I´m back! With a recipe for my Grandmother´s pickles.
Oh dear, I didn´t blog for over a year! I´m not really sure how the last months could fly by within a heartbeat. But I wasn´t just lazy – I´ve changed my life.
Long story short, my daughter moved to another city for her studies, and I decided it was time for a big change. Since I can remember I had this dream of living on an island. So, why not? Why not now?
Before I had time for second thoughts, I sold my house and here I am: On Sylt, a little Island in the North Sea, next to the Danish border. Actually, Sylt is the biggest of the German North Sea islands, but compared to my hometown Dortmund it´s teeny-tiny. But Sylt has it´s own airport, a car shuttle from the mainland every twenty minutes – and lots and lots of great food!
I am so excited about my new life! Nearly as much as my dog. Every day we walk along the beach. A stone´s throw away is one of the most beautiful beaches I´ve ever seen – and I´ve seen quite a lot! Through the open windows I hear the seagulls crying and every cloudless night I marvel at the mind-blowing starry sky.
Still, there is much to do. Real estate is unbelievably expensive on Sylt. The money I got for my house in Dortmund could only buy me a VERY run down flat on the island, at least with a balcony. (I miss my beloved garden, though.)
Would I have run from this project if I had known before about the collapsing walls, handymen who seemed to cause more harm than they did good – if they showed up at all – , the budget overflows, and all the other big and small catastrophes? Yes. Definitely! Or at least I would have done a lot of things differently. However, let´s look on the bright side, I´ve learned a lot.
I´m still fighting with the stubborn construction dust that invades every crevice and opening, no matter how tiny. But it´s done!!! I´m tired, exhausted, yet I´m recovering. Finally I can stop spending my waking hours worrying about things and decisions – about the perfect tile, the perfect shade for walls, floors, the sofa, … I don´t know how many hours I spent with finding the right lamp cord or water tap or sink. Let alone the cupboard! Or trying to get hold of a new bricklayer in the middle of the construction season after the first one vanished with the advance payment …
Finally I can start living a normal life again – with cooking and writing and shooting photos. (I can only hope, my tax documents from the last two years turn up again!)
Now it´s time for settling in. And what better way is there for feeling at home in a new place than enjoying the regional food?
Discover with me the island! I´m going to share my stories and photos and recipes with you. Please check in every now and then, I´d love to see you around.
Today I´ll share the recipe of my grandmother´s brine. I love pickles and I tried so many recipes I found on the internet, but I keep always going back to this one. It´s milder than the common brine and works with just everything.
1 cup vinegar, white or red
2 cups water
3 Tbsp sugar
1,5 Tbsp salt
2 Tbsp juniper berries, slightly crushed
3 bay leaves
2 twigs of rosmarin
Be adventurous with the spices, try mustard seeds, coriander, dill, ginger, chilies, garlic or whatever you have handy!
Put all the ingredients in a pot, bring it to the boil. Meanwhile chop the vegetables (I used 3 big cucumbers) and put them in a very clean container. After the brine has cooked, pour it over the vegetables. Wait at least 1 hour before you tuck in, but they are best after one or two days.