Auteur: vera@gtc

Mazanec, sweet Czech Easter bread

The way Easter is traditionally celebrated in the Czech Republic frequently shocks feminists from foreign countries. This is how it goes: guys go out and cut young, soft branches from willow trees and braid them into a kind of whip,…

Nettle spanakopita

Things are beginning to look a bit more hopeful at the allotment: the different kinds of mustard greens and radishes are growing nicely (but still just about 1 cm high), the cold frame is greening up again and just yesterday…

Cauldron cakes

In case you felt sorry for my daughter for losing the big birthday cake dispute: don’t. I think that after eating the caramel-peanut-topped brownie cake even she did not feel sorry for herself (I mean – caramel-peanut-topped brownie cake?). Besides,…

Pasta salad with cauliflower, broccoli and mustard vinaigrette

I flatter myself that through introducing my kids to very fresh seasonal produce from an early age (my son was just 1 year old when we took on our first allotment 8 years ago) I instilled in them appreciation and…

Guinness brownies

There has been a complaint about my baking. Or rather: not baking. You see, my husband had the nerve to bring a shop bought cake to work on his birthday. Moreover, two of his closest colleagues were not at work…

Leek and potato soup

For all the frantic sowing, March is probably the leanest month in the vegetable garden. The window sills are getting crowded with seedlings, and many a bed in the vegetable garden has been sown under the protection of fleece, but…

Chocolate terrine

This cake is basically a direct result of the recent teachers’ strike in the Netherlands. Or maybe not so direct, but connected anyway. Let me explain.

Caramelized garlic tart

Perhaps I am still getting over my recent garlic-withdrawal, but this is another Ottolenghi recipe I just could not resist: a tart filled with the cloves from 3 (!) heads of garlic, caramelized in balsamic vinegar, and two kinds of…

Buttermilk raisin cake

Whenever I mention that we have an allotment, the reaction invariably is: That’s wonderful, but isn’t that an awful lot of work? The answer is: it’s not that bad, because we garden along the permaculture lines, which means no digging…

Egg salad with curry and Dijon mustard

The purpose of permaculture design is to create as many beneficial relationships between the elements as possible. One well known example is the chicken tractor: you make a bottomless pen for your chickens and move it around your property. Wherever…

Caramel-peanut-topped brownie cake

There was supposed to be a compromise about the cake for my husband’s and my daughter’s joined birthday celebration. But there was not. Because my husband, a peanut butter addict (as well as a coffee addict – but that’s a…

Winter squash galette with sage and roasted garlic

Last week was the kids’ spring holiday and we went to visit my sister in the Czech Republic. She lives in the kind of a place that in Czech we call “where foxes kiss good night”. Which means the road…

Toffee brownies

Do you remember how I told you about Yotam Ottolenghi, the guy who turns even muffins into something complicated? He does the same thing with brownies.

Split pea soup

The Elfstedentocht was cancelled. We were this close! Even the date was set (last Sunday) and hundreds of volunteers were sweeping the snow off the ice and transplanting ice to places were it was not thick enough. And I imagine…

A soup of toasted parsnips with porcini

I have 2 large jars of porcini. Have I just made you jealous? Dried porcini mushrooms cost a fortune in the shops, I know. But mine were for free. We picked mushrooms in the summer, cut them in thin slices,…