My parents and I moved on to Capitol Reef National Park, the last of the Big Five National Parks in Utah (after visiting Arches and Canyonlands National Parks on this trip, and Zion and Bryce Canyon National Parks back in October 2014). We were on our return to Salt Lake City, so unfortunately we didn’t have much time to hike here.
Capitol Reef National Park is a long and skinny national park that follows the waterpocket fold. We drove through the northern end of the park along the paved highway 24.
This Swiss cheese and mushroom quiche is a variation of the basic quiche recipe, the same one that I used to make the feta and spinach quiche earlier this month. I added a touch of our special truffle salt – salt with 5% dried black truffles! The small amount of truffle salt in its little jar is immensely powerful and adds a really gourmand touch to this mushroom quiche.
My parents and I headed to Canyonlands National Park after leaving Moab, Dead Horse Point State Park, and Arches National Park. Canyonlands National Park covers 337,598 acres of canyons, mesas, buttes, fins, arches, spires, and stretches of the Green River and Colorado River, in southeast Utah.
We woke up really early in Moab one morning and hit the road by 8:00am, hoping to get a free campsite at the Willow Flat Campground in Canyonlands National Park. There are only 12 sites in Willow Flat Campground, but we were lucky enough to snag a campsite just as the previous night’s occupants were packing up and moving on. Willow Flat Campground is the only developed campground in Canyonlands National Park, and was located about seven miles from the paved road entrance to the park. It is quite basic – no water, no showers, no RV hookup, and no RV dump, but despite these limitations, we loved the campground. It seemed like each campsite, separated by juniper bushes and pinyon pines, had a great view and since there were only 12 sites, it was very quiet. The sites were nicely spaced out, especially since we were coming from the sardine can-like conditions of the commercial RV campground in Moab.
Bienenstich is a German cake that means ‘bee sting.’ This cake is very similar to our Oma’s Butterkuchen, just this version is topped with sliced almonds and honey. Our Oma would make this Bienenstich as is, but it can be fancied up by slicing the baked dough in half and filling with cream to make a kind of Torte.
Our Oma lived in a tiny village in northern Germany – a village so small that it didn’t even have a bar! We used to spend one or two months of our summer vacation visiting her in this tiny village, and she showed me how to make this as a keen nine-year-old wanna-be baker kid.
Kaffee und Kuchen is a German tradition of having, you guessed it, coffee and cake in the afternoon. I have a sweet tooth so naturally I was happy to make pots of coffee and tea and bring out a tray of treats to the back garden.
Butterkuchen was a specialty of our Oma’s, and she would make it for special occasions or just Kaffee and Kuchen – the German version of teatime. Oddly enough, it took ages for me to actually get the written recipe (maybe because I needed the translation?).
This recipe is mostly by touch and feel. The dough should be like a soft and pliable pizza dough, and the finished cake should be golden and baked through but not hard. European baking uses weight measurements, which is an accurate way of baking; however, this is not common in North America, so I’ve converted my Oma’s recipe to use cup measurements.
Our Oma would normally double or even triple the recipe, depending on the occasion. If there were any leftovers, she would bake them in a low oven until dry, and then store them in an airtight container. These dry Butterkuchen fingers are like German biscotti, and are great for dunking in coffee! Continue reading →