dimanche 20 novembre 2011

Seeking colour

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Thank you so much for all your lovely comments and film tips last week which made being ill at home seem much less bad. After extended viewing sessions every day and plenty of lemon and ginger tea with honey, I'm starting to feel better at last. The days are still quite warm for mid November but the sky has turned its usual shade of grey and it's hard to believe that just one week ago I got up early to go to the the Bürgerpark in Pankow to take these photos. I always mean to catch the last of the golden leaves before they disappear then wake up to discover the bareness of the trees. That park is a place I know like the back of my hand, it's pinkish paths with stones that crunch underfoot as joggers go by, the rose garden with its white arches where I've often caught the last rays of sun over my book, the café where I've drunk hot chocolate with cream in winter and iced coffee in summer, the little enclosure where the goats live. Yet I always feel there's some little thing I've missed; the flowers in bloom, a sculpture, the way the light illuminates the tops of the trees late afternoon.

Later on that day I met a reader of my blog. Always too early for appointments, I sat in the lobby of the Hackesche Höfe Kino trying to concentrate on my book, nervously biting my lip as I wondered if we would find each other. I glanced over at every new person coming up the stairs yet I knew when it was her, even though I had never heard her voice or seen her face. We snuck into a matinee of Meek's Cutoff, ordered the only vegetarian dish at a Vietnamese restaurant down the road and enjoyed the last pinkish glow of a stunning day before going back into the cinema to watch Polisse, a really great new French film about a youth squad in Paris. Normally going to the cinema is my guilty pleasure I enjoy alone, picking out a seat at the end of the row and feeling the excitement as the lights go down without worrying if anyone else likes the film but it also felt good to to find someone to share that with.

I'm feeling in need of colour and comfort on these sunless days. This afternoon I'm off to a Finnish bazaar with some friends, will try baking a Danish style feta and leek tart for dinner and am hoping to finally catch the new Kaurismäki film, Le Havre at the cinema in the next few days. What are your plans?

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Finally, I couldn't leave you without giving you the recipe for my favourite cauliflower soup, promised a while back. It's truly one of my winter essentials, simple to prepare and heat up the next day when I'm too tired to cook.

Cauliflower Soup from Heidi Swanson's Super Natural Every Day

Heidi serves hers with aged cheddar and mustard croutons but I prefer a dollop of mustard in mine and some grated cheddar on top.


2 shallots, chopped,
1 onion, chopped
1 large potato, peeled and cut into small cubes
3.5 cups vegetable stock
a large cauliflower cut into little florets
some mature cheddar and Dijon mustard to serve
1-2 tbsp olive oil
a pinch of sea salt

1. Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan and add in the salt followed by the shallots and onions. Fry over a medium heat until soft. Tip in the chopped potato, cover the pan with a lid and leave to cook for about 4 minutes or until soft.
2. Uncover, pour in the vegetable stock and bring everything to the boil. Add the cauliflower and cook until the florets are tender. Remove from the heat and puree with a hand blender. Add a dash of mustard and sprinkle over some cheese to serve.

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15 commentaires:

  1. Everything in todays post is so cosy:)
    Vivid picture of yourself sitting lip biting and waiting.
    The pic with the shadow is awesome
    and cauliflower soup is yummy:)

  2. Berlin is starting to look really wintery. Great shots. I love the light.

    That soup must be so comforting and delicious!



  3. What strikingly beautiful purple berries. I don't think I have ever seen anything like them. The photos feel chilly, and the soup looks comforting.

  4. Je suis heureuse d'avoir la recette de la soupe au choux fleur dont tu avais parlée la dernière fois. J'ai très envie de l'essayer !
    Et je suis curieuse de savoir comment s'est passé ton après midi finlandaise...

