The Storks of Böbs

The Storks of Böbs
A Very Fine Pair

My Birthday Weekend 2011

The Weekend started quiet enough, I had to work on Friday!!! This meant that I got onto the motorway at 13:00.

As it was my Birthday a few friends where putting a surprise party together (it wasn’t a real surprise as one of them couldn’t hold her tongue). It was not a big affair just 5 of our cookery club (Marianne is sunning herself in Cornwall).

I wracked my brains (??) what I would make, as I hit the Elbe tunnel at Hamburg it hit me (not the tunnel but what I was going to make). A Tom Yum soup!!!

I have made some nice Tom Yum soups over the past few years, some variations of recipes from people who used to use the BBC food board (Josh and Sunflower) and some from Far Eastern Cookery recipes. This time it was put together while on the motorway so I will call it Autobahn Tom Yam soup.

I had no ingredients so it meant a visit to Citti Markt in Kiel, this would have every thing I wanted to make a nice soup.

Autobahn Tom Yum soup

So the ingredients are: (for 8 prtions or 6 if Martin is there)


1 pot (50g) of Chicken stock paste (JügenLangbein) (if you have time make your own)

2 teaspoons of marigold vegi stock powder

Coriander stalks

2 chillies

1 stalk of lemon grass

Zest from 1 lime (If you have kafir lime leaves all the better)

2 cm piece of ginger grated

Note: the time can be cut down by buying a Tom Yum paste and just adding water, but making it yourself is far more fun  ;-)


2 Chicken breasts

7 large sea water prawns (head and shells removed but used)

A piece of fresh Tuna steak cubed (about 200g)

1 stalk of lemon grass

4 spring onions sliced into rings

1 chilli

Juice of 1 lime

5 or 6 curry leaves

1 bunch of coriander (stalks for the stock)

3 cm square piece of galangal (sliced and diced)

1 tin of Chinese straw mushrooms

6 very small ripe tomato’s

3 large field mushrooms thinly sliced

2 handfuls of bean sprouts

200g Broad rice noodles (half a packet softened in warm water)

Fish sauce

Soy sauce

First make up the chicken stock and vegetable stock with 2 ltrs of water, bring to the boil and reduce the heat, add one of the stalks of lemon grass crushed, one of the chillies chopped fine, the stalks of the coriander crushed, the grated ginger, the zest of the lime, the prawn shells and heads, simmer for a good 10 minutes, pour through a sieve into a clean pot.

Now add the chicken pieces, the galangal, the remaining stalk of lemon grass hard outer skin removed bashed and chopped very fine and simmer until the chicken is almost done, Now add the Tuna cubes and the prawns cut into pieces. Next add the sliced mushrooms, curry leaves and the drained contents of the tin of straw mushrooms, the bean sprouts and the drained rice noodles. Allow all to fuse for about 5 minutes over a low heat. Just before serving adjust taste with the fish and Soy sauce, add the small tomatoes halved and the spring onion rings.

Serve in a large bowl decorated with chopped coriander and chilli sliced into rings, everyone helps themselves. I will often have bowls of sliced spring onions, extra coriander, fish sauce and chilli rings so that the guests can add a little extra to suit their taste.

Linda had done marinated pork filet medalions and grilled pepper.

Carolyn had been and got a nice plump smoked trout and various other niceties

Martin had made "kaseler in schlafrock" kaseler in puff pastry, and popped it into the oven, this was served with a horse radish sauce.

And last but not least a Rhubarb Crumble with vanille sauce from Kalle, it was a wonderful end to a meal,

There was, sekt to start and lots of wines and I do believe Martin and I had a beer or two!

Saturday morning we had decided to all meet at the coffee stall at the Market
The coffee stall holder started off in a very small way about about 4 years ago with just his stall and a couple of tables that you stood at, look at it now!! 

then do a bit of shopping, I went to the hair dressers (A real Turkish Barbars). Sauntering back just taking a few photos of the fresh produce it is really such a well provisioned market.

