damson vodka

by Eva Felis on September 17, 2014

damson vodka

The plum season is almost over and I didn’t dare to hope finding damson plums on the farmers market this year. But voilà they had been sitting in a wicker basket, just a few of them. I assumed they had been waiting for me.

damson vodka

I grew up climbing massive plum trees in my backyard. Autumn was all about picking them directly from the tree, rubbing them one by one vigorously on my sleeve until the dusky skin showed it’s polished face. I could say by touch if they are ripe and ready to pick or should be left alone for a few more sunny days. I knew exactly where to pinch them and pull in half to remove the pits and check for hidden worms. And I knew every branch of those trees, the ones that would hold my weight so I can carefully hunt for those plums in the bright sun, riper and sweeter than the others. Some say they have kind of preference or connection to a thing, sometimes even unexplainable. Mine are pretty obvious: I am prone to boxy cars  since my parents used to drive Volvo while I grew up, and I can never say no to: plum cake, plum jam, plum schnapps…

damson vodka

Damsons are egg-shaped plums and of smaller size. They can be found in many shades of blue and purple and they are rather popular in Europe for jams and baking than eating due to their tart skin, but underneath lies sweet flesh.

I had cake on my mind, when I came home the other day with my damson plums. But karma had a better plan. My neighbor came over before I even unpacked my farmer’s market bounty and shared her German plum cake with me. Can you believe that? What a coincidence! I still have a few pieces stashed away in my freezer for desperate times. That’s why I made another batch of booze with plums and because it’s damn good. Last years plum and cinnamon flavored bourbon is long gone and I promise to share with my neighbor.

damson vodka

 

damson vodka
 
Author:
Ingredients
  • 600g / 21 oz. (about 20) damson plums
  • 300g / 10.5 oz. light brown sugar
  • 950ml / 4 cups vodka
Instructions
  1. Wash the plums, cut in half and remove the pits. Quarter the plums and add with the pits into a large and clean jar.
  2. Add sugar and fill up with vodka. Seal tightly and wait patiently for at least 3-4 months. For what it’s worth it won’t hurt to wait six months. Store at a dark and cooler place and give it a shake every time you pass by.
  3. Strain the damson vodka and transfer into clean bottles. It will last for a long time and improve with age.
Notes
The amount of sugar is rather on the lower site, you can always add more later on if you like.

 

damson vodka

damson vodka


 

spicy marinated pork tenderloin wrapped in bacon

by Eva Felis on September 4, 2014

spicy marinated pork tenderloin wrapped in bacon

Pork tenderloin doesn’t get as much attention as it should. I am also guilty as charged, I rather enjoy a leaner piece of meat than a fat dripping pork belly -uh- makes my stomach sick and sits in my belly heavy like a stone. But I used to prefer chicken breast or turkey burger and omit the pork tenderloin. Not on purpose and then again yes, no excuses. I think I had just too much of those overcooked and dry shoe soles, best case scenario served with a thick sauce or garlic butter. Beside being extra lean, pork tenderloin is also very versatile and used in many kitchens all over the world and doesn’t have to be dry and though at all.

 

spicy marinated pork tenderloin wrapped in bacon

During my recent trip to Germany my mom made some pork tenderloin on the grill and she quickly disabused me and I enjoyed to be taught otherwise. Unfortunately my mom is an instinctive cook: no rules, no recipes, but for sure good food. When I asked her about the spices she used, she couldn’t even tell anymore. Fine I can improvise too, guess who taught me.

 

spicy marinated pork tenderloin wrapped in bacon

The marinate will also work magic with another cut of pork or even beef. It’s a nice tanginess with just a hint of sweetness from the honey. You can also get a fair hint of garlic, add as much as you like, that’s up to you. The herbs are not just there to look nice, they merge so well with the other spices. Although my mom skipped the bacon wrapping, I was eager to give it a try. Everything is better with bacon, right? Right!I had a fairly romantic imagination of wrapping the bacon around the pork tenderloins, in my dreams more similar to gift wrapping at Christmas time. No kidding it’s messy, get yourself a second pair of hands and you will be fine for sure.

