How to Make Flan in a Foreign Country

posted in: Recipes | 4

You may remember from last week’s blog that I recently started posting some of my photos for sale on a stock photo site called Alamy. I uploaded a few more this week, so if you’re in the market or know someone who needs photos for brochures, websites, books or other publications, check out my Alamy page. I’ll be adding something most weeks, so check back often. Thanks!

This week I want to tell you about a recent adventure making flan from my friend Carmela’s mother’s recipe. Flan is a delicious custard dessert of Spanish origins. In this case, the recipe comes direct from Mexico. Here are Carmela’s notes from a phone call with her mother: read more

How to Make Tamales in a Foreign Country

posted in: Europe | 2
Many of you know I wrote a recipe book that incorporates travel stories and recipes from the Czech Republic called A Travel for Taste. You can still buy your copy from Amazon in either paperback or Kindle format (hint-hint). I’m currently working on a German version as well, and both volumes also feature my photography. So, you get that travel, photography and cooking are three of my favorite things. I also hope you remember my travel journals last year about making pumpkin pie and the rest of Thanksgiving dinner in a foreign country. Well, this cooking in a foreign country is becoming even more of a thing in my life. Through my teaching contract with the nearby U.S. Army post here in Germany, I met a wonderful couple originally from Mexico. You’ll remember them from our outing to the Audi museum I told you about in a previous post. Carmela wants to go sightseeing and also wants to learn to cook, so the fact we’ve been spending a lot of time together should surprise no one. I cooked a Valentine’s dinner for them a couple of weeks ago, teaching Carmela how to make my famous blackout cake in the process. The next weekend, she offered to teach me how to make tamales using her mother’s family recipe. I totally jumped at the chance! Now, my knowledge of Mexican food extends only to Tex-Mex restaurants in the US and the Ro-tel dip I make with my bestie Cheryl. However, I did spend some time in New Mexico a few years ago and was fortunate enough to experience real Mexican cuisine. To say this project was an education is somewhat of a gross understatement. Carmela had Skyped her mom and gotten the recipe.

She and her husband Ivan had also obtained all the necessary ingredients from the post commissary and a Mexican market they found in a little town nearby named Forchheim, of all places. I wrote about Forchheim’s Medieval town center last year.

I mostly watched, wrote down instructions, and took pictures while the two of them cooked. Here’s the basic process:

They had bought a beautiful chuck roast and cut it so it fit in a large pan. Carmela told me tamales traditionally use a pork roast, but her family uses beef most of the time. read more