I didn’t have much time for shopping on my recent Berlin trip but I did manage to make a selection of purchases around the themes (although I didn’t notice this at the time!) of cherries and chocolate, mostly from the fantastic Kollwitzplatz Saturday Market.In the cherry category we have:1 x bottle of Griotka cherry liqueur from Prague Airport. Very useful when you arrive at a cold cottage late on Friday nights, especially when sips of the liqueur are alternated with sips of caramelised cinnamon hot chocolate.1 x bottle of kirschwasser or cherry brandy from Berlin. Still unopened. I’m limiting myself to one bottle of alcoholic cherry drink at a time!1 x small tin box of Pulmoll cherry sweets, also from Prague Airport.1 x bar of Nestle Noir Cerise chocolate. Decided to pass this to the family – it then disappeared too quickly for me to test it.1 x jar of amazing cherry-laden jam from Scandinavia, I think, that I ended up buying after starting a conversation with a Very Persuasive saleswoman in Kollwitzplatz Market.
I recently got a mail from a New York PR company about a Nextbook podcast featuring one of my favourite cookbook writers, Middle Eastern food enthusiast Claudia Roden. Nextbook’s interviewer, Hugh Levinson, visited her kitchen in London and talks to her while she prepares Poulet aux Dattes (Chicken with Dates) and Salade de Tomates et Poivrons Grillés (Grilled Tomato and Pepper Salad), both from her last publication, The Book of Jewish Food.
The second episode of Richard Corrigan’s show, Corrigan Knows Food, will be on RTÉ One this evening at 7pm. While I think Corrigan can sometimes go a bit overboard (his recent Late Late Show appearance was embarrassing, to say the least) when he’s on form, he’s an enthusiastic presenter and inspiring cook. Why, however, someone felt the need to shoehorn the man into a badly-fitting magazine format, is a mystery. Anne Kennedy has a good review of the first programme in the series here on Greatfood.ie and you can watch the show online here.
We are nearly through our first apple season at the cottage – the few that have been too small to pick are still grimly clinging on to the tree through November wind and rain, while the fallen ones are being enjoyed by our still-prolific rabbit population and I’ve got a stash for myself upstairs in the spare room.
Cookies, especially chocolate chip ones, are always a winner. But, when they also contain the nutty goodness of oatmeal and you get your hands on them, fresh from the oven so that the chocolate is still warm and melted, they are a treat indeed. A recipe that caught my eye recently on one of my regular wanders around Nic’s bakingsheet blog (her buttermilk pancakes are a regular weekend breakfast favourite) was this one, for Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies from The Frog Commissary Cookbook.
To give my new cooker a good working test last weekend, I invited my family – Mum, two sisters, a brother and my Granny – to lunch on Sunday so, together with the Boyfriend and myself, we were seven. This, naturally enough, entailed several last minute phone calls home to see if they could bring an extra chair and several sets of cutlery!
The dates and presenters for Savour New Zealand 2007 have just recently been announced and, as a participant at the 2005 event, I cannot recommend it highly enough for anyone with even the slightest interest in food and wine. It takes place in Christchurch, from Friday 27 to Sunday 29 April 2007, and this year Lauraine Jacobs, Cuisine magazine food editor, is the Programme Director.