Welcome to 2019 everyone! I hope you had a good time over the last couple of days and celebrated the end of 2018 with a roaring party (or in any other way suited to your personal picture of “perfect”) that set exactly the right tones for a fantastic new year~!
For some reason, while everything else in the stone-fruit department has been gone for a while already, apricots have been available for a really, really long time this year, until about 2 or 3 weeks ago, in fact. The problem with these freaky late stone fruit? They’re… tart, to say the least. Pretty much inedible in a raw state to be honest. The good side of the deal? I’ve got no qualms about throwing them into the pan whatsoever~! That’s the perfect(-ly late!) opportunity to cook up one of my favorite end-of-summer dishes and share it with you guys.
As promised, here’s the savory twist on last week’s “quince bread”! I’ve actually been waiting to share this one with you guys for almost a year~! You see, while we were on Madeira last year, we came, more or less by accident, by a Hotel Restaurant we just couldn’t pass on for once. As you guys might know, usually Hotel Restaurants are a last resort for Hubby and me while we’re traipsing across the island, but at that point we’ve actually been driving around that silly hotel in circles, looking for the Wine Harvest Festivities that, according to several sources, were about to go down somewhere in its general vicinity.
Ah, relief~! Meteorologists say “The worst is over”. 27°C to Low 30°Cs coming up the next couple of days, and evidently we’re done with the almost-40°Cs for this year. “Around 30°C” means it’s finally time for some outdoorsy… actually any sort of activity again. A hike perhaps and a picknick somewhere in the woods, feet hanging into a bubbly stream, birdsong filling the fir-scented air… Oh yes, I can’t wait for the weekend to swing by!
Like I’ve mentioned last week, Winter, capital W and all, has arrived. While that’s generally a questionable blessing in our parts, it also means the time for our annual escape to a cosy, reed capped cottage just peeking over the top of the dam out onto the crashing waves of the North Sea on Sylt has come. Goodbye cold, miserable, grey, constant drizzle, hello North Sea!
All right, so the “real” winter has nosed its way in – the one without the sparkly decorations, festive mood-inducing drinks, foods, gatherings and all that jazz. Not that I’m particularly downed by the holidays being over, but I have to say, the great outdoors in all its grey-on-grey splendor is looking a lot more gloomy than it did just a couple of weeks ago. Oh well… as I’ve mentioned before, there’s one surefire way – at least for me – not to succumb to the general greyness of days like these:
Up until a few years ago, jerusalem artichokes were something only to be found in natural remedy- and health product stores, disguised as or processed into diabetes supplements or diet products supposed to curb hunger by filling your tummy prior to a meal. Or, in the case of the region a bit south of our corner of the world, turned into a seriously strong booze.
Get out your Welcome mats, folks~! Our world is about to grow a new continent! Tyria, that is~ Come September, the new expansion “Path of Fire” will open the gates to the Crystal Desert to us Tyrians and, if I know my heroes behind the Chef’s Guild at ArenaNet’s HQ right, they’ll provide me with new toys off the screen as well… Can’t. Wait~! But, it looks like I’ll be sitting on hot coals for another month until it’s released… hang on. Coals? Path of Fire? A~ha!
In Tyrian recipes, my beloved Omnom- a.k.a. Cranberries are mostly used in a sweet’ish kind of way. Ever since I’ve settled on using Cranberries in place of Tyria’s Omnomberries, and by doing so, inadvertently opened the door for myself to twist, tweak and turn around the related recipes in all directions, I’ve been running haywire in my kitchen whenever I pick an Omnomberry recipe to play with. Let’s hear it for snap decisions opening up endless possibilities!
After my discovery of the one and lonely bottle of Vegetable Oil in my ingredients tab that led to last week’s Infused Oils, I couldn’t help but look further down the list to find… exactly one type of vinegar. Rice Vinegar, what a shame! A huge world of aromas limited to one kind… one with not much of a bouquet at that. I don’t think I could live with that on this side of the screen – while I only use about 3 different oils on a somewhat regular basis, my vinegar collection is a rather large one. I like that special zing here and there, what can I say~