Kim and I often feel nostalgic for our times abroad – the scenery, the people, the culture – and of course the food.
The other day, we were longing for the traditional breakfasts of central Europe. Or at least German, Austrian and Dutch breakfasts. We did a good job putting together a fantastically reminiscent meal of pretzel rolls, meats, cheeses, homemade Preiselbeeren jam (cranberry jam), homemade appelstroop (thick apple syrup), with tomato and cucumber.
When I was visiting a friend of mine in Cologne, Germany, her family’s breakfast table had an assortment of dense rolls, jams, chocolate spreads, cheeses and meats. My friend said she normally ate Meusli for breakfast during the week, but this was a special occasion, so they brought out the goods!
While Kim and I were eating our dinner, Kim said she could be in Austria right then, sitting in her host family’s kitchen. The only thing missing was the liverwurst pate!
When I was in Amsterdam for work, our hotel breakfast included slices of bread, salamis and ham, cheeses, tomato, cucumber, and of course Appelstroop.
So anyway, our dinner:
The Preisselbeeren jam and Appelstroop both turned out to be ridiculously easy to make.
Preiselbeeren Jam (Cranberry Jam)
On stovetop, cook cup of cranberries on medium heat. Spritz about half a lemon’s juice (a tablespoon) and add cinnamon, sugar. Cook until the cranberries have burst and become a spreadable delicacy!
Appelstroop (Apple Syrup)
The appelstroop is made of apple juice, lemon juice, whole anise, cinnamon and sugar. In a saucepan, add 6 cups of apple juice, two anise (seeds?) and a teaspoon or two of cinnamon. Boil until it’s 1/3 the amount, then add 1/2 cup of sugar and continue to boil until it’s a syrupy mass. BUT DON’T BOIL TOO LONG 0r the sugar will thicken too much, and you and that pan will be spending a lot of time with each other, you scraping off incredibly goopy syrup with a knife.
Review: It was delicious of course! I love discovering food, or new ways of eating the same food, in this case, from different regions of the world!