Food and Drink
When we arrived in our apartment in Athens, we found that a section of one of the walls had been turned into a chalk board shopping list. Except that instead of a shopping list, we saw the recipe for a Greek Salad. We had eaten plenty of them by the time we arrived, but now we had a real recipe from a real Greek host in Athens.
How to make a Greek salad
- 2 tomatoes
- 1 cucumber
- 1 onion
- 1 green pepper
- feta cheese
- black olives
- olive oil
- salt, oregano & pepper
- mix and enjoy!
Here’s how it looks!
Here’s one of my favourite recipes – a hearty sour soup from Poland. No it does not have a sour taste, but it contains fermented rye flour which gives it a unique taste.
There are two parts to the recipe – making the zakwas – the base, and then the actual zurek.
The base for zurek
- about 1/2 cup of rye flour
- 1 cup of boiling water
- 2-3 cups of warm water
- bread crust (the best would be rye bread)
- 1-2 cloves of garlic
Mix the flour with the boiling water until there are no lumps. Then set it aside to cool. Add bread crust (it should sink completely), garlic, and remaining water. Put the mixture in a jar or clay pot covered with gauze or a delicate piece of cloth. Let the mixture sit for 3-5 days at room temperature (each day mix the ingredients a little). As the flour ferments, there will be some lactic acid bacteria and wild yeast, and you will smell the sour rye-bread smell. You can use it immediately or put it in the fridge (it can be stored for about 2 weeks).
- Zakwas (zurek base) – about 0,5 l (use as much of the top clear part as possible and a little of the thick floury part to thicken the soup with)
- Soup vegetables (potato, carrots, turnips etc)
- 1 onion
- Sausage (chopped thinly (kielbasa if you can get them – otherwise any good German, Polish or Russian sausage will do)
- Smoked bacon, or ham hock, or kassler pork neck etc
- Dried mushrooms – I used about 1/2 punnet of fresh mushrooms
- Garlic (3-4 cloves)
- 2 bay leaves
- Some herbs
- Salt and pepper
- Hard-boiled eggs
- Stock if you want it more meaty
- Fry the onion, garlic and bacon.
- Chop the veggies and add to the pot.
- Bring them to boil with about 3-4 cups of water, add the sausage, and simmer until cooked.
- Add “zakwas” to the stock (about 2 cups from the clear part at the top and 2-3 spoons of the thick flour from the bottom).
- Bring to a boil, add spices, salt & pepper to taste
- Serve with quartered hard-cooked egg in each serving and rye bread on the side.
Original source: http://blog.polishorigins.com/2013/06/26/zurek-traditional-polish-sour-soup/
This is about as traditional as Viennese street food goes, the humble Vienna sausage. The Vienna sausages from Vienna are nothing like we get at home. They are not the mass-produced slightly suspect sausages we think of. Rather they are top-quality.
You can find them on almost any street corner, usually served sliced with (not on) a roll, with a little mustard or tomato sauce on the side. They are great value and perfect for filling the lunch-time gap.
A selection to choose from
If you weren’t at the burger festival this weekend you lost out. They should have more correctly called it the burger and beer festival, because there was plenty of amazing craft beer.
It’s great to see how many small scale breweries there are now in Cape Town, and tasting how good some of the beers are! There was plenty to taste, and the beer community has such amazing people in it – so passionate about their beer, and so willing to share.
Of course beer goes hand in hand with burgers, and it was difficult to choose which stand to buy a burger from. I eventually settled on a 3-cheese burger – mozzarella and cheddar mixed into the patty, topped with blue cheese from Fat Harry’s. I don’t normally eat chips, but after a 30k run this morning I was hungry, and I am glad I ate the chips. Without a doubt they are the best chips I have ever eaten.
It turns out that Fat Harry’s is a restaurant in Harfield Village; I will be taking a turn there to try their other burgers. Here is their website. http://www.fatharrys.co.za
Here’s a pic of my burger; you can decide for yourself how good it looks.
Vienna is known for its coffee shops, and with good reason! The coffee and cakes are wonderful, enjoyed in the splendour of comfortable leather armchairs. I could get quite comfortable with Viennese life.
I had coffee with whipped cream, enjoyed with a Mozart cake, which is layers of light and dark chocolate.