After dinner…

Dinner is over…and a lovely Sunday nearly as well…

Accompanying the combination of lamb tripe, minced pork belly and veal tripe with green lentils

was the one and only bottle that my friend Plamen (Пламен Димитров), of the “Culture of Wine” foundation had bestowed on me on my last day in Bulgaria.

It is the first wine of his recently acquired vines, only a very limited number of bottles, vinificated by his old friends from the Domaine Boyar vinery according to his instructions. It’s not for sale, so he did not bother to put a label on it.

And I should say it matched the down to earth simplicity of my peasant dish quite well. Ahhhh. Especially after some “aroma therapy” I enjoyed to clear my palate 😉

Life is what you make of it! And my sincere intention is to continue living it consciously to its limit, with all its peaks and troughs. And the limit for me is not the sky but the universe 🙂

In diesem Sinne: za mnogo godini!

Lazing on a Sunday Afternoon…

Champagne was definitely the right choice for a Sunday afternoon on my own. But then: when would champagne ever be a wrong choice ?!

I have become such a modest and humble consumer that the bottle lasted me about 5 hours! I would not have believed taht if somebody had told me 🙂

Now dinner is about ready.
The little packages of lamb tripe stuffed with minced pork belly and veal trip are not for the faint hearted Westerner (if he is not from the French countryside where the recipe originates). They smell unmistakably of tripe :)…and of the not too-well-washed kind – just the way they should. In honour of St. Patrick’s day I “refined” the sauce with a little bit of Jameson whiskey..

The lentils (now reheated) are divine. This little buggers from France are very capricious and you have to watch out. In contrast to your regular big brown stuff they want to be looked after precisely. If you cook them too long for just a few minutes and they become too soft they lose their wonderful tender crispness (and part of the flavour). It’s a little like with cooking pasta. The difference between “al dente” and the stage beyond is huge. I hope my British friends realise that. Because I have come across some of your countrymen who believe that “al dente” means the stuff should stick to your teeth 🙂

Dinner time now. Talk to you later…

St. Patrick’s Day

How do you celebrate St. Patrick’s day when you a) are Bavarian, b) snowed in in a Hessian village in Germany, c) have no Guinness and all shops are closed because it’s Sunday?

Well, you shower but don’t shave. You search your wardrobes for a jump suit because you are not planning to go outside all day. And you explore your basement to see what kind of non-perishable food you have left to drum up something to eat that is compatible with a cold snowy Sunday.

I found some small green lentils from Puy (my favourite ones), with a “best before”-year imprinted on the package that I barely remember. A small jar with preserved lamb stomachs, stuffed with minced bacon and veal tripes, some expired concentrated gourmet beef stock and some small bottles of white wine that I stock for cooking as I am not a white wine drinker. Since I am in Germany so rarely this one is an Australian Chardonnay still from 2005 :).

What you see here are the lentils, a carrot and a celery brunoise, some Xeres white wine vinegar, chopped onion and butter.

As I have neither bacon nor cream I will just fry the onion in butter, add the lentils, fill it up with beef stock, add some Dijon mustard and later the brunoises. Half an hour and it should be ready. Then I’ll season it with vinegar, pepper and salt and butter cubes. In the meantime I will simmer the lamb stomachs for about 20 minutes. Voilá! Bon appetit!

As I am not hungry yet I will likely just prepare the lentils as I find they taste even better when warmed up.

The main problem is that it’s only 1pm and I am at a loss what to drink all day. A bit early for the heavy stuff. Maybe some tea and rum? Or better a bottle of champagne from the fridge downstairs? Or a bottle of light rosé from Provence? Or just plain apple juice (the only non-alcoholic beverage I happen to have in the house today)? Difficult, difficult! Life is not always easy on us…

Further investigations into the dimly lit cellars have revealed that there is no such animal as a light rosé left. I wonder who drank it all? This makes the choice easier. And I can share the bottle with the one person who I know likes champagne most: ME 🙂
A pity that no one cares to polish the silverware in my absence, though…