Hello there! Long time no blog, I know. My excuse is that F and I were moving countries. After a wonderful 6.5 years in London, we decided it was time for new adventures in a smaller place with a less hectic pace of life, so we moved to Münster, Germany at the end of May. It was hard to leave our friends and communities in London but we are glad to be in Münster, where we already have a good network thanks to F’s friends from his university days.
Part of moving into a new flat in Germany required buying and installing a kitchen. No, not just the appliances – an entire kitchen. Apparently it’s a thing in Germany. Kitchens are seen as “furniture,” and most flats come unfurnished, so…no kitchens! (Or at least they aren’t a guarantee.) Once a kitchen is installed in a flat or house, if those tenants move out they can either take the kitchen with them (yes, people do that) or they can sell it to the new people moving in.
Anyway, designing and buying a kitchen was a new experience for both of us. They are not cheap, but ideally we’ll be in this flat for the next 5-10 years so it’s a worthy investment and we both enjoy cooking and baking. We ended up at KüchenTreff Münster and had a great experience from designing through installation. I’d recommend them if you’re in the Münster area and in the market for a kitchen.
All that was a long-winded way of getting to the point of this post: what F and I have been cooking (and baking) in our new kitchen over the past month! Here goes, in no particular order:
I made our favorite Käsekuchen (German cheesecake) for F’s birthday in mid-June. He returned the favor for my birthday two weeks later by making our now go-to cherry pie from Stella Parks at Serious Eats.
June was Spargel-Saison in northwestern Germany. Spargel is white asparagus, which I never came across until visiting western Germany and Belgium in May/June. It’s a thing, and for many – like F – it’s something to be enjoyed in multitudes for a short time every year. It tastes completely different from green asparagus – milder and sweeter, to me. Peel it, then wrap it in a foil packet with butter and salt and roast it in a 200C/400F oven for 45-60 minutes. Yum.
Back to baking, the first thing I made in our new oven was a batch of my go-to granola. Needless to say, more batches have followed.
Anita Bean’s lentil-stuffed peppers from her Vegetarian Athlete’s Cookbook made for a tasty and light dinner on a warm summery evening.
We don’t usually celebrate the Fourth of July (American Independence Day), but F wanted to have friends over for a barbecue and he asked if flag cakes are actually a thing. I wasn’t sure, but I checked smitten kitchen and – lo and behold – she had a recipe for one. A classic yellow cake base (it stayed quite moist, maybe thanks to buttermilk) is slathered with cream cheese frosting and topped with berries in the shape of the American flag. I think it’s one of the most patriotic things I’ve ever done or made… It was a hit with our German friends and I’d definitely make the cake again, with or without the flag design.
What have you been cooking recently?
- One Year Ago: Recipe(s): Summer Smoothies – I’m also making a lot of smoothies this summer, particularly after weekend morning exercise
- Two Years Ago: Golden Stag Mile (#MyMile) – that time I raced a mile on the track
- Three Years Ago: Summer Singing: “Reflections” in St. James’s Church, Piccadilly
- Four Years Ago: Summer Singing: An “All-Night Vigil”
- Five Years Ago: Scandinavian Almond Cake – I still make this semi-regularly. Simple, moist, and delicious
- Six Years Ago: Buttermilk Cornmeal Waffles – a great family waffle recipe. Note to self to make these now that we have a waffle maker!
- Seven Years Ago: Refreshing Iced Teas (for hot summer days)
- Eight Years Ago: Camp SLAM – ahh, the carefree Peace Corps days!
- Nine (?!) Years Ago: It’s real: I’m going to be a Peace Corps Volunteer! – wow, I started this blog almost exactly nine years ago. Crazy.