Carnival of Culture in Berlin
I have been all over the place as of late! The end of school (at least, the attendance mandatory portion of it), moving and weddings have kept me incredibly busy. But there is always time for food, even if I've been doing more eating than cooking lately.
I recently moved back to Berlin, just in time for 3 great things: summer, THE WORLD CUP, and the Carnival of Culture! The first two are still kind of on their way, but the Carnival of Culture was a few weekends ago and it was awesome!
When it was described to me I was a little turned off- a few days of the different cultures of Berlin parading their unique aspects sounded a little colonial to me. But it was awesome! And it definitely wasn't just a situation where the Germanz just sat and watched. As dancers, clubs, children, and hula hoopers paraded by, it was clear that everyone was involved and having a great time. And the days preceding the big parade in Kreutzberg were filled with awesome food and lots of live music- from big professional performances to ad-hoc drummers circles and gatherings of singers and dancers around accordians and guitars. The food ranged from Moroccan tagine wraps and Mexican burritos to French Crepes and American funnel cake (ha!). Yet another example of the uniqueness and spirit of Berlin.
Also arriving in Berlin with the advent of summer: tons of fresh rhubarb! I've never made anything with the fruit before (which looks a lot like a hot pink celery stalk) but I decided to give it a shot for a simple desert, rhubarb and strawberry crumble.
The process was simple. I chopped up a bunch (maybe three whole) rhubarbs and a small carton of strawberries. Although there is some contention over whether or not to peel rhubarbs, I ended up doing it because upon chopping them, I noticed a tough, stringy outer layer that was easy to remove. The fruits were then tossed with the juice and zest of one lemon, about 1/2 cup of sugar, and a teaspoon arrowroot powder. I topped it with a mixture of margarine, sugar, flour, a teaspoon baking powder, and oats (+ a pinch of salt) and then cooked it at about 375 for maybe 40 minutes, or until it was browned on top. Couldn't have been simpler or more delicious. The rhubarb adds a great tartness to the super-sweet strawberries, and the whole concoction was just crying out for some vanilla or coconut ice cream on top.
I also made an awesome curry to test out this new Caribbean curry powder I found at bio market down the street. From what I can tell, the addition of star anise and mango powder is what made it more Caribbean than Indian. I intended to add in some plantains and scotch bonnets, but ended up making a milder curry using carrots, sweet potatoes, broccoli, and smoked tofu. It was awesome, and a new chapter in my book "Trying to get S. to eat sweet potatoes in things other than latkes".
Now that I'm relatively settled (at least for the next month) I'm looking forward to more cooking with local specialties! And maybe coming up with some good snack foods for the World Cup!
Song of the Day: Scissor Sisters- I don't feel like dancing