Oh boy. Here it is! That uncontrollable nasty little urge to bite into a juicy, not too sweet, dark chocolatey piece of brownie that crawls out of the woodwork about once or twice a year… and of course it comes knocking down the front door when there’s no oven in sight. What to do, what to do?
Oh boy, it’s that time of the year again~! Certain markers, especially the smaller ones like the upcoming Valentine’s Day always startle me in a “didn’t we just do this like… yesterday?”-kind of way. The bigger holidays always seem sooo~ far away but, at least to me, the small ones really make the passing of time blatantly obvious. So, Valentine’s Day in just a bit over a week – as always a reason for Hubby and me not to do what extensive pink, flowery and chocolatey media bombardment expects us to do~!
And again working on one week’s post ended up having me leap right into the next one, so to speak… “Simple (but SO delicious) Things” led to Madeira’s signature soup which led me further on to the sweet peaks of the island’s cuisine, all things passionfruit. And that train of thought poked and prodded one of my little demons into mischievously chuckling awareness.
Now that the holidays are over, the “real” winter appears to be settling in around our corner of the world. Not just in the weather-related sense, but also in a more subtle way where the sudden lack of the all-encompassing fog of overly flamboyant Christmas-themed foodstuffs, -decorations, -music, -media coverage and the like leaves you with a sense of… focus? Awareness?
Oh yes! Approaching the most button-popping, feast- and party intensive, energy-draining yet most fun time of Winter! Indeed, it’s time for my annual Winter Box’o’Chocolates bash again as the Holidays are edging closer and closer. As usual, I prep my boxes a bit earlier than they actually need to be ready to make an appearance below splendidly decorated Christmas trees, on office desks, banquet tables or simply on the palms of the night owls amongst my friends and family, so you guys get a – hopefully inspiring – sneak peek as well as the chance to request a recipe in addition to my pick today to appear just in time to prep a batch for your Holiday festivities or personal pleasure~
Once again, this weird and out-of-place Ice-Cream-in-Cold-Weather craving came knocking at my door today. Well actually, at least this time, it wasn’t all that out-of-place, come to think of it… You see, I don’t live far away from the largest and most beautiful park in town, so whenever I need a whiff of fresh air, some peace or simply a bit of nature to power up my batteries, I go for a walk through that park.
Alright, I admit: I have a problem. Looking at a pantry full of preserving jars, jams, compotes, jellies and all that jazz, now that the fruity seasons in our region have come to an end, makes my problem painfully obvious. I’m a fruit hoarder! Right about now, I’m under the impression that we’ll never be able to munch our way through that wall of jars until next spring, but a more rational part of me is very well aware of the fact that there probably won’t be anything left by lets say… February.
I’m not entirely sure why, but whenever I see, hear, smell or think “honey”, I get that warm-and-fuzzy-blanket-around-my-shoulders kind of feeling. As I’ve recently discovered, that feeling works the other way around, too~! Last weekend I woke up in one of those moods… you know, the good kind of comfy-mode-mood that instantly calls for such a blanket, a good book, a steaming cup of tea and something mmmmmh to go along with it.
September, golden September~! While the sun is taking a very well deserved break right now, the month is still a golden one for me, my kitchen and our dinner plates. Wine harvest time, grapes and all the goodies that always tag along in their wake, forests brimming over with game, the first pheasants, mushrooms, and, amongst many other delicious seasonal things, enter the first representatives of the only “Golden Globes” I care about – quinces~!
Since this year’s berry seasons were completely out of whack thanks to what sunny meteorologists with a rather cruel sense of humor called a “Summer of the century”, farmers, biologists and botanists called a “severe draught” and sane people called “Hell’s Doorstep”, I had to wing a couple of berry-related cookoffs on the spot. On one particularly exhausting Saturday, for example, my favorite fruit & veg vendor at the Farmer’s Market grimly informed me that the batch of blackcurrants in front of me was all he had for this year.