fresh breakfast rolls AND croissants.

It sounds like more work than it really is and Christmas, where all you do is eat and sleep is perfect to fit some dough-folding every 30 minutes into your schedule. 

Plus, if you are lucky, you are being rewarded with a beautiful sunrise to enjoy while the rest of the house is still asleep!

I followed her instructions obediently and trust that all my readers understand German so I'll just direct you to her recipe (there is even a step-by-step video, so it's basically fool-proof!). My only alteration was that I prepared everything the afternoon before and then let the raw croissants rise over night to then bake them early in the morning while preparing the dough for the rolls!

So either you make up a great excuse now or you surprise your loved ones with freshly baked croissants and breakfast roles on New Year's Day! Happy New Year!

copyright of all photos j.

Saturday, December 26, 2015

Merry X Mas

And no worries, we eat far more unhealthy food than depicted here!

copyright of photo j.