Vineyard in my backyard

A new adventure has started in my backyard: my husband and me have planted 13 vines this weekend.

As it is not obvious to keep typical Vitis vinifera grape varieties (the varieties we all know like Chardonnay, Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon) in our cold climate in Denmark, we decided to plant 6 different varieties. We planted 3 Vitis vinifera varieties: Riesling, Spaetburgunder (Pinot noir) and Pinot blanc and one more to come: Chardonnay. Besides these vines we also planted two so-called disease resistant varieties: Solaris and Souvignon gris. The latter two are more resistant to mold attacks like powdery and downey mildew and botrytis.

We planted the vines in our backyard on a south slope in three rows and one more to come for our Chardonnay plants which have not arrived yet. The rows are in the north-south direction so the grapes will get the most sun. The hedge around the plants will make sure that the plants are protected against the wind.

The vines need to be planted so that the crafted vine on the rootstock is sitting just above the soil.

The crafting is protected by a wax layer to protect the place where the vine is connected to the rootstock, as this is still very fragile in the beginning.

To extra protect the very young vines from the wind and to create a greenhouse effect, we also bought some insulated protection tubes to put around the vines.

Now the vines are planted, it is waiting for them to grow. I will keep you up-to-date how it is going with this exciting new project.

Rodenbach classic – delicious when the sun is out

One of my favorite sour beers is Rodenbach, a Flemish Red type beer. This beer is aged on big wooden barrels called ‘foeders’ for on average 6 months (for the classic). The final beer is a blend of young and older beer, and tastes slightly sour with a very fruity finish. Delicious in the sun on a terrace.

And as the tradition says, even more delicious with unpeeled shrimps, drinking the beer while peeling and eating the shrimps, definitely worth a try!

Cheers!

Greenie

  • Inspired by the Danish television program called ‘rigtige mænd’ or ‘real guys’ translated, I wanted to try to make a greenie. In the program 4 guys are trying to live in a healthier way and one of their goals is eating more vegetables. To make this interesting, their coach asked them to make green smoothies with the veggies, called greenies.
  • To make a greenie, you basically put some veggies, fruit if you like to and either juice, a milk base or water together and tada, it is ready.

    After googling some recipes for inspiration, I decided to make my own recipe. So I bought some almond milk, green kale, spinach and apples. The recipe is very easy:

    – 200 ml almond milk

    – handful of fresh spinach

    – handful of green kale

    – 1 apple

    Put everything in the blender:

    Blend it together and you get a wonderful color.

    Poor in a glass

    And then just enjoy! It tasted very nice my first trial, quite nutty from the almond milk, but not sweet (which I like). You also can taste the greens, but very softly. Proud that it worked the first time :-).

    I just went running, and this was the perfect snack afterwards!

    Bernard Massard – Sparkling wine from Luxembourg

    Last week I went to the airport in Luxembourg for the first time in my life. It is a very nice small airport with very good service. To be considered again if I need to be in the neighborhood another time.

    As I traditionally bring a present for my husband when I travel for business, I found a local sparkling wine I thought would be fun to try. I know the brand Bernard Massard from Luxembourg, as my parents used to drink this as well. So I bought a Millésimé from 2015 from Bernard Massard.

    My husband and me opened the bottle last weekend to taste this product from Luxembourg.

    The bottle said Brut, but it was not as Brut as I am used to from Champagne. As the grape varieties were not mentioned on the bottle, I looked it up on their website: https://www.bernard-massard.lu/tous-les-produits/bernard-massard-millesime-brut-cremant-de-luxembourg-2015/

    The grapes used are Pinot Blanc and Riesling. I was surprised to find this, as it is a combination I did not try before. That was probably the reason why the aroma was quite fruity and floral, and the taste dry but not as dry as Champagne. A very good combination though when you don’t like it too Brut. And excellent as aperitif.

    So I can recommend to try this crémant de Luxembourg.

    What type of sparkling wine do you drink?

    Wiener schnitzel and a good craft beer

    What is better in Germany than Wiener schnitzel and beer? It is maybe very old fashioned to say, but I do like a good schnitzel, especially when you can try it with a new German beer style. You guessed it right, I am in Germany and had a great evening in a local restaurant with typical German food, but with a special beer menu.

    The schnitzel I tried was called Jagerschnitzel with a lovely mushroom sauce. The beer I choose to have with it, was a hoppy lager from Craft werk, the gourmet style brand of Bitburger.

    To my surprise the beer was excellent, with a very good bitterness balance and a hint of fresh hops. It is not always that a big beer brand also produces a high quality gourmet brand, but in this case it is definitely true.

    My colleague and me decided to try one more beer and I choose the Tangerine dream, a pale ale produced with mandarine hops.

    Another excellent example of how to produce a hoppy pale ale. The smell was completely mandarine and the taste had a prickling orange zesty hint, but very balanced with the malt flavor.

    We asked the waitress where we could find those beers, but apparently they are mostly available online. So if you see those beers in a bar or restaurant, definitely worth a try! I enjoyed them very much, especially because they were not extreme in flavor, but very well balanced.

    Have you ever had a German craft beer?

    Spring is in the air

    Can you also feel it? The sun is out more often, the birds are singing and the temperature feels like going for a walk. Indeed, spring is in the air! Especially last weekend in Denmark was so nice with blue skies and sun.

    My husband and me went for a ride on Saturday and stopped at Arresø for a coffee with a beautiful view.

    It was late afternoon already and the sun was on her way down. But how good it felt to just siping some coffee outside with the sun in your face :-). There is truly no better feeling.

    Also in our garden, the flowers are suddenly there and everywhere. The white and yellow spring flowers are just popping out over the whole garden.

