Euro 2008 football tournament is starting this Saturday. I'm pretty excited as I'm torn over one of these nations lifting the cup: France, Germany, Spain and Croatia.
(Above) Italian national Luca Toni in a pictorial comparison with Renaissance art in the Sueddeutsche Zeitung magazine. A Bayern Munich player, he is said to bring Renaissance to the most exciting team of the German Bundesliga.
My heart is with Italy as a few of its players are my favourites (Luca Toni, Fabio Cannavaro who sadly is reported to have torn his ankle ligaments and won't be taking part, Pippo Inzaghi) but methinks Italy is not likely to be hungry enough to take the European Cup after winning the last World Cup two years ago.
Update: My story appeared in StarTwo on June 6 -- http://thestar.com.my/lifestyle/story.asp?file=/2008/6/6/lifefocus/21445912&sec=lifefocus
As for munchies, football season calls for snacks and 'portable' desserts you can take to the couch on a dish without making a mess.
My two eldest sisters who recently visited me here liked the novelty and tanginess of rhubarb. The eldest took a stalk home and is planning to make a rib stew with it. Here, I present a recipe adapted from 'Die Zeit', a German newspaper online.
By Karl-Josef Fuchs
(1 part sugar + 2 parts butter + 3 parts flour) or store-bought pie dough
400g rhubarb, stripped of fibre and cut into 1cm slices
2 tbs sugar
80g butter, softened
80g ground almond, roasted for 5 minutes at 120 degrees C
75g raw sugar
2 eggs, beaten
1 tsp flour
The stripped rhubarb pieces (right) and peel (below) make interesting visuals.
55g flour (75g)
20g quark or yoghurt or cream cheese
25g butter, softened or melted
1. Toss rhubarb slices with 2 tbs sugar and heat in the oven at 120 degrees C for 7-10 minutes. Sieve away liquid if any.
2. Preheat oven to 175 degrees C. Roll out pastry to line a baking paper-lined pan (approx. 20cmx28cm).
3. Mix sugar with butter. Add eggs, flour and almond. Fold in rhubarb slices.
4. Fill pie with rhubarb mixture.
5. Combine topping ingredients with fingertips to make a crumble. Strew it over the pie.
6. Bake for 50 minutes. Let cool in the pan for 5 minutes, then transfer pie to a wire rack. Slice on a board. Serve with cream whipped with vanilla sugar if desired.