Freitag, 31. Oktober 2014


Prepared some pumpkins and sweets for the children.
Scary enough I hope. I carved the bigger one with my set of kitchen knives and spend some time on carving the teeth. I even put a little bit red food colour over the edges so it looks quite bloody.. Note the big one is eating a very small one...
The smaller and slender butternut pumpkin was quite a challenge. I digged a hole at the top side using a carving spoon and scraped of all inner flesh with a big chef knife turning the blade round and round. For the tongues I used some red bell pepper.

Mittwoch, 29. Oktober 2014

Figs in sirup preserve

Last weekend I harvested the latest figs (530 g), yet unripe and still small, because the weather turned nasty cold - 1 degree Celsius this morning. Unripe figs are not that bad at all, you can make lovely preserves: halfway candied fruits in sirupe.
First I soaked the firm small fruits in water and trimmed the ends. Better use rubber gloves because unripe figs release a lot of natural rubber, sticky and slightly poisonous too. Even allergic reactions may occure.
Afterwards I dropped the figs into a pot with a lot of boiling water and boiled for 15 minutes. Not ready yet, rinsed the figs with cold water:

I poaked a deep hole right into the middle of each fig by using a thick bamboo skrewer, and boiled them again in fresh water for 15 minutes.
I washed the pot between the boiling turns using a metal spongue to clean of the sticky rubber...

Rinsing and boiling is to get rid of the rubber and to soften the figs of course! So after the second time boiling it is iportant to rinse the figs with fresh water again and let drain in a sieve.
Meanwhile I boiled 750 g sugar and 350 ml water until the sugar disolved and added the rinsed figs:

Boiled again for 15 minutes, added 1/2 vanilla pod, 6 gloves and the juice of 1 lime and let sit over night. Heated all up again in the morning and let sit until evening. Voila nearly candied figs:

Boiled it up again and spooned the hot figs into 2 jars. Boiled the sirup longer and let reduce until a somewhat thicker sirup formed. For test just drip some drops on a cold plate, should be runny but more slowly and "fat" runny. Afterwards I removed the vanilla pod.
Filled the hot liquid into the jars to cover the figs. Sealed with a lid.
Those figues are yummy with cheese or yoghurt...

Freitag, 24. Oktober 2014

Prague II

I visited Prague on educational leave. So I did not have enough time to take lots of pictures since the schedule was very tight. We visited former palaces and castles - now governmental buildings and had some talks with officals from the city hall, chamber or trade, the senate, german ambassy. Especially interesting were the meeting we had with an famous author, who told us about czech political history and his role related to the events during the "Prague Spring" and the day we spend in Theresienstadt with a survivor of the Theresienstadt concentration camp / Terezin - a very kind old lady, who told us about her youth in Terezin, heart breaking.
And there were the visits of the old synagoge and Skoda car factory plant and some more famous places. In the evening we always had a lovely 3 course czech dinner in different restaurants. Afterwards some of us visited jazz clubs - good music (best club ) and lots of cheap beer... Czech dark beer is really delicious.
During the spare hours, called free time, I walked a lot in the inner city, public transportation is dirt cheap...

Never seen this kind of architecture before - czech cubismn:

 Art deco:


Lots of stores are selling czech's famous products as jewelry and bohemian glass ware. Most of the shops around wenzel'splace and city hall are tourist traps selling overprized and not very artful things, but this store sold a lot of fine goods:

And this is a tourist trap selling bohemian glass and some more things you and I will never need. I asked for the price of the cristal lamps: 2000 Euros and more - rediculous.

Nice little shop selling handmade woolen crafts for low prices in the old town:

 Bought such souvenirs as organic soap, chocolate, czech liquor, canned beer, plush animals.

Skoda factory museum:
They did produce some really nice bikes first

This car never went into mass production (beginning of WWII) what a shame..

Montag, 20. Oktober 2014


Nur um mal zu zeigen, wie die Rückseite von Prag kann nicht alles haben.
View from my hotel room, not that great...

Montag, 6. Oktober 2014

Rose Jelly

Sunday I cut a few roses in full bloom. I decided to prepare some rose jelly because I recently found a bottle of sparkling wine in the basement, long forgotten, not the best to have a drink after all, but still useful.

Sadly the light is not that bright, so you don't see the pinkish colour..

For the jelly I soaked the plugged rose blossom leaves of 12 roses (most of them french perfume roses/damask roses) in a glass jar, added 750 ml aged sparkling wine and placed the jar in a window (jar covered with cling film) to let the sun do the work. After one night (all in all 24 hours) I sieved the wine through a fine mashed strainer, messured, added the same amount jelling sugar and boiled the jelly for 4 minutes. Just enough rose jelly to fill 5 smaller jars with the lovely jelly. The kitchen smelled of tons of roses and a late night bar.
This jelly tastes wonderful on brioche, slightly toasted and buttered. Husband cleared halve a jar in one day.
Roses I used too besides the damask roses:

Don't use store bought roses to prepare the jelly. They are often treated with harmful chemicals as fungicides or pesticides. I don't use those chemicals in my garden so no harm can be done. Most of the time I will use ecofriendly stuff only to prevent rose deseases. For example mixtures of baking powder, rapeseed oil, water and soap or buttermilk, home made fermented nettle extract and such.