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14 posts from September 2007

Federweisser (Wine in the making)


I can only echo Hungry in Berlin's enthusiastic words on Federweißer, which was just coming into the shops during my recent visit to the Moselle Valley. Those in Germany briefly should be especially vigilant about seeking out this speciality: Federweißer's cloudy golden depths capture the essence of late summer, and it is rare to drink something so changing; I like catching it just before it tips into tartness -- more or less straightaway after buying a bottle -- when the muscat note is still dominant. To buy, my favourites so far have been the bottles sold at the BioCompany and those stocked by my beloved neighbourhood wine shop Nix Wie Wein. (While a rich onion tart is the traditional pairing, I've grown fond of Federweißer alongside cheddar.) And do rush - I meant to write about Federweißer when I began Berlin Reified last fall, but by late October it had already disappeared...


Illustrative 2007 (Berlin)


Encountering Lorenzo Petrantoni's massive, intricate black-and-white tick-tocking wall was easily the most thrilling moment in Illustrative Berlin 2007; I was also fond of Olaf Hajek's apes and lilies, as indeed many are.


Prater revisited


The Prater takes on a poignancy as summer draws to a close. Eat your corn on the cob while you still can!

Herb salt, or What to do with summer’s bounty


It's incomprehensible to me why I never posted on my balcony herb garden, though poking the seeds into the earth and watching them sprout, then flourish was such a profound joy to one who'd never planted anything before. Now my vision takes on a preserving cast, seeing the cold coming, and on a whim, really, I whirled rich handfuls of parsley, rosemary, sage, thyme and lemon thyme with coarse sea salt in the food processor, and this was the fragrant result. So far  I've sprinkled it onto tomatoes and potatoes, with infinite applications to follow in the fall.

Art Cube at the Haus am Waldsee


What a vision of home! The Art Cube at the Haus am Waldsee was perfect spotted in a clearing through the late-summer trees, and the view above was to die for, though the bathroom (I found myself thinking heretically) felt like nothing more than one you'd find in an Ibis hotel room. But still, for those who read this late, it must be lovely when the surrounding trees go autumnal.

Curry leaves, or Finding Asian ingredients in Berlin


Oh, the Asian market in Kopenhagener Straße is such a gem! The latest thrilling developments are 1) packets of khadhi limba, or fresh curry leaves and 2) spiffy aluminum Vietnamese coffee makers for 1.99 alongside packets of Trung Nguyen coffee for 99 cents and cans of the beloved Longevity-brand sweetened condensed milk.

Kopenhagener Str. 2, Berlin-Prenzlauer Berg (map)

Beets (thinly sliced)


Dinner at Aine's made me reconsider root vegetables. At BioCompany the other day, I hesitated over the beets and kohlrabi, then bought both. Really, who knew thin slicing rendered these orbs delectable without even the briefest steam? The other morning I had just the beets in slices this side of translucent; carpaccio it ain't, but perhaps next time they will find themselves daubed with crème fraîche and dill, and then we'll talk.