The Storks of Böbs

The Storks of Böbs
A Very Fine Pair

A quick fish pie

As I wandered through the Rheda Wochenmarkt, I stopped at the fish stall, they don’t normally have a great selection of fresh fish, but I saw they had haddock (schellfisch) fresh not smoked, but they did have smoked halibut, thinks :?:  what can one do with those, well I decided on fish pie, I visited the spud stand and got 2kg of Sissi (a very nice potato for mash). I next went to a discounter beginning with A and ending in I as I know they always have very reasonable Prawns and Stremmel Lachs ( a speciality of the Baltic, hot smoked salmon).
When home late, really too late to cook and eat, but as I hadn't eaten since 13:00 at the shoot, I was really quite peckish.

So it was the haddock and halibut into a pan with 400ml milk , a piece of onion, a crushed garlic clove and a few pepper corns, a piece of mace, a bit of cinnamon bark, 2 slivers of lemon peel, a bay leaf, 2 cardamom pods and 2 cloves. Brought to the boil and lowered the heat, allowed to simmer, then turned off the heat and let it sit in the milk and aromatics to infuse.

Took the haddock and halibut out of the milk and poured the poaching liquid through a sieve.

Mean time I made my mash, 3 spuds cut quite small, boiled allowed to steam dry, mashed and then added a good knob of butter, a grating of nutmeg and some chopped parsley.

I arranged the prawns in an oven proof dish and flaked in largish pieces, the Stremmel  Lachs, topped this with the  flaked haddock and smoked halibut.
I next made a Béchamel, mustard and blue cheese sauce (I had a piece of Blue Vinney that I needed to use up)

25g butter melted in a sauce pan, added 25g of flour, made a roux and cooked it out, added a ½ a tsp. of mustard powder, slowly poured in the cooking liquor then cooked it, adding the blue cheese and a pinch of marigold stock powder.

It should coat the back of a spoon, poured this over the fish, allowing about 10mm space at the top. Spooned the mash on top (starting at the outside and working inwards), when it is all covered, smooth with a palate knife and then criss-cross pattern with a fork.


Put into a very hot oven to brown the top, serve piping hot. You will notice I didn’t add any peas or hard-boiled egg, reason was I didn’t have any!

And here we have it

Braised Hare leg

Braised Hare leg

 (It can be any part or even a whole one, but as I was just cooking for myself a leg was quite ample)
You shall require:

1 hare hind leg (about 350g is a decent portion)

For the marinade
200ml red wine (don’t throw the remainder of the bottle away as you shall be drinking it with the meal)

Shot glass of sherry vinegar
2 garlic cloves (crushed)

1 medium onion (diced)

Bouquet garni  (Bunch of herbs consisting of bay leaf, sage, rosemary, oregano and thyme)
Game spices (see my game spice mixture)

Pepper from the mill
Put the hare into a container, (it can be from Tupperware but this was from Ikea, the container that is not the hare), add the onion and garlic place the hare leg on top and give it a very good grinding of Game spices, rub it in, it can take a good seasoning.

Pour in the wine and vinegar, add the bunch of herbs give it another  grinding of spices for luck,

lid on and up onto the balcony, at this time of the year it is ample cold enough, in fact it is colder than in the refrigerator and I don’t have space in it in any case , marinade 24 hours.

For  the braised hare:
1 bunch of Suppengrün (a piece of leek, a carrot, a piece of celeriac) diced

1 onion

50g speck
6 crushed juniper berries

10 pepper corns
2 pimento corns

2 pieces of lemon zest
300ml chicken stock (I had no game stock left)

1 tbsp. mixed dried herbs (Herbs d’ Provence)

3 table spoons of olive oil
Heat the oil in a blue heavy oven proof cast iron casserole (it doesn’t have to be, but I have a one) put in the speck, onions and lemon zest, add the diced carrots, celeriac and soften.

Take the hare out of the marinade pat dry and brown all over in the casserole.

Sprinkle with the dried herbs and pour over the marinade including the bouquet garni, add the stock. Bring to the boil,

lid on and into the preheated oven at 160°C for 4 hours. When you return from the pub, it is ready. I had this with braised chicory in a béchamel sauce, red cabbage, wild mushroom ragout and a potato cake.

All together a very nice Sunday Lunch (all be it a little late)

Tricky Dicky’s Plum Duff.


I have just finished making my Festive puds for this year, I don’t know if they will be all eaten but I put enough rum in to fill all of the tot glasses on the old HMS Ark Royal.

