The Storks of Böbs

The Storks of Böbs
A Very Fine Pair

smoked seatrout

First catch yourself a seatrout. Then scale and gut it. then freeze it for a fine day.

put it into a 7% brine mixture, with herbs and spices. Leave in the brine overnight.

Next day. Remove from the brine, wash under running water and pat dry.

Heat up your smoker, put the smoking medium in (beech and juniper).

When it is hot and smoking like billy-o put the fish on the grill, lid down and allow to smoke for 20 mins(depends on the weight and thickness).

Have a look, push a sharp knife into the thickest part and pull at the dorsal fin, if it comes out without any resistance, it is cooked through (but not over cooked).

Serve with fresh asparagus and new potatoes.
I steam my asparagus in a boullion made from the parings from the asparagus, some vegetable stock and a half a lemon.

Pour the boullion into the asparagus pot

The seatrout ready to serve with the asparagus, new potatoes, young wilted spinach sautéed with a shallot, garlic and a good scrapping of  nutmeg. Of course there is also a nice sauce Hollondaise to go with it.

And so now to Sunday lunch. Wonderful!!!!

P.S. Do not throw the boullion away, freeze it, it is the base for a wonderful soup!

A Geordie take on Avgolemono!

1.5L of asparagus stock*

0,5L of chicken stock

1/2 cooked chicken (I use a one from the market with the skin and bones removed and both the leg and breast meat diced)

A handful (1/2 mug) of long grained rice

2 large eggs

Juice and zest of 1 lemon

1 tsp. of oregano

S&P to taste

Herbs to finish (chives)

Bring the 2 stocks together stir and take out a ladle full set aside

Add the skin and bones, bring to the boil for 10 minutes, grate in the lemon zest  and then remove the skin and bones with a slotted spoon, discard.

Now add the rice or rice noodles, cook until, well, cooked.

In the meantime whisk the egg and add the lemon juice

Take 2 ladles of hot soup and mix it with the cold soup that you have set aside (should be tepid). Dribble this into the egg/lemon mixture, whisking all of the time. Add this to the stock in the pan,

add the diced chicken,

Cook until it has thickened a little, add the herbs (oregano is nice, but so are any Mediterranean fresh herbs) taste and adjust the seasoning. Add some chives in a soup bowl and ladle in the hot soup. Serve with loads of fresh crusty bread.

*I cook my asparagus in a stock made from the peelings and off cuts from the asparagus and a good vegetable stock; this intensifies the flavours and can be frozen. It is great for making asparagus soup at a later date or as in this case adding another level to a time old soup “Avgolemono”, this I had in the 70s for the first time in Pathos (before it was built up).

NB Traditional Avgolemono used long grained rice and all chicken stock. Every Cypriot house hold or taverna has its own “real Avgolemono” made to a century old recipe, handed down by word of mouth from mother to daughter. I have heard this anecdotal piece of ballyhoo, applied to hundreds of recipes from many countries all over the world. Many accompanied with a curse or fear of death LoL. But it does sound nice.

Easter Sunday-Bonn Botanical garden

Easter morning

Weather, bright, sunny and warm, what a change from yesterday!

I had a couple of years ago went to the Botanical gardens only to find it closed on inquiring I discovered that it is always closed on a Saturday without exception, so this being a Sunday I was hopeful of gaining entry, we arrived at about 09:30 and a notice informed us and anyone else that was willing to read it that entry was from 09:00, good then it should be open, looked through the locked and barred gates, tried the handle rattled the bars, nope well and truly not open.

We walked around the front of the Poppelsdorfer Schloss (this and some of its grounds form the NW boundary to the botanical gardens, it is now the mineralogical and petrologic faculty).

The whole of this area is part of the Bonn University, most of which are housed in buildings of great architectural value.

On returning we saw someone opening up the ticket booth, we asked when the gates would be un-bared, reply at 10:00. We then saw a sign adjacent to the booth with the opening time as 10:00, we again read the notice, yes this did read 09:00, when we collected our tickets we mentioned the discrepancy to the lady, she look at us in amazement, a look that was saying “we do not make mistakes in a university”, she told a junior entrance ticket seller person to go and have a look, this one returned with the sad news that we where right, thanked us and said “it shall be corrected”. I mean we cannot have such glaring mistakes for foreigners to pick up, no doubt heads will roll.

We entered the area in front of the Schloß and had a walk through the grounds, some of the plants and trees where like coiled springs, just needing another degree or two to burst forth in glorious leaf and bloom.

Some like the Magnolia and Rhododendron had already flowered and where in the process of dropping their petals.

Birds where chirping, singing and trilling, hopping from bough to bough and searching for their breakfast

a pair of red squirrels playing tag up and down the trees (I think one had a bit more than a game of tag in mind).

Now where is she

I am sure I saw her

must be around here somewhere

In some areas, the wet lands a bit of reconfiguration was in hand, but not on Easter morn.

We traipsed the grounds, returning to the great greenhouses that are entered from opposite the Schloß. The first that one enters is the tropical vegetation one, “glass wearers and photographers beware”, misty glasses and misty camera lens, so have glass cleaning material ready at hand.
the mist

Well there was great palms and ferns, bamboos and gaudy hanging orchids, it was really a grand display. 

Next through a pair of doors was the aqua floral display with the ponds full of water lilies and roses.

Next came the cacti house, this looked like a scene from the Good the Bad and the Ugly, huge barrel cacti, sprawling snake like ground cacti and those that have arms pointing skyward like antennae.