Double Matjes filets

Salt herring

Punnets of fresh strawberries

Fancy a whole plaice ready for the pan

New season (Cypriot) potatoes, and a whole load of fresh white asparagus, kohlrabi, artichokes etc
 And one for the horsey people, the horse butchers stand

I then tracked the group down at Jacques! Wine tasting indeed they only go to get free wine and bread

I joined them, but they had already started, there is just no holding them back when they smell wine. Jacques' is one of our local wine merchants, who not only has a fantastic range of wines from all over the world, but also some nice olives, pates, cheeses and other bits and pieces from France, Spain and Italy.
The wines that we tasted

Talk about posing for the photographer

Some of the jars, tins anf packets of wonerful sauces, pates, olives, sardines etc

They even had some real Yorkshire Crisps, wonder what part of France Yorkshire belongs to????

After the wine tasting Linda and I decided to go into the Altstadt for Lunch, we went to the Kieler Brauerei, this is set in the heart of Kiel and not only serves beer but also very typical German  hearty food.

The weather was fantstic so we sat ourside and watched the world go by.  But the inside is like a wonderland for a beer drinking "Geordie Lad"

The inside
And the outside

Next weeks brew starting to brew 

The coppers where the brew is finished is finished

A bottle of the stuff (especially for the tourists)

This is for the Swedish (and other) tourists that come here to let their hair down, when the ferries and cruise ships come into Kiel. I have never used one myself but have seen many bent over them calling for Huey

But I had a glass of the the real good draught, Linda being a lightweight had an "Apfelschorle

I had a typical North German dish of Pickled Bratherring, fried potatoes and a small salad

Linda had Salmon on a bed of mashed potatoes and a Mustard sauce, also a gürken salad accompanied it.

We then had a walk around the inner Kiel this is one of the small lakes that are connected to the Kieler Förder. The birds and the locals all seemed to be enjoying the sunshine, it was a really nice warm sunny day.

A pochard keeping an eye on things

Some of the Kieler residents enjoying the Saturday sun

A couple of Canadian tourists in the front with some of the Grey locals behind

A coot having a bath

We went home for a little nap (as one does after the strains of eating and walking. We had decided to go out for a meal (well Linda had as part of my Birthday present) to "The Bauch Von Kiel". We know this restaurant very well, Linda had her **th birthday there and we had gotten to know the owner and the Barman very well. It is well within walking distance THERE and only a short taxi ride home.

We both had a mixed starter, this was quite a meal in itself and could have done us both, but I do not like sharing food! So it was one each!!

We both ordered the duck breast for the main; this was perfect, lusciously tender and pink.

We had a carafe of the house wine (Rioja that evening) to go with it and a very nice one it was too.

We then went into the bar (we could have sat in the bar to eat) and chatted to Gordon the barman, Gordon is a fantastic chatty person, the perfect barman; we had a couple of Gin and Tonics and then got the Taxi home. It wasn't too late as we where off to the Hamburg Fish Market and the Marathon the next day.

Sunday Morning 06:00 start, no traffic on the roads to talk about, so we listened to Radio 4. We got to Hamburg and I had noticed that there was a Park and Ride just before the Elbe tunnel at Bahrenfeld. After a bit of getting on the wrong train and going in the wrong direction, we arrived at the U-bahn Landungsbrücken and walked along the Elbe to the Fish Market. For all of those that have never been, I can only say it is time you went. It starts at about 5 in the morning and was originally the main fish market for the whole of Northern Germany, it has now changed and the fish Market hall has been turned into an event hall but on a Sunday morning it is the place to be, with bars and eating on 3 levels but the atrium is where you will want to get into (it cost nothing) as here there are live bands playing, they alternate between one end of the hall and the other.

But before you get there you have to walk through the stalls, not all selling fish, but the central area is set aside for that and boy what a display almost any fish you could wish (at the moment no brown shrimps as the "Krabbencutters" are on strike for a fair price for their catch)

We breakfasted at one of the stalls I had a doppel matjes brotchen and a cup of black coffee, Linda said she was going to try a matjes, but being a woman and able to change her mind any time she wishes settled for "krabbenbrotchen" (Conserved, I bet from Aldi).

