August 27, 2007

Vacation highlights: a cookbook find

Today´s Swedish word: kokbok. Means cookbook

We were a bit unlucky with the weather when we went to Estonia this summer - it rained, rained, rained... for days! And then it held up for a couple of hours so we could take a walk and then it started pouring down again. But I don´t complain, after exploring the big cities Riga and Vilnius and after a bumpy bus ride between Pärnu and Haapsalu I was more than happy to lie on the bed and read in our little cottage at Roosta Pühkeküla.

Anyway, on the third day of rain we decided to go into Haapsalu for a little shopping and then we stopped by a promising-looking café right beside the old castle.
I was standing in line when I saw a fantastic cookbook lying on a table and picked it up just to look at the beautiful photos. I don´t know any Estonian so buying cookbooks is not to think of. But then I realised, that this cookbook is written in Estonian and English. Perfect! I bought a cappuccino, a pastry and a copy of the book on the spot and then spent the afternoon and evening reading. And reading. And reading. And getting inspired...
And learning lots of Estonian words!
This book is so, so nice. It is called Sapemaa Talu Köök, or The Kitchen of Sapemaa Talu. Sapemaa Talu is the summer home of the author Anni Arro, and the recipes are all "summer food" but highly versatile for the rest of the year as well. It is still on my bedside table now, I leaf through it almost every day to look at the pictures and drool over the recipes. The only downside is that almost every recipe uses garlic and I cannot use garlic because of A´s stomach but then again I am used to getting around those little cloves!

In the bowl beside the book is the result of my first recipe trial: broad beans cooked Estonian style as they are in the pods in heavily salted water. It appealed to me because de-podding broad beans is not my cup of tea and I love broad beans so I gave it a try. You should too, now while they are in season (at least here). Just put a large amount of broad beans in a big pot, cover with water and put in 3-4 tablespoons of coarse salt. Let them simmer for 30 minutes or a bit more until soft, drain and serve at once with a little sourcream. They were heaven! And it is good fun sitting around the table, picking and eating on a summer evening.

7 comments:

Pille said...

This is quite a coincidence, but here is a picture of our Sunday lunch - boiled broad beans and sour cream :) I've got the book, too, and have enjoyed reading it - Anni Arro is also in charge of the menu at Müüriäärne kohvik (the one you stopped for a cuppa). I like the picture - a good camera makes a difference, doesn't it!

Pene said...

I wanted to look at this book when I saw it in a shop window in Parnu last July, but the shop was closed that day as it was Sunday. I'll look for it in Tartu in a few weeks time when I'm walking without crutches. Thanks for reminding me about it.

Steve said...

And I thought that I was the only one who spent time looking for cookbooks while on vacation.

Pene said...

Hubby bought it for me yesterday - an early birthday present. There are some great recipes in it I want to try soon. Wonderful photos also!

Shaun said...

Kristina - Thank you for sharing with us other non-Estonian speakers this cookery book. I am often interested in Northern European food preparations, so this is a great find.

Anonymous said...

I would like to see your French cookbook review...

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