Kousa berry compote

You’ve probably seen kousa dogwood trees before and didn’t even realize that their berries were edible, right? Same here. We’ve had a kousa dogwood in our front yard for years before I heard that you can eat the fruit. I must admit, I was a little skeptical at first, because the berries look like nothing…

Life’s special gift (part 1)

You can plan for the big things in life like your wedding, the location of your house, where you want your vegetable garden to be, or even when you want to start a family. But what truly sweetens your life are the little unexpected things, the surprises and serendipities. I call them “life’s special gifts”….

Yogurt with poppy seeds and marzipan

One of the things on my to-do list every time I visit Germany is to stop by a supermarket to pick up a giant glass jar of Ehrmann’s poppy seed-marzipan yogurt. I don’t know who came up with the combination of yogurt, poppy seeds and marzipan, but it really works. In fact, it’s probably on…

My Grandmother’s Vanillekipferl (Vanilla crescents)

I sometimes think a Christmas without my grandmother’s vanillekipferl or vanilla crescents as they are called here, would be unimaginable for my family and me. They are as much part of the holidays for us as a goose roast or a Christmas tree. I usually bake two or three batches of them throughout the holiday…

Lamb shanks in mulberry braise

Ingredients: 2 medium-sized lamb shanks salt and freshly ground pepper to taste 1 Tb goose fat (or bacon fat) 1 onion, diced 3 garlic cloves, minced 1 carrot, thinly sliced 2 cups of mulberry juice (can be substituted with blueberry juice) 1 cup of dry red wine 3 sprigs of thyme 10 juniper berries Heat…

All good things come in time: the story of a meal (Part 4: Autumn)

Autumn An entire year has passed since our journey began. The garlic, that I planted last fall was harvested and cured. The onions, too, were harvested and waiting in the pantry. One last pint jar of mulberry juice, from the mulberries we had picked in the middle of the summer, remained unopened on the shelf….

Bavarian bread dumplings (Semmelknödel)

Ingredients: 1 lb old bread, diced 1 cup warm milk 2 eggs, beaten Salt and pepper to taste chopped parsley   In a large mixing bowl, soak bread in warm milk for thirty minutes. Once the bread has soaked up most of the milk, add the eggs, salt and pepper and some chopped parsley. If…

All good things come in time: the story of a meal (Part 3: Summer)

Summer Summer was finally here! Our mulberry tree with its large low-hanging branches was producing more mulberries than we could ever eat. The kids helped me pick the mulberries each day, which we used in yogurts and smoothies. I also made some juice from it, which I preserved in bottles so we could enjoy it for…

All good things come in Time: the story of a meal (Part 2: Spring)

Spring Spring is always a busy season here, but this time it was sheer craziness! My travels to Germany had put me behind schedule with the garden and I didn’t start planting stuff until late April. I had to cheat a little bit and use onion plugs, because starting onions from seed was just not…

All good things come in time: the story of a meal (Part 1)

When you hear the term “slow-food”, you probably envision a beautiful roast that’s been braised for several hours over the stove top in a cast iron pot. But did you ever consider the many months, sometimes years it took to grow the ingredients for this meal? It always blows my mind when I think of…

Processing poultry: a step-by-step guide

Author: Tim McAuliffe There are a multitude of ways to dispatch a bird.  But they all usually revolve around some sort of quick kill, bleeding them out, plucking and gutting.  I’ve read about methods that use a metal rod, an ax, cutting the nerve under the throat, etc.  I prefer the following, but no one…

I kill the chickens

(written by Tim McAuliffe) I kill the chickens. Well, that’s not entirely accurate; I kill all the poultry. Chickens, ducks, geese, turkeys.  Johanna does not kill them.  She has come close at times, coming so far as to lift the old heavy cleaver high above her head and swiftly bring it down toward the extended neck,…