From The Back Burner
Earlier today, my co-writer, Chef Johannes Klapdohr, called me and left a message, reminding me of our project, the cookbook.
Time flies! We are only 16 days before Thanksgiving, 46 days before Christmas and 53 before New Year’s... I just realized that I haven’t written a thing about the cookbook for a long time. I have yet to tell you that back in June, Chef Johannes and I decided to put the cookbook on the back burner.
Why? Simply, because summer is a busy time for chefs and the hospitality industry. But also because my agent felt that it would be better to publish the next book in the Pinnacle series before publishing the cookbook. Quite honestly, I needed a break as the frequent travel to North Carolina was starting to get to me. As much as I enjoy working with Chef Johannes and love the scenic drive to the Highlands area, it is not an easy trip. The curved, narrow roads that make up the last hour and a half of the drive are demanding. It’s imperative that I stay focused and watch the road.
With that said, we took the summer and the fall off, planning to resume our work this winter.
Well, the winter is now close—at least close enough to start making plans.
While talking with Chef Johannes, I realized that I have yet to finish writing my next book and that Chef Johannes is still as busy as ever. It’s possible that we may not resume our work on the cookbook until after the New Year.
Until then, we are sharing with you a secret recipe of Chef Johannes for a German Gluhwein—the perfect drink for this time of the year!
Chef Johannes’ Devine German Gluhwein:
2 bottles of dry red wine (Spatburgunder or Pinot Noir)
1 orange, washed and cut in quarters (Do not peel, you will use whole orange)
¼ cup of sugar
2 sticks of cinnamon
2 whole Allspice
4 whole cloves
3 whole star anise
Splash of Brandy or Rum (optional)
Heat wine in a large pot—careful not to boil it, as it should not evaporate.
Press juice of orange wedges into the wine and add the peels to the pot as well.
Add cinnamon, allspice, cloves, star anise and sugar to the mixture and simmer at very low heat for about 20 minutes.
Ladle through a sieve into a mug and enjoy!
Chef’s Tip: Strain the Gluhwein into a coffee maker carafe and keep warm on the coffeemaker burner—it’s easy to pour and stays warm.
If you’d like to add an extra kick to the Gluhwein, add a splash of brandy or rum into your mug.
Can you smell the spices? …We can…
Now all that’s left is to kick back, relax and enjoy the Gluhwein.
Cheers! Or as Chef Johannes says Prost!
Michelle (and Chef Johannes)