Crunchies (a South African biscuit)

Don’t get me wrong, I am a big fan of many German foods and drinks: Lebkuchen (and all the other Christmas cookies), Stollen, marzipan, anything with Holunder (elderflower), Knödel (dumplings), rye bread, quark, Mohnkuchen (poppyseed cake), Bergkäse (a smokey cheese), Mandelhörnchen (an almond confectionary), and so on. But as an expat, sometimes you just feel like eating something from home. As a result, every now and then my mother gets emails asking for recipes for things we used to make, and my latest craving is for Crunchies, an oaty baked square that is great for a quick breakfast or in-between snack. I honestly didn’t realize it was a South African thing until I noticed you can’t find them anything else. The closest thing we ate to them outside of SA was in the UK, and it was also good, but not as crunchy and a bit sweeter.

Here is the recipe she sent: (complete with her notes) Continue reading

Easy Boiled Fruit Cake


It’s been a while since I’ve posted a recipe, but this is a good one! While busy in the kitchen tonight making this fruitcake it occurred to me to share this quick and easy recipe on my blog. Although it’s called “boiled fruitcake”, it’s baked – the name comes from the fact that some of the ingredients (fruit, butter, sugar) are boiled together beforehand, giving the cake a more complex flavour. It’s a lovely, light fruitcake, perfect for tea or a snack. This recipe was passed down from my grandmother to my mother and now to me.

Continue reading

Cake for breakfast

czech cakes

While I was looking for some photos of the plum dumplings, I found this photo I took of all the delicious cakes that J’s mom and grandmother sent us home from Czech with one time: plum pastries, cake with cherries and another one, perhaps apple strudel). In Czech republic they often eat cake for breakfast, it’s great. So with these homemade goodies we had breakfasts lined up for a few days that week. Must learn to make these!



Grandpa’s rock buns


These rocks buns were on my grandfather’s wishlist for every birthday, Christmas and Father’s day, so my mother would always make him a big tin and some for us at the same time. She would make some slightly burnt ones especially for me, because I liked them that way. I guess the reason my grandfather liked rock buns so much is that they are good with a cup of tea. I think they make a nice breakfast when you’re in a hurry! Continue reading

Weekly Small Pleasures #1 – park life

Mani, author of the blog “A New Life Wandering” had a great idea for a blog event – to write a post every week sharing some of the week’s enjoyable moments, the things that made you happy. There are usually those good little moments in every week that make you smile, so what a great idea to catalogue them. Here are mine for this week:

1) The beautiful fragrance of flowers from the tree Robinia pseudoacacia, which had fallen to the ground in a park Continue reading

Food metamorphosis: the difficulties of cooking in a foreign country



When you move to a foreign country, it’s comforting to cook some dishes from home now and then, to enjoy the familiar flavours. It wasn’t long after arriving in Berlin that I realized that this is easier said than done. I would cook something that I’d made at home a hundred times and it would taste completely different to how it would taste when cooked at home. Continue reading