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Thank you for visiting my blog and allowing me to share my thoughts and pictures with you. You will find entries on a number of topics, including sewing and cooking and life in general. I have also attempted to create some useful resources in the form of recipes and sewing tutorials.

There will also be occasional guest bloggers.

I look forward to hearing your comments.

Whilst you're here, why not visit my shop which offers unique, handmade (by me) ladies bags & accessories and children's clothing ?  Thank you !

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  1. The beginnings of this bake and blog weren’t promising. On opening the flour box, a huge plastic box with all different types of flour in it, I discovered the bottom of it was covered in ‘something’. At first I thought the ‘something’ was a burst flour bag, but flour doesn’t move on its own, does it ?

    The whole bottom of the box was alive – and I am not good with anything creepy or remotely crawly. In fact, my head is still itching and my skin is crawling, hours after the fact. So I grabbed the whole box and literally ran to the outdoor bin, and dumped the lot.... I then spent a further half hour examining all the foods stuff that had been in the same cupboard and cleaning it !

    So with no flour and no yeast in the house, this necessitated a trip to the local Co-op. Chancing the weather, the 3yr old and I headed off for the 15 minute walk, only for the heavens to open and for both of us to get soaked to the bone.

    But enough of my trials and tribulations  and on with the bake. Buchteln are a sort of bready dumpling usually filled with jam, but can also be savoury. My Oma (gran) used to make a great one, and I fondly remember them from being young. So here is her recipe, tweaked for the 21st century and ingredients readily available in the UK. Traditionally it calls for Plaumenmuss, which can be very loosely compared to a plum jam/preserve but with a unique texture. I didn’t have any, and presume you don’t, so just replace with any firm (not soft set) jam that you have to hand.


    500g plain flour

    2 ½ tsp dried active yeast ( 1 sachet )

    125g granulated sugar

    ½ tsp vanilla extract

    ¼ tsp lemon or orange extract

    200ml milk

    1 egg

    100g butter or margarine (butter does taste better) for stage 1

    50g butter or margarine for stage 2

    200g jam (not soft set) for stage 2

    Icing sugar to dust



    Stage 1

    Breadmaker – chuck it in, select dough programme, press start, wait.

    Food processor/mixer with dough hook  attachment – melt butter, cool. Heat milk to lukewarm. Combine all the ingredients, mix on highest setting for approximately 2-5 minutes (depends on machine used). Your dough should be firm yet elastic when done. Cover bowl with tea towel, leave in a warm, draught free place until doubled in size. Knead again.

    By hand – as above but knead until the required consistency is obtained.

    NB: whichever method you use, you may need to add a little more flour if the dough becomes sticky. Flours differ in the amount of liquid they will absorb.

    Stage 2

    Roll dough into an even sausage shape and divide into 12 equal pieces, shaping into balls. Flatten each ball into a disc shape, place teaspoon of jam in the middle of each, and then form each disc into a ball ensuring the jam is completely enclosed. 


    buchteln combined


    Grease a rectangular baking tin/pyrex dish or equivalent, measuring approx 20 x 30cm, or a springform  ( as above ) 26cm diameter. Place doughballs, folded sides facing down, in tin so that they are touching each other. Cover with tea towel, leave to proof for 30 - 60 minutes, until the dough has doubled in size. Melt remaining butter, brush each dough ball with a little melted butter.

    Bake in pre-heated oven – 225 C, 200 C fan assisted, gas mark 3-4 – for 20 – 30 minutes, until firm to the touch and lightly browned.

    buchtel finished This is the finished product. I was going to do an arty shot with lots of icing sugar, and an individual Buchtel nicely cut open oozing jam on a pretty plate. The 3yr old, however, had other ideas, and insisted that the "CAKE, MUMMY" was immediately cut into and consumed.....

    Dust with icing sugar just before serving, either hot or cold, with or without custard.

    Buchteln are best eaten on the day they are made, as they go stale quite quickly.  As an alternative try filling with nutella, rum soaked dried fruit or just plain.

  2. 220429_10150224146561972_6453541_o

    Not all currywurst are giant ones like this one - but they are not uncommon. Here the currywurst is being modelled with it's classical accompaniment of chips and a beer ! Usually the chips would have mayo on them too - another classical combo, chips with ketchup and mayo commonly known as "Pommes rot-weiss". My husband, however, is a mayo refusnik as he has a hatred of vinegar, and often suspects mayo of being salad cream in disguise, so there isn't any.

    My husband is a recent convert to the currywurst, as like most English people he had never heard of them before I introduced him to this childhood favourite of mine. My German heritage means I will forever be a devotee. I am proud to say, my 3 year old took to it, as soon as he had his first bite.

    So what is it ? Essentially it is a bockwurst covered with a curry ketchup sauce. Bizarre sounding but delicious, and a recipe follows at the end.

    This German national dish comes from a "Wurstbude" (sausage take-away, roughly equivalent to the British fish &chip shop) or Imbissstand, although it's origins are shrouded in mystery. Two cities claim to be the cradle of its origin. 

    Our first protagonist, Herta Heuwer allegedly served the first currywurst at her Imbissstand in Berlin-Charlottenburg in 1949. This consisted of a fried bockwurst in a sauce of tomato paste, curry powder, Worcestershire sauce and other ingredients.   

    Uwe Timm in his novel "The Invention of Curried Sausage" in 1993, however, attributes the invention to our second protagonist, Lena Bruecker, who in this story first serves her currywurst at the Großneumarkt in Hamburg  in 1947.

    Whether it was Herta or Lena it spawned a German obsession, not only with currywurst but the equally famous :Hela Curry-Gewürzketchup

    Hela Curry-Gewürzketchup

    Since my husband was introduced to it we have to import bottles of the stuff each time we go to Germany, but for those of you who can't/don't want to go to this trouble, you can also find it here at the German Deli in London, who also do mail order. It comes in lots of varieties, from the mild to the very spicy indeed.

    You are going to need some of this to make your own currywurst, and here at last is the recipe. Again, there is some debate as to whether to leave the sausage whole, cut it into bite size chunks or split it in half before frying. Take the below as a basis, and then do as you wish !

    Ingredients for 4 people

    4 x Bockwurst - you can find these at Aldi or Lidl, try getting the ones from the chiller cabinet rather than in jars.

    200 ml  Hela Curry-Gewürzketchup

    100 ml water

    2 x knobs of butter

    Mild curry powder


    Prepare sausage how you like, in this family we like the bitesize chunks. Fry in a knob of butter until golden and brown, sprinkle over curry powder and fry for another 30 seconds. Add ketchup and water, stirring to ensure all of the sausage is covered. Bubble until the mixture has thickened to the consistency of a sauce, stir in another knob of butter.

    Serve sprinkled with curry powder to taste, with a bread roll or chips, and an ice cold German beer.

    ENJOY !