Nadia, a friend and inspiration, coordinated a food writer friends afternoon. We hiked and enjoyed a light German dinner at her home. I showed it to you once before. I also may have told you I love how Nadia, author of Spoonfuls of Germany, entertains. She plans a simple menu, incorporating her garden gems, so guests can savor the dishes as well as the shared company in an uncomplicated way.
We started the afternoon with a hike. Jen and I got lost finding the hiking location. I showed up dressed like we were going for drinks before dinner. It had nothing to do with getting lost. We were meeting at Bake Oven Knob. To me (who did not read the details in the email) it sounded like a cozy place for Sunday cocktails. It worked out. You should visit Bake Oven Knob for an easy and beautiful hike.
When we made it back to Nadia’s we caught up over some great recipes she had recently tried. Have you ever heard of nasturtium capers? Yes. Nasturtium seed pods that were brined to taste just like capers. Nadia said she was a bit nervous processing the recipe because of the strong, off-putting smell of sulfur at the beginning. It turned out brilliantly! You’ll need to buy The River Preserves Handbook for the recipe. I plan on it.
We got all excited about recipes we’ve been playing with. We tasted a lilac jelly I made that did not set but works well as a syrup and the jars kept coming! Who wouldn’t have fun tasting jelly and preserves? Nadia also made us taste a lovely elderflower jelly.
Nadia grows her own elderflowers and has been recipe playing with them for some time now. I only just opened my bottle of elderflower liqueur she gifted me for my birthday. It was a special birthday and the gold liquid was packed so beautifully I could not touch it, admiring it, afraid to get to the bottom of the bottle. I’ve taken my cue from Nadia and will try to jump right into the beautiful things.
Nadia prepared two dishes from her cookbook, a Cheese Spaetzle and Red Berry Pudding with a Vanilla Sauce. We also sampled her Fir Syrup recipe (featured in the current issue of Phoebe’s Pure Food Magazine). She served it with sparking water and a bit of lemon juice. It was refreshing on a warm day. The spaetzle was handmade and the dish was divine served with Swiss cheese and caramelized onions. There are so many wonderful recipes from her book but this was the ultimate mac and cheese. (oooooo… yummy, yummy, yummy…I’m still thinking about it). Another dessert was a light, not dense, German Cheesecake with Greek Yogurt. You must try it…by it I do mean all of the recipes. Plan a little gathering, keep it simple, follow Nadia’s menu, enjoy your time in the kitchen prepping and the time with guests.