Post aus meiner Küche: childhood memories

The regular readers may remember when I wrote about a food exchange I took part in in December. The lovely ladies from Post aus meiner Küche organise 3 or 4 times a year a food packet exchange. It is a German affair although neighbouring countries are now taking part too.
The premise for this exchange is the following: a theme is set and you are assigned a partner. You must send that person a parcel containing up to 5 delicious items you have cooked. This time round the theme is childhood memories, “Kindheitserinnerungen”.


Now, when I was a child I wasn't really interested in food. Apart from sweets and cakes, there was not much I enjoyed eating. I was not very adventurous either. Finding what to make for this exchange was relatively easy! These are some of my best food memories from my childhood. All are simple and easy to make (I am not the chef in the family). Of course, all of these are French! I also baked a Portuguese item to represent our family better.

- grenadine
Grenadine is a bright red syrup (made from pomegranate) every French child knows. Parents usually buy it in a bottle at the supermarket. But it is dead easy to make. It reminds me of late evening summer parties with friends around a camp fire.

- compote de pommes
You might think about fruit purée as something a baby eats. And you are right. My daughter still loves it. But I ate compote all through my childhood. My mum made the best compotes ever with all kinds of extra ripe fruits she couldn't use for anything else. Whenever my brother and I were feeling under the weather, compote would cheer us up.

- madeleines
You cannot have a French goûter (4pm snack) without having madeleines once in a while. These little biscuits are now world famous and you can find all sorts of variations.

- merenda
Our Portuguese addition to the food parcel. Merenda is a bread-like dough with ham and cheese sandwiched in. P tells me he used to love it when he was younger (and still does). We may have found someone else who loves it too (as LJ couldn't eat the scraps fast enough). It is great for picnics and can be eaten hot or cold. It is not light food. If you are hungry, it is for you. It fills you up!



Below are the recipes.

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Merenda

450g flour
1.5dl oil (olive oil tastes better but you can mix)
4 eggs
2dl milk
1 tsp baking powder
Salt
Cured meats (ham, salami, chorizo)
Cheese

Mix all of the ingredients until you have a very sticky dough.
Spread half of it in a non-stick baking tray. The dough is very sticky, so you will have to put a little effort into it.
Spread the meats and cheese on top of the dough and cover with the other half of the dough.


Cook for about 30 or 40 minutes depending on the thickness of your merenda (at about 180°C). The crust will bubble and turn a lovely golden colour.

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Grenadine syrup

1 or 2 pomegranate (about 300g of fruit when peeled)
160g sugar

Peel and de-seed the pomegranate making sure you remove the yellow skin as it is quite bitter.
Cover with sugar and leave to soak overnight.
Pass the mixture through a sieve pressing to obtain as much juice as possible.
Simmer to reduce the mixture for about 15minutes until you get a syrup. Let it cool.

Pour cold water over a little syrup.

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Madeleines

There are millions of recipes out there. I used this one this time round. Except I didn't put any food colouring or flavouring and used brown sugar (hence the less artificial colour of my madeleines).


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Apple Compote

I am not sure if this really warrants a recipe. Just peel as many apples as you want and let them cook until they start breaking with a little sugar and water. You can stop here or put it in a blender to make it smooth. You can also sweeten with honey and add cinammon or vanilla to taste. I used a leftover of mango jam this time round.

Enjoy cooking our memories (and please feel free to share yours)!

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