Sarah

Dec 142016
 

Tomato soup

Some people say you have to be born in Scandinavia to able to survive here during the dark winter months. I disagree. Although I am born here, I will never get used to this crazy climate. Perhaps my DNA has it’s own explanation for that…. (some of my ancestors would probably agree).

Anyway, a way not to get all wacked here is to embrace the season and learn how to love it’s advantages. Here is how to do it:

Cook good food from the many wonderful ingredients we have access to and add flavor and color to your dishes too. Light candles and sit down around your table and notice that over the next mouthfuls you will have forgotten all about winter darkness and the cold rain in the storm outside.

Although tomatoes are grown in greenhouses on Fyn (the island in the middle of little Denmark) and squash (zucchini, courgette – same same) are not as such domestic vegetables, they create a beautiful companionship with homegrown walnuts (which I – admittedly – have “wrested” from the local squirrels) in this delicious soup. Serve it with homemade sourdough bread and you will almost end up loving the winter.

Dec 052016
 

 

Etrog marmelade

Etrog marmelade – a Sukkot speciality

Ever heard of an Etrog? Maybe as a part of the Sukkot ritual? Well, the Etrog is rare in Scandinavia, that is true. However if you have good connections to Israel – or to your greengrocer he or she will most likely be able to get it for you.

The Etrog is excellent in marmelade and especially if it is prepared with organic oranges.

My dear friend Dina has often “boasted” about her Etrog marmelade and honestly I was a bit like “narh….. really – how good can it be?”. Here is the thing. She is 100 % right!

So one Sunday afternoon not too long ago, she generously invited me into her kitchen and shared her secret of how to make her special Etrog marmelade. All though it takes a few hours to make, it is worth the effort – that I can assure you.

The Etrog marmelade has a flowery, light yet distinct taste – not as sharp as a “normal” lemon marmelade would be.

Confession: This marmelade has become one of my favorites – and all though my head sounds like a forest fire when I eat it on my homemade toasted sourdough bread, I love every bite of it. A special thank to my “partner-in-food-crime”, Dina. It will certainly not be the last time I pay attention to her enthusiastic outburts, when she talks about one of her recipes.

To the recipe »

Jul 112016
 
Bread for Shabbat

challah_recipe

One of the last things immigrants leave behind is their eating habit. Being a former “immigrant” in both Nepal and in the United States, good bread has become nothing less than a domestic obsession to me. I bake. Almost no matter where I am on the globe and I love it.

Challah is often difficult to get, but so easy to make.

Admitted – today’s health trend is – do not eat bread. In Scandinavia the Paleo diet (in daily terms – Stone age food) is wide spread. Even among educated people – many whom I deeply respect – if you want to stay healthy and slim. Their meals does not include bread…

Slim is the “new black” (as in fashion…). But one could argue – so is life quality, and life quality to me equals – good bread (and yes, it can be healthy too if you add whole grains).

That being said – I believe a little bit of everything (a big variety of different vegetables, fruit, dairy, meat, fish, poultry – bread etc.) is good for you. Breaking bread together with people you care about is a beautiful tradition, I adore. Not only on Shabbat, but every day.

My bread is good – and popular (especially among the Paleo segment… go figure…) although, I am not always a successful baker.

Challah can be made with white flour, egg and drizzled with poppy seeds (my favorite). You can also add cheese and serve it together with a vegetarian Shabbat meal. Or you can flavour the bread with cardamoms, wholegrain, use a sourdough or you can make a Gluten free version too, if you want to – even in different colors. The variations seem endless.

Sometimes I am being “tricked” by the temperature, the type of flour, the oven – but luckily rarely. So what I am trying to say is – go for it – bake you own bread rather than buy it.

Homemade bread is – believe me – not difficult to make. Even if you fail once or twice – you learn something new every time.

By the way – bonus info – in Denmark a lot of men are proud bread bakers. Baking bread is not gender dependent in any way. All it takes is planning, good ingredients, an oven, courage and to some extent – intact taste buds.

