Small Vinter’s Breakfast (Kleines Winzerfrühstück)

This is a recipe I found on the German Mosel.de website. I am not sure what makes it different from a “Bauernfrühstück” (Farmer’s Breakfast), but it’s really tasty all the same. The streaky bacon (“Speck”) referred can be bought ready cubed or in a single piece. It is usually very fatty, very smoky but also very tasty. It may be more familiar to some by the French word “Lardons”.

Ingredients (German names of the ingredients are also shown):

  • 1 kg potatoes (“Kartoffeln”)
  • 125 g streaky bacon (“Speck”)
  • 2 peeled onions (“Zwiebeln”)
  • 3 fresh eggs (“Eier”)
  • 3 tablespoons milk (“Milch”)
  • Salt (“Salz”)
  • Freshly ground pepper (“Pfeffer”)
  • 1 bunch chives (“Schnittlauch”)
  • 1 Tomato (“Tomate”)

Preparation:

Peel and cook the potatoes, leave to cool and then cut into cubes. Dice the bacon and the onions and sauté in a pan until translucent. Add the potato and fry until golden. Whisk the egg with the milk and season to taste with the salt and pepper. Pour the egg mixture over the potatoes, bacon and onion mixture. Cook over a low heat, occasionally loosening the edges with a knife or spatula so that the egg evenly disperses. Once the eggs are set to your liking, service garnished with chives and tomato slices.

Sofas for Difficult Spaces

WP_20150130_004A couple of years ago, we had a bit of a disaster when we moved into our house and our advice may help many of you moving to the region to avoid the same stress.

Generally, houses in the Mosel have the living areas on the upper floors, with the ground floor being utility space (or for wine production). The reason for this is simple – the flood risk. That means your sitting room is likely to be on the first floor, accessed by a staircase with at least one bend in it. Our house has no fewer than four such staircases, three of which dog-leg back on themselves but with no half landing.

All fine and dandy I hear you cry, as such features add to the character of the property. We were of the same opinion – until our sofa (among other things) would not go up…! Continue reading “Sofas for Difficult Spaces”

Interesting Old Building in Traben Trarbach

I love history and architecture, and Traben Trarbach has more than its fair share of amazing buildings and interesting hidden gems.

This rather ecclesiastical looking window was clearly part of something grander but is now seems to be part of a sculptor’s workshop. I wish he would spend a bit of time renovating this fantastic piece of history.

Hot Topic – Storage Heaters versus Infrared Panels

Has anyone replaced their bulky, ugly and very old-fashioned electric night storage heaters that seem to be quite prevalent in unmodernized German homes with new slim line infrared panel heaters? Either the glass panel types or the ones with a ceramic core?

If so, I’d love to hear your experiences and opinions of them, and also how you managed to dispose of the old storage heaters.

Fried Mosel Eel

For those of you interested in Mosel regional cooking, here is a recipe which may not appeal to everyone but I personally quite like – fried eel. Eel is one of those foods that people (Cockneys excepted) unfairly dismiss without even trying, but I say if you ever get the chance, give it a whirl.

Ingredients (German names of ingredients are also shown):

  • 500 g Eel (“Aal”)
  • 1 Onion (“Zwiebel”)
  • Salt and pepper
  • Fish seasoning (“Fischgewürz”)
  • 125 g Flour (“Mehl”)
  • 1 Egg (“Ei”)
  • 200 ml Wine (white is best. Water or beer could be used instead)
  • Oil for frying

Preparation:

Take the eel, cut into portions and season with a little salt. Poach the eel pieces in boiling water into which some fish spice and pepper have been added to taste. Whilst the eel is cooking, prepare a batter by whisking together the flour, egg, wine and two teaspoons of the oil. When the fish has cooked for 30 minutes, remove from the cooking liquid, drain thoroughly and dip in the batter. Finally, fry the battered eel pieces in oil until golden brown. Drain on kitchen paper and serve.

(Recipe adapted from the recipe section of the Mosel.de website)

Riesling Glühwein

Christmas is rapidly approaching now and those of us living in Germany will no doubt have already had the pleasure of sampling the famous “Glühwein” at one of the multitudes of Christmas Markets that start in late November and go on right up until Christmas Eve or even into the New Year.

Traditionally, Glühwein is made from red wine, but of course, Mosel wine is predominantly white. It would be a bit of an insult to the local wine producers not to attempt to make some using the local plonk, so I reproduce here a recipe I found on the German cooking website http://www.kochbar.de/. It is the best translation from German to English I could manage, but I think it is reasonably accurate.

Weißer Glühwein (Mulled White Wine)

Ingredients:

  • 600 ml dry white wine
  • 150 ml Vodka
  • One orange
  • Five cloves
  • Two cinnamon sticks
  • Half teaspoon cardamom seeds
  • Three tablespoons of honey
  • Freshly grated nutmeg to taste
  • Lemon slices, to serve.

Slice the orange and throw into a saucepan along with all the other ingredients. Cover and heat gently but do not boil for at least ten minutes (if you boil it you will evaporate off the alcohol and we don’t want that now do we?). Taste and add more honey if necessary. Serve hot in heat-resistant glasses garnished with a light sprinkling of cinnamon, one clove and a slice of lemon.

Please note this is just one variation on a theme – the aforementioned website has numerous other recipes for mulled white wine, so feel free to experiment to come up with different spice and citrus combinations to make your own personalised Christmas drink!

Sofa Bed – Free To A Good Home

We still have this little foam flop out sofa bed which is surplus to our requirements. It is not really big enough to accommodate adults, but it is perfect for a kids’ room.

It is in good condition and if anyone wants to come and take it (sorry we cannot deliver), please send me message using the form below. It is located in Zell and the collection date / time will need to be by mutual arrangement as we are not always there. It should fit into most estate cars or maybe even into a larger hatchback.

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