A couple of days ago we celebrated an anniversary. It had been five years since we left Germany to life for the next three years in the USA. Life may be a journey, but the path is not a long and straight stretch of road. And I don’t mind. Wouldn’t it be tedious to have your life planned in details until you retire or even further? Nothing against fulfilling dreams, that’s a whole different story, but strategic life planning was never me.
I always admired friends who were able to spend some time abroad. They seam to get an exotic aura, of cause I tend to romanticize their situation. Years ago one of my friends left to become a diving teacher in Egypt. I was sad to see her leave, but also a little envious about her adventures and her courage. I didn’t even change my mind, about her new alluring life in a vacation paradise, as she told me about her health and money problems and how often she had just rice with some chicken for dinner. I had no idea about all the other dilemmas, like home sickness and missing family and friends, which haunt you from time to time, that’s what they don’t tell you.
And then it was my turn to decide, if I would be brave enough to put my life in Germany on hold and restart from scratch in the States. I don’t even remember all the reasons for my decision. What the heck? Was it to satisfy my thirst for adventure or just an urgently needed change of scene? Back then life had been standing still and I was not able to find room for developments or growing. At the same time, the days had been running by too fast to enjoy the little things. I guess the reason, I can tell you for sure is, that I needed a change. So I quit my actually not-so-horrible and well-paid job, grabbed my dog and here I am. Life had been higgledy-piggledy since then. And this is as a good thing, as I said, who wants boring? Would I have done everything the same way again? Probably not, scratch that, for sure not. Hindsight is easier than foresight. The last five years taught me about myself and had made me more confident about my strength. I learned to let loose and slow down more often.
We celebrated this anniversary with our friends. It had been a blast. One of those nights filled with talking, nibbling, serious eating and wine drinking. Furthermore I made one of my favorite deserts (coming soon). Afterwards we sipped some crema di orancello, it is always wise to have a bottle in the freezer for special occasions. Kind of a perfect night.
crema di orancello
- 450 ml / 2 cups grain alcohol 95% / 190 proof (everclear)
- 2 large oranges, just the peel (preferable organic)
- 600 ml / 1 ½ cups heavy cream
- 600 ml / 1 ½ cups water
- 450 g / 2 ¼ cups granulated sugar
- you’ll also need: vegetable peeler or citrus grater, large jar with a lid, strainer, funnel, 2-3 clean bottles with lid, jug or bowl with spout
- Wash and peel the oranges thinly, there should be no white parts attached to the peel. I use a vegetable peeler to peel the oranges and later scape/cut out the white inner layer. You can also grate the orange peels with a citrus peel grater (I like the one from microplane). What ever you do, make sure you avoid the white parts (albedo), they would make your orancello bitter. Tip: make this orange marzipan cake to use up the oranges.
- Place the peel and the alcohol in a jar, close the lid tightly and store for 10 days in a dark place like your pantry and shake it every other day.
- When the time is ripe, make the syrup: heat water and sugar in a saucepan, bring to a boil and continue cooking for up to 3 minutes, stir to make sure the sugar is dissolved. Let cool.
- Meanwhile strain the orange-alcohol mix, discard the peels and pour the infused grain alcohol in a large jug or pitcher (if available, it’s just easier for stirring and pouring). Add the syrup to the orange-alcohol mix and stir. Then add the heavy cream and stir again.
- Use a funnel for pouring the orancello into bottles and place it into the freezer. The alcohol will prevent the orancello from freezing, but just to be save: don’t fill the bottles up to the rim.
This is a spin of the popular Italian limoncello. Like the original liqueur, this one has a nice kick and is not too sweet, but feel free to adjust syrup or cream amount to your liking. You can keep it for ages in your freezer, it freezes very well and becomes creamy and thick.
Tip: make this orange marzipan cake to use up the oranges.
For a crema di limoncello use 3-4 lemons.
