Elderflower water forever

If given the opportunity I would probably wander the fields gathering blossoms and greens every single day of the year – only to take my discoveries home to study and create in the kitchen. These delicate elderflower blossoms were foraged for me. I found them at the organic market close to where I live. Once I got my stash of pale golden flowers home I wrapped them in newspaper and put them in a jug of water for the afternoon – just so I could experience their delicate perfume before throwing them in a pot of water.

It didn’t take long before I simply had to get cooking. I always try to work simply, adding more ingredients or complexer techniques only if necessary. I guess that sums up my idea about cooking — the closer I can stay to nature’s flavors the better. The effort required to make elderflower infused water is minimal and the result is more than worth the time. Continue reading

My favorite chermoula

chermoula-still-life-with-peppers

I have been avoiding writing the recipe for this traditionally Moroccan marinade for weeks on end, or so it seems. Publishing what should be a straightforward short story is long overdue. In fact — while I have been contemplating how to narrate the preparation of a simple mixture of fresh herbs stirred through warm spices — summer has officially slipped into autumn.  It should be simple and yet it has turned out to be complicated. It seems that the only way to resolve this impasse  is to explain my predicament.

After that,  I think I can get back to the subject of cooking.  Continue reading

Sweet and savory apple-mushroom stuffing

 

Thanksgiving apples and mushroomsCranberries, apples, sage and thyme are the symbolic elements of winter holidays at home. Christmas brings back visions of favorite family moments, of avid conversation against a backdrop of lively kitchen noise made by a stove filled with pots and pans. My absolute favorite at the Thanksgiving table was my Mom’s stuffing made with mushrooms and apples. As a child I ate spoons of it at dinner, covered with ladles of warm gravy. Next to stuffing, I loved the bright tanginess of cranberry relish made with oranges. The following recipe works perfectly for filling poultry.  It also stands beautifully on its own as a deep dish casserole or as the filling for a squash or pumpkin. It is yet another of countless examples of my mother’s intuitive talent in cooking that I proudly carry on in my everyday tasks in life.  Continue reading