Coffee Date No. 6

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It’s about time to have a coffee date with you! I love cold brew coffee, especially in this heat wave we are currently experiencing here in Germany. Make sure to coarsely grind your coffee beans. Place them in a cloth and let soak in water for a few hours or overnight. That’s it. Enjoy with some ice cubes and milk. My perfect summer snack. If you are wondering which cookie I am eating, this is my favorite chocolate chip cookie.

Ok, let’s take the first sip and get talking! OK, this may sound lame, but sustainability, garbage separation, and waste preventation are actually topics I am currently thinking about. I believe this was triggered again when I moved from the north of Germany to the south. Unfortunately, here in Munich garbage is not separated, which came as a shock for me. I was used to at least keeping my organic waste somewhere else. You know making compost from it? I couldn’t believe that garbage was not separated, but after a little research I did learn that Munich does not require it. Needless to say that my heart broke every time I had to throw everything into the same waste bin! So I felt like checking if there were other options. We do have a large terrace, maybe I could compost myself. However, then I learned that there is a way to ferment all the leftover food. The Japanese use bokashi, this is basically a sealed container with micro organisms which ferment the leftovers without oxygen. It is still too early to tell, but apparently it only takes about two weeks for the organisms to produce a pre-stage of humus. If you mix it with good soil, it only takes another two weeks to become very good soil. Now, a compost will take about a year for the same product. Another advantage of this method is that you can actually throw in leftover food, which for me is a huge deal. If I can’t throw in certain food, like meat or lemons, I rather go for bokashi than compost. Time is going to tell whether this bokashi thing really works.

It is probably best if you don’t produce any garbage at all. As a baking blogger I used a lot of plastic wrap/cling wrap. I have been thinking about alternatives a lot. Since I have been using bee-wax paper for a while now, I am confident to recommend this super cute bee-wax paper from little bee fresh (German). I am not paid to introduce them here, it is more because I believe we need to reduce all the waste if possible. I have successfully used these bee-wax papers for covering up bowls (as you see on the picture on the left) and to wrap our bread in it. I have to say that our bread does keep fresher than if I put it in a bread box, so definitely a huge plus here. If I have a dough that is fairly dry, I also think the bee-wax paper can be used to wrap them, but as soon as it is too sticky, rather put it in a bowl and cover it with the paper. I mean, aren’t these bee-wax papers the cutest, look at all the details and all the love that was put into them! What are your little tricks to reduce waste? Do you have any recommendations?

Since we are talking about bee-wax, let’s also talk about bees. I am fairly pleased that there are more and more ideas out there to protect bees. When I was living in Hamburg, I could watch a beekeeper on the roof-tops taking care of bees. The most famous one being Michael Bauer (in German) who came up with the idea of getting bees to actually drink nectar protected. After a few months on the rooftops, the beekeeper takes the bees back to the countryside and makes honey. Apparently a lot of hotels love this idea and have their own bees on their rooftops. The homemade honey is then sold to guests.

If you are even more into bees, you can actually rent a bee colony (German). The idea is that you place them somewhere on your property in a safe place and a beekeeped will regularly check on them and make sure that they are healthy. All honey these bees produce is yours. This is, of course, a rather expensive adventure, so if you think your neighbors may not be delighted if you set a a full bee colony on your balcony, you can also become a sponsor and only rent part of the bee colony. Usually these colonies are places somewhere in the countryside, so you will not upset anyone if you happen to live in a big city.

What I find super fascinating is the fact that bees actually can survive in a city. I live in Munich with more than a million inhabitants. However, the two bees you see in the picture actually came to our terrace. I still don’t know how bees find flowers, regardless of where they are. Did the bees know I was going to grow flowers? I really don’t know, but I do hope that they find enough to eat. At least I want to make sure that bees survive in Europe.

I am also a huge fan of regional products. I would encourage you to bake a cake with daisies if you have them growing in your region. I invented a recipe with daisies in the filling and also as topping as a nice decoration. Schneller Gänseblümchen-Kuchen

Daisy Cake

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