*The Baltic Sea*
This desolate, romantic landscape is where I spent the first few days of 2010, in a little cottage near Kiehl with a group of friends. If you can believe it, one of the more spartan members of the group actually took a swim in the sea. Crazy, right? Germans.
Anyways, I'm already back in swing of things in fabulous Brussels now. Why "fabulous" you say? Well after flying all over the northern hemisphere for the break I came to realize how much I like this little town. Yes, Brussels, with all of its duo-linguistic issues, inferiority-to-Paris-complexes, and bureaucratic nightmares, is a great place to come back to. Its calm, the public transport covers every inch of the city (once you figure it out), and in terms of food, its way easier then I make it seem to eat well on budget. (It just takes getting used to... and speaking the language doesn't hurt, I'm sure.) And I finally figured out how to operate my kitchen with a minimum of fire hazards. (But then, I've only been back a week.)
One of my new budget dishes is actually a Dutch treat I learned from S. in Berlin. Its called "hutspot" and its essentially mashed potatoes and carrots-- baby food, but good baby food! I guess its usually made with speck (bacon) but among the group I ate it with I didn't notice anyone hesitating to get seconds from the vegetarian portion. The great thing about this is you can obviously get huge portions, making it good for a get together when everyone is broke, or just in the mood for some
-3-4 large carrots, peeled and cut into 1" slices
-8-10 boiling potatoes, peeled and quartered
-1 large onion, diced
-3-4 cloves garlic, diced
1. Place all the carrots and potatoes into a stockpot filled with salted water. Bring to a boil and cook until fork-tender, about 15 minutes depending on how many you made.
2. In the meantime, drizzle a good knob of olive oil in a pan and bring to medium heat. Add in your garlic and onions and cook, stirring occasionally, until onions are translucent and garlic is starting to brown.
3. When potatoes and carrots are done, drain in a colander then return to hot pot. Add in onions and garlic, a good couple knobs of earth balance, a drizzle of soymilk, a few pinches of nutmeg, and of course salt and pepper. Mash together with a masher until fairly blended. Taste, and adjust seasoning to taste. (I usually end up using more soymilk and butter after the initial mashing.)
Serve with a salad, or just eat straight out of the pot. :)
song of the day: Wir Sind Helden- Denk Mal