Witches’ Kitchen #2

I’m still desperately looking for the recipe I used to make Saffron Liqueur. I know I also used vodka, and my detective skills tell me that in the old pictures it looks as if there’s rock sugar and also a stick of cinnamon in there. After the holidays I’ll do a test run using 1L vodka, 50g brown rock sugar, a cinnamon stick and 2T saffron, and you can watch my experiment step by step. I’ll post pics and everything. Here’s the old ones, BTW, in case you’ll want to try your own detective skills:

By popular demand: Witches’ Kitchen #1

So I dug out some old pics for you to accompany the recipes.
Today we’re making Ginger Liqueur. This is the easiest recipe I know, and it tastes amazing. I try to adapt most liqueur recipes to vodka, since I believe it results in a milder taste compared to liqueur made with Korn (German rye liquor).

You’ll need:
a generous piece of fresh ginger, peeled and roughly cubed
1L vodka (I always use the cheapest brand I can get, and it still comes out really awesome)
1 cinnamon stick
a couple of whole cardamom pods
a twig of rosemary
1 vanilla bean, slit lengthwise
50g brown rock sugar

Put everything in a bottle or jar that seals well (a big mason jar will do) and leave this in a warm spot. I recommend windowsills without too much direct sunlight. After 3 to 4 weeks, your liqueur is ready. Strain into bottles and enjoy. You can keep this in a cupboard at room temperature, but I’m not sure for how long, since all my liqueurs – no matter whether they were given away or kept in my own cupboard – have always been, um, gone in a matter of a couple of weeks max.
In the pictures below you can watch the liquid change colour as time passes (which is really beautiful to watch). The ginger liqueur is on the right.

Mangolds: For those times when you actually want to get a salad

Last MoFo I told you about Ginko, my favourite vegetarian restaurant (with lots of vegan options). This time let’s take a look at the other popular eatery in town, Mangolds.

Again, this is all self-service buffet style, only this one looks much more like a cafeteria in a school or hospital. Very simple, rectangular chairs and tables, and bare walls. But what about the food, since that’s what we’re mainly here for? Well, I guess if you want a hot dish, you have to be lucky. The couple of times I went there, I actually had to go back to the salad buffet, since every single hot dish contained eggs or dairy. But then according to their homepage they are constantly changing the menu, so maybe it’s just that I can’t be too spontaneous and might have to check the day’s dishes online first.

Anyway. Their salad buffet is amazing. Just look at my pics. This huge plate had lettuce, rucola, scarlet runner beans (my favourite beans in the whole world, and a regional specialty), chickpeas, cannellini beans, tomatoes, zucchini, scorzonera (something I never had before but really loved), spelt, olives and pasta salad. Topped with some really nice vinegar (but I forgot what kind) and more pumpkinseed oil (that’s practically compulsory here).

They also have kombucha and Makava ice tea.

All in all, the atmosphere and the choice of hot dishes could still be very much improved – but when you really want a salad, go get it at Mangolds. After all, they have takeout boxes too.

Vegan product of the week: innocent smoothies

Fel knows what I’m talking about. Sometimes these little guys are all that protects my nerve endings from getting frayed. Well, metaphorically. I can get most flavours at the supermarket just across the street, and now they even have the 0.75 l cartons. Best thing: innocent is the just about the only brand available here that doesn’t add milk powder to their coconut smoothie (something I don’t understand anyway).