The thing I love about living in Europe is not that it's tres chic, as my friends keep telling me, but moreover I love the four seasons. Each of them have that special something.
I have come to enjoy Winter. This was not always so. Now I find there is something completely refreshing about going out, dressed all snug and warm, into the cold, crisp air the streets and rooftops are covered in fresh snow. As I walk down the street I hear the hard snow crack beneath my feet. Blowing out warm air from our mouths, and watching the vapor lift away, we rush with our sledges to the hill top. Then coming home where it's warm and comforting my skin literally tingles - that is so invigorating.
I can hardly wait for Spring each year. The trees and flowers burst into a colorful bloom and the air is perfumed with the scents of cherry blossoms and lilacs. The horizon is a yellow sea of canola fields with splotches of lush green.
Summer, I will always love. As the temperatures rise, I can hardly wait to enjoy the warm sultry evenings on the terrace with a glass of chilled Prosecco. Looking into the clear dark sky, the stars glimmer like diamonds on black velvet. Picnics by the lake, afternoons at the pool and barbecues in the yard. Summer I love you!
Autumn has taken a special place in my heart. As the scenery changes from lush greens to deep and rich, oranges, yellows and browns we wrap ourselves in warm sweaters and enjoy long walks in the woods, collecting leaves, chestnuts and acorns. Back at school my favorite poem was the wonderful ode "To Autumn" by John Keats.
Seasons of mists and mellow fruitfulness,
Close bosom-friend of the maturing sun,
Conspiring with him how to load and bless
With fruit the vines that round the thatch-eves run;
To bend with apples the mossed cottage-trees,
And fill all fruit with ripeness to the core;
To swell the gourd, and plump the hazel shells
With sweet kernel; to set budding more,
And still more, later flowers for the bees,
Until they think warm days will never cease,
For Summer has o'er-brimmed their clammy cells.
This first part was so amazing. Sitting in my classroom in Doha with the desert heat blistering against the windows I shut my eyes and imagined the very scene I live here in Germany every autumn.
What I enjoy the most though is the food each season has to offer. Here in Weimar our Farmer's Market is open all throughout the year, offering fresh fruit and vegetables typical for the respective season. So, I have the opportunity to buy produce common for the particular season and be as creative with it as my imagination allows me to be. I love that. Something I never took notice of living in Qatar. There we had everything all year round as most of the stuff was flown in! We took many things for granted there and did not realize how to savor the specialties of the seasons.
Now I am enjoying luscious raspberries and strawberries, beautiful asparagus, crunchy snow peas and beans and juicy watermelons. The fact that Spring/Summer meals are quick and light is an added bonus.
Like this elegant meal we recently enjoyed. Salmon filet marinated in a teriyaki honey sauce and then roasted in the oven. The mange-tout or snow peas are served cold like a salad and adds an incredible accent to the salmon. Took minutes to make and allows you to enjoy the stars and prosecco a bit more ;-)
Music To My Ears
Justin Timberlake - What Goes Around
Hot, hot and the video is even hotter! New on my iPod
4 Salmon filets - each about 175 g and without skin
400g fresh mange-tout/snow peas - gently steamed for 2-3 minutes
7-8 tablespoons Teriyaki sauce
2 tablespoons clear honey
4 tablespoons lime juice
4 tablespoons soya sauce
1 tablespoon sesame seeds
2 tablespoons sesame seed oil
1 tablespoon + more olive oil
salt and pepper
Pre-heat oven to 200 degrees Celsius. Grease a baking tray with olive oil.
In a bowl mix together the teriyaki sauce, 1 tablespoon honey and 1 tablespoon olive oil. Place the salmon and allow to marinate for approx. 30 minutes. Reserve the marinade.
Heat a large pan and on a high heat fry the salmon on each side for 2 minutes. Then place on the baking tray in the oven. Bake the salmon for 5 minutes - take out, brush both sides with some of the marinade and sprinkle with the sesame seeds. Put back into the oven and allow to bake for a further 5 minutes.
Prepare the dressing for the mange-tout, by mixing soya sauce, lime juice, honey and sesame seed oil in a mixing bowl. Add the warm mange-tout and toss well.
Serve with the salmon and some hot wild/plain rice mix.
- Barbecue the salmon on a grill instead of baking in the oven. Perfect for warm BBQ parties.
- Use green beans instead of the mange-tout. They taste just as great. I recommend Blue Lake Beans.
I love the way the flavors from the salmon complement the flavors in the mange-tout. The whole meal is so well harmonized with each other - one would think it took careful planning to prepare this delicate dish. It's easy to make and really great for those warm sultry evenings on the terrace. Tom and Soeren just loved this meal. The slight sweetness from the honey worked well with the wonderful salty teriyaki and soya sauce. Light, quick, easy, elegant and big in taste. What else can you ask for?
Wondering what this is? Well check out Alanna's wonderful idea and then go and do what I am going to do. Add this to my sidebar, paste the logo in a few previous posts, add a new label "Farmers Market Picks" and then make an easy reference on the sidebar.
You are all invited to my Big Birthday Bang.
When: June 6th
Hope to see you there!
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