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Recalled to life/Baklava/This and that


After a nasty flu, a conference, a flurry of errands disguised as a holiday and the jerk of being back at work, I am finally back online as well. Oh, but the holiday wasn't all errands: there was a delicious Thanksgiving dinner with my favorite Grub hostess, a "Tribute to Wuppertal" evening (featuring Tom Twyker but not aspirin) and an afternoon gadding about Kreuzberg with Yvonne. (And let me tell you, if you'd like to meet some nice people, just give away some quince, and perhaps you too will meet two äußerst sympathische ladies.)

I feel a bit embarrassed about how seldom I am in Kreuzberg, and suspect that writing about the fabulous pastry shop on Oranienstraße will make some wince the way I wince when people exclaim that there's this really great bar called the Wohnzimmer in Prenzl'berg.

Oh, but those lovely shiny heavy trays inscribed with their weights, which look as if they'd kill a man if brought down once, sharply! And those perfect golden rectangles of baklava! What a relief, after too many doses of sickly glucose syrup plus faintly rancid nuts, to have pastry just sweet enough, just crisp enough, just faintly perfumed enough -- and with a ground-nut layer both meaty and clean-tasting.

Incidentally, a visit to Melek Pastanesi is the perfect finish to a movable feast that begins down the road in Cafe Bellona; their freshly made gözleme are just the subtle treat you would hope for. Next time I'm determined to follow Yvonne and try the mysterious garlicy sausage variant.

Meanwhile, while I've been away, Bowleserised and Bleistift und Notiz have sent my stats soaring in recent days, so many thanks to both lovely ladies. The latter snapped up the second berth in the grand pay it forward caravan. Really, does no-one want the third?

Melek Pastanesi, Oranienstraße 28 (map)
Cafe Bellona, Adalbertstraße (map)


I recall our lovely afternoon in Kreuzberg with great affection as well. Continuing the theme of almond baked goodness-- I have just tried at the Weihnachtsmarkt in Spandau the most delicious cylinder of golden sugary baked dough that is impressed whilst warm with a light layer of almond and cinnamon. Its warm, crusty, flaky- and the perfect way to have warmed my fingers and stomach as I winded my way through the throngs. [Funny is that what I also said about the Goezleme?] A dessert from Bornheim I believe but don't quote me on that!

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