We returned from vacation last week and I’m slowly returning to my daily routine. Last night, I successfully made dinner and this morning I made a pot of coffee. Our laundry is finally caught up and I’ve managed to upload nine albums of vacation photos. Now, I just need to write this post to feel as though I’m fully back in the saddle once again.
The Celebrity cruise turned out to be an amazing trip through 7 countries and I would gladly do a cruise again. For a ship servicing 2,000 guests (and 1,000 crew), I found the food to be good quality and in great abundance (sadly, I’ve sprouted new love handles due to it). You’ll find an interesting review of cruise food in the UK Guardian’s Word of Mouth blog post, “Cruising for a bruising“, which raises a few good points although seems too be critical for the sake of being critical.
I made a conscious choice not to photograph my food on the ship, although you may see a few shots of food from the port cities. I decided to enjoy the trip and not make the camera a third wheel. We focused on the amazing cities we visited instead, Stockholm our favorite closely followed by Helsinki.
I left for vacation with one small food related goal – to attain a ceramic crock. Last month, I received a suggestion to make rumpot (aka rumtopf) with my excess of freshly picked strawberries. I wasn’t familiar with rumpot, a German method of preserving seasonal fruits in a mix of sugar and rum, which also seems to have a following here in Canada.
As fruits are at their seasonal best, you add 2 parts fruit to one part sugar. Let the sugar and fruit sit for 30 minutes then pour into the rumpot. Each time fruit is added, top the rumpot mixture with enough rum to cover the fruit by 1/2 inch (or so). I anticipate using a total of 10 cups fruit, 5 cups sugar and about 1 liter of amber rum. Sounds potent, eh?
The mix is continually added to throughout the summer month’s and is then allowed to sit throughout the fall. At Christmas, the crock is opened and the perfectly preserved contents drizzled over cakes, ice cream or used in trifles. The liquid can even be strained as served as a fruity liquor.
I had searched for a nice sturdy ceramic crock in Vancouver but didn’t find anything. One of our port stops was in a charming resort town named Warnemunde, Germany. I figured it was a long shot to find an appropriate “rumpot” but decided to give it a try. We visited many shops throughout town and didn’t have any luck.
Before boarding the ship, we went into a large souvenir shop located at the port. Surprisingly, one of the first items I found were jars of prepared rumtopf. With a little more searching, I found a table in the corner containing beautiful brown crocks of all different sizes. I opted for the 3 liter crock and tried not to think about having to lug it home.
I’ve since started my rumpot using this recipe as a starting point. So far, I’ve added peaches and cherries (and plenty of amber rum). Here is the current view inside the pot:
I’ll add raspberries, blackberries and pears in the weeks ahead. In a few months, I’ll crack it open and reveal the contents. I’m curious if anyone has made a rumpot before? If you’d like to join in, it’s not too late. It would be interesting to see what fruits others would choose and how you’d use it when fully preserved.
Aside from the crock, we bought a cushion cover in Finland and a ceramic vase in Estonia. The crock however is my largest and heaviest souvenir purchase to date. Once the rumpot is done, I look forward to using it in the spring to make pickles!
- Adding juice from 1/2 lemon; the citric acid should assist in preventing spoilage and may help retain fruit color
- Using glass plate inside the crock to weight down the fruit so that it’s fully covered by the rum and not exposed to the air
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