As long as the elderflower is blossoming in Mecklenburg, we wished to bake a cake including it. The fragrance of the fresh blossoms made it impossible to
As nature is a bit slower here in the high north, the elderflower in most other parts of Germany already changed to the growth of fruits, you can choose as well to prepare the pie with elderflower syrup. We love to cook a stock of elderflower syrup, to preserve the flavour the whole year around. You will find
our recipe for this on the blog too. Who does not have fresh blossoms by hand, exchanges the honey with the amount of syrup.
To prepare the stuffing you thoroughly wash the lemon, rub off the skin and press the juice. Pull off the elder blossoms from the umbels and bring them to boil in a small pot with the lemon juice. Put it on the side and leave to draw. The longer you let the elderflowers in the lemon juice, the more they will give their unique taste. Who would like to, could even prepare the liquid on the day before and allow to infuse over night.
For the shortcrust pastry give flour, sugar and salt together in a mixing bowl. Cut the butter into tiny cubes and give them, together with one egg, into the flour-mixture, knead it to a smooth pastry. Form the shortcrust pastry into a ball and let it be in the fridge in a covered bowl for 30 min.
Preheat the oven to 175°C ( Upper-/ lower heat). Grease the pie pan. Roll out the dough, a bit bigger than the form itself, on a flowered working surface. Place the shortcrust pastry in the pie pan and create an edge of 2-3 cm. Just cut overlapping dough with a knife. With help of a fork create tiny holes and bake the shortcrust pastry for 15 min.
In the meantime you can pour the lemonjuice and the blossoms through a fine sieve or cloth, collect the juice and press the remaining blossoms. Lemonjuice,-zest, honey and starch come together in one pot and are stirred. While stirring let it cook until the starch is getting thick. Take it from the stove and add the butter in pieces and stir again. Now bring the stove to middle heat. Whisk the eggs in a bowl and stir them under the lemonmixture. Bring the pot back onto the stove and let the creme become thick while stirring it for 3-5 min. It should develop to a pudding like consistency. It is important that the mixture will not cook, as otherwise the eggs will set.
Spread the lemoncreme on the prebaked shortcrust pastry and bake the pie 20 more minutes on the lowest baking tray. Before you cut it let it cool down.
For us it is not enough to renovate one house and to create a garden. No, we need to have a greenhouse too, as if everything else would not provide us with enough work. We wanted to taste all aspects of country life, instantly. The most important for us was to be able to harvest our own vegetables from our garden. We wish to grow tomatoes, eggplants, cucumbers and more of vegetables, which need the warmth and humidity of a greenhouse to fully flourish. The decision process regarding our greenhouse was long. The factors which were essential to us were not only that it would need to be practical and give enough room for all kind of varieties, which we would like to grow, but it needed as well to merge in an aesthetic way within the nature of our garden. Finally we found it, on the website of BAUHAUS*, while actually searching for something completely different. Our dream house out of glass should become the Juliana Gärtner, with a proud area of 18,8 square meter. As loyal customers we were extremely happy to be supported by BAUHAUS in the realization of this project. Especially now, during our renovation phase, you will find us often in one of their stores. Their selection is huge and what we love most is that the company has not only high quality but as well environmentally friendly products. You can recognize these products by the seal „Pro Planet“ for example.
Before we begin to rhapsodize about the greenhouse itself, we would like to tell you about the way we needed to go to get it. All began in February with putting the first seeds in the soil of tiny breeding pots. Week-long we nourished and cherished our babies. We worried that they would not be able to make it, being without us for three days. Clearly, as parents of young plants you have a lot on your mind. But to care for the tiny ones was still the easiest task. Our way to build a home for our young plants was long and stony.
We visualized it beautifully and chose the place for the greenhouse carefully. A flat area is not to find on our ground. We only noticed how steep the place for our greenhouse was while we were, in pure heat, taking off the grass sod. A house needs to be build on a solid foundation, of course this does not only count for houses of stone. So, hard working we took away soil, dumped soil and made the area flat. And this was only the beginning.
Without a notion of how to manage such a project, we were overwhelmed pretty quickly by the task to build the foundation. For this the area does not only need to be flat but the foundation needs to be embedded in the ground without any frost. This meant that we needed to dig 80 cm deep holes. Luckily, our hero Jörg was rescuing our buts another time and came with his earth auger. Never before were we celebrating to have 10 deep wholes in the ground!
