The tree is part of Christmas. That's tradition. But as soon as the presents are unpacked and the last roast goose is digested, the fairy lights go out. The centerpiece of the Christmas decoration has had its heyday behind it, its purpose has been fulfilled. It is discarded and ends up on the side of the road, waiting to make its last big trip into the shredder. Does it have to be that way? Julia Georgallis has addressed the sad end of trees and given the plants a second chance - on the plate and in the cup. In “How To Eat Your Christmas Tree,” the baker and product designer presents recipes in which the Christmas tree is an ingredient.
In the USA and Great Britain alone, around 40 million trees are felled every year at Christmas time, and in Germany it is estimated that around 24 million are felled. That's a lot of wood. "Trying to eat your Christmas tree is not only a way to extend the already short shelf life of something that has quickly become disposable," writes the Londoner, "but also a good opportunity to question whether Christmas trees are really necessary ". Back in 2015, Georgallis started a cooking meeting with a friend with the mission of developing recipes in which spruce, fir, etc. can be recycled.
It was anything but easy. They pureed, chopped, pounded, fried. Unsuccessful. "We brewed some pine needles and the result tasted like pee. We made strange, grass-tasting Scotch eggs that made us really sick," she describes. But at some point the knot broke and they got the hang of it. The result is an internationally inspired collection of recipes that can be implemented in any kitchen. These include Christmas tree tea, pickled eggs with beetroot and Christmas tree needles or Christmas cured fish. But it's not about playing around with food, the taste comes first, promises Georgallis.
Probably the easiest and quickest way to use the tree (at least something) is to make vinegar. This also works with dry trees. This vinegar is the perfect homemade Christmas gift for the coming year!
Makes: enough for 1 preserving jar with a capacity of 2 lDuration: 30 minutes, plus 3 months of brewing time (at least 2 weeks)Equipment: 2 sterilized preserving jars (each with a capacity of 2 l) with a matching lid, kitchen funnel, fine kitchen sieve, large scissors, bowl
200 g fir, pine or spruce needles (or combination) 2 l high-quality apple cider vinegar
Important: Not all Christmas trees can be eaten. For example, cedar and cypress are inedible. In addition, Christmas tree needles should neither be eaten raw nor whole. Since Christmas trees are cultivated plants, you should make sure when purchasing that as few chemicals as possible have been used and that the trees have not even been sprayed with paint to improve their appearance.
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