Thursday, June 24, 2010

I have been busy ...

I know it is no excuse but I have been busy, I promise ... I also have a great problem in that it is actually just as cheap to eat out here as it is to cook and with the long bright warm evenings, I have been doing just that.  Yes that, and along with entertaining a visiting granny and grampa, I have been making a lame attempt to furnish the apartment and my other permanent full time job of keeping the 4 year old and the 2 year old happy for 12 hours a day .. it has not been easy to find even ten minutes to sit down to write.  I know that is not much of an excuse but I like to think that somehow a food lover like me must take some time out, re-stock, take some new inspiration from their surroundings and generally contemplate food as opposed to actively cook it on a daily basis - so that's what I am doing, now does that sound more convincing?

Anyway, the variety and quality of the small eateries in Charlottenburg and beyond is great, from falafels to bowls of cleansing Vietnamese soups to crispy thin pizza slices....I have also been sampling the renowned restaurants in the area, Florian near Savigny Platz, Ottenthal on Kant Strasse for Tafelspitz and authentic Wiener Schnitzel ... I did make some really good roast potatoes with sage, rosemary and sea salt, but you do not need a recipe for these as really that's it!

Weather depending I will post a recipe soon, although it has been a bit like this above, and who wants to stay indoors to cook when its like this! Not even me!

We have been swimming a lot at Wannsee which is perfect for young children and is quiet weekday mornings and early afternoons.  It is advisable to bring a picnic as the food is verging on the unhealthy, rostbratwurst mit pommes mit bratkartoffeln, mit beer ... mit calories.

We found this really cool tree-world in Volkspark Jungefernheide just south of Tegel airport - a canopy of tree houses joined by almost invisible-rope ladders, planks, death-trap ladders, long frightening zip-ropes etc.  You are harnessed in and cannot really fall (which is just as well as each one looks almost impossible).  The centre is very extensive and would be perfect fun for teenagers and young adults but disappointing for our four year old in tow who really wanted a go!

A romantic meal was had at Florian, the renowned and completely pretentious restaurant to been seen at near Savigny Platz ... what can I say other than the dessert wad served with a German goal against Ghana which would have woken the dead!  Despite the photo above, the service was excellent and it just might have been the best meal I have had in this country to date - summer salad followed by curried lamb (a renegade choice on the traditional menu), and then warm strawberry tart with custard - I apologise for the crude description for an otherwise exquisite meal.

Or how about a pizza at Cafe am Neuem See in the Tiergarten? - it feels a little more Munich than Berlin for the fashion, (most definitely not all good) but it is a great place to catch up, row a little boat on the lake and let your children play in the large sandpit while you drink half litres of beer and eat very, very nice pizza - my favourite being the pizza bianca with Parmesan and salbei - a thin, bubbled pizza base covered with a thin coating of creme fraiche, Parmesan and fresh sage leaves - absolutely worth the 6 euro!

I leave with with a final shot of Litzensee taken in the hot, hot heat of this afternoon - the willow trees dip majestically into the water shading all manner of water bird - including an incredibly attractive swan couple and their six cygnets.  A real crowd puller.
Sorry for the randomness of the post, but it has been a bit like that lately.
Recipes and other good things to follow (weather depending!).

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