I wake up in the middle of the night and remember I was dreaming taking pictures of pears. I jump out of bed and make sketches about the composition which appeared in my dream so I won’t forget until morning, but I get so excited about it that I cannot go back to sleep.
Pears that we collected in autumn are waiting in crates for me to cook or bake something with them. I revive fire in the tile stove, and watch the flames while thinking about recipes with pears. It is 1.30 am.
Things like that often happened during the last year. After 53 blog posts, 52 recipes and stories we can celebrate the 1st birthday of Taste of Memories. And what a year it was!
Áron and I filled up with life the 80 year-old house, we set up our very first kitchen garden which served us with onions, radishes, tomatoes, peppers throughout the whole summer. We picked handfuls of parsley, I made green peas stew from green peas that I just picked and carrots only needed to be rubbed a bit and we could take a bite right away. Sour cherry trees gave us the main ingredient for sour cherry cake, cherry trees for strudels, I baked apple pie from our own apples and cooked plum dumplings from the harvest of our plum tree. I go to bed and wake up thinking about recipes, I take notes on the way home and sometimes I suddenly stare at nothing without any reason- that is the moment when I imagine a picture that I would like to photograph. Fortunately I don’t hear voices in my head, so I can be relaxed about that I am still normal, just immersed myself into a wonderful world which brings me every day something to discover, to cook or to write about. I start the second year of Taste of Memories with plans, dreams and ideas and I hope that you will accompany me on this journey.
And what happened to the pears? Something popped into my mind which is a bit forgotten but I am sure it will evoke memories. I made compote and baked cocoa cake to it, which is a popular recipe in my family for weekends when you are obsessed to eat something sweet but don’t want to go shopping. These ingredients are always on hand and it takes only 30 minutes and you can already grab and eat the first piece. This time I poured the dough into muffin cups so they look like little birthday cakes. After tasting the pear compote with the cocoa cake together I must say that one of the best things could happen to our pears is to meet this cocoa cake. And we we definately also profited from this encounter.
70 g butter or margarine
200 g sugar
1 package of vanilla sugar
250 ml milk
1 heaped tbsp Dutch cocoa powder
250 g flour
2 tsp baking powder
grated zest of a lemon
Preheat oven to 180 °C. Mix butter, sugar and vanilla sugar until it gets foamy than add eggs. Sift flour and baking powder. Add cocoa powder to the dough, than alternately milk and flour, finally mix in grated lemon zest. Pour the dough into muffin cups or into a buttered and floured baking pan. It is cooked if a toothpick comes out clean. (in case of a muffin approximately 18 minutes) If you use a baking pan, you can cut the cake lengthwise and fill with apricot marmalade, or simply serve with the pear compote.
1000 ml water
300 g sugar
1 cinnamon stick
juice of a lemon
Peel pears, remove seeds. Cut lengthwise into 6-8 pieces and if you are not ready with the syrup yet, put the pieces into water with a bit of lemon juice so pears don’t get brown. Bring water and sugar to boil, add lemon juice, cloves and cinnamon and cook pears in the syrup for a minutes. Cooking time depends on the ripeness and type of pears but it shouldn’t become to soft. You can preserve compote as well, preheat jars, put pear pieces into them, than pour over the syrup. Close jars and put them under a blanket for overnight.