The Weekly Shop: Afghani, Lebanese, German and some very English food

Gluten-free Macaroons
Gluten-free Macaroons

Greetings from London, where I’m visiting family and friends and basking in some glorious and entirely unexpected sunshine whilst attired like a mad old hippy, having failed to bring any seasonally-appropriate clothing with me and having rooted out only age-inappropriate clobber in my childhood bedroom.  These 26°c are a wonderful change from the miserable weather last week in Wiesbaden, and much as I love watching fat drops of rain falling out of the sky, and enjoying the opportunity it affords me to curl up with a cup of tea and a plate of gluten-free macaroons (thank you, my mother-in-law), I can’t say I’m disappointed to see the sun.

Though that distinctly un-Springy week was pretty depressing weather-wise, it wasn’t entirely without the odd ray of sunshine, metaphorically speaking.  There was a Rheingau wine adventure with the in-laws, a couple of long forest walks and a very tasty lunch with a friend at Fasan, the Afghani café on Wiesbaden’s Schwalbacherstraße where the very tasty food is excellent value and the surroundings are bright and friendly.  There was another lunch with a another friend at the brand spanking new Du & Ich on Neugasse – more on that next week – where I was presented with a surprise belated birthday gift of The Lebanese Kitchen, a cookbook I’ve had on my rather lengthy Amazon wish list for quite some time and I was very, very excited to finally hold in my hands.  I only had the opportunity to cook one dish from it before I left – lamb chops with a fennel, mint and honeyed walnut pilaf – and I can’t wait to have a proper read of it when we’re back.

I took the train to London on Thursday and since then have been enjoying all manner of terribly English culinary treats: smoked haddock with parsley sauce, English green asparagus with parmesan and beurre noir and, today, a fabulous barbecue featuring my mum’s famous barbecued chicken (which admittedly isn’t her recipe but Robert Carrier’s – whatever, it’s the best chicken barbecue marinade of all time) and a pile of sweet English strawberries and raspberries with Scottish vanilla ice cream.  I imagine the rest of this week will involve more of the same, and I’m starting to think I should have booked myself an extra seat on the train back to Wiesbaden.

In any case, I’m told we only have 24 more hours of sunshine remaining, so I’m off back outside to make the most of it.

Food news and recipes from Germany…

An ode to Spaghettieis (a brilliant post about a very peculiar German ice cream)
★ Bratwurst & Beyond: A History of Food in Germany
 A tour of the Frankfurt’s awesome indoor food market 
 How to make an authentic German potato salad

…and further afield:

★ Food maps made out of the food they’re associated with (via Sweet and Savoring)
★ Leave ‘organic’ out of it: Mark Bittman says food activists should stop using confusing buzzwords
Seasonal recipe for strawberry rhubarb crisp bars
★ Cook books to read in bed! (I love, love, love this blog)

Join the Conversation


  1. Ahh, The Lebanese Kitchen looks amazing, I’ve just been poring over images of the book and the photography looks absolutely beautiful. It’s going on my birthday list.

    Enjoy the rest of your time in England!

    1. Thank you! I’ve got a couple of the other enormous Phaidon tomes – the Spanish and Italian ones – and am embarrassed to admit I’ve barely cooked from them, I just find them a bit overwhelming. This one, however, is I think going to be become a firm favourite. It’s beautifully put together and everything looks delicious! And I love that there are about 15 hummus recipes 🙂

    1. Haha I’ll take that as a compliment – but I do apologise 😉 And thank you, I’m having a really lovely time. It would be fab to see you on this side of the Channel the next time, but I do regret that we met so late and couldn’t have hung out more in Hessen!

  2. says:

    That pilaf does look really delicious! When you’re back, if you’re bored/have some free time, would be great to hang out. Hope you’re enjoying the down-time and sunshine in that there London:-)

  3. says: Anne

    I stumbled across Fasan a while ago and have been several times, as I totally agree -they really do offer good value for a generous plate of lunch! I also think their lentil dahl is quite similar to the Indian version. I fact, whenever I crave Indian and don’t fancy cooking it myself I tend to pop over 🙂 Hope you’ve had a great holiday in the UK!!
    ps. Love the sound of that Lebanese cookbook!

    1. Ha! That speaks volumes about the Indian food on offer in Wiesbaden, doesn’t it! 😉 I had a lovely time in the UK, thank you, but the weather’s a darn sight better here now I’m back! 🙂

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