 

spicy marinated pork tenderloin wrapped in bacon
 
Author:
Recipe type: BBQ
Ingredients
  • for the marinade:
  • ½ tsp. ground cumin
  • ½ tsp. ground fennel seeds
  • 5 stalks of parsley, finely chopped
  • 4 stalks of cilantro, finely chopped
  • 1-2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 Tbsp. honey
  • 3 Tbsp. soy sauce
  • ½ tsp. freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 pork tenderloins (about 2 pound)
  • furthermore:
  • 2 pork tenderloins (about 1 pound each), trimmed
  • 10 slices of bacon
  • also:
  • butcher twine
Instructions
  1. Combine all ingredients for the marinade. Rub the marinade into the pork tenderloin. Wrap five slices of bacon evenly around each of the tenderloin and tie the bacon in place with kitchen twine. Cover with plastic foil and let marinade for at least one hour in your refrigerator.
  2. Remove from the fridge 30 minutes before you want to start cooking to let the meat come to room temperature.
  3. Heat your grill to 550 F and grill each side of the tenderloins for 45-60 seconds. Watch out for flare-ups, move the tenderloin out of the way to prevent your food from burning.
  4. Reduce the heat and continue cooking indirect low heat 200-250 F for 40 minutes until the temperature on the thickest parts reach 145 F.
  5. Transfer tenderloins to a cutting board and let stand 10 minutes. Remove twine before carving.
  6. This can be made easily inside: Preheat your oven to 200-250 F. Heat one Tbsp. oil in a large pan over high heat and sear the tenderloin until brown form each side. Transfer to the oven and continue cooking until a thermometer inserted in the thickest part shows 145 F, should also take approx.. 40 minutes.

spicy marinated pork tenderloin wrapped in bacon

 

spicy marinated pork tenderloin wrapped in bacon


 

my eats and drinks in Berlin

by Eva Felis on August 27, 2014

Berlin food

Obviously I took a little summer break from my website and just as well from my kitchen – rather unintended due to the heat. Sorry I kind of sneak out without telling you, the days before my trip had been crazy and the time afterwards had been worst. Where does all this laundry come from? Clean clothes are the least of my problems. Did I mention post vacation days are more than crazy?

I visited my family in Germany and I had a jolly good time. I planned and anticipated this trip for many good reasons, particularly spending time with my family and being spoiled with mom’s home cooked meals. There is nothing out there, that beats home cooked food, especially child hood favorites. Being the list-maker I am, I filled pages in my notebook with things to do, things to eat (this one for my mom obviously), things to bring to Germany and things to bring from Germany to Atlanta. On the other side, I didn’t plan what to eat during my stay in Berlin, my vacation while on vacation. I spend a couple of days with my parents and my two sisters in Berlin and would love to share some of the eats and drinks I enjoyed during my stay. They are all snapshots, please be forbearing! My family is not known for being patient in front of a plate and I had to hurry to get some pictures.

berlin food burritosDolores had been the only thing on my sister list, the crazy burrito lover she is, could not let the chance pass by to get a California-style burrito in her belly. It is a fun place, affordable and the food is very good. I also enjoyed a refreshing agua fresca.

 

Berlin food-1035I didn’t know we are a family of sushi lovers. You always learn something new about those people. We ordered all the same and had to get over that awkward moment when my mom asked for a fork… I guess it’s better this way, you can cause some damage if you don’t know how to handle those sticks.

 

berlin street foodAbove (left): If you are on vacation, you can eat what ever you like. That’s the law. You bet I had my fare share of fast food. In the US I had occationally waiter looking strangely at me when I ask for mayo with my fries. In many European countries you order mayo or ketchup or both, some places in Germany also offer sauces like brown sauce with mushrooms (Jaegersauce) or bell peppers (Zigeunersauce). Berlin is famous for their currywurst (right), a bratwurst with warm tomato ketchup sauce heavily topped with curry powder, spicy and comforting. Currywurst comes already cut with a side of french fries or a roll to dip into the leftover sauce.

My hometown is just a few hours away from Netherlands border and if I am on a short visit to our neighbors a friet speciaal (left) is mandatory. It’s basically French fries with curry sauce, mayo and diced onions, so simple and so good.

 

Berlin food-5881

 

 

berlin foods sweet

Those little jamed filled balls are called Mini-Berliner (above right), except the Berliner, the real ones who live in Berlin, they call them Pfannkuchen, which means pancakes. It’s kind of weird.

My mom made yoghurt parfait with Muesli and fresh fruits one morning. I didn’t get that growning up…

(left) In Germany cake is typically not eaten as dessert after dinner. You have coffee and/or tea with cake in the afternoon mostly on weekends or special occasions (similar to the British tea time) rather than after dinner. I remember meeting my friends for coffee and a chat after work, calling it Kaffeeklatsch in jest. I had a long list of favorite cakes like red currant cake, plum cake, German cheese cake and apple cake. Unfortunately I didn’t manage to eat them all.

berlin biergarten You can find some Biergarten and Beach Bars during the summer months along the Spree river.  You don’t need to be especially lucky to snag one of those patio chairs facing the river and it feels so good to rest your legs after a day on the streets of Berlin. I let some water passing by in the Spree with a cocktail in one hand and a salty Prezel in the other.

