It was ‘Magische Mahlzeit‘ Vorabend (more on that holiday tomorrow).
For a little while I had been assembling a number of foods, prepared and fresh, that would lend themselves to being part of a picnic, and in particular, mostly a German picnic.
Last night, after a visit to Schaller & Weber in the afternoon, I was ready to assemble one.
As usual, the plates were anchored with a tasty dressed green, in this case various baby mustards from the Union Square Greenmarket, to which I added some grown-up arugula, also from the Greenmarket.
- the elements included a baby greens salad mix from Lani’s Farm mixed with some arugula from Bodhitree Farm; one German and one Vermont cheese: a sheep milk, Gutshöfer Ziegenkäse from Twenteland (a bos/Wald region in the eastern Netherlands bordering German Münsterland) via old Yorkville’s Schaller & Weber on the upper east side, and a goat milk ‘Manchester’ from Consider Bardwell Farm; 2 Rot-gebeizt pickled eggs from Millport Dairy Farm; 4 Backyard Farms Maine ‘cocktail tomatoes’ from Whole Foods Market; Kerrygold Pure Irish Butter; and finally, these all from Schaller & Weber: thin slices of Lachsschinken and a ‘Country Style’ pâté ‘Kassler Art‘, a neat tube of ‘Meretina‘ horseradish spread (we couldn’t resist the very neat packaging while at S & W yesterday), slices of a Balthazar rye boule and a ‘Westphalian Style whole grain pumpernickel bread’ from Chicago’s Rubschlager Bakery
- the wine was a German (Pfalz) white, Friedrich Becker Pinot Blanc 2013, from our much-missed former neighborhood wine shop, Appellation Wine & Spirits
- the music was Heinrich Ignaz Biber’s ‘Harmonia artificiosa-ariosa’, six partitas scored for various instrumental combinations, performed by Tafelmusik
Barry and I used to call meals like this ‘picnics’. More recently, in the case of particularly German versions, I’ve labelled them ‘Picknicks‘ on this blog. In fact, the appropriate German term would be ‘Brotzeit‘, and that’s how I’ve described this one.
The gorgeous lettuce included on the plate is a purple variety whose name was not indicated on the stand where I purchased it. The only lettuce image I snapped that afternoon was actually of a green version of the same breed, and at the time it just happened to be boasting a single purple leaf from its neighbor.
- with the exception of the oil, vinegar, salt, pepper, butter, and confiture, the items included on the plate were essentially from local sources: Blutwurst or Zungenwurst, a variation of head cheese, from Schaller & Weber; a dollop of Italian (Asiago) Lingonberry Jam (a berry much like the German ‘Preiselbeeren‘) [not pictured]; purple lettuce from Norwich Meadows Farm, dressed with an Italian olive oil, Alce Nero DOP ‘Terra di Bari Bitonto’, from Eataly, an Italian white wine vinegar, Aceto Cesare Bianco, from Buon Italia, Maldon salt, and freshly-ground Tellicherry pepper; orange cherry tomatoes grown in Ontario, from Whole Foods Market; large red cherry tomatoes from Alex’s Tomato Farm; Isny Allgäu ‘Adel Egger’ raw milk cheese, from Schaller & Weber, and ‘Danby” goat cheese and ‘Rupert’ cow cheese, both from Consider Bardwell Farm; 2 Rot-gebeizt pickled eggs from Millport Dairy Farm; slices of a Balthazar rye boule from Schaller & Weber, and ‘Kerrygold Pure Irish Butter‘ [not pictured]
- the wine was a German (Mosel) white, Weingut Axel Pauly Trinkfluss 2014
- the music was the album, ‘The Palais-Royal‘, compositions from the Paris palace and court of Phillip II, Duke of Orléans, Regent during the long minority of Louis XV, and a composer himself
Phillippe II, Duke of Orléans, detail of a 1706 portrait attributed to Jean-Baptiste Santerre [image from Online Galleries]
We decided to have a picnic [Ger. ‘Picknick‘], a very simple picnic, for several reasons: 1. It wasn’t a Union Square Greenmarket day, so it couldn’t be seafood; 2. It was going to be very warm in the evening and we didn’t want to challenge the air conditioner; 3. We had originally thought we’d be busy much of the evening, which meant there wouldn’t be a lot of time to cook a real meal.
- there was a delicious ‘Pâté with Goose’ from Schaller & Weber, and a little German mustard [Semf] on the side, which really wasn’t needed at all; a ‘Strauß‘ of upland cress from Two Guys from Woodbridge, dressed with a good Campania olive oil (Lamparelli O.R.O.) and a squeeze of an orange-colored sweet local lemon from Fantastic Gardens of Long Island, Maldon salt and freshly-ground Tellicherry pepper; 4 halved Backyard Farms Maine ‘cocktail tomatoes’ from Whole Foods Market, dressed with more good olive oil, salt, pepper, and a sprinkling of chopped garlic mustard from Windfall Farms; 3 cheeses: a raw cow’s milk cheese, from Isny, in the south German Allgäu, ‘Adel Egger’; a ewe’s milk cheese, ‘Gutshöfer Ziegenkäse’, from Twenteland, a green region of in the eastern Netherlands closely bordering Germany’s Münsterland; and a Harvati, a semisoft Danish washed-curd cow’s milk cheese; all of them from Schaller & Weber; slices of Tribeca Oven ‘Seeded Jewish Rye’ from Whole Foods Market [there were second servings of pâte and cheese]
- the wine was a German (Mosel) white, Weingut Axel Pauly Riesling Trinkfluss Trocken Mosel 2014, from Chelsea Wine Vault
- the music was Marc-Antoine Charpentier’s 1693 opera, ‘Médée’, with a libretto by Thomas Corneille, William Christie directing Les Arts Florissants