I started last Thursday soaking the currents and cranberries in rum. At the same time I soaked the prunes in Brandy (Weinbrandt). But let me say this is a recipe straight out of my head, I have made Christmas puds and over the years have used a mixture of “Wor Mams, Nigel, Marks and Sparks, Marguite Patten, Keith Floyd and the Diabetic UK one. This time I thought I would go for it on my own, so here are the ingredients to My Plum Duff  

150g big juicy sultanas
200g raisins
100g dried cranberries
200ml dark rum

Soak the above fruits in the rum for at least 24 hours (mine was 3 days)

100g dried Apricots (diced)
100g dried figs (diced)

100g dried dates (diced)

50g candied ginger
100g Glazed Cherries (diced)

100g dried soft prunes (diced)

100ml brandy
25g diced candied lemon peel
25g diced candied orange peel
200g suet (mine was real pukka gen, but the squeamish can use vegetable)
250g dark soft brown sugar
2 table spoons of black treacle
350g flour
100g soft bread crumbs
100g chopped walnuts
50g nibbed almonds
1 large carrot grated
3 large eggs beaten
Zest and juice of 1 lemon

Zest and juice of 1 orange
1 tsp of mixed spices
½  tsp ground ginger
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 nutmeg grated

1 bottle of dark stout like beer (I used German Köstring black beer)

I put the soaked fruits and the chopped dried fruits, peel, grated the carrot and gave it a good mixing (to distribute the alcohol evenly, we don’t want some being more intoxicated than the rest).

Added the rest of the dry ingredients and gave it another stir (I done this on Stir-up-Sunday so had to give it a real good stir as it wouldn’t be a proper Christmas duff if you don’t. (P.S. I forgot to make a wish, anyone one want to make a one on my behalf?)

Next added the liquids (eggs, and fruit juices) and finaly adding the beer a little at a time until it reaches a good dropping consistency (at this point you can cover the bowl put in a cool place and allow to macerate for a few hours (some of mine didn’t get cooking until Monday and Tuesday)

Grease a pudding bowl and fill tamping down. Cut out a round of grease proof paper and place on the top, cover with a piece of pleated aluminium foil, tie this with kitchen string around the lip. (the pleat is to allow for expansion). I used my slow cooker for the dariol moulds and the pressure cooker for the large pudding basin.

Put a grid in the bottom of the SC and PC put the basins and moulds into them, poured boiling water into the base so that it came half way up the sides of the moulds and basin, lids on.


I put the SC on high and put the timer on for 6 hours,

When the PC came up to blood (I have an automatic that has a little red pop-up marker) turn the heat down so that the PC just merrily blubbers along. 2 ½ hours later, turn the heat off and allow to cool down, you can run it under cold water, but I think the extra bit of cooking won’t do it any harm.

The Royal Atlantis Spa and resort - Gündoğdu

Before I begin, I must say I am not a great fan of resort, or all inclusive package holidays, I am an individual, traveller, like to do my own thing, don’t like to be bound by set meal times, hate the mass feeding and am not the lying in the sun and be BBQ’d type. This is the first time since my daughter was a child that I have done anything like this type of thing and even then we done apartment self-catering.

So it didn’t bode well for the Royal Atlantis Spa and Resort.  You of course quite within your rights to ask to ask, “Then why the Hell did you book this holiday”, the reason being two fold may dear old friends Wille and Siggi from Berlin were celebrating their Golden wedding at this resort, they had been here two times previously and said it was first class, to add to this it was also Wille’s 71st birthday.

Also Linda needed a real break after having operations and a lot of stress; she wanted a “relaxing holiday”!   So we booked a 2 weeks all inclusive Holiday in the 5 star, Royal Atlantis Spa and Resort in Gündoğdu, near Side on the Turkish Riviera.

We had booked early, but not as early as our friends, but still got an amazing deal. It was only €750,- p.p. for the 2 weeks.

We left for Hannover Airport for our 2 week jaunt, on the 04 November, we had a very early flight so I had decided to travel to Hannover airport with my car and park it in the covered airport parking, for the princely sum of €58,- for the 2 weeks.

Everything went like clockwork, dropped Linda off at the departures and went and parked the car in the Parkhaus Ost. A short walk back to the departures and found Linda in line.

Our flight with Condor was also very uneventful, we got seats with plenty of leg room and as the aeroplane was only 60% full I even got three seater row all to myself.

