Category Archives: Germany

Wild Blackberry and Lemon Zest Jam

By | Germany, Recipes | 6 Comments


fresh picked wild blackberries

Beyond Nurnberg’s Walls
Is a walnut tree
And a plum that neighbours

A blackberry

Whose fruit lie sweet

Amongst the thorns

A reminder for history
Which still yet mourns

That joy can come

From where there is pain
And though winter’s long
There’ll be spring again

This blog may not be the best venue where a budding young poet such as myself should be expressing himself, but I could not help but share my feelings when visiting Nurnberg for my brother’s wedding. As it once was the centre of Nazi Germany, I don’t want to delve into the history of this beautiful city, since poetry, politics and pastries don’t mix. Instead, I just want to encourage you to go there, when it’s blackberry season.


wild blackberry and lemon zest jam with German bread

As my poem suggests, a bike path led me to the outskirts of the city, where I happened upon a wild blackberry bush. The berries were sweet and just slightly sour, bursting with color and flavour. After having my fill, and more, of fresh blackberries, I decided to make some blackberry jam, as a gift that I would leave to my kind hosts.


yum!!!

For this recipe, I used jam sugar, which is used in the ratio of 3 parts fruit to 1 part sugar. By using jam sugar, you can substantially cut down the amount of sugar you need for jam, resulting in a fruitier, healthier jam. The added pectin in the sugar allows the jam to set more quickly, so you do not need to overcook the fruit. This means the fruit flavour is not killed by heat or excess sugar. However, I don’t think jam with this little sugar lasts too long, but I can’t tell you how long it will store, as mine disappears very quickly.

Recipe
600 g Blackberries
200 g Jam sugar
Juice and rind of 1 lemon

Put a plate in the freezer. Crush blackberries and stir with sugar and lemon rind in a pot and place on medium heat. You can add lemon juice if you feel it needs it, but tate it first. Crushing also becomes easier when the berries get warmer. Bring to boil, stirring the mixture. After around 10 minutes, get that plate out of the freezer and put a spoon of the jam on the plate. This is a good trick to see if the jam has set. If the jam doesn’t appear runny, and you can draw a clean line with your finger across the jam, it’s all good and ready. Pour into your sanitised jars, and the jam is ready to eat once the jars cool down.

Foraging Bamberg

By | Foraging, Germany | 8 Comments


a meadow in Bamberg

If you’ve read my earlier post, you would know I am currently in Germany attending my brother’s wedding. This is my first trip to Germany, and having been here in Nurnberg for around 10 days now, it’s difficult to imagine leaving. I am not sure it is the travellers syndrome, where you like somewhere more than home because you are simply care free, away from your stressful job and incessant phone calls from Citibank’s Mumbai call centre asking you to pay a bill you paid 4 months ago, getting assured every time by the manager that they will fix the problem. Though, I’m sure that helps.


old fence

But there is something tangibly good about this place, something peaceful and green. Endless meadows of garlic, cabbage, wheat, corn, lettuce and asparagus in rich dark soil create a harmony of colors in perfect alignment, and the sight of farmers picking their crops gives me intense joy. It could be reminiscent of my childhood, but things were never this peaceful, and the Lebanese never planted this much cabbage.


view of forest

So I find myself travelling around 70 km to the World Heritage listed city of Bamberg, in order to attend Johanna’s dad’s birthday. Bamberg is stunningly beautiful, the Franconian Rome where fascinating churches line the many surrounding hills, and the town is crossed by the river Regnitz as it makes its way to the Main. And did I mention it is home to 10 local breweries? Johanna’s family lives in an eco village on the outskirts of the city and right behind their house is a path that leads you along one of the most pleasurable walks you will ever experience, a road full of fruits, nuts and berries. This wealth of wild food makes it very different to the Australian bush. I could write a small novel about how happy this place makes me feel, and how foraging through the path brings me closer to inner peace. But as they say, a picture is worth a thousand words, so enjoy.


wild strawberries


walnuts


chestnuts


mirabellas


hazelnuts


more hazelnuts


blackberry


more blackberries


the fruits of my labour, mirrabellas (yellow and red), rose hip, apples, plums, blackberries and elderberries

The Silence of Travel

By | Germany | 2 Comments


Dinner Time at the Hartmann’s

I’ve packed my bags and left to Nurnberg, Germany. My brother is getting married, and I’ve come to take part of it all. I’m not sure I want to spend much time behind my laptop, with all the fun stuff going around, so my posts will most probably be brief. But, I feel a few photos are in order.


eine normale bretzel bitte