May 28, 2011

off to italy...

finally, we're going to italy. there's been talk of it for many years, but other destinations have won, mostly croatia. i might be able to post something while away, meanwhile, here's something from the garden.

how did that thing get up on the stalk?

these poor little violets are fighting for some sun.

i hope the peonies will wait for me, the buds are getting bigger...

May 26, 2011

fish, fish, onion tart.oh, ice anyone?

now that the lake has been free of ice for some weeks, my parents are back to fishing. water temperature is at refreshing 6 degrees C. there has been a lot of fish, (european) perch here, keeping themselves fresh in a fish-trap (katiska in finnish).

the other day we talked about my mummi (dad's grandmother) and a perch dish that she used to make eons ago. i don't remember ever eating that particular dish, but i took my parents word for the dish being very good. we had plenty of the fish, some bacon and butter and that's all what's needed.

i started by layering the fish, bacon and butter in a small dutch oven...

...topping everything with bacon, and some more butter. somehow i think that the amount of butter i used wasn't even close to what mummi would have used.

placed the pot on hot stove until everything started heating up, approx 10 mins. then put the lid on and placed the pot in the oven (approx 200C, hard to be sure on wood-burning stoves) for 4 hrs.

this certainly isn't a looker, but it was so tasty and actually better once it cooled to room temperature. dad said it needed salt, i hadn't added any while preparing thinking that there'd be salt in the bacon. this was so good on slightly dried rye bread, with some more butter!

the bones and what-not had melted into mush and though you can see the tiny fish bones, they were so tender that i didn't bother picking anything off, just spread it over the bread.

this big boy (a zander) got caught tuesday...

...and we had it for lunch yesterday, with warm german potato salad. some of my aunts and uncles were visiting at the cottage on tuesday, i made burgers with caramellized onions, the potato salad and crepe suzettes for dessert. and flambeed for the first time ever! and no one took any pictures of it! i was surprised as to how good the crepes actually are, i might have to make them again, soon...with pics.

there were plenty of left-over onions (picky eaters...), i decided to make an onion tart of them. i had caramellized a full kilo of thinly sliced yellow onions over low heat in "some" butter for an hour. as the filling was going to be smooth and soft (added some chanterelles and cream cheese to the onions) i wanted the crust to be little hardier.

i ended up using 6 dl all-purpose flour, 1 dl rye flour, 1 dl rolled oats (long cooking ones), 220 gr butter and one egg. first mixed the dry ingredients and butter, ideally that should be done with pastry blender but as there was none (and no machine) i used my fingers, and mixed in the egg. placed the dough in the fridge for an hour before rolling it, the placed the rolled dough in the fridge for another hour before blind-baking it for 20 mins in 200C oven. spread the filling (approx 4 dl in total) and baked for another 20 mins, for the last 5 mins oven turned off. could this be my own, very first pie crust recipe? i'm tempted to try adding more rye flour for a more robust flavor...

with green salad and tomatoes the tart made a nice late dinner.

the weather was acting up all day yesterday, rain and shine, rain and shine. around 6 pm it started raining again, heay, the rain got icy really fast, and i thought why this shower of hail didn't come on tuesday, we could have had ice in our drinks!

15 mins later all was quite and sunny again.

May 25, 2011

shy frog, and others

at the cottage, i took a walk yesterday morning with my mom, who almost stepped on this creature, poor thing, trying to hide behind tiny fingers...

a woodpecker was making noise up on a barren tree

these probably aren't edible like fiddleheads, but interesting shapes nevertheless.

on monday night, fog came pretty..., there's 15 mins between these pics.

over the weekend, the dog enjoying a brushing session...

May 22, 2011

finally, last pics of switzerland

these pictures have been on hold for a few weeks now, and as there isn't much else going on in the kitchen or in the garden, here they are.

first, diessenhofen CH, the bridge is one of the border crossings between switzerland and germany

the bridge was built between 1816-1816

clear waters of the rhein

a twike crossing the border

a rhein resident

an architectural accent, or time doing its thing?


plenty of carp, and ducks, live in the still waters of the falls

now, we're in stein am rhein

up on the hill, burg hohenklingen

then, easter was around the corner...

sunset at my friend's house