Being filled with concrete, measured thousand of times with a spirit level and a yardstick, the foundation was finally let to the ground. But that was not the end of the game. Thousands of pieces waited for us to be screwed and connected. The blistering heat was continuing and during the evenings hours full perspiration, we were in company of many midges. Strut over strut our construction was growing, and finally it was recognizable to be a house. The system of the Juliana green house is really simple and incredibly thought-out. Due to this, the construction of the house was good to manage by us two. Until again there was a moment, in which we would have been lost without Jörg. We experienced huge respect to place the glass plates into the roof. Some of these plates are about 2 meters high and to control them while standing on the ladder, without bringing the glass to vibrate too much, was already nerve-racking while being the observer. In addition there was always the worry that we could have made a mistake. That it might be that one missing screw or an oblique angle could ruin everything in the end. Quite often during this whole process we asked ourselves why we were doing all of this. Why we were torturing us to that degree, in order to be able to harvest a few tomatoes in the end. But once you are in this moment, when the perfect result is in front of you, you will glow from being proud and happy, or not? At least this was what we felt like. And this was why we wanted to celebrate this moment. To experience a cosy evening between all these young plants, was indescribable beautiful. The rays of sunlight which were reflecting in the glass, the glittering water drops of the previous extensive rain, the sounds, which were coming muted through the windows but which were still creating a feeling of outside. In this moment we thought that it would be a pity to give the greenhouse completely to the plants. Our dearest Jörg Schlinke gave even more to us for this occasion. With his Glow-Writing he created a wonderful, temporary installation in our greenhouse. Holding a refreshing drink we were sitting together and we had waited for the right moment. The moment, in which the light was perfect. The first stars were already emerging, the sun was shining with its last power a whiff of red on the horizon…
After this amazing evening it is not easy to give the house to our plants. On the other hand, we are looking forward to bring them into the well deserved soil. Of course we will tell you about news and about how the tiny ones will grow. Latest, once we are harvesting we will write a detailed post on the blog.
After being quiet for a few weeks about the development of our settler house, we want to tell you now where we are at. To find a beginning, to tell about all these developments, is extremely hard. Compared to the progress in the beginning of the year, which was formed by the slowness of bureaucracy, now everything is evolving without any notion of calmness. After the last snow during Easter and a crystal cold week of even minus 18 degrees, nature exploded when it was touched by the rays of sunlight and the first warmth of spring. This was our call to come out of our house and into our garden. Our plans were big. In all various garden books it is to read that one should begin small. This is a matter of interpretation but that a vegetable garden of 75 square meter and a greenhouse of nearly 19 square meter is not a modest beginning leaves less room for interpretation. At last while you are doing the first cut of the spade you notice that your ideas were exaggerated. To transform an overgrown, wild area full of gardeners most beloved weed into a usable ground is clearly only a minor challenge. This will keep us working over the coming years! We were expecting a whole lot of work in the garden but reality even managed to outdo our, as we thought, pessimistic calculations. Quickly everything was overgrowing our heads. In the true sense of the word, as the idea that we would need a proper lawnmower for a 3000 square meter piece of land, never crossed our mind before. We thought that it might be beautiful to leave everything growing wildly apart of little ways to walk through the garden. Who is in possession of a big garden will laugh loudly about our naive way of thinking. Okay, this is another area of development. While we were digging day in and day out, nature was changing in the blink of an eye. Now the cherry and apple blossoms were opening, which we were waiting for in eager expectation, and now they were falling to the ground and now there are countless tiny fruits flourishing. Flowers are shooting out of the ground and are opening their fragrant blossoms.
After the lilac there were evolving wonderful peony and we are curious how our garden will continue to surprise us. The potato patch, having seven varieties, is now fully grown and all the other beds are filling up with our young plants. But even without our actions in nature, it brought us enough to already bring it to our kitchen. We fermented the young sprouts of the pine tree in honey and cooked dandelion blossoms to a syrup. A huge sage bush is inviting to create mediterranean dishes. Its blossoms look delightful in a cold lemonade too. It is pure fun and joy to serve oneself in nature according to ones current whim.
Even if we spent more time outside than inside, our settler house developed further. Since three weeks we are living in an camping atmosphere, as our bathroom is getting completely renovated. The craftsman did an amazing work and it will not take long until everything will be in place. We cannot wait until we can see our chosen handmade tiles inside our bathroom. Or our self constructed fittings out of copper. An old trough, which we found inside the barn, will serve as our sink. We are deeply curious if all our ideas will form a harmonious picture in the end. Already now we would have loved to present you everything in the finished condition. But the walls are not even painted and we are still trying to find specific pieces of furniture. Further, we need to coordinate thousand of things which leads to various things being left behind. As not only for our bathroom we found the perfect craftsmen but as well for the core of our house, our kitchen, we were able to create a fantastic team. They are working already quite a while to build us a little cooking paradise. We would love to tell and to present you more about it in no time!