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.
Alright, it’s time. Time for a change in seasons. Usually I’d declare myself insane for wishing Autumn, or even better: Winter! would hurry the hell up when August has only just begun, but this year has been hellish. Literally. Compared to people around me, no matter their origins, I’m very heat-resistant. I’m comfy when most people are low-and-slowing in their own juices already, but this…? This year. I wholeheartedly agree with the masses. It’s been too hot for way too long – cozying up to 40°C for weeks on end with no reprieve at night hasn’t just put a stop to any sort of summer spirit, fun, outdoor activities, cooking, gaming and sleep, but the insane temperatures and the sun relentlessly burning out of the cloud- and therefore rain-less skies since May have, in addition, shifted all of the fruit and veg seasons forwards by about a month.
And this is it, the goal of the whole meal… or so my inner 5-year old self would say. You might wonder what possessed me to slap a “BBQ” sticker onto a deliciously fluffy and fruity mousse like this one. Sure, I could tell you there’s nothing better than a chilled cloud of fruity creaminess to finish off a hot and heavy evening around the coals, but true as that might be, it’s not my reason for picking this particular mousse to finish off this year’s BBQ special. If you’ve been following my posts for a while, you’ve probably been witness to hubby and me falling in love with the island of Madeira.