We had agreed to meet up with one of my work colleagues and his wife as both his daughter and son where running in the Marathon. Phone rang and it was he, now that was an operation trying to find the pair, but we got to them just as the leading pack arrived (containing the eventual winner). After his 2 siblings had went past they decided to go for a boat trip around the warehouses in what is known as the speicherstadt, this had been before the days of the large container harbours where most of the oversees commodities arrived into Germany. As I had been there many times during my time in the Merchant Navy and as one warehouse looks very much like any other and the adjoining canals are not all that enthralling either, we gave this a miss. We said we would meet up at U bahn station Eppenbaum, we arrived there and moved along the road until we got a good position to watch, we where at the 37km watering place and as it was about 4 hours since the start there where many distressed bodies forcing themselves along. We actually missed my friends so decided to have a go to the inner Alster, we went to the Rathaus and then decided it was time for a spot of lunch. As Linda was traveling back to Kiel with the train, it was decided that we would find some thing in that direction, we actually went to a Sushi bar inside of the main station, the food was all freshly prepared, it was clean and very tasty. We both had the mixed sushi which only cost €11´- very good value for money.

Linda went to get her train and I got the U-bahn back to my car and then on home to my bed after a long but very, very enjoyable Birthday Weekend!!

Photos to be added, but it is now late and time for bed!

Berlin Monday and Kadewe

I went straight to Monday as Sunday was a family day we went out for a meal, very nice and well worth the money, Janice had an entrecote, Isolde ostrich and I had lamb filets, all asked for rare and all got ir served rare, not always the case. Meal for 3 including drinks and tip €45,-.

Janice and I went home, picked up a dvd on the way home popped into the locaöl sushi bar and picked up a wopping tray of mixed sushi and went home to watch one of the most diabolical films I have seen in a long time Arthur!


I had business to do, was finished before 11 so decided to pop into Kadewe for a spot of breakfast. What I had forgotten was that the main eateries on the 6th floor didn't open until 12 noon.

So I had a stroll around the stalls and was able to have a good look without the normal crush, of tourists (which I suppose I am now)

they had just started loading up the oysters on my favourite stall

The Zander, Carp and Pike

The monkfish, you can see why it is also called the angler fish

skate wings, parrot fish and some other exotics

Passing the tea stand with its 100s of different sorts

rabbits, ducks, Bresse chickens etc

T-bone, Entrecote and Feather steak

Bison, Roe and game goulash
  But I had come here for breakfast so I wandered to one of the stands:

some nice lobsters to take away, no I have had these many times before


What about a bit of the old black gold or a nice slice of fois gras?

 No I decided on a couple of legs of King crab

And all I can say it was fantastic, I will not tell you the price as it makes even me go red in the face.

Just to finish of you may have fancied a bottle of Brandy!

Or even a bottle of Macallam!!!

Or if you are really feeling flush a bottle of Johnnie Walker, I made a quick get away just in case I felt tempted.

I left my wonderland a little poorer but a great deal happier.

My Berlin weekend


I had some business to do in Berlin so decided to mix business with pleasure and take a long weekend break.

It was quite a quiet drive along the A2 autobahn, setting of at 07:00 and not pushing it I made it into Berlin by 11:00, then starts the fun it took another 45 minutes to get to my daughters.

My daughter lives in the middle of what is called in Berlin, "Kietz", I don't think there is an English literal translation but it is the old workers quarters, that alas are now being renovated and turned into desirable  properties, I suppose some will call that progress.

After chatting we decided to go to the near by market and then go for lunch at one of the myriad of small restaurants that  have sprung up in this area of Berlin since the start of the 90's some bling and tinsel, others just making a buck but still others showing  the food of the Berlin melting pot. But first the market.

The Boxhagenerplatz Market

grilled trout, herring and mackerel

The market takes place around a very large square  there are stalls on all four sides forming a passage through the cultural and culinary complexity of Berlin. This is just 1 of about 50+ such "Wochen Markt" that take place every Saturday and in many cases on another day during the week (normally Wednesday or Thursday).
you don't have to shop but can sit in the sun and watch the kids  play on the swings
 I have been to Borough Market in London, it is also well victualled, but it is not a market in the true sense of a market that takes place on mainland Europe, people come and buy their weekly commodities, buy their weekend joint (I suppose there are those that still smoke?), buy their veg, that comes from the surrounding area outside of Berlin (Brandenburg) and is as fresh as if buying straight from the farms. Of course you have the exotics, (pineapples, mango's, avocado's, dried fruits and nuts etc.) but in the main it is local produce and very few tourists.

