Give a fuck! It makes the difference!

Münchner Tafel is a local food bank and well established charitable organization in Munich, independent of the national German food bank. Münchener Tafel translates to “Muniquoise Table” and is helping people in need, people affected by old-age poverty, single parents with many children, drug addicts, bringing food of impeccable quality to women’s- and emergency shelters, facilities for mentally ill people, therapeutic co-habitation groups and many more.

Last weekend was the first time I helped out collecting non-perishables for the food bank. The setting was pretty simple- a billboard and three people of different ages standing at the entrance of an Edeka supermarket close to Stiglmeierplatz, trying to inspire folks in Munich, running their errands on a sunny Saturday morning, to buy one non-perishable good like rice, pasta, flour, cooking oil or canned food and donate it to us. We would collect everything in green boxes and in the evening it would be transported to the food bank’s headquarters from where it would start the journey to the 27 distribution points spread across Munich. In the three hours I was there, we filled 16 boxes with donated food. The day before another group of volunteers collected 36 boxes in nine hours.

I revealed the outcome but bear with me for a little while as I was amazed of the warmth in people and totally overwhelmed by the positive responses and the generous food donations.
I am not very good in asking for help, I grew up fighting for many things in my life and asking for free stuff doesn’t come easy for me. But I tried my best as this was not for me but for a bit more well-being of others.
It turned out easy also because the organization is already very well known for its work, so people immediately recognized the “brand” and were happy to donate – not only one good, one KG of flour or rice but two and five and more.
I was surprised that people of all ages donate mainly what they eat themselves, reflecting their habits and personality, like organic Müsli or gluten free pasta. One guy asked us what he can donate healthy, he looked very sporty, so my protein bell rang promptly and I suggested Tuna. He came back with five Saupiquet tuna cans, which are not really the cheapest ones. The majority of donors did not even look at the price – no intentional marketing here but people bought what they personally like and think it’s qualitative food, what they would eat themselves. This is what I found amazing!
There were some who gave a lot of thought to it and came back with an entire meal (e.g. pasta and the sauce) or stuff for breakfast or the afternoon tea like one of those packaged marble cakes and Earl Grey tea. And you could see so much joy lightening up their faces when we acknowledged it. Families were sending their kids with the food to us, some were not at an age to fully understand the difference their parents donation would make.
And what stroke me the most were those people who at first glance seemed lost in their own cozy realities, maybe a bit arrogant, making you think they just politely listen to you but they just did not know how to handle the situation momentarily. At the end of their shopping spree, they were the ones coming back to us with donations in form of multiple packs of expensive pasta or organic food.

It’s delightful, darling to see how genuinely generous and helpful people are, if you ask!
Collected facts on the organization you can find below.

These type of events take place regularly, maybe soon in your neighbourhood. If you feel inspired by the generosity of your fellow townsmen today, click here to find out how you can contribute!

 

Facts for Münchener Tafel e.V.

  • Established 1994 as one of the first food banks in Germany with the goal to bring food of good marketable quality to those in need. The motto is distributing food rather then destroying.
  • Delivers healthy food donations weekly to over 100 social facilities in Munich: women’s shelters, mother- and child shelters, emergency shelters, facilities for people suffering from AIDS, drug addicts, mentally ill people, therapeutic housing groups, road women, therapeutic co-habitation groups and four schools supporting socially disadvantaged children.
  • Cares for approx. 20K people in need per week: people affected by old-age poverty, hidden poor, uprooted people, refugees, people after severe blows of fate, is single parents with many children, large families, unemployed, sick, pensioners, asylum seekers, alcoholics and drug addicts.
  • 27 distribution points in the city of food to the needy
  • approx. 120 tones of food is collected and distributed per week; these are of impeccable quality but are no longer used in the economic process (e.g. from overproduction or with damaged outer packaging etc.)
  • 17 refrigerated vans and many private cars
  • over 650 volunteers
  • over 170 company sponsors – you can check out the current list here.
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Go for Gold(en Latte)!

