brunch this morning was a simple affair. bruno's parents arrived bearing many treats - strawberries freshly picked from their garden only hours before (still glistening with raindrops); a couple of gorgeously fresh and crisp salads (also from their garden); a precious jar of frau ruckstuhl's (our favourite local farmer who provides us with the best eggs and apples and honey and other seasonal delights) frühlings honig (spring honey) - a beautiful pale clear yellow, with a delicate flavour, extracted just last week!; 2 jars of FANTASTIC strawberry jam (made last night with strawberries from their garden and smelling and tasting so strawberry-shortcake you'd think they'd added some artificial flavour and smell enhancers), and 1 jar of pale pink quince jam; max's favourite chocolate ladybugs to place next to each plate; and a bunch of gorgeously fragrant english roses (also from their garden).
i made zopf this morning (well, i made the dough last night and baked the loaves this morning), so the 2 giant loaves were still warm as we cut into them....a thick slice of zopf, buttered and thickly slathered with strawberry jam, heavenly!
i also made baked eggs (or oeufs sur le plat as elizabeth david would call them ) - eggs cooked in butter in little enamel ramekins. i love these, despite my tendency to over-cook them to rubbery balls ; ) i think it's because i have a beautiful set of ramekins especially for this purpose - i came across them at the bröcki ages ago, 6 perfect cream enamel little cups with a green rim. they sat unused in the cupboard for months, until lola started eating food and i started (and still do) use them as food bowls for her because they hold the perfcet amount of food (2 - 3 tablepsoons) and you can heat the food directly in them on the stove-top (being heat-proof). now of course, they often get an outing for baked eggs on a sunday morning:
- thickly butter ramekins (you can use any sort - earthenware, enamel, glass etc etc, or even one big dish)
- break egg into ramekin
- bake at about 200°c for 7 or so minutes (i put mine on a baking tray) or until cooked to your liking
- check after 5 mins - you don't want rubber balls!
- run a knife around the edge and either eat straight from ramekin or turn out onto yr plate
- i probably love these mainly because of the delicious buttery edges and outside, but also because they are so durned simple to make!
we also had the usual cheeses (a blue, a brie and the ubquitous gruyere that we always seem to have around), proscuitto, jams (strawberry, seville orange marmalade - i picked out the peel ; ) ), as well as the gorgeous spring honey. i also quickly mashed up some avocado with yoghurt and lime juice ( i hesitate to call this guacamole - is it??). oh and coffee, juice etc etc.
afterwards we braved the intermittent thunderstorms (regularly appearing every hour and a half or so) to go for a quick walk. when we came back i assembled the sponge cake i had made earlier that morning - whipped cream plus a previous punnet of garden fresh strawberries bruno's parents gave us on friday. it looked huge, that towering teetering awkward sponge (i knocked the air out of them by testing too early....so the sponges were bumpy slabs, oh well), pillowed together by swathes of cream and with stawberries peeking out. but in less that 10 minutes we had more or less demolished it, leaving only one sad, lonely, lop-sided piece on the sticky plate (later that afternoon i had to put it out of its misery and eat it).
so much food, so little space inside our stomachs.....for dinner we ate a very simple, restrained meal of rice (how i love my rice cooker), tofu cubes fried in sesame oil and tamari, various chilli and soy sauces, and carrot sticks. for some reason our family has gone crazy over carrot sticks (???!!!). i have never eaten so many carrots in my life as in the past few months. we buy bags of organic carrots and they are the sweetest, orangest, crispiest carrots i've ever had - really delicious and fresh. we peel them ( i know, i know, all the good vitamins are just under the skin, but the ordinary, dirt-smeared skin peels away to reveal the most intense, juicy orange-ness, i can never resist for purely aesthetic reasons), then cut them up into sticks and put them all into a plastic ikea cup (this is part of the ritual, you see), then munch on them as we prepare dinner or throughout dinner. max loves them - surprise surprise - and so i (perhaps foolishly) allow myself to believe that he is getting a decent or at least passing, amount of fresh vegies (and so what if he has a slight yellowy-orange tinge to the skin??? that passes for a tan around these parts).
next week i want to drink less coffee (noooooooo!). i think i've been drinking too much lately and i don't think it's good for me or for lola. sigh. the things you do for yr children. wish me luck!