An Unexpected Journey

News flash!!! Even though we aren’t the very first in the world, we do get to see The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey before everyone in the U.S.  How’s that for exciting?  December 12 will find us at our local Kino following Bilbo Baggins’ quest, and it’s going to be an adventure for sure!

In other news, we’re going on an epic unexpected journey of our own.  After ten years in Germany, we are moving…..to Puerto Rico!  Yep, as Kara mentioned not long ago, a lot has been happening lately, and there is more to come.  I don’t even know where to start, but I guess it should be with a thank you to Kara, Janessa, Linda, and Kelly for keeping good things to eat on The Troika Table while I was busily starting the school year, finishing the fiscal year, applying for a new job that came open out of the blue, and getting ready for a big move.  While all that was going on, I didn’t stop cooking.  I even took a few pictures while I was at it, and some of those recipes will no doubt appear here in the future.  We also threw a few fun parties with food worth sharing (and I will, someday!).  And we took a nice drive to Poland with Kara, who came for one last trip home to Deutschland while it was still home.  We came home with some lovely Polish pottery, and since we are about to become islanders, we also picked up a couple of Borowski fish.

Fish

Little shopping excursion notwithstanding, you know how it is when you are getting ready to move.  We downsized, sold, recycled, and donated at least an entire moving crate’s worth of accumulated stuff (especially winter clothes, hee-hee), and of course we used up everything we could from the pantry and fridge.  There wasn’t much of sustenance left when moving day arrived.

fridge

No, we don’t normally store aspirin, aluminum foil, plastic cups, and paper plates and napkins in the refrigerator, but that seemed like the best way to keep the movers from packing them.  Everything else we wanted left alone went into the bathroom behind this sign:

Bitte!

Don’t you wonder what’s behind that door?  No, you don’t really want to know….nothing exciting, just the supplies we would need for final cleaning.

In the fridge we had the sweet potato pie that would be breakfast for the next three days of packing our household goods, various condiments, a half sheet of purchased flammkuchen crust left from our last party a couple of weeks ago, and not much else.  But I thought to myself, “Hmmm, that flammkuchen crust offers some real possibilities,” and the resulting lunch proved to be delicious.

Tante Fanny knows best

Flammkuchen, or tarte flambée, is a pizza-like Alsatian specialty.  It’s simple to make your own dough from this recipe if you don’t have Tante Fanny in your neighborhood store.  Traditional flammkuchen is nothing more than the dough rolled as thinly as possible, spread with crème fraiche, and topped with thinly sliced onions and lardons, baked in a hot wood-fired oven.  No wood-fired oven?  No worries, simply set your oven to 475 F.  I like to make flammkuchen as an appetizer for parties, and I’ve made versions with thin slices of potatoes or Hokkaido squash, diced bell peppers, sliced mushrooms, caramelized onions, and various cheeses.

Squash Flammkuchen

This time in addition to the crust, I had a little crème fraiche and a partial bottle of bacon pieces to work with, plus about a quarter of a small jar of candied jalapeños (by the way, if you haven’t tried making these yet, trust me, all you have to do is tie a ribbon around the jar and you have the perfect little Christmas gift for friends and coworkers).

Moving Day Flammkuchen

  • Flammkuchen crust – purchased or from recipe linked above
  • Crème fraiche – about ½ cup for a standard rectangle baking sheet
  • Toppings of your choice (see description above and use your imagination)

Place your baking sheet in the oven and preheat to 475 F. Roll the dough out on a sheet of parchment paper, then lift the entire sheet onto the hot baking sheet (ignore the foil in my photos – by this time I didn’t have a baking sheet available so I used a sheet of foil on the broiler rack).  Bake for 2-3 minutes, or until the surface of the dough is starting to feel dry.

Spread the dough with crème fraiche and add toppings of your choice.  For this flammkuchen I used about three tablespoons of prepared bacon pieces and maybe two dozen candied jalapeño slices.  Return to the oven and bake until the crème fraiche is bubbly and starting to brown a little.  Cut into squares and enjoy!

Candied jalapeno, bacon Flammkuchen

All dressed up with a place to go

 

Tami

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2 thoughts on “An Unexpected Journey

  1. Kelly says:

    Congratulations! And the flammkuchen looks delicious – it might be swapped in for a Friday night pizza one of these days…

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