Last weekend I visited my Spanish friend, Cristina in London. While it was a wonderful weekend where I finally met her Italian fiancée, we watched the awesome [read with a very strong American accent] musical The Book of Mormon in Prince of Wales Theater, I visited the Design Museum in it’s new Kensington location and enjoyed the breathtaking views from the top of the Walkie- Talkie building, I also brought back the trends from London for you.
One not very enchanting as after getting to know the viral infection cruising through London, I got bound to my bed for a week and forced to take antibiotics.
Anyway, whining is not the purpose of the story but “Golden Latte”, which was sold everywhere throughout the city of London. So I got pretty curious but somehow I never managed to get one in the morning and as it contains ginger I had to avoid it in the afternoons. So here I am letting lattes get golden in Munich myself.

First things first: Why golden?

Well, more of a marketing gag, I guess. You sell the image of a golden, bright shining latte easier then a yellow latte, right? Golden Latte vs. Yellow Latte? Definitely go for gold!

IMG_4738

 

The main ingredient is Turmeric, which I didn’t know but it’s actually Curcuma as far as I was able to investigate. For the golden lattes you need it in powder. The Turmeric root originates in the Ginger root family and it looks similar to a worm, reminding a bit of the sand worms ridden in the deserts of Arrakis in the Dune novels by Frank Herbert.

After reading a multitude of how to’s on golden lattes recipes I slightly altered Lynn Hoefers recipe. She also explains very detailed the properties and benefits of Turmeric latte on your health.

Share the golden experience with a friend. The below serves 2:

  • 2 cups of almond or oat milk – whatever you like most
  • 1 tsp of turmeric/curcuma
  • 1 tbsp of honey (you can replace it with coconut or maple syrup)
  • 1/2 tsp of ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp of cardamom powder
  • 2 small pieces of fresh peeled ginger
  • a very small pinch of pepper

Ready for Gold?

It turns out to taste a bit earthy, so be cautious with the quantity of turmeric and cardamom added. But it warms up the body pretty smoothly.
Personally, this drink belongs to the acquired- taste- lower- drawer but maybe it’s for you?! Londoners grew fond of it!

Salmorejo Cordobés – Andalusian tomatoes wonder

Salmorejo

Salmorejo Cordobes

Tomatoes wonder – yes, totally! It’s omnipresent and omnipotent throughout Andalusia. Can be served for every meal and in multiple forms, as Tapa, soup, dip, sauce etc – it’s a constant companion all year round but preferably consumed during the torrid Andalusian summers.

Plan this in advance as you need stale white bread – as I didn’t know where to get it, I bought the white bread two days before actually planning to make the Salmorejo.

Ingredients:

  • 1 kg ripe tomatoes, best quality you can find on the market. They make the difference between a regular Salmorejo and an awesome one.
  • 150 gr stale bread
  • 100 ml of best extra virgin Olive oil you find on the market – it’s worth it investing a few more dimes here
  • half to one garlic clove- al gusto but remove the middle part to avoid eructation
  • 8-10 gr salt but better taste it before you add this quantity blindly
  • black pepper

Salmorejo has the final consistency of a puree. And goes very well with boiled eggs and a good Jamon Serrano.

Let do it:
Wash the tomatoes well, cut them in small pieces and add them to a large bowl. Take a blender and turn the tomato pieces into a sauce.
Pass the sauce through a strainer to remove seeds and skin pieces that have made it through the blending process. You want a smooth texture.

Cut the stale bread into pieces, add them to the tomato sauce and let it rest for 10 mins. This way the bread soaks some of the liquid and it becomes easier to blend it later.

In the meantime peel the garlic and, as it is used raw, remove the center so that it does not repeat. Add it to the tomatoes/bread mixture, pour in the extra virgin olive oil and salt. Grind some pepper – it’s not mandatory though.

It’s final blending time!
Blend it until you are happy with the texture, it should be really smooth and creamy. Taste now. Here is the time to add more salt if necessary.

Place the bowl in the fridge for a couple of hours and you will have a perfect version of the Salmorejo of Cordoba.
Before serving pour into bowls, sprinkle with a few shavings of Serrano or Iberian ham and/or some hard boiled egg. Finish with a drop of extra virgin Olive oil.

Perfect dish, dip or Tapa.
¡Buen provecho!

