One Last Bite

Updated to add: My dear and lovely wife Rita is gone. She passed at seven p.m. here in Germany the last day of September, after battling a series of cancers and tumors that eventually consumed her. She passed at home, in as peaceful and loving an environment as any of us could wish for ourselves or any of the loved ones we hold dear. She was truly a very special princess.  Details of memorials and services to follow. This blogpost was being proofed for release as I watched over her in her final hours.

Fast Food and Timeless Love

Those who follow my life’s travails on Facebook will have a better grip on the decidedly gloomy situation imposed upon our family by the continued degradations from my wife’s terminal illness.  There’s enough pain, sorrow and heartache to drive many a formerly sober man to whisky, without delving into the hoarier details involved in cohabiting in the apartment above my 85 year old Nazi-era mother-in-law!  Before proceeding, be advised that these missives have been prepared and released under the most dire of circumstances and incredible stresses.

On the matter of the extraneous errata of my sick mind, it’s probably as a result of the mind blowing decisions my wife and I discussed being up against, of which a brief glimpse is offerered in the love story I’m sharing with you today.

Whatever else bubbles out of my brain, today’s offering is just a ‘simple’ tale of a man and his dying wife going out on their last dinner date together in a romantic German location, on a rare balmy night in late Autumn somewhere close enough to Paris to fear guillotines pulled by donkeys headed north.

For some odd reason, the French really have issues with the past when it comes to dealing with the Germans, but there were no wagon wheels or donkey hooves pounding north on the cobblestone streets the night of our last dinner together.  It was just another of the minor blessings that have fallen our direction.

We grab blessings these days with all the vigor we can manage, because time and the degree of significance of their appearance is amplified by the deepening shadows and gathering storms we’ve ignored in order to remain in our amorous stupor for as long as is humanly possible.  You count your blessings where you find them.  That’s the philosophy Rita and I have maintained for a quarter century together and I’m not messing with success.

The Gathering Storms

If you’ve an aversion to fear, death, Nazi storm troopers, video game screen caps or humor bred of morbid fear and impending doom, stop now.  Everyone else…..
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Chef Tim

Main

I’m starting a series on food so I can adequately address the lack of #foodporn pictures on my website.  It’s bad enough I’ve been remiss on #dogblogging, and lord knows I’ve nearly abandoned #catblogging altogether, so these food pix will have to fill in for the lack of an appropriate amount of hairy fur balls.

In any event, food is as cheap as gas is expensive here in Germany and I’ve already documented that atrocity quite well.  I don’t know if I’ll document the actual prices of these meals because I’m bad about keeping my grocery receipts, but none of them are ever going to be more than five euros unless otherwise noted, and I’ll comment on specific item prices as I remember them.  I’ve done a grocery shopping post that shows items and prices for different things here in the stores.  I’ll probably add more to that series as well in the future.  If you are curious about any particular grocery item(s) not shown, toss it in the comments and I’ll do my best to address your curiosity.

Focus

Bachelor foods.  The type of stuff I cook for myself.  Foods which are cheap and relatively easy to prepare.

Today’s Menu

broccoliandtomatoes11

Broccoli florets, tomatoes and carrots with bacon bits.  Topped with shredded parmesan and dusted with ground peppercorns.

List of Ingredients

broccoliandtomatoes01

Florets from one half of a large head of broccoli.

Two medium tomatoes

A couple carrots

Grated parmesan

100 grams of thin bacon

Salt, pepper and butter.

Ingredient Prep and Cooking

I use a large nonstick fry pan for this dish, though I could easily see it being done using a wok.   I fry the bacon in the same pan as the carrots and use the hot grease from the bacon to fry and soften the thinly sliced carrots, which need to be started first as they require more cook time than the broccoli tops or the tomatoes.  See following slideshow for prep pictures.

Total prep time is around twenty minutes, with the frying of the bacon and softening of the carrots taking the largest chunk of that time.  The single most expensive ingredient listed here is the bacon.  I pay 1.29/euro at a local market.  I think I paid two euro for the broccoli, but only used half of it.  So there’s 2.29 euro for the most expensive ingredients in the mix.  The cost of a couple carrots is nil.  There might be a twenty five cents worth of cheese involved.  I’m using some high dollar stuff my wife buys, which I assume is parmesan (package pictured) but you can substitute or omit the shredded cheese and ground pepper to your taste.  I used celery salt on the carrots when I was fry softening them in the bacon grease.  I added a bit of butter to the mix towards the end of the process when I had the lid over the dish, steam-fry softening off the broccoli and tomatoes before plating, garnishing and serving.

Enjoy.

The Tuesday Gourmet

Today’s blog entry is sponsored by German food, specifically:

Flammkuchenflammkuchen

Flammkuchen is basically an extremely thin crust form of pizza that makes Pizza Hut’s thin crust variety look like a bloated reject from a Weight Watchers convention.  If you happen to be in France (where it was invented) you’ll want to order Tarte Flambee.*

*(The French variety is different than the German variation. See comment from my Euro-expert wife below)

I went to the store this morning to restock milk for my daily coffee habit requirement, and I noticed that they are now stocking pre-made (fresh, never frozen) bake and serve Flammkuchen.  For those of you (all three) that follow my Yelp feed, you may have seen my entry featuring Flammkuchen.

Focus on Flammkuchen

Rather than re-invent the wheel, I am going to pull content from the web and point you in the direction of a website that gives a comprehensive backstory on the “invention” of this culinary delight as well as directions on making it yourself from scratch, something I’ll probably never do given that I can buy them ready-to-bake for two and a half euro.

The dish is popular enough that there’s even a “how to”  at Instructables.com, a website that is more famous for featuring geek-oriented electronic and mechanical projects than DIY pizzas.

You get three guesses on what I’m having for lunch today but only the first one counts.

Enjoy.