QuinceTree

Stewed Quince

Armidale, a town in northern NSW, gets a little chilly in autumn, but that gives it the perfect climate for growing quinces. I was staying in Armidale recently when a very excited young physicist came rushing into my cabin bearing two fruit. She didn’t know what they were, but she’d found a tree full of…

ChocPruneRoll

Prune Roulade with Chocolate and Ricotta

Moving house is enough to make you wish you were a minimalist. Or at least that your partner was one. “Why does he collect historic computers?” you ask yourself, “and what use are all his uni notes about…?” But when he asks about your archive of baking magazines, you suddenly find the minimalistic lifestyle isn’t…

CornbreadMuffins1

Cornbread Muffins

When I was a child we used to go over to the neighbours’ house for a cuppa. They were houseproud people, and had a wooden deck out the back covered by a decorative grape vine. There they would serve tea in a pot, and often a loaf-cake. The interesting thing about the loaf-cake is that…

PfefferkuchenGebissen

Pfefferkuchen

German Christmas baking smells enticingly of spices and orange, and plays an important role throughout the celebration. Some cookbooks separate their recipes by the period of baking: November, Advent, Christmas or New Year. The batches the recipes make are often enormous, but there’s no hurry to eat them all since the biscuits and cookies baked…

TorteChocQuark

Chocolate Quark Torte

It’s not customary to buy yourself a present for someone else’s birthday, but hopefully buying yourself the equipment to bake a really good birthday cake is excusable. Baking using the tea-cup guestimation technique is great for muffins, but not for a proper torte. Electronic scales are not only more accurate than teacups, but also nicer…

Löwenzahnsalat

Dandelion Salad

Walking along the bike track on the Pleiße river one afternoon I spotted a family getting off their bikes, and heading into the knee-deep grass to search for something. No, it wasn’t the dog’s ball, and this time it wasn’t mushrooms either. They were collecting wild greens. Flicking through my book on wild foods in…

Ampelmänner1

Ampelmann Biscuits

Every town in former East Germany seems to be able to support an Ostladen (East shop). These shops specialise in all manner of East German paraphernalia, ranging from souvenir toy Trabant cars for tourists, to nostalgia stationary and cleaning products for locals. The cookie cutters in the iconic Ampelmann shapes were the thing I couldn’t…