It was a beautiful sunny day, the first promise of summer this year and fortunately it happened to be on Saturday. I decided that any household chore can wait, in this moment there is nothing more important than sit on a bench under the cherry tree and watch the grazing horses on the top of the hill across from our house. Meanwhile there is always good to have a book at hand, and also a notebook in case I feel like planning our big trip that was due to in 2 weeks time. More than 3000 km across Europe, three countries and all the things we love, packed into one week. To visit friends in Germany, whose new-born baby we haven’t met yet and my relatives in East-Germany, the nephew of my grandmother who was forced to immigrate in 1948.
Even thinking of them warmed up my heart.
And of course there was the actual reason for our trip, the biannual Food Photo Festival in Vejle, Denmark, which was for me like Disneyland for a little child. To spend four days with likeminded food and photography enthusiast is equivalent with walking to Sleeping Beauty’s castle with Donald Duck and Mickey Mouse on my side, while holding candy-floss in hand.
While I was sitting at the bench, it started to get cool a little bit, the sun has also hidden behind some clouds. I took a look at my watch and just realised how quickly time flew by. Áron, my boyfriend had left for 2,5 hours for cycling, which seemed to me longer, than his usual bike tours. I tried to overcome my fear and anxiety which slowly started to take over my brain. The nearby forest is too big, at least if you are looking for somebody, and there is no signal.
Suddenly two men appeared in the garden, each one of them with a piece of a bike in his hands. I was holding up my breath until I could finally see him behind the men, keeping his arm close to his body.
Then, everything happened very quickly: emergency department, diagnosis about torn ligaments, broken, forearm fracture, surgery and plaster cast for four weeks.
Áron used to say, that among animals not the strongest ones will most likely survive, but the ones which can adapt to changing circumstances. So now life puts us to a test and teaches us how to be patient, flexible and persistent. The fact how important it is to have two arms is painfully perceptible, when one of them- fortunately only temporarily- is out of the game. After the first shock my anxiety turned into a kind of euphoria, because at least he didn’t break his leg, his head or his spine. Áron, however, couldn’t share my stubborn positivism while dealing with his pains and with the uncomfortable plaster cast, but slowly learnt how to do everyday things with one arm: tie his shoelaces, slice bread, mow the lawn and rake.
Because a neat Swabian person never rests.
Finally we agree that I go to Denmark on my own, we postpone the visits at friends and relatives but the Festival still remains for me. I am going to share some amazing moments but until then I can only express gratitude for the friendships, the smiles, the support and for learning so many new things. It was a special gift after such a stressful and busy time.
It was great to be there, and it was also great to come home.
I burst with excitement when I see our first cherries have just turned ripe, those ones which my grandmother calls “strudel cherries”. There is still a lot of wild strawberries in my mother’s garden, and I could pick the last elderflowers in order to make another bunch of syrup. The rhubarb I planted last year has grown new leaves and rucola grew from the seeds I have planted just before I left. Blueberry is just about to bloom and the little green sour cherries on the trees give us the promise of a good harvest. And finally, after two years I won’t spend this time of the year by dealing with a burst pipe, moving out of our house or organising the renovation.
Instead, I will do lots of cooking and baking.
Textiles I use for photography are hand-woven and botanical dyed, made by @textil_szakacsniki
Wild strawberry cake
(for a 18 cm diameter cake)
For the sponge cake:
4 tbsp. oil
6 tbsp. powder sugar
3 tbsp. water
6 tbsp. flour
1 package of baking powder
For the cream:
300 g wild strawberries
100 g sugar
300 g cream
4 gelatine sheets
- Preheat the oven to 200ºC . Line the bottom of two 18 cm diameter cake tin with parchment paper, brush the sides with butter and dust with flour. (You can use only one tin and cut the sponge horizontally after. In that case you need to increase baking time)
- Weigh and prepare all ingredients, mix baking powder to flour. Beat the egg yolks with the powder sugar, add the half of the water and oil. Add the other half of the water to the egg whites and beat it until it forms peaks. Using a spatula, alternately fold in flour and egg whites into the egg yolk mixture carefully so you don’t break the foam. Divide the mixture between the two cake tins.
- Reduce heat right after you have put the tins into the oven to 180ºC and bake them until golden brown (approximately 10-12 minutes) Remove sponge cakes from the tins and let them cool down on a wire rack.
- Puree the berries with a hand blender, and add sugar. Put the gelatine sheets into cold water. Heat up half of the berry puree until it just would start boiling and take off from heat. Press out any excess moisture from the gelatine leaves and dissolve them in the warm mixture, then add the remaining puree. Beat the cream until it forms peaks and gradually fold in the fruit mixture.
- Place a layer of sponge cake on a flat plate and put a cake ring around it. Pour over half of the strawberry cream on top, place the other sponge layer and then pour over the rest of the cream. Refrigerate the cake for at least for 3-4 hours.