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My Berlin Kitchen: A giveaway!

My Berlin Kitchen paperback cover

It was around a year ago that I received a copy of My Berlin Kitchen by Luisa Weiss (of the fabulous Wednesday Chef blog) courtesy of the kind folk at Viking.  As the launch of the book coincided with back-to-school, I didn’t have a chance to write about it then but it was a book that I planned to read a little bit more of each night as I collapsed into bed, exhausted from the flurry of activity that is September in the life of a teacher. In fact, what happened was that I read the entire book in two sittings. I couldn’t put it down.

My Berlin Kitchen (now available in paperback with that beautiful new cover, above) is part-memoir, part love story and part coming of age/ finding your way story punctuated with recipes.  As a child of divorced parents Weiss divided her time childhood between her mother’s Berlin apartment, her father’s Boston house and her grandparents’ Italian garden and the only place she truly found comfort was in the kitchen. Even at the age of 31 when she was “settled” in New York City with a dream job, a fiancé and friends,  she still had the feeling that something was missing.  Cooking was Weiss’s way of dealing with her unsettled feeling of “homesickness” and she chronicled her kitchen adventures as she worked her way through a large collection of recipes clipped from newspapers on The Wednesday Chef  which she started in 2006.  This feeling of “homesickness” ultimately led her to leave her New York life and return to her beloved Berlin.

Omelette confiture from My Berlin Kitchen on eatlivetravelwrite.comMy Berlin Kitchen includes some recipes from the blog as well as new ones, developed specially for the book but Weiss’s recipes are more than just simple cooking instructions – they evoke her childhood, her life in New York and her new life (and love) in Berlin, all intertwined with the story of finding her way home, through food. Though I have bookmarked a large number of her recipes “to make” (Poppy Seed Whirligig Buns, Buttermilk Panna Cotta, Chicken Provençale, Depression Stew to name just a few), the recipe that hooked me on this book was the first one – Omelette Confiture – accompanied by Weiss’s story of being three years old in her nanny’s kitchen in Berlin.  Even Weiss’s earliest memories involved food :)  And, as she says, it might seem odd to pair eggs and jam but for me this is the perfect breakfast – a little bit sweet, a little bit savoury…

Omelette confiture
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
It may seem odd to pair eggs with jam, but the combination of sweet-tart fruit with the moussey fluff of the omelette is delicious. It makes for a comforting snack for a small child or a light breakfast for a sweet- toothed adult. The best jams to use are ones with a tart bite: I’m partial to black or red currant. And don’t skip the powdered sugar on top. The little explosions of sugar on the tongue are what make this omelette special.
Author:
Serves: 1
Ingredients
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tablespoon milk
  • Small pinch of salt
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons black or red currant jam
  • 1⁄2 tablespoon powdered sugar, for garnish
Instructions
  1. Separate the egg white from the egg yolk. Beat the egg yolk with the milk in a small bowl until well combined. Beat the egg white with a pinch of salt in a spotlessly clean bowl until it just holds soft peaks. Fold the beaten egg white into the egg yolk mixture.
  2. Melt the butter in a small nonstick skillet over medium heat. Pour the egg mixture into the pan and let cook for 3 minutes, until the edges have set, making sure the heat of the stove is not so high that the omelette browns or burns. Shaking the pan gently, flip the omelette and cook the other side for an additional 3 minutes. This takes some practice, but there’s no shame in using a plate over the pan to invert the omelette instead of flipping it.
  3. When the omelette is set and cooked through, slide it onto a plate. Dab the jam along the center of the omelette and then roll up the omelette— using a plastic spatula should help.
  4. Shake the powdered sugar through a sifter over the omelette and serve immediately.

My Berlin Kitchen (paperback) – A Canadian/ US giveaway!

That’s right, thanks to the kind folks at Penguin Paperbacks, I have one copy of My Berlin Kitchen in paperback to give away to a lucky Canadian/ US reader (sorry international friends).

To enter:

1. Simply leave me a comment below telling me what food triggers a specific childhood memory for you.

2. For a bonus entry, tweet the following message:

I entered to win a copy of @wednesdaychef ‘s My Berlin Kitchen from @PenguinPbks + @eatlivtravwrite http://bit.ly/146QM4Q (US/Canada)

Then come back to leave a comment telling me you did.

Contest closes on Tuesday September 3rd 2013 at 9pm EST.  The winner will be chosen using random.org and notified via email on Wednesday September 4th 2013.

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Check out the new paperback edition of My Berlin Kitchen on Amazon  OR with free worldwide shipping, on The Book Depository.

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Toronto readers – enter to win tickets to the world premiere of Bruce Alcock’s Impromptu at the Toronto International Film Festival on September 11th 2013 at 9.15pm. Contest closes August 31st 2013 at 6pm EST.

 

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25 Responses to My Berlin Kitchen: A giveaway!

