Change of Plans
Here I am sitting in the middle seat of an airplane for almost 11 hours flying to see my 91-year-old mother in Germany. Originally, I was going with my husband to Paris for week. We had rented an apartment and we were going to have fun in this beautiful city that we both love. Paris is our personal Disneyland. We go for the food, the arts, the parks—and the city. Instead of strolling through the Tuileries gardens and recovering from jet leg by soaking in the sun on a bench, I am taking a solo trip to Germany to care of my mother who fell and is in the hospital. My heart did not allow me to do otherwise. Both my husband and I are very sad and disappointed. Could I really admire my favorite paintings and sculptures while my mom was being restrained? I could not. Could I savor the culinary delight that Paris offers while my mom was confused and needed help? I could not.
When I moved to the United States many years ago, I had no idea of the complications that would arise years later. I love my new home and country. It has brought many joys and a wonderful life. I am grateful and thankful for that.
Thankfully, I have a brother who made sure my mother in Germany was well taken care of. I help, and visit as much as I can. At this point in life, my mother needs more help and support. Until now, she has survived with the help of many people she lived with on the farm where she was born—both fortunate and lucky. But now it is getting complicated.
This year, spring has come early to northern Germany. Looking out of my mother’s hospital room, there is a huge tree covered with pink blossoms. White asparagus is being harvested and sold, which is usually a May event. When I was here last year, it snowed the entire month of April. While in Germany, I ate in the cafeteria at the clinic and rehab center my mom was . I was thankful for the often decent food. I was also lucky enough to have a Tegut grocery store (similar to Whole Foods) on the way to the hospital. My girlfriend, Monika, not only provided me with support and help in the German medical world (which is excellent by the way), but also cooked some delicious meals for me. Bless her kind and gentle heart, a true friend.
There were no gourmet meals, but I managed to find some great cheese, bread, and of baked goods (of course). Those little bakeries in Germany are my favorite. Here are some of my favorites:
The last meal I prepared for my mom was white asparagus, which is in season right now and being sold at the local farmer’s market. My mom loves her asparagus with boiled potatoes, melted butter or hollandaise sauce, and ham.The local butcher shop had some great ham and packaged hollandaise sauce that was excellent. She enjoyed her meal.
Should you be so lucky and find fresh white asparagus, make sure you peel it correctly. Some people peel the asparagus twice just to make sure the woody outside is gone. So, don’t skimp on peeling away the outside. There are asparagus peelers in Germany that work beautifully. I did not peel away enough this time at is was annoying when I ate the asparagus. My blog has a recipe for white asparagus soup.
While in Germany, I had a beautiful salad with an oil and vinegar vinaigrette, asparagus, strawberries and goat cheese.
After six weeks in Germany and a glorious trip to Marrakech, I’m back home in Santa Cruz. It feels good and I’m getting used to my normal life and enjoying it.
Lemon and Buttermilk Sorbet
A sorbet that tastes like rich ice-cream with a refreshing flavor
This is the easiest ice cream you will ever make. And the best you will ever taste. It has been one of my old standbys for years. However, you do need an ice cream maker. This recipe takes minutes to assemble, a few hours in the fridge for the flavors to develop, and then it is ready to go into the ice cream maker. What comes out is a rich and creamy sorbet. The buttermilk gives it a refreshing flavor and taste, yet you won’t know it’s buttermilk. Granted, ice cream made with cream has a richer flavor, but I prefer the lighter version. I often serve this with fruit sauce, fresh fruit or with cake. It is especially refreshing after a heavy meal.
Avocados stuffed with shrimp
Always a crowd pleaser
These days, you rarely find my kitchen without avocados. The creamy texture and delicious taste make them irresistible and so healthy. I eat them whenever I can—on sandwiches, in salads, by themselves, as a snack or guacamole (which my husband makes). When I want to show off a little bit, I make stuffed avocados. I usually stuff my avocados with bay shrimp, some celery, small tomatoes and fresh herbs with a light dressing. It's delicious, easy to make and people always like it. It makes a nice lunch or appetizer. So, if you want a tasty dish with great presentation, check out this recipe. Feel free to substitute different ingredients or leave out the things you don't like. I have added chopped apple pieces instead of tomatoes, and used Greek yogurt instead of crême fraiche. Deb, who has a beautiful blog called "eastofedencooking", helped me take pictures for this recipe.
I use the avocado shells to serve the salad. You can also put the mixture on a bed of lettuce.
recipe for stuffed avacadoes
This recipe will make 6 appetizers . You can turn this recipe into a salad by serving the stuffing on top of a bed of greens.
Lemon Tea Bread
Take a break in the afternoon, have a piece of this tasty cake with a cup of tea.
This time of year, my lemon trees are producing gorgeous fruit. I flavor my water with them, I give them to friends, and I use them in as many recipes as I can. This recipe comes from my friend, Linda, who is an excellent cook. She helped me find my passion for cooking. However, I changed the recipe somewhat. This simple bread is compact and infused with lemon juice, is easy to make and tastes great by itself. But it also makes a stunning dessert when served with ice cream and fruit sauce or compote.
In Germany, this kind of cake is called Topfkuchen, meaning a cake in a pot. It is a dry rectangular cake (mimicking bread), not fancy but meant to be dipped in coffee or tea. There are different variations.
WELCOME TO SUNNY COVE CHEF
Thank you for visiting my blog. My two passions are cooking and traveling. Traveling exposes me to a wide variety of food and experiences. I walk around cities looking for markets, restaurants, bakeries, shops, you name it, and if it is related to food you will find me there, tasting, smelling, talking to vendors, and having a great time.