The food was the normal terrible packed breakfast, rubber scrambled eggs , tasteless slice turkey gefugelwurst  (sausage), soft white sweet roll. I never have been a friend of airline food (unless traveling business class or above on long-haul flights).

When we had left Hannover it had been quite cold, we arrived into Antalya  airport and the temperature was good bit warmer than when we left Hannover at 05:00, it was 21°C and that at 09:30.
We got our transfer bus and within 45minutes had reached our Hotel.
It is said that first impressions are normally the best, the baggage was immediately picked up by a white coated porter (don’t Laugh), it was taken to the reception and the wheels of efficiency took over. Our friends had already been here a week and we asked if they were about? They phoned the room and as there was no answer, it was surmised that they were out and about, but the helpful receptionist asked if we would like to have a room in the same part of the hotel as they had their room, we answered in the affirmative and the room change took place. She then said our room would be ready at 12:00, but if we wanted we could have a breakfast in the special restaurant specially set up for early, late or those that had missed a meal. We got our armband and the porter took us to the restaurant. We had a full breakfast (a wonderful change from the airline food).

Boiled eggs, scrambled eggs, mushrooms, Turkish sausages, grilled tomatoes, fresh croissants, rolls, bread. Tea, coffee, water, fruit juices, a very good selection and very well cooked.

We then had a look around the complex and saw that it was immaculate, the Travertine floors gleaming; we sat outside in the open area between the patisserie and the reception and drank a glass of beer, it was by this time well after 11:00.

We then done a bit of an Orienteering tour, just to get our bearings, we sussed out the Spa area, the pools and ended up at the Lydia restaurant that fronted onto the beach, we ordered a white wine and sat at a table, people had started to come in, well that should be come under as the sides are open, the cooks had started cooking and we decided to vacate the table and go and see about our room. 
We went to the reception area and spoke to the nice receptionist; she then inquired by walkie-talkie and said yes our room was now ready.  

The porter took us up to our room, spotless, smelling of freshness, fresh linen, the Bathroom spotless (we had hit on a jewel of a cleaning lady), the fridge stocked with bottles of water, cola, lemonade, fruit juices. We had been given the code for the room safe (safe costs €1/day).  Unpacked we had a little snooze (we had been on the road since 01:30).

We had enquired as to the number of our friend’s room at the reception, so when we woke we rang them and Wille said he would meet us at the reception at 18:00 and show us the way down to the main restaurant (Romance) that is used for the evening buffet meal.

We went to our table, in all reality there are no reserved tables, but Wille had made friends with the waiter that ran this section and before any guests arrived he put glasses of wine on the table, thus they had been reserved, wink, wink!

The main warm buffet starts off with two different soups (these change each day) then comes a long row (25mtr) of chaffing dishes, fill with all of the delights of the near orient, but also European dishes, there is a section of 7 diet dishes in the centre, this is flanked on each side by two bread tables, what a display and what a range
But today we started in the centre as here was the salad, cheese displays, what an array fresh and preserved. Olives (at least 10 different types), filled artichokes, pepperonis, grilled aubergines and zucchinis, cold meats and pâtés tomato salads, fresh salads of every imaginable type and 8 different dressings. The cheeses no less extensive, it didn’t have your blue cheeses or hard and coloured European ones but at least 15 different sorts of local cows, sheep and goat cheeses.

I cannot remember what I had next but each day was different, though each day had at least 2 fish dishes sometimes 3, one always being  fresh grilled trout, dorado or sea bass, there was also a steamed fish and on some days, there would be deep fried whitebait  or breaded fish fillets to go with the  chips.

The main courses far too many and differing to remember, but during our stay I remember seeing and eating boeuf bourguignon, veal casserole , turkey, chicken, duck and my favourite lamb, we had it done in that many different was, that I cannot remember all of them, but needless to say slow cooked lamb shanks, lamb stew, lamb curry, spicy oriental baked lamb, köfta, kebabs.

Not that the vegetarians  got short changed as besides the wonderful salad bar, there was always a nice selection of warm foods, stuffed vegetables, braised aubergines and courgettes, green beans with onions and tomatoes.

I must say that the food left nothing to be desired, it was always, well cooked, fresh and very very tasty.

As I have said I am not normally a friend of buffet type meals and much prefer a-la-carte, this we had on two occasions on one evening the fish a-la-carte and the next evening the Turkish one. I can only say what a pity they don’t do this more of the time as we got the last ones of the season.

