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Daaaaaaling

November Isar

November Isar

As beautiful as the Isar is during all times of year, it’s sometimes startling to see how it can change so rapidly in just a few weeks. Look at this photo from a few days back compared to the one I posted in the last blog entry. Winter is coming. (But unfortunately not yet the new season of Game of Thrones.)

Two weekends ago, we had another cook-in at Caro’s place – making use of some of her 70 kilos of garden-grown vegetables that she harvested. I had wanted to try out a salad I saw posted in the New York Times a couple months back and finally I had the chance. In addition to a lovely chicken dish plus broad beans with a saffron sauce and pan roasted and smashed potatoes, we got to work peeling carrots in order to re-create the Roasted Carrot and Avocado Salad. And what was amusing along the way – the big advantage of growing your own vegetables as Caro does – is that you get the most amazing shapes sometimes…have a look at this beauty. ūüėČ I think Mallorie chopped her up in the end…

The salad was great. Can highly recommend it. Also it would be great with other root vegetables – parsnips, turnips, or pumpkin.

Roasted Carrot and Avocado Salad

Roasted Carrot and Avocado Salad

Today it pours outside and I hear the temperature will drop substantially in the next 24 hours. Perhaps it is better to say Winter is Here, although I would rather prefer to believe there is a little more sun in the future. Anyway, there will be soon enough when I go home for Thanksgiving.

To get in the spirit of fall, don’t hesitate to make a big pot of Daal – in my pressure cooker, this is a super fast dish to throw together. Not many ingredients plus you can tweak the recipe as you like, choosing the types of lentils/beans you like, and adjust the seasonings to your preference. Yesterday I did this one:

Daal prep

Daal prep

Directions: chop up a small red onion and fry it for a few minutes in some mustard oil (ideally in a pressure cooker, but any medium sized sauce pan will work). When the onion begins to brown, throw in a teaspoon of brown mustard seeds. When they begin to pop, put in your dry spices: some ground cumin, tumeric, asafetida, ground coriander. Stir. Chop up your chili and throw it in. Stir and let the flavors begin to meld. Chop up two tomatoes – remove the skins if you prefer – and put them in. Let everything cook down a bit – your tomatoes should begin to get mushy. When they do, put in two whole peeled garlic cloves, 5-10 curry leaves, a handful of chopped cilantro and a half a cup of yellow split peas and a half a cup of green lentils and one to two teaspoons of salt. Finally add 4 cups of water and stir everything around once before putting on the lid. If you’re cooking with a pressure cooker, set your timer to 25 minutes, and select the higher pressure valve setting. Let it cook. In 25 minutes you will have a daal. Rich and spicy, perfect served with a scoop of yogurt and a sprinkling of fresh cilantro.

Daal

Daal

 

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Winter Fishing on the Isar

Fishing on the Isar

Fishing on the Isar

I was surprised to see this guy the other day, stubbornly fishing despite the mucky weather. I wonder if he caught anything.

I liked the look of the cracked walls of the dam in the cold…next to the green water and grey/white sky.

rwehr (Dam on my run route)

Isarwehr (Dam on my run route)

Apologies on the Rabbit Dinner. It was very good, but beyond one shot I grabbed while the meat was marinating (I did end up cooking Afghani Rabbit – a lovely garlic, yogurt, nuts, cinammon, cloves and other herbs and spices marinade, along with lentils and lemony spinach, fresh tomatoes, and a chocolate cake), I caught nothing on “film.” The guests arrived and I forgot to take pictures from that moment onwards.

So…not much to show. But it was tasty. Wouldn’t cook rabbit again with that recipe – meat was a bit dry – but would try it again in a different way.

 
 

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Poison in the garden

Poisonous - Lily of the Valley (Maiglöckchen) along the Isar

Poisonous - Lily of the Valley (Maiglöckchen) along the Isar

Every year I hear a stray story about someone dying from eating plants that they thought were wild ramps (Baerlauch) that they picked in the English garden here in Munich. Generally what they have picked is apparently the flower known as “Lily of the Valley” which is a fairly good foil for ramps. At least if you have a stuffed nose. And they are highly poisonous.

But I had never actually seen Lily of the Valley in the English garden, which blooms later than ramps (in German they are called “Maigl√∂ckchen” or “May bells” and indeed they bloom in late April/early May while ramps come out in April or even March), so I thought it was a lot of hogwash. Never say never. Last night I was running along the Isar in an area I rarely run in and had to stop for a moment to rest (jetlag killing me, better today.) And lo and behold – Lily of the Valley, right there next to a tree. I wasn’t actually sure – because they really did look a lot like wild ramps. So I stepped closer, sniffed, grabbed a leaf, tore it and sniffed, and realized that though the flowers hadn’t bloomed yet, there were buds there, and they had to be lilies.

I kept running after that, wondering if I would see ramps anywhere close by and indeed, about 200 meters later, there they were. A deeper green in color, and a shinier leaf, a little larger as well, but still easy to believe someone could mistake one for the other if your nose is not working. You don’t even have to reach down to grab a leaf of ramps and sniff – the garlicky scent hits you like a wall when you get anywhere near them.

Edible - Wild Ramps (Baerlauch) along the Isar

Edible - Wild Ramps (Baerlauch) along the Isar

The only thing I would actually worry about…would be if the patches of the plants were actually mixed in with one another. That could be very very dangerous. Didn’t see that, however. Still, if you didn’t know…grabbing one for the other could kill you. Don’t go out picking with a stuffed nose…

 
 

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A Tranquil Scene Next to the Isar

Before I move onto Jodhpur for the next vacation blog…a quick aside.

Mallorie and I were biking home from work on Friday and I did a double take, and then actually turned my bike around, calling out to Mallorie to wait a moment and went back to confirm what I thought I had seen.

Here you go, take a look – this is what was painted on the beer garden wall (and it’s city sponsored/approved…i saw the guys painting it a few days earlier in broad daylight):

Look once, look twice

Look once, look twice

So…I have a sense of humor, and don’t have a big problem with this although I imagine some people would/will? If I am not mistaken, it is a scene of a flasher showing his goods to a kid. Some sort of adult figure next to the child looks disturbed…the fish seems oblivious.

Just…mostly surprised.

Mallorie suggested that it wasn’t what I thought it was – rather just a guy stretching out a towel about to relax next to the river. So maybe better to think of it like that. ūüėõ

 
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Posted by on September 25, 2011 in Strange Happenings

 

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