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    The High, Dry Desert

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  1. Chef, my family (in the UAE) always have kishk in the freezer given to them by someone (generally someone lucky enough to have a grandmother who's still alive). i eat that when i visit them, and then i bring back a jar of green kishk every time i go to lebanon. and... I'll admit it, I buy bags and bags of kishk from a little Lebanese roastery in Abu Dhabi and I bring that back with me to the US. I know the commercial stuff is usually inedible, but this really isn't all that bad. I eat kishk several times a week, so for me mediocre kishk is better than no kishk. And no, definitely none available in the high desert.
  2. CHEF! You got me to log back in after a few years away by using the fast track to my heart. This is my favorite topic ever. I can't thank you enough for doing this and for bringing my attention to it. I'll be following closely. Love this! Yeslamu idaykum.
  3. Absolutely incredible. Thank you, thank you, thank you for documenting this. It's amazing.
  4. I have absolutely nothing worthwhile to contribute, however I wanted to add that Klary is the only person on the planet who can be trusted to make traditional basbousa look passe and unoriginal, after becoming familiar with it only a month or so ago. This is probably the most tempting dessert I have ever seen!
  5. I'm going tomorrow for the first time. Can't wait. Thanks, Tupac, for the report. I have no doubt that your notes will be of help once it comes time for us to order...
  6. Okay, I said it, and I'll say it again. To me, cloudberries taste like the smell of chamisa, or like a kindergarten classroom full of sniffly, coughing kids; a funky smell like sweet little animal kisses. From the Wikipediaentry for cloudberries: They're very creamy. I don't get yogurt, but I do get fermented. Definitely an acquired taste, but I was very grateful and touched by Pille's generosity when sharing her supply of these notoriously elusive delicacies. What a privilege.
  7. That does it! I have to find my skates so I can cross the Atlantic, get across the North Sea and over to you guys, for that, and all the other Estonian dishes, pastry and chocolate. Save me a seat: I'll be there by... um, morning. ← Well, I'm in Transylvania now and K is in Amsterdam, so make sure you stop and say hi to us on your way to Estonia!
  8. It wasn't as cold as we'd expected. That said, I wore four pairs of socks every day and griped about frozen toes, while Klary usually had to pause for a few moments after we'd begun walking in order to tear off her leg warmers. So I guess it depends on how tolerant you are...
  9. Similar. Dark, sour rye bread, smoked and cured meats and fish, various berries... and then you have sea buckthorn, curd cheese and kama... I'm sure Klary will have a thing or two to say about kama.
  10. You underestimate me, Rob. Of course I had the other two cocktails... two nights later.
  11. ... We had dinner at Ö on Tuesday night. Their mission statement: Note that they don't use foes grass. In case you worry about that sort of thing. The space: Semi-open kitchen: Menu of signature drinks: To start, I had the gooseberry bellini and Klary had the sea buckthorn mimosa. After that, I tried the Põltsamaa martini made with Estonia apple wine from Põltsamaa (Jõgeva County). With dinner, I had yet another cocktail while Klary had a glass of Montepulciano. I wasn't in the mood for wine, but my 'Apple Fresh' was really light; sparkling water and sparkling cider with fresh apple and cinnamon. We were served butter. On the rocks with salt. And were given a choice of breads ("May I have one of each, please?"). Walnut, sour rye with lingonberries an caraway, and dark rye crisps: I won't post near-duplicate photos of our food, but here is the pic of my steamed powan with cream cheese tortellini and crayfish bouillon: My dinner date: ... The day I had to stay in and work, Klary brought me not one but TWO pastries from Park Cafe. I ate both in about fourteen seconds. The first contained curd cheese: The second had spices, brown sugar and black aronia berries: And yes, I did eat them off a notebook. What, you wanted porcelain? I travel light.
  12. Apologies for things being slightly out of order on my end. 'Keeping Up with Klary' is an aspiration, not a sitcom. Klary and Pille go in search of chocolate: At Chocolats de Pierre after our Russian lunch, I did eat one of these: And one of these, too. Someone had eaten too many pelmeni to make much of a dent in dessert, and that someone wasn't me. I saw these jellies at the market (Stockmann). They intrigued me so of course I had to have them. The Finnish brand Fazer produces two lines of fruit gels; these are the less common ones, in an irresistibly weird kelly-green box that betrays nary a hint of its contents' contents. Imagine my delight when I tasted one and saw the insert stating that they are pear-flavored. I can totally imagine Roald Dahl eating these as a boy on summer holiday in Finland. They were good in a funky banana sort of way. There was also licorice, including a 'Perry' Panda bar, also Finnish and tasting of "pear". I also bought a handful of chocolate-covered curd cheese bars and Klary and I tasted them on the way home. Well, okay, she saved hers like a good blogger while I sampled everything. I didn't like the caramel ones, which I had guessed would be covered with chocolate and filled with curd cheese and a layer of caramel, like the ones with jam or whatever. Instead, these were just plain curd cheese with a butterscotch candy coating in place of chocolate. The plain chocolate ones were pretty good. No pic as it was dark and we were walking.
  13. From our first night in Tallinn... This was last Monday and it was as magical and still as you'd ever want it to be. There was nobody else around...
  14. I'm going to start at the very beginning by contributing a few extra pics from Night #1 ie. The Vegetarian Challenge with Mister and Missus Markemorses. Klary in the Kitchen, inadvertently making anyone who has ever stressed over a dinner party look like a rube: Gratin of potatoes, mushrooms, red onion and awesomeness. Greens with green kalamata olives, toasted hazelnuts (I did these! And only burned a dozen or so! Yess!), oranges and a simple dressing of... what? Walnut oil and balsamic, I think. Trifle of homemade pistachio cake, poached quince (with vanilla beans?), custard, whipped cream and toasted pistachios.
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