At one time you could also buy your chicken, goose or rabbit live, that, alas is no longer allowed, health, animal welfare or some other silly law, that stops you getting really fresh produce.

But none the less you can get all of your meat and fish stalls,the fish stalls selling many sorts that are not eaten  in the UK ,well at least on a regular basis by the Anglo-Saxons, this I find a little strange as considering where many of their roots lie (Northern Germany, Danish Peninsular and the North Sea Islands). But with influx of new British, from East of the Oder,  maybe the eels, carp, trench and pike will once again start gracing the English tables.

We then went to have lunch at a nice little Indian restaurant called Yogi-Ashram


Indian restaurants are becoming more and more prevalent in Berlin (when I lived in Berlin, there were only 2), we had been there last year so knew we wouldn't be served Deutsch/Indisches, which is terrible. Here they serve Cobra and Kingfisher.

I chose a Cobra and Janice  had a Lassi.

We settled for the mixed Karahi

This included a glass of  sherry, don't ask me why? it may be the remnants of the Raj.

Followed by the normal papadam with three sauces, mango, mint and yoghurt

Next we had a nice lentil soup, spicy and not thick like I make mine, far more delicate, alas that floating is not coriander.

This was followed by the main course of a mixed Kahari consisting of chicken, lamb and what I think is questionable duck. It was done in a very savoury dry sauce with lots of onions and peppers.

It was also served with a large side salad  with a Yoghurt dressing and yellow basmati rice

All in all it was a very nice meal, in no way comparable of your real Calcutta, Bombay, Nottingham or Bradford ethnic Indian food but for Germany very passable.

The dessert was lichee's,  peaches and out of a tin, sprinkled with dessicated coconut again don't ask me why, it was neither Indian nor added any thing to the meal, Janice ate mine.

On payment we got a free be of a mango liqueur.

Plus points, it is one of the better Indian restaurants in Berlin, the starters and main are quite authentic, the service was prompt and friendly. the meal was value for money, it cost us including drinks and tips €32,- for the two of us. This in the "Hauptstadt" is very reasonable, you would pay at least 50% more up in the centre of town.

Minus points, why the sherry, why the lack of coriander (I realise it isn't everyone's cup of tea but it is INDIAN and I am a Coriander Junkie) The Kahari could have been a little spicier. I realise that I was in Berlin and this does not have a great Indian ethnic population so does not have the same eating ethos as in Britain.

In General

The restaurant must walk a fine line between authenticity and making ends meet, the German eating culture is not one of really hot spicy pungent food, they are slow to adapt to changing eating habits they have a saying "What the farmer doesn't know , he doesn't eat", though with ever increasing influx of the various far eastern and near eastern food cultures they are becoming more cosmopolitan than many of the older well established capital Cities of Europe. During the cold war with the exception of Turkish, Italian and Yugoslavian (Balkan) there was very little experimenting with foreign food, this was done on Holiday on Majorca, in Austria or Italy (the more adventurous went to Turkey or the Greek Islands).
The Berlin Germans are big eaters, they like a full plate even if it is just potatoes, sauerkraut and a leg of pork (with plenty of sauce "bitte") anything less is not a real meal and certainly not value for money.   Anyone ordering a Berliner Schlachterplatter will realise what I mean, one of these would have fed our whole house on a Sunday, here in Berlin you each get one!!! 

Evening we went to the cinema and had been aiming to go for a Sushi, we went to see Arthur, with Russell Brand and Helen Merram as his super nanny, there was some funny parts but all in all it was a load of rubbish, pity that Helen put her name alongside his. We where still full from lunch so decided to forego the Sushi and head back home and open a bottle of SA red and have a chat. and no we didn't watch the Euro-vision unsong contest, one, it is of no interest to either of us and two, my daughter is one of those small band of people that sees no use in a television set..