    My heart makes a jump every time I see them.

    We cannot deny it, winter is almost over. I can’t wait to sitting on our terrace again enjoying the sun and hearing birds singing all day. Spring is in the air!

    Can you feel the spring coming as well?

    Sunday Brewday

    It’s cold outside, and my husband has put some wood in our fireplace. It cannot become more cosy than that. After a hygge morning on the sofa with nice breakfast and coffee, I am on my way to my brewery, as it is a perfect day to brew.

    I ordered malt and hops at Brewparts and bought some yeast at Maltbazaren. My two favorite places to order home brewing ingredients. It is time now to brew another Belgian Blond. I am still struggling to get this recipe right, so the only thing left is learning by doing. I used some pilsner and Cara Blond malt and I also changed the mashing regime. I mashed in at 52 degrees Celsius, raised the temperature to 65 degrees Celsius and finished by 73 degrees Celsius. In this way, I hope to get a bit more body and mouthfeel.

    My Braumeister is working fine today and I’m really happy for that. After mashing, I used my crane to lift the pot and I rinsed the spent grains with 8 liter of water to get all the sugar out.

    Now it is time for boiling and adding the hops.

    I used two types of hops: Hallertau Mittelfruh and Saaz.

    After boiling, I use my spoon to whirlpool and then I cool down the wort until 70 degrees Celsius. Then I poor the wort into a fermentation bucket and let it cool down further in my fermentation closet.

    Tomorrow I will add the yeast (WLP540) and then we need to wait until the yeast has done its job.

    Have you done something creative today?

    In for Korean food? Try Restaurant Ssam

    Yesterday, we had family over and as we call ourselves the crazy dining team, we went out in Copenhagen trying some nice food. We went to my favorite Korean place, Ssam. Here you can eat traditional Korean food and drink Korean rice wine.

    My husband took Bibimbap, which is a rice dish in a hot bowl with a lot of veggies, an egg and topped of with beef or any other meat or veggie choice. I took Chulpan Deopbab, which is fried rice with toppings of your choice, in my case also beef.

    I took a Kissmeyer beer on the side: Stockholm syndrome, a very well balanced double IPA.

    To go a little crazy, we also ordered Korean rice wine: Makgolli. It is an off-white alcoholic beverage that is sometimes slightly sparkly. They served this drink in a teapot, so I was surprised to taste it was cold.

    The rice wine is served in funny cups, a very nice experience. The drink tasted a little sweet, milk, astringent and alcoholic. If you like sweet and milk, you should definitely go for it! It is not my favorite, but it was a good experience to try it.

    We also tried soju, which is a clear distilled Korean beverage, made on rice. The taste is very alcoholic and made me think of sake. Again a nice experience to try it, but as I’m not in to spirits, I was still happy I took a beer on the side as well.

    Have you tried Korean food?

    Cauliflower ‘rice’ – a delicious alternative to rice

    Do you know this feeling that you are always seem to eating potatoes, rice or pasta at dinner? I want to explore new adventurous alternatives to spice up our everyday dinner at home. So here comes the first experiment: cauliflower rice. I did hear of this rice alternative from some colleagues and started to read about it.

    There are several ways of preparing the cauliflower rice, and I chose the fried version. And yes, it turned out to be very easy to prepare.

    I started with half a cauliflower and cut the cauliflower in small pieces.

    As I received a small mincer for Christmas, I used that one to mince the cauliflower into rice looking particles.

    The last step is frying the cauliflower rice in a pan. You have to start at very low fire with a good amount of oil in the pan. And then you stir and stir and stir until the cauliflower starts to look caramelized. This can take a while and you will also smell the typical sulfur smell during the frying. However, when the cauliflower starts browning, most of the smell is gone.

    And that’s it, now mix with a nice curry or wok and you’re done!

    The cauliflower tasted very nice (not so much like cauliflower after the long frying) and fitted very well with the chicken curry we prepared on the side.

    Have you ever tried a non-starch alternative that you can recommend?

    Restaurant IBU – fantastic Asian food!

    Last weekend, my husband and me tried a (for us) new Asian restaurant in Copenhagen: IBU. We found this one on Earlybird which is a website where you can book a restaurant visit but only for the day itself. I really like this website, as you can just order when you feel like going out later. The restaurants present are of good quality and it is excellent if you want to try something new.

    The menu looked very interesting:

    The interior was very modern, with a lot of black accents. The first platter (which was 2. Ret on the menu) was tuna with wasabi and beetroot with fish eggs on top. Very refreshing!

    My husband chose a Møn brown ale to go with the food, while I felt more like a burgundy style Chardonnay. Both seemed to be a good choice :-).

    The next platter was Indian flatbread with Jerusalem artichoke purée and fried fat pieces (which is a real treat here in DK). An excellent combination of these 3 ingredients, as it was both a little sweet and sour, more like a pancake feeling.

    Now followed another vegetarian dish with mushrooms, sprinkled cocos flakes and young coriander shoots. We also got a pickled cucumber on the side. Another well-balanced platter with a lot of taste.

    These were all the ‘first platters’ and it was time for some meat. The first meat dish was spare ribs which was the best dish of the evening. The spare ribs were prepared in a sweet/sour sauce that was quite spicy, simply delicious!

    The spare ribs were finished with sesam seeds and some greens.

    The last dish before dessert was beef, which was so tender it almost melted in your mouth.

    And then it was time for dessert, a passion fruit mousse with vanilla ice cream. Again excellent, as it was a good balance between sweet and sour. The passion fruit mousse was also extremely light.

    If you wanna go the Asian way, I strongly recommend to try IBU. One of the best Asian restaurants in Copenhagen!