  1. S August 28, 2013 at 07:33 #

    Rice pudding made with cardamom reminds me of summers in Lahore – where my ancestral home is. My grandmother would prepare rice pudding and serve it alongside these egg-yolk yellow mangoes which she sliced herself. Nothing smells and tastes of home more than rice, milk and cardamom.

  2. Lindsey August 28, 2013 at 08:03 #

    I have so wanted to get my hands on this book – I’ve loved her blog! For me, everything from ice cream to peanut-butter trigger childhood memories. Chicken nuggets too but I haven’t eaten them in an eternity :)

    If I win, I would have it sent to my friend in the States who loves Weiss’ work too!

  3. Emilie August 28, 2013 at 09:13 #

    A cherry clafoutis always reminds me of the summers of my early childhood. My mother insisted on not pitting the cherries, so it was not the most glamorous dessert to eat. However, it sure was delicious!

  4. Emilie August 28, 2013 at 09:15 #

    I posted the tweet!

  5. sami August 28, 2013 at 09:29 #

    Cornstarch! Yes, cornstarch. Whenever I pull the cornstarch out of the cupboard I think of my Grandma Bertha and how she made cornstarch pudding. It was soooo good. Mmmmm just the thought of it. Wish I had her recipe!

  6. Shelly August 28, 2013 at 09:33 #

    Chicken and dumplings definitely triggers childhood memories for me! No one can make it like my Grandma did!

  7. Shelly August 28, 2013 at 09:36 #

    I Tweeted: https://twitter.com/Dinky_Diner/status/372714057775595520

  8. Ann Mah August 28, 2013 at 09:55 #

    I already own a copy of this book, so I’m not entering the contest. But the foods that trigger childhood memories for me are my dad’s bitter melon with black bean sauce. Or the turkey congee we always made the day after Thanksgiving. Yum.

  9. Leanne Parker August 28, 2013 at 09:59 #

    Potato soup. My mom always made it in the winter and sprinkled it with shredded cheddar cheese on top. It will always remind me of playing outside in the cold and coming in to a big warm bowl was the perfect way to end the day.

  10. Kathryn August 28, 2013 at 10:17 #

    I have so many food memories, most of them are connected to my Mother — and all good. I think that the strongest food memory comes from butter tarts. I remember my Mom making her lovely flakey pastry; I would help with the filling (very simple compared to the butter tarts of today) and then get to lick the bowl while the tarts baked. She used a tart shell pan with raised maple leafs on the bottom of the tarts. Halcyon days.

  11. Trina August 28, 2013 at 10:36 #

    Dinner rolls. Every time we visited my Grandma or she came to visit, we would make her classic dinner rolls. I remember her teaching me and my sister how to roll dough in the kitchen and us sneaking raw dough (yup!) straight from the bowl. :)

  12. Lydia S August 28, 2013 at 10:39 #

    My grandmother’s green beans and fried chicken.

  13. Lydia S August 28, 2013 at 10:43 #

    just tweeted for a bonus entry- @lifeandyarn

  14. Coco in the Kitchen August 28, 2013 at 15:02 #

    This just won’t do.
    I need to move to Canada!

  15. Liz August 30, 2013 at 07:02 #

    What a delightful recipe! And a marvelous cookbook. Spinach souffle is a childhood favorite that I still bring back every holiday.

  16. Liz August 30, 2013 at 07:02 #

    Off to tweet :)

  17. Angela Mitchell August 30, 2013 at 12:06 #

    My moms turkey stuffing, lol. When I smell it, taste it, it reminds me of Christmas, Easter, Thanksgiving, etc. And I’ve never been able to make it like her even if I follow her recipe!

  18. Chantal August 30, 2013 at 13:08 #

    Chick pea and red kidney bean salad. My mom made it a lot for me growing up. I love it. She used rosemary, cumin, parsley, onions and lots of other delicious spices.

  19. Chantal August 30, 2013 at 13:09 #

    I tweeted! https://twitter.com/Agnes_OfBohemia/status/373492559340785664

  20. Sarah August 30, 2013 at 22:14 #

    My memory is lemon bars and a tea party. Just me and my mom and all my stuffed animal friends.

  21. Sarah August 30, 2013 at 22:15 #

    I tweeted!

  22. Tracey August 31, 2013 at 23:10 #

    Fresh baked blueberry buns reminds me of spending time with my grandmother when I was a child.

  23. Tracey August 31, 2013 at 23:12 #

    I tweeted: https://twitter.com/yyz_talk/status/374006612282720257

  24. Marlene September 1, 2013 at 17:38 #

    This sounds like a wonderful book. One of the most evocative foods for me is pickled herring. My dad used to eat this with french fries (and being a Belgian, those were served with mayonnaise). As a child I used to eat them right along with him, a practice I’ve continued to this day from time to time (without the french fries). An added benefit: if my three kids were being annoying, all I had to do was get the jar out of the refrigerator, and they would clear the room!

  25. Marlene September 1, 2013 at 17:41 #

    I tweeted the message @MusingMar!

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