Saturday, 21 November 2009 by kinakoJam
Usually we're away in autumn, for work. So I have come to associate this season with the twilight gusts of wind, rivers of shoppers and twinkling nightlife of larger cities. But this year, for the first time, we've spent most of Autumn (minus a couple of weekends away) at home in Cologne.
Here are a few of the seasonal rituals we've enjoyed:
Federweisser: young wine. Like a nice cider or soda, with a slightly vomitty fermented edge. It's a must!
(Nobody I know drinks it with onion tart, so its rumoured 'tempest in the stomach' effect might be a regional thing).
Making pumpkin jam.
Turns out jam-making is as easy as pie (...not that pie is really a walk in the park).
I used a ratio of 3:1 pumpkin to apple (two small hokkaido pumpkins and a small bag of apples), and a ratio of 3:1 fruit/veg to brown sugar.
Just boil it up with a bit of lemon and cinnamon, & simmer for about 40 minutes. Add up to 4 teaspoons of agar agar towards the end if you like a jellyish consistency.
You can test the consistency by daubing some onto a plate that's been chilled in the fridge.
Wanted to recreate the delicious pumpkin jam which you can buy from the Viktuellien market in Munich, but will have to experiment further to get that sloppy, pleasantly stringy consistency. I'll also reduce the amount of apples (for a stronger pumpkin flavour) and the amount of agar agar. Maybe I'll add some mango puree to up the babyfood consistency.
This jam is very enjoyable on toast with frischkäse (the less gummy German version of cream cheese) and extra cinnamon.
It's a nice treat to have your own home-made condiments to nibble on, on chilly days. Have also really been enjoying my extra-spicy version of these Dank St pickles, with strong 'nusskäse' cheese.
Home-made tastes good when you're housebound.
Spaghetti squash. We were introduced to this by my Canadian brother-in-law (late to the game, I know). We like to split in in half, scoop out the innards, then daub with butter, grated ginger, honey and olive oil and bake in a hot oven.
Or use its delicate shell to make dorky halloween photos to send to your nieces and nephews.