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:
A quick glance outside is revealing a Wonderful Winter-Wonderland these days. Finally, I might add – the last couple of Decembers have been depressingly warm, way too warm to really appreciate the festive groove town decorations and christmas markets were struggling to spread. Yultide season around 15-17°C? Excuse me, when did I move so far south? I know it’s a clichée, but winters have to be cold to count around these parts of the world!
By now, you guys probably know my love for all things venison. Lean, healthy, extremely versatile and despite – or because of – the gamey aromas, absolutely yumtastic in combination with a large variety of fruit and nuts… what’s not to love about it~? I realize that, if you’re not living in a foresty region, any kind of wild game might be a rare and therefore expensive sight in your butcher’s display.
As you might have noticed, I’m a bit early on hitting the “Publish” button today. The reason for that is as simple as it is delightful~ Right now, I’m on my way out of the house, headed towards Frankfurt Airport where a plane is waiting to take me on a long-weekend trip to Dublin, Ireland. I thought I’d grab this opportunity to share one of our all-time-favorite stews with you guys.
I love summer. I miss summer. Then again, Autumn, especially a particularly beautiful one like this year’s, has its perks~! Great seasonal ingredients calling for extended hikes/foraging trips and, once you get home from enjoying the blast of color that is the great outdoors these days, first whiffs of wintery comfort food and comfy clothes, inviting you to wrap yourself in a blanket with a good book in one and a glass of red in the other hand and, most importantly… quinces!
Unlike last year, we had a couple of good things waiting for us when we got home from Madeira this time. Really good things. Like the newly released GW2 Path of Fire expansion and – let’s hear it for careful planning – another week off from work~! Of course, hubby and I parked ourselves in front of our screens and went on a gaming binge until we both developed that tell-tale sitting-in-the-same-position-for-days headache, square and bloodshot eyes included. And this is where the other really good thing comes into play~!
One of August’s delicious perks is the overwhelming abundance of perfectly ripe stone fruit flooding the displays of any market stall, store or supermarket you can find around these parts. From ridiculously large peaches down to the smallest Mirabelle Plums and Reine-Claudes (Greengages), anything goes! Fruity heaven~
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!
Finally the relentless heat of the last several weeks is easing up a little and thinking about some serious grub doesn’t make me raise an eyebrow at my own sanity anymore~! Of course, it’s still summery warm outside, so going wild with pots, pans and my stove for any extended period of time is still out of the question and anything ending up on our plates absolutely needs a zingy, refreshing component to count as “edible”.
When Hubby gave off a somewhat strangled noise, skirting the edge of panic last weekend while giving his weather forecast app a disdainful glare, I knew we were in trouble.
“34°-38°C each day and not much cooler during the night for a week straight… I don’t even want to know how this is going to turn out in August, when it’s actually supposed to be this hot” he said, and went ahead reading reviews of high-powered fans and mobile ACs. I, on the other hand, experienced a sudden pang of panic too, a food-related one rather than a fear of melting in the heat.