To the recipe »

Jul 102016
 

lavender_sugar

Poetic, isn’t it? Or at worst a text you will find carved into a “stone” in the kind of store filled with things for costumers, that have everything, but still need to get their shop-fix.

Anyway, lavender is a flower, which can make me daydream about summer days in France or just “inhale” the smell before crushing it in my mortar.

Try the lavender sugar and you will be surprised how darned good it tastes in tea or cakes.

Easy to make – and by the way, a cool gift for friends and family.

To the recipe »

Jul 092016
 

lemonade_recipe_2

I am not a big fan of sodas. But I love homemade lemonade and its endless fruity combinations. Ice cold on a hot summer day….well, doesn’t get any better (if you are out of Champagne that is…).

This lemonade is without artificial preservatives and is usually a big hit among children as well as adults.

It doesn’t really take much time to make – just make sure you use the organic versions of limes and lemons.

You can use the syrup as the basis for a glass of lemonade or add 2 tablespoons lemonade syrup in your ice tea. Pour it in a bottle and bring it with you when you are heading to the beach or for a picnic in the park.

lemonade_recipe_1

To the recipe »

Jul 042016
 

 

best_sourdough_bread

In many cultures sharing a good meal is the beginning of a friendly welcoming ceremony.

Breaking bread is a “let’s have peace and share some bread” gesture. I would like to add – please let it be…. sourdough bread.

Don’t get me wrong, making and eating bread might seem like a peaceful act, but in my kitchen there has been moments…. where it honestly looked like a war had been taking place.

I once hired a painter, who left NO spots after painting our walls all white. I know of men and women who can have gardens, farms, work shops – and not leave a spot of dirt while they are working there.

That is not me. Whether I plant tiny little herbs, paint door frames or bake bread, the traces to my activity is never (I wish…) untraceable. But I keep telling myself to ignore the process casualties and focus on the result.

Years of bread “deprivation” (in the States to begin with, and before that in Nepal) – either because I couldn’t get the right flour- or because the bread around me (in my one-eyed opinion), was so ax80ahagadq#… (That was my forehead which just landed on my keyboard, merely thinking of how boring bread can be)… zzzzzz….. Well, it just created a (close to) “bread obsession”. I simply HAD to do something about it.

First move was to use a lot of money. Easy. I went out shopping with my husband (who is the technical wizard) and bought a huge Kitchen Aid Stand Mixer. Like having a birthday on an average Monday. Oh boy. I wish I had done that, years ago. My mixer has brought new dimensions into my bread baking.

You can argue, that the contradiction in baking your own bread and the costs it involves might not be that smart after all. The key word to me here is however the quality of the daily bread. The pure joy it brings me and my family is worth every penny. I even bring homemade bread to friends instead of flowers, sometimes along with homemade marmalade, herb salt or good cheese.

Apart from all the above arguments, there is another important thing in baking your own bread. It is a process – where the outcome is not predictable, but always exciting. True, there are lots of things that can go wrong. But using the right (good quality) flour, paying attention to the temperatures the batch is exposed to and learning baking techniques, makes all the difference.

Trust me, it is not difficult to bake your own bread, but as so many other things in life, practice helps. Good luck making your own sourdough bread. You won’t regret it, once you have started.

To the recipe »

Jul 012016
 

The Danish Jews have been here for over 400 years. The first Jews arrived in 1622 and today it is estimated that only 8000 Jews live in Denmark. Most of them are located in Copenhagen, some at Fyn and a few in Jutland.

If you are a tourist – and in Copenhagen – here are a few tips to what you can see and do.

Before you dive into the different options here, let me just give you one good piece of advice. Bring your best shoes, and be ready for a memorable walk around town.

Copenhagen’s biggest asset is – apart from being old and very beautiful – that it is such a cool city to see at a slow pace. To the recipe »