I love that my family and friends are fully embracing my foodie life and when it’s time to think of a gift for Dani, it is usually something that relates to my kitchen. For my birthday I received numerous kitchen gadgets and cook books. My sister gave me a book called Brennesselsuppe und Rosinenbomber (Stinging Nettle Soup and Raisin Bombers) by Rosemarie Koehler. It’s a historical cookbook from the time after the second world war situated in Berlin, combining recipes and short stories of people from that era. It was so fascinating I was done with it in 2 days. The scarcity of food in the city, the burden people took upon themselves to get food (i.e. walk miles to the country side to trade the last linens with farmers, just to have the potatoes or else stolen, or confiscated by the Russian Military) and the creativity they came up with just blew my mind. It humbled me in that my fridge is not overflowing with food anymore (also because I switched a 90% organic diet) and made me appreciate food even more. It is fascinating to think of stinging nettles, dandelions and acorns as food. The recipes on how to make “replacement” coffee from acorn flour, how to make bread soup to make the rationed (hard, sometimes moldy) bread edible and the thought of clothes lines across the balconies with fruit drying on them for the winter – just incredible.
The downside of most of those recipes was that though they tasted good at the time of great hunger, they were not so tasty once people made the dishes again when food normalcy was restored. I tried one recipe, a really simple yet luxurious one at the time, because rationed 2 tbsp. of sugar per person per 10 days does not allow for wasteful use of sugar. But the recipe for candied pumpkin as replacement for the beloved candied orange and citrus peel was a good one, because it helped preserve things for the winter.
Perfect fall teat of candied pumpkin bits
- 3 slices of a small pumpkin (I used a Hokkaido, about 1cm thick slices)
- 2 tbsp. of sugar
- Cut the pumpkin into small cubes.
- In a saucepan heat the sugar and pumpkin bits.
- Simmer until the pumpkin bits are translucent.
- Place bits on a plate and let sit in the sun preferably for 2 days.
- Transfer to another plate leaving any sugar smudges on the other plate.
- Wait until completely dry then transfer into an air tight container.
I think these pumpkin bits would be great as a snack or in cookies and other baked goods for fall and winter.
Do you have any good substitution recipes?