Far Far Breton

This summer was my very first time really exploring France. I have been to France before but either for brief visits to Paris or for work in Cannes. Never the deep country side. And what better area to start a Fradventure then with beautiful Provence. It was a wonderfully enriching experience, teaching me a lot about culture, history, food, chic, myself and relationships. But most of all it boosted my desire to scout other areas of France.
In a moment of childhood melancholia my boyfriend started telling me about Bretagne, its rough beauty, about how as a child he knew every rock and met every crab moving in Plozévet, about how every inhabitant of Plozévet knew the exact times of tides as good as the opening hours of the tiny Crêperie on the beach. The sea was moving very quickly when the time arrived for it to unravel it’s waters and embrace the rocks, wash the shores until time came to pull back and unfold it’s bed for children’s delights.

What other delight can come to mind then a Far Breton to celebrate these childhood memories?

Not much effort is required to make a Far Breton happen, it just takes a bit more waiting time than a usual cake. What you need you mainly have at home except maybe prunes …

Ingredients:

  • 200 gr wheat flour
  • 150 gr caster sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 sachets Vanilla sugar
  • 750 ml milk
  • 20 – 25 prunes (dry plums)
  • a small piece of butter

The French recipes I explored don’t beat the eggs but I came to realize that the foam formed by beating the eggs turns into a nice surface while baking.

So… beat the eggs thoroughly with a pinch of salt, add sugar, Vanilla sugar and blend until it’s creamy. Gradually add milk and flour. As said, if it’s too much effort for you, the ingredients can be just mixed all together whiteout the egg beating step.
Let it rest for one hour at room temperature.

Make sure you take a high porcelain or glass baking mold, an earthen one would be perfect but I don’t just happen to have one lying around and I assume neither do you. Don’t take a quiche form, it should be either a Pie or Lasagna baking form as it needs to be high.
After that take the prunes, roll them in a bit of flour (so they don’t sink immediately) and spread them onto your Far Breton.

Preheat the oven at 200°C/392°F.
Butter your baking mold and pour the rested mixture into it. Bake for 30 minutes. Stop the oven and leave for another 30 minutes inside. It’s very important that during this entire hour the Far Breton is in the oven, you do NOT open it!
Let the Far Breton cool down and serve accompanied by some Breton tune by Oldelaf!

Bon appétit! and …. like the Breton say: “Kenavo”! See you soon!

Turkish Pita bread or Pide

Pita is a soft flatbread baked from wheat flour and known in multiple cuisines such as Mediterranean, Balkan and Middle Eastern. Can be used to scoop sauces, dips or as sandwich bread. It’s delicious combined with Humus or aubergine salad my mom used to make.

the quantities below make for 2 well-sized Pita breads

What you need:

  • 800 gr wheat flour 
  • 50 gr butter
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 spoon white sugar
  • 1 pack fresh yeast ( in Germany it’s 42 gr), it surely works with dry yeast as well 
  • ca. 600 ml fluid (400ml water, 200 milk) 

For later:

  • 1 egg yolk 
  • 3-4 spoons olive oil
  • white and black sesame seeds

This recipe was a bit adventurous for me but it will not be for you, as I figured it all out! 🙂

I have been researching for quite a bit now for a tasty and easy-to-make Pita recipe and found it on Aynur’s youtube channel. I assume she is a Turkish lady living in Germany, totally amazing but the measurements in glasses are kind of an acquired taste – so I converted everything in standard measurements for us.

Let’s do it!

Put flour, fresh yeast, salt, sugar and butter in a bowl and start kneading by adding the fluid to the mixture bit by bit. As I transformed everything in ml or gram for you it should not be a problem to pour everything into the bowl of a heavy duty mixer like Kitchen Aid and let the machine do the job until you have a homogeneous body. Let the dough rise for 30 minutes in a warm place. 

After the dough rose, prepare your working space. Sprinkle the table with flour and split the dough in two equal parts. Roll them out into 2 cm thick oval breads. 

After forming the oval pita breads, lay them onto the prepared backing trays and let them rest, covered for another 10 mins. 

Now get your gloss out – yolk and oil mixture – and coat the bread’s surface. When it’s totally shiny start an acupressure treatment on your Pide by pressing your fingers into the dough parallel with the breads  margin, leaving 2 cm distance. Watch Aynur’s video for this, it speaks a thousand words! You need to apply pressure properly, if not the line disappears during baking!

After applying the Pita acupressure technique successfully, sprinkle black and white sesame seeds on them. The mixture tastes wonderful. 

Preheat your oven at 180°C/356°F and bake the Pita breads for 30 mins.