  5. @Dzoli - I'm glad it makes you feel cosy.
    @Rosa - I know, it's amazing with the frost and that light but this is the time of year I love and it's so nice for photos.
    @P.K - Aren't they remarkable? Like you, I've never seen them anywhere else and they so fascinate me. It's not as chilly as it could be here so I'm hoping for a dry winter with plenty of sun.
    @Julia - Et moi j'ai très envie d'essayer la tienne aussi. Le marché était très sympa, on a bu pas mal de Glöggi, il y avait des pâtisseries délicieuses et aussi du quiche au renne mais on n'en avait pas très envie! J'ai pris quelques photos que je compte vous montrer ici dans mon prochain billet. Le gâteau aux cranberries a l'air très beau et je ferai le glaçage ce soir. J'attends ta prochaine recette avec impatience ^^^.

  6. You met one of your readers? That sounds exciting! I have never met any of mine :)

    I love cauliflower soup though I never make it as often as I'd like. Thanks for this recipe Emily Vanessa.

  7. I'm so glad you met up with a reader...I'm rushing out to the market now for a few things & intend to pick up a cauliflower to make the soup on Friday. As you probably know, Thanksgiving is tomorrow in the States & I'll be going with friends to their family's celebration. I like everyone & so it will be really nice.

    These are terrific photos...I need to pop over to flickr soon. Probably on the weekend.

    It's just turned colder today...not sure if it's here to stay yet. It will be any time now. I laughed at the 'I missed the last of the leaves" - happens every time. I look up & the wind has blown them off before I knew it.


  8. Well, I am just finished making a movie and tired as could be. I would love a big bowl of that soup right now as the cold that I got on the shoot seems to be trying to get back at me. Cauliflower soup is just what I need.

    I love your movie recs, btw. They are so diverse and interesting. Funny how I dropped off the film viewing map for a while... you inspire me to get back at it.

  9. @Magda - It's so nice how the Internet brings people together. I've met quite a few fellow bloggers and it's always a little strange at first to meet face to face. It'd be lovely to meet you one day in real life :-)
    @Susan - Yep, I always miss the last leaves but it's hard to notice these little, gradual changes. Hope you've had a wonderful Thanksgiving with pumpkin pie and are feeling better. I'm really touched by what you said about my photos - thanks! I love the light at this time of year as it makes everything look so beautiful and I hope to go for some more long walks soon.
    @Deana - Making a movie, huh, how exciting! I can imagine it's tiring though but this soup is so fast and easy to prepare and keeps really well too. Have just reheated a big bowl for dinner. Sometimes I prefer to read and tend to neglect films while other periods I can watch a a film a day. You just need to go with your mood. I'm going to watch Adam's Rib now.

  10. trop longtemps que je n'etais pas passer te faire un petit coucou !!!
    tes photos sont toujours aussi jolies bravo à toi

    gros bisous et bonne journée gourmande


  11. Beautiful photos. But the weather went back to being beautiful dear Emily! Always so lovely to read your articles. I'll try to cauliflower soup.

  12. A beautiful park, a new friendship, a soup, a tart...lovely. You have recovered well.

  13. Very eclectic choice of films in the previous post, Vanessa! I'll have to watch some of them again. Have never been a Woody Allen fan, though.
    Love your fall photos and as far as the soup is concerned, I think I'd choose the cheddar and mustard croutons. Sounds perfect!

  14. @Virginie - J'ai tellement honte de ne pas être passée chez toi depuis si longtemps...Merci beaucoup de ta visite, c'est toujours un plaisir de lire tes commentaires.
    @Manon - It's true, the weather was nice this week and so far, winter here has been great. Thanks for finding time to stop by, I miss seeing you around.
    @Denise - Yes, things like that make you recover even faster. This winter has been good for me.
    @Barbara - I've never had the soup with croutons as I don't normally eat bread in the evenings but i'm sure they're delicious like everything of Heidi's. I'm sorry to hear you're not a Woody Allen fan but luckily there's other things on the list for you.

  15. Je suis heureuse d'avoir la recette de la soupe au choux fleur dont tu avais parlée la dernière fois. J'ai très envie de l'essayer !
    Et je suis curieuse de savoir comment s'est passé ton après midi finlandaise...