I hate throwing away food. I am aware of the harsh intensity of this word hate, which I am just throwing around and at you. However it is not an angry hate, I would describe it as a disgusting hate, whereas disgusting on it’s own wouldn’t kick it. Around here leftover food will be revived to new culinary pleasures and reused until they start to look fury. Confucius says: if you open the fridge and things start to move, you are in trouble. In fact I would rather get rid of my storage container than discard the moldy food content and reuse it. This plastic box is dead to me and has to go. I am trying hard not to use the word “puke” in a food blog post, but you need to know how I feel about… That’s maybe why I am not in charge of checking the refrigerator for spoiled food, turned out to be too costly. What the eye doesn’t see, the heart doesn’t grieve over. Read more >>
Many of you are denying the fact that they are eating nutella straight from the jar, not me, I am totally guilty of that. Red wine, cheese, fries and chocolate also fall in the category of therapeutic treat habits. I wish I could see your face, while you are reading my next confession, so please stay put and be a little open minded: I also do that with sauerkraut. I am not a bit ashamed of it and will do it over and over again. No matter what you say, I love sauerkraut. Every time I open a jar, I am grabbing a fork and dig in. I am a sucker for sour and fermented food, I enjoy everything with vinegary taste and are there at anytime enough pickles on my sandwich? Fresh sauerkraut has also a crunchy and crisp texture. Read more >>
Last weekend I attended the Food Blog South conference in Birmingham, Alabama. It had been the second time for me and it is always fun to talk to like-minded blogger. This year’s speakers had been interesting, funny and helpful and I came home with pages full of scribbled notes. While I was unpacking my bags, I thought I should write them down into a readable format and knew at the same time, I won’t. Last years notes are still out there and hopelessly waiting to be processed. And when I thought about you, wouldn’t you be interested in some groundbreaking tips on how to take nice pictures of your food for your blog? One of the things I had been looking forward to, had been the food styling and photography sessions with Helene Dujardin (Tartelette, a senior photographer at Oxmoor House, author of Plate To Pixel, Digital Food Photography & Styling) and Tami Hardeman (Running With Tweezers, an experienced and professional food stylist). Read more >>
Rösti are my recently rediscovered comfort food and I just say it like it is, without wasting my breath, make them. They are good for you, I saw the weather news, it’s cold outside, you need Rösti. I have to disclose with a little regret, I didn’t grow up eating Rösti. And even later in my life, they have been rather an exception but not the rule. And here comes another confess: for the best part of the year, I won’t even touch them. They are greasy and therefor, let’s face it, very unhealthy. And then comes the time of cold weather, rain or snow and wind, stay-at-home-weather, and potatoes fried in oil, crunchy and buttery from the outside and tender with a nice texture from the inside sound more than promising and comforting. That’s the time when you can catch me eating Rösti right out of the pan, they are the best this way. Read more >>
I like the idea of starting the same way with my first blog post into 2014 like I start into my day – with a healthy and enjoyable breakfast. I had been very bad the last couple of days, too much of everything, although I skipped the nutritional stuff. My body must be able to extract vitamin c from chocolate and cookies or otherwise I would suffer from a bad scurvy. I have to admit I enjoyed all this cheese, wine, cake, meat and sauces. But to be honest, after all this days of opulent food, I am craving simple dishes like soups and salads. I even realize what difference this kind of food makes to my well-being in relation to energy and drive throughout the day. Read more >>
Since a couple of days ago I am on vacation and therefore sadly not able to serve you a treat/recipe today. I am staying with my family on a tropical island with all day cocktails on our hands… just kidding… We are all on Hilton Head Island, just a couple of hours away from Atlanta and it couldn’t be any better, tropical or not. We are a family of food enthusiastic and appreciate some good eats, so the kitchen is never empty, the stove never cold and we spoil ourself with treats several time a day. In between the meals and to balance the calorie income and calorie consumption, we rented some bikes and we are cruising up and down the beaches (if we are not cooking and eating). It feels good being back in the kitchen again with my mum and my two sisters and chopping, dicing, baking, searing, and even cleaning up afterwards is much more pleasant in good company. Read more >>
I am a late summer birthday girl and can’t actually imagine, how unfair or complicated it is to having a birthday just around Christmas. I heard complains like: it’s hard to celebrate because friends and family are already busy with all this holiday stuff and a party is not as appreciated as in any other month. And there is the challenge of doing something special to overcome all the seasons decoration or it’s just another Christmas party and never just a birthday celebration. Read more >>