in which things get complicated

Last friday, yours truly got invited to the book launch party of Cynthia Barcomi’s latest cookbook called ‘Kochbuch für Feste’. The party was great fun, as I got to hang out with a new friend as well as with Madame Barcomi herself AND in addition had a taste of a lot some of the food that’s featured in the book.

Waiters were passing along tray after tray of beautifully arranged taste samples. The only thing was, that we had joined the party a bit late (three kids will do that to you: no matter how you play it, you are never at the right party time – arrive too early, leave too early kinda thing!) and that everyone was already getting into trying out the desserts. This kid next to us however, kept running out and coming back with plates full of salty snacks such as piggies in a blanket, and some fabulous looking bacon-wrapped dates. I was really jealous (seriously, I CANNOT miss out on food. It makes me cranky!) so I made after him only to find myself in front of yet another empty tray. I must have looked really disappointed, because after I explained to the waiter that, while figs w/mascarpone and honey (delicious) and mousse au chocolat were great, I really wanted those piggies, he kept coming to the spot where I was standing with my friend. And every single time, he was bearing a fresh tray loaded with salty goodness. The pout never fails to deliver (or so I like to think!).

Amongst some of the foods I sampled were a fabulous creamy porcini soup, potato salad w/ smoked salmon and caviar, piggies in a blanket (YAY!) and medjool dates filled w/parmesan wrapped in bacon and roasted. Those were just insanely good. I mean, in a way anything w/ parmesan that is subsequently wrapped in bacon and roasted is bound to come out perfect, but those dates were just really really perfect. The secret as C.Barcomi said herself, is to use the medjool dates by the way, and not any ole’ date found at the supermarket.

Apart from talking about the food, the other thing we discussed were kitchens, specifically, how to organise them. And this is a topic dear to my heart since it turns out we are moving and will have to buy an entirely new kitchen of our own liking (I know, right? Poor us!)!
This is as much fun as it is totally grueling, because everything happened really fast and we have to get our act together in the next 6 weeks. AAK! So, if you ever had a brilliant piece of advice about what to do and what not to do in a kitchen, now’s the time to bring it! And yes, I am asking the internet’s opinion, watch it not answer me!

Because all this is very complicated and my head seems to routinely explode when faced with the realisation of the task at hand (Because from now until christmas is also the busiest time at my work. And I will be travelling. A lot. While packing. Watch me spontaneously combust!), I am craving something simple foodwise, namely a pre-meal snack that only requires a quick peeling, chopping and dipping.


Yes, this is a Kohlrabi, a boring old Kohlrabi, a food dear to many a german heart which found it’s way to mine just a few years ago. And somewhere in Switzerland, my sister just dropped from her chair from sheer incredulity and the might of assocations she doubtless has from it. I used to associate it with smelly wurst and prepackaged bread on the dining table for Abendbrot*, alongside the little invidual cutting boards known as Frühstückbrett.


I take back all these associations however, when Kohlrabi is peeled, chopped and paired with a food snobs simplest tools: “a sprinkling of fleur de sel and some really good olive oil!” And as much as this whole “fleur de sel and good olive oil” thing annoys me, it does often turn something boring, into something really great. It’s also good for me, since it means all I need to do now, is post photos and bow out!


*Germans often eat an early dinner of cold cuts, cheese and sliced vegetables along with bread. The whole thing having been totally inconceivable to my 7 year old french self.

3 Responses to “in which things get complicated”

  1. céleste la peste Says:

    hellooooo?I LOVE kohlrabi, ever since my dear friend Andi introduced me to it during our hard times studying in the wild wild east!
    I haven’t had any for a while, but now you mention it, it’s all coming back to me now!
    So, long live the frühstücksbrett and our beloved snobbyfied kohlrabi 😉

  2. Berlin Reified Says:

    Oh bless you! My mom’s got a recipe for kohlrabi that even she confesses is no great shakes, and that’s where I was at with the vegetable, though I’ve been eyeing it at the market stands all fall. Out comes the pretentious salt…

    & I’m so happy to have discovered your beautiful blog!

  3. 13desserts Says:

    Oh, thank you, Reified, and right back at you! It’s funny to read about the city through someone else’s eyes! As for Kohlrabi it’s also really good steamed and makes great baby food!

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