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4 posts from December 2008

Herbs & spices by weight


And when your thyme's too dusty to be trotted out once again, then it's time to hie yourself off to Pot & Pepper in the heart of Steglitz. (If you're very lucky, you will take a fellow food-lover along with you and stop for cake and gossip at an old-school Konditorei on Schloßstraße populated solely by white-haired women over 70.)

Such a pleasure to buy herbs and spices by weight, and know you'll use up your tiny bag before the rosemary's aromatic oils have dissipated. I poked my nose into container after container trying to select the best black peppercorns, and was thankful for the owner's compact explanations of Malabar vs Tellicherry vs Sarawak. And if you're worried the recondite herb you're seeking won't be represented on Pot & Pepper's tall shelves, check their list before heading out. American cooks will be pleased to hear they sell measuring cups and spoons too.

Pot & Pepper, Kieler Strasse 9, Berlin-Steglitz (map)
M-F 11 am - 7 pm, Sat 11 am - 4 pm
Tel. (030) 81827 983

The enchanted beast


How delighted I was to see S spellbound by Christine Schäfer's arias from Alcina! Alongside Giulio Cesare, Alcina formed the soundtrack to my pregnancy, and a little thrill went through me as I sat cradling S and the Berliner Barock Solisten touched the first notes of the overture.

For those who wonder at risking a tiny baby in a concert, know that the Tuesday lunchtime recitals in the  Philharmonie foyer are free, casual, wonderful, and can even accommodate a bit of discreet nursing in a corner; they're well worth attending for the stellar performances in a low-key setting. (And for what it's worth, S, bless her, let out nary a peep.)

Stefanie Scheier at Christmas


Fellow fans of Stefanie's ceramics will be pleased to know she's selling her wares at the Kollwitzplatz Christmas market today, at Domäne Dahlem next weekend, and then at Kollwitzplatz again on the Sunday before Christmas. And baby busy-ness kept me from mentioning earlier that she has a fabulous new website featuring many of her lovely pieces -- do check it out!

(David did the sketch above as we idled at Werkstatt der Süße, the cafe opposite Stefanie's shop, under the shade of their makeshift awning. How queer to remember that day, hot, looking down the long stretch of green trees, still pregnant, still waiting.)

Welcome home Berlin

And what heaven to return home to your clean sheets and everything just so, prints on the wall and Russian Breakfast in the canister, the snow falling outside and candles flickering inside, your tummy full with hot soup and sandwiches from Sgaminegg, Gieseking's Debussy on the piano.