Christmas Cooking

This Christmas I was down with flu, so I did not cook much (a great way to lose weight by the way – find a qualified flu carrier near you to not put on weight over Christmas…). One of my favourite things to eat when I’m ill is porridge and what I call flatteringly call ‘eggflower soup’ after the more elaborate Asian creations. It’s basically a beaten egg stirred into a bowl of vegetable stock. It’s simple, it’s tasty & it supplies your body with salt, protein & vitamin E. If you are a carnivore, use chicken stock.

I also made the cream of mushroom soup for my parents, albeit with different spices and wild mushrooms. The local supermarket had a wild mushroom special so I bagged a few handfuls. I have no idea what they are called in English, and one I’ve even forgotten the German name of. Luckily, I took some pictures before chopping them up & throwing them into the pot! Maybe someone can help find the names?

I also added some chestnut mushrooms to the mix:

This is the soup before cooking & before I subjected it to the blender & cream input:

As spices I used a French style dried herb mix – very tasty! I think the herb mix contained something along the lines of lovage, savoury, juniper, thyme, rosemary, lavender, oregano and sage. Taking of herbs, I discovered a new one on Borough Market (near Utobeer): samphire! Must go back there at some point and try something out with it!

What else did I make? Some carrot bread – and cookies of course!

These mutated half-moons are my mum’s favourite cookies. They are called ‘Cedar Wood’ and consist of equal parts almonds & icing sugar (about 400g), three beaten egg whites, some lemon peel & a few drops of bitter almond essence.

I then wanted to make a batch of tasty Austrian ‘Vanillekipferl’, but my mother had accidentally used the extra almonds for an apple cake. So I had to pervert the recipe by adding some raw marzipan (the remainder of which mysteriously vanished into the living room), some dried mixed berries from my travel lunch and some chocolate for decoration. They turned out quite well I thought! If you want to try some real Austrian Kipferl, I can recommend the lovely cafe of the same name near the Barbican tube! The staff is usually very helpful in explaining the intricacies of Austrian cooking. Also try the baked cheesecake and the pancake soup if you have the budget (and whatever else is on the menu, really). You won’t regret it! (Last time I was so dazzled by the experience that I forgot to tip the poor waiter! Next time I have to give a double tip – promised!)

PS: here is a photo from last year’s joint mum-daughter baking session: my mum made the oat cookies & ginger cake, and i made the vanillekipferl, ordinary shortbread biscuits & cedar wood.


5 responses to “Christmas Cooking

  1. The half-moon cookies are delicious!! What’s their name in German? Glad to hear your new year’s eve party was more successful than mine (which got cancelled – not by me – at the last minute, then spent evening watching crap films, drinking wine and falling asleep bfore midnight. FAIL!)

  2. Oh nooo!! You should have come over to Canningtown! The German name of the cookies is Zedernholz. I’ve forgotten to mention that you put icing on them and whatever else you feel like! My mum wanted colourful sprinkles, so I went for the hundreds & thousands this year… Will post a photo of last year’s cookies!

  3. Is that really the whole recipe for zedernholz up there? so simple! Did you use a cookie cutter or shape them by hand?

    lg from Munich!

  4. Yes. That’s the whole recipe. I think it was 375 g ground almonds (the recipe said without skin, but we only had ground almonds with skins) and 375 g icing sugar. You need some extra almonds to roll them out on (the dough is super-stick) for your cookie cutters. And you need some extra icing sugar & lemon for your icing!
    I always make them alongside vanillekipferl to use up the spare yolk!

  5. Send your mushroom pix to and he will identify them for you. His walks are fantastic!

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