Friday, August 28, 2009
Friday, August 21, 2009
Friday, August 7, 2009
A note, first, on my crappy German
Anyone following this blog with the slightest ability to spell or write in German has probably discovered an important fact: I lack even the most basic ability in the language. I do my best when I'm over there, and I am vastly grateful for the good nature and patience of the German people.
This is a punch that was served at our local green market in Prenzlauer Berg, and I've attempted to reproduce it here, back home in NY, with the best strawberries I could get my hands on. Sadly, they weren't the perfect little German berries--so fragrant and yummy. I had to settle for some not-so-ecologically correct organic ones jetted in from our West Coast. This punch is still worth making--pleasant and light.
I'm not sure whether the proper name is Erdbeer-bowle (strawberry bowl) or Erdbeeren-bowle, which I think would pluralize the berries (seems logical--you use more than one fer Heavens sake). But you'll forgive me when you sip this. The only challenge is keeping it cold enough for American tastes. Make sure you keep the wine really chilled before you put it out, and if it's a hot day, defy esthetics and put in some ice inside a sealed Zip-Lock. Don't ice it otherwise--diluted wine is icky, I think.
A punch for a good-sized party
LOTS of cubed strawberries (I used two boxes of organic Driscolls), but on-season from the local farmer’s market is what you really want
2 bottles of not-too-dry white wine--German preferred--chilled
1 bottle of decent sparkling white (American Chandon is fine)--also chilled
A few spoons of simple syrup or bar sugar, or Agave syrup, to taste
Hull & cut up the berries--not too big; you want them to exude juices. Sprinkle with sweetener if they aren’t super-amazingly delicious (American ones won’t be). Let ‘em sit for about ten minutes and then pour over them the chilled white wine. Keep cold.
When ready to serve, put in a punch bowl and pour over the mixture of wine and berries the champagne. Taste and drip in a tiny bit of sweetener if needed--this shouldn’t be white-Zinfandel yucky sweet, but it should taste like a punch.
Ladle into glasses, giving everyone berries and punch both.
If it’s a hot day, you may have to sit your punch bowl on ice, or use some ice inside a plastic zip-lock bag right up until guests arrive. Germans don’t serve things as cold as Americans, but this shouldn’t be luke warm.