Prepare to have sesame seeds all over the kitchen floor 🙂 As said: it’s a delightfully delicious adventure, darling! 

Lime Meringue Tarte

The cake base is Pâte Brisée and the Curd recipe you can find here

the quantities make for 1 Tarte or 6 Tartelettes 

What you need for cake base:

  • 200g wheat or spelt flour (I prefer wheat) 
  • 100g cold butter, cubed
  • 1 pinch of salt
  • 3 spoons caster sugar (or 2 spoons of sugar + 1 sachet Vanilla sugar)
  • 1/4 glass of water or milk

Mix butter and flour lightly until you have crumbles. Not too long though, add sugar, water (or milk) and the pinch of salt. Begin your work on the dough. If you feel it needs a bit more flour, feel free to add. 

Roll out the dough and place it in a Tarte or Quiche baking form. Prick the dough with a fork. Don’t forget to pre-heat your oven to 180°C/356°F. Baking time is 10 -15 mins. 

prick_the_dough

prick the pâte brisée

blind_baking

“blind-baking”, weighing down the dough

 

The dough needs to be “blind-baked”. Bake the cake base but prevent it from rising by weighing it down with beans, lenses or even rice. 

How to do it? Just add a layer of Aluminium foil or baking paper on top and fill the Tarte form with beans as in the image above. 

I presume the beans cannot be used for cooking anymore, at least I never tried but can be reused every time for this purpose.

When the dough cooled off, fill your Tarte/Tartelettes with the previously prepared lime curd. 

And nooow — It’s meringue time! 

You can make French or Italian meringue for the Tarte. Both are suited. I go with the French one, it’s less hassle to be honest. 

Prepare your mixer! It is vital for the Baiser.

I use 2 egg whites and 140 g caster sugar for one Tarte or 6 Tartelettes decoration. 

How to do meringue:

Start by beating the egg whites with a pinch of salt at low speed, add half of the sugar, keep the same speed until it gets a bit foamy and you see tips forming. Add the rest of sugar and increase the speed by 1-2 levels, depending on your mixer. 

The meringue should be stiff when you are done beating 🙂

You can either spread meringue on the curd using an offset spatula, making decorative swirls or use a star-like tip (like below) to decorate your Lime Tarte kiss by kiss (Baiser is kiss in French). 

tip_for_meringue

decoration tip

After spreading enough kisses on your Tarte, you should caramelize the tips of the kisses using a handheld kitchen torch.

If you don’t have a kitchen torch you can caramelize/dry the meringue on the Tarte under the broiler. 

The Tarte is at it’s best after 5 -6 hours in the fridge or even better, the next day.

It’s really delightful, darling! The sweetness of meringue melts into the soft, creamy, fruity curd texture.

Dare to bake it! It’s actually easy to make and the reward is incredible. Bring it to a party and you are cherished forever! But it takes some time! My tip: prepare the Curd on the previous day and you are good to go! 

Lime curd

Curd is originally a British spread made with lemons. But you can actually make curd with almost every citric fruit you can find (oranges, grapefruit, tangerines) as well as berries (strawberries, blueberries, raspberries) or mango. 

I love using it for tartes, topped with meringue. 

Note that the only additional step when making non-citric curd is pureeing the fruit using a food processor. 

I have seen and tried recipes using the lemon/lime zest but I like it more without it. It’s clear.

The quantities below make for 2 X150 gram jars. 

  • 150ml lemon juice
  • 140 gr refined sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 85 g butter, cubed 
  • 1 spoon corn starch

Squeeze the limes (+ not necessary step: strain the juice so it’s pure), mix in the sugar and corn starch and place it on the stove at medium heat. Once sugar melted add butter cubes piece by piece and stir gently.

In the meantime beat the 3 eggs, adding a pinch of salt.

Once the butter is blended in, add the beaten eggs but stir gently and continuously using an egg wisk. Keep the stir on until the curd starts clotting. 

(Mind that if you don’t stir continuously, the eggs might get flaky and the consistency of the curd changes, you want a smoothy, creamy curd 🙂 

Now pour into jars you prepared and let it cool. I always put it in the fridge for a few hours after it cools. 

Top tartes, cupcakes, Brioche and fancy cakes with it. 

Kept in the fridge, curd can be used up to 2 weeks. 

Enjoy! It’s delightful, darling!