As well as the wonderful food, the Hotel has its very own Patisserie, this has a vitrine that is groaning under the weight of the sweet delicacies, on top are trays of biscuits that you could have along with your teas various, coffee, beer, wines and spirits. The area is also used as a general meeting place to play chess, backgammon, cards, watch footy on the television, or just chat. I would often go down and have a beer while working on my laptop. This area served cakes, pastries and refreshments 24 hours -a-day.

On the lower interconnecting corridors is where you will find the boutiques, shops, internet café, photographic shop, Jewellers and souvenir handlers.  As well as the former this is also the area to get fit and healthy, there are saunas and Turkish steam baths, massage rooms, 2 swimming pools, one fresh and one sea water. A fitness suite, a doctors (just in case you overdo it) nothing has been left out for those that desire going home a little fitter and healthier than when they came (though I am sure that the cooks will try their hardest to make sure you don’t)

In the lower area there is also a two lane bowling alley and a couple of pool tables, as well as the show theatre which has something different going on each evening, anyone for belly dancing?

The sardine frying place, the browning area is an area that I don’t visit; it is cheaper to go to a sun studio back home why would I come all the way from Germany to lie for 5 to 6 hours on a sun bed? I will walk along the beach with my shirt off but refuse to waste my precious holiday lying in the sun.

After the sun beds you reach the water’s edge (there isn’t a great distance between the last sun bed and the water). Adjacent to the sunbeds is a Parascending set up this like all of the water sports and the micro-light flights are not run by the hotel but are in private hands so not part of the all-inclusive. A 15 minute parascending flight  will cost €40,- and another €30,- if you want  the photographs and short video. The micro light cost €120, - for 30 minutes, the flights depend on wind and weather, but it looked fun.

The service in the hotel is first class and they go out of their way to make your stay as pleasant and enjoyable as possible, they even tried to get us into the kitchen to watch the bread being baked, alas it was not to be, but we did get some good photographs of the bakers at work during the day.
Making the pizza dough and roasting the topping 
Our favourite baker, she also is the egg specialist at the breakfast buffet. This time we discovered her at a stall in the garden baking the filled fladen bread, an interesting filling, crumbly sheep's cheese with parsley, but sprinkled with sugar and cinnamon



Q. Was it worth it?

A. 100% worth every cent.

Q. was the food good?

A. Yes, the cooks went out of their way to serve international meals, which are varied and nutritious.

Q. Are the rooms spacious?

A. I have been in smaller but not many, but that being said, on holiday I aim to spend as short a time as possible in my room. The balconies are somewhat small with a table and 2 chairs; there isn’t much space for anything else. The bathroom has everything that you will want, even a telephone next to the WC.

Q. Are the rooms clean and cleaned regularly?

A. The room is cleaned each day, spotless, but one thing I will take the hotel service personnel to task with, why must the bath towels be changed every day? Even when I didn’t put it on the floor, but hung it on the hook, it was still changed, they may have thought that they were doing me a favour but they aren’t doing the environment any favours!

Q. Are the hotel personnel helpful?

A. I have never been in a hotel where the personnel went about their jobs in such a friendly, helpful and efficient manner. Nothing was too much bother; they were intent on making it as enjoyable as possible.

Q. Is the hotel programme interesting and well organised?

A. I will answer this in the affirmative, though I used very little of the facilities, Linda did, as did our friends, Linda swam in the indoor pool most days and took part in a massage programme. We didn’t book any trips etc. through the hotel, preferring to do it off our own bat. But it is all available and you are picked up direct in front of the hotel. Evenings is also well taken care of with a full programme, dancing, show or Cinema, it is all there. If you just want to relax and have a drink then there are a couple of bars to sit in and chat away the evening.

Q. is the beach clean and safe.

A. The beach in front of the hotel  very clean, alas about 1 km along the coast towards an interesting small fishing harbour (newly made) there is a lot of rubbish and junk lying on the beach and in the dunes such a pity.

Q. Now the million dollar question, would I do it again?

A. In all probability not, nothing to do with the hotel, it is just I like to do things “my way”, I want to get up and not feel I am forced to go down for breakfast (I didn’t on quite a few mornings) because if not then you are missing out. It is the same for lunch, we often went out for the day visiting archaeological sites and towns in the area using the local means of transport the Dolmus. I like to visit small villages and towns far from the tourist areas.

So that is it for me I do not like being regimented and like to choose my meals from a selection of restaurants (even though a one we visited in Altalya was not worth it the soup was terrible and overpriced).

I shall be going back to the area, but not to the beach, next time off our own bat and up into the Taurus Mountains.