Cooking from the Garden

Way back in May (I can’t believe how long ago that feels, and how long ago it actually is) before I’d been to Barcelona and the South of France, Corsica and Denmark, before the summer had even properly started, I was invited down to the house of a friend for an impromptu workshop.

Although I had only met Katrin approximately twice before (once for lunch in Berlin, once at that self-same house in Brandenburg, about an hour south), I call her a “friend” because I consider her a kindred spirit, as Anne of Green Gables would say. We both have houses in the country (although hers is considerably more lovely than mine) and we both take a certain pleasure in gardening, cooking, nature and those slow, thoughtful moments sitting around a table, surveying everything you have worked hard to create, not quite sure what to taste first.

She’d seen my work in Portugal, and was inspired to gather together some other bosom friends for a weekend of inspiration: we would show up on a Saturday just before lunch and leave on Sunday just after. In those 24 hours or so, we would pull, dig and pluck things from the garden, and see what deliciousness we could make out of them.

There was mandolin-sliced kolrabi dipped in a kind of dukkah (courtesy of my suitcase stowaway: grain and seed packets from Trader Joes), strawberry crumble and rhubarb cake, wild herb salad and carrots with tahini, farro with snowpeas and, the next morning, fresh eggs with grated zucchini. In between there was a walk in the woods, many, many chats over wine and coffee, and oh so many photographs.

By the time I left I felt I had made a couple of new friends, while strengthening my camaraderie with old ones. And once again, this life I have built here for myself, this experience stretching over eight years now, came into focus. I thought, as I often do, of all those little moments, those coincidences, that got me where I am right now. How lucky was I to be one of five people of different ages, backgrounds and experiences, and yet to be able to come together over a shared goal, for just one weekend in late spring? Looking back on these photos, it seems very lucky indeed….

Click on the images below to display full galleries.