I came back from a weekend in Maine with lots (and I mean lots!) of Wild Maine Blueberries. I find them about a million times better than the culivated high bush kind from New Jersey or Michigan or where ever else they are grown. In addition to the better flavor, I think that because they are smaller, they distribute better in muffins and such. So I made this “coffee cake” like blueberry loaf. Oh so good. Extremely light and fluffy and I am trying not to eat it all at once.
A family friend is from Sweden and I think that my first memories of having cardamom come from eating her Cardamom Cake when I was a child. I love cardamom, even more that I love cinnamon. These are a variation on a cinnamon roll, so I thought it would make a nice addition to the celebratory weekend breakfasts. I’m not Swedish, so I can’t really tell you how authentic these are, but I can tell you that they are very yummy and that is what counts in my book.
And tis the season to start thinking about Easter. And Easter Food. Every years I make some sort of Hot Cross Buns, everything from traditional to last year’s with chocolate covered cherries in them, but this year’s I think are my favorite so far: Cranberry Walnut Hot Cross Buns, with Maple Glaze. Somehow rather New England-y with the cranberies and maple. Positively yummy!
I love apple fritters, but there are two major issues with them: 1. often they are lacking in the apples and 2. fried food. Well, fried food could almost be acceptable, except that when I fry stuff at home, it is always a major production. And then there is the matter of what to do with the oil. So instead, I made this Apple Fritter Bread. It’s got tons of apples, is probably healthier because it is just baked, but yet it is still buttery, light and fluffy. And it is really easy to make so no worries there. Breakfast on a Sunday morning.
And yet another lucky foodie idea: eating fish on New Year’s Eve/Day. I’ve heard many different reasons why fish is supposed to be lucky — everything from that the scales look like coins (wealth), that they swim in schools (abundance) and that they swim forwards (moving ahead). New Englanders (and people in Scandinavia, Italy, Brazil, etc) are known to eat the (sacred) cod … more on cod some other time. Some people advocate that is it because of cod that the world is what it is today — bit of a stretch in my opinion, but whatever. In Germany, there is the tradition of Silvesterkarpfen (New Years Carp), but also herring (also a Polish tradition) is an option.
Me? Well, I don’t have any carp or herring, but I love smoked salmon, so here we have a quick appetizer of smoked salmon with dill mascapone, on homemade knekkebrod. The Knekkebrod is a cracker like bread (no fat or leavening) with sunflower, sesame and flax seeds. Yummy like this or even just with a schmear of cream cheese.