 

First picture on top shows a Berliner Weisse. It’s also a Berlin original: very tart and sour beer becomes drinkable (and very refreshing) by adding syrup. Traditional it’s raspberry syrup for the red colored Berliner Weisse and the green one is made with woodruff syrup.

 

 


 

white wine sangria with blackberries and rosemary

by Eva Felis on July 25, 2014

blackberry sangria

A certain sign and kind of proof that I drift from adolescence into adulthood is the change of my taste. Obviously also a change into bad humor, as I should rather say: senility lies in wait. Growing up nothing could be sweet enough and I had been able to eat bags of candies. Nowadays the very thought of it, hurts my stomach and gives me toothache. My first experience with coffee or even wine went along with a sugar high, both had been judged as too bitter and I improved with tablespoons of sugar. All this had altered, I still appreciate donuts and cupcakes but prefer less sweeter fruit tarts. If it comes to wine, it has to be at least a dryer version of semi-sweet and that also reflects the kind of sangria I prefer. Forgotten are those bottles labeled “Sangria” in colorful letters, which also translates in “headache”, containing a potpourri of red wine from the bottom of barrels from all other the world. Homemade is the best, and that’s also true for wine and fruit based beverages. In summer times I prefer white to red wine, for it’s light and crisp taste. Read more >>


 

Weltmeisterbrot – world champion bread

by Eva Felis on July 18, 2014

weltmeisterbrot-1417

Is it okay to talk about soccer on a food blog? Especially me as someone usually total uninterested and clueless person when it comes to sports, but to my defense I truly enjoyed watching the world cup. And you know why, because Germany won that golden thing! That might be old news for you, but some fun facts are: it’s said the trophy is hollow and the winning team just gets a replicate with platted gold to take home. So even I figured out, winning the world cup is not all about the glory and the fake trophy, it’s about getting people together – actually nations – to share tears of joy and sometimes frustration. And also play soccer, needless to say… Read more >>


 

raspberry-marzipan coffee cake

by Eva Felis on July 7, 2014

Raspberry-Marzipan Coffee Cake-3

This cake is long gone, its life span had been cut short – literally cut in pieces – and is countable in hours, certainly not days. The minute I moved it from the oven to a rack to cool, I almost attacked it with a knife. I could hardly pull myself together to wait long enough to take a few pictures. I am that marzipan nutz. As soon as the raspberry-marzipan coffee cake made its appearance on the kitchen counter, everyone passing by cut one piece after another, and this goes without saying every time it had been just to taste a bit (e), until all was gone too fast. My only regret is that I haven’t been able to wait until the full flavor develops, it’s even better the next day. Read more >>


 

bad reputation

by Eva Felis on June 23, 2014

bad reputation

Some moons ago we celebrated Mr. F’s birthday at Holeman & Finch Public House. We always enjoy their food, in fact they score high on every best burger list nationwide. Today we are not here to talk burger, unfortunately I would love to lay my hands on their recipe… Read more >>


 

blueberry lavender cream scones

by Eva Felis on June 18, 2014

blueberry lavender scones

Moving into a new city forces you to start from scratch in regards of so many aspects of your daily life. It took me one and a half year to figure out where to buy fresh fish, which are the good restaurants, a trustfully and capable dentist and this one is essential in regards of lifesaving: where to find the best coffee in town. I still need a GPS for getting around with the car and that is not going to change very soon. Do you know how many streets in Atlanta have Peachtree in their name? I bet you don’t because no one knows that. Read more >>


 

German Krautsalat – coleslaw

by Eva Felis on June 11, 2014

 

german krautsalat

The dust had settled, in retrospect the renovation of my living room had been more than smooth. Gradually I am getting used to the feeling being fortune to life in a house I transformed just the way I like it: fitting to my needs and wishes. The walls between living and dinning room disappeared and the outcome is a bright open space. All what’s missing is an area rug and maybe some decoration, I kind of suck in this department… Read more >>


 

hot brown

by Eva Felis on June 4, 2014

hot brownThe downside of moving to a different city every year is you have to leave your friends behind every time. The upside is you have friend to visit and very good reasons to come back. Last weekend I had been walking in Memphis again. It had been a couple of months since my last visit, but we picked up our friendship right where we left off. Read more >>