Our Delicious Food

International Cooking at Home with Karin and Bruce Boschek

Summer finally arrived in Germany

We didn’t have much of a summer here in central Germany this year. June, July and the beginning of August were cool and rainy. Now in the last week of August it suddenly turned very warm with temperatures into the mid 30s °C. The warm weather is enjoyable, but the humidity also goes up and we find ourselves becoming rather lethargic. Nonetheless, we have been cooking and baking and having fun in the kitchen. Karin made her favourite couscous with vegetables on Saturday. Recipe in the Archive.

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It’s “Zwetchgen” season in Germany. The beautiful, blue damson plums lend themselves perfectly to baking so I made a plum pie. I made up the recipe as I went and put a streusel topping on it and mixed some ground walnuts into the streusel. It was delicious with vanilla ice cream and an iced coffee, or Affogado on a hot Sunday afternoon.

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We made jam out of the rest of the damson plums and it turned out beautifully. We do not use gelling or jam sugar or add pectin, but cook until the thermometer reads 215 °F (108 °C) or “thread stage.” The flavour is far superiour in our experience, to jams made with additional pectin.

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As autumn approaches we will have many new cooking adventures with winter squash, them many winter Brassicas and of course, Thanksgiving dinner.

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Another week begins

Busy days. We have been working on our home again, washing and touching up the paint on our 47 windows, organizing tools and moving furniture around to begin the last work on the third floor. Karin has plastered the last wall in our store room on the fourth floor, too. It just needs painting and then we can move things in there that are in the way. In addition the grass has been growing so fast that I have had to mow every few days. To make things better one of our mowers broke down (a minor repair, but we had to order the parts) and on and on.

This is not to say that we have not been cooking! Karin made some marvelous cinnamon rolls on Saturday.

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They were wonderfully light and fluffy. We gave half of them to our friends and they enjoyed them with their afternoon coffee, just as we did.

For Sunday morning breakfast I made an omelette with bacon, onion, red, green and yellow bell pepper and chili. When it had set I sprinkled grated Bergkäse and Parmesan cheese on top and ran it under the grill for a couple of minutes. We had French bread and a fine Asam tea with it.

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We have limited our gardening to a small plot at the compost pile and some Swiss chard near the terrace, but as usual the curcubits are out of control. We have lovely patty pan squash, hokkaido pumpkins and zucchini. Oh yes, we have zucchini. I was delighted to find a recipe from Emeril Lagasse for a curried zucchini soup and it is a keeper for sure. You can find the recipe in our recipe section (from the menu above). I made some little North African spiced meatballs to put in it, but it would be fine as a vegetarian recipe all by itself.

 

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We had some leftover zucchini soup and meatballs this evening and I believe it tasted even better after being refrigerated for 24 hours.

Hope this finds everyone well and enjoying the late summer.

Still more Apricots

We had about a pounds of apricots left so I made this lovely apricot tart.

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It was very tasty with a dollop of vanilla ice cream and a cappuccino in the afternoon.

Apricot Days

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Good morning. It looks like there is going to be a bit of a learning curve with this blogging software, but that is alright. Thankfully, I have some experience with HTML so it should not be too bad.

The end of July our wine maker brought us a 10 pound basket of beautiful apricots. Many of them were almost as large as peaches. Apricots are one of the few fruits that taste best when cooked, so we set to work making an apricot pie with lattice crust:

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Apricots have two close friends, cinnamon and almonds. I used a heaping teaspoon of cinnamon in the pie and it was delicious with vanilla ice cream.

Karin immediately began pitting one kilo of apricots to make jam. She used about 60 ml water and 600 g white sugar and cooked to 225 °F (107 °C) and it turned out beautifully. It made 5 jars and we have already finished one of them.

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A friend on Facebook, Chef David Tushingham, who also collects and restores Triumph sports cars from the 1950s and 1960s, put a little bird in my ear that said “Marillenknödel.” These wonderful apricot dumplings from Austria and Bavaria are made by wrapping a dough, made with Topfen (quark – fresh cheese), around a whole apricot, simmering them in lightly salted water and then coating them with sweetened bread crumbs. When served still warm they are a dream!

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After we used up all 5 kg of apricots we bought another kilo and I plan to make an Aprikosenkuchen this afternoon. I will used puff pastry and roasted almond flakes and may add a shot of Amaretto to bring out the almond note. We’ll report on it tomorrow.

For now we’ll say, Guten Appetit!

International Cooking in Our Kitchen in Germany

We have been cooking international cuisine together for more than 30 years and recently decided that it would be good to have a place to share our many recipes and cooking experiences. It may well be that the world does not need another food blog, but that won’t stop us now. So please feel free to join us as we wind our way through the world of fine cuisine.

In this time of fast food and fast living we lose the valuation and appreciation of fine dining. ´This applies to daily meals, not just to entertaining guests. It is, however, not necessary to spend hours or days in the kitchen preparing a meal, nor is it necessary to spend large amounts of money. Instead, we can try to refine the preparation and presentation of the food we serve. How can we improve our dining experience without increasing daily stress or bursting the budget? The answer is two-fold: Simplify complex recipes and embellish simple ones.

If you look at the pasta dish below you may be surprised to learn that it took less than 20 minutes to prepare. A slice of pancetta or bacon, a pound of mushrooms, some garlic and white wine, a little cream, prepared while the pasta is cooking, and you have a delicious meal that looks beautiful on the plate. With a small amount of fantasy you can  turn an every day dish into something special. We will bring you recipes for tuna salad, curry rice, pancakes, meat sauces, fish, meat and poultry pies, pasta dishes, risottos, desserts and many more, all that can be prepared in reasonable time frames and without having to visit specialty shops.

Dining is a very important social experience. The quality of the experience at the dinner table is a reflection of the quality of the food and the intentionality that went into its preparation. It may be simply the difference of eating a piece of toast out of ones hand and serving the toast on an attractive plate. We hope you will enjoy our suggestions and wish you much enjoyment in the kitchen and at the table.

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