The PX in Paul-Revere-Village in Karlsruhe closed in 1995. After a few years of being closed, there were various attempts to integrate a store in the space. The third try, by my count, resulted in ‘Maxikauf’, an Edeka spin-off run by a man who owns 2 more stores, another one in Karlsruhe, yet another on the outskirts. The stores have much of the standard Edeka selection, but have one thing in common otherwise.
They cater to a Russian population that lives in Karlsruhe and environs. Ironically, what used to be the American community in Karlsruhe has been densely populated by Russians, many of them of German descent who were welcomed back under Helmut Kohl.
I like going to this store from time to time. It has the largest smoked fish selection in Karlsruhe as well as about 20 fixture feet of vodka. In the summer they have the largest and least expensive watermelons, tomatoes and dill. Not to forget cucumbers, salt pickles and other Russian favorites. In the wintertime cabbage is king.
But today I went there thinking I would buy some fresh mushrooms to make a creamy Knödel with creamed mushrooms for Ms. B, when I got side-tracked by a wonderful deal: They had young artichokes for 49 cents a piece, a price unheard of in these parts, even at the market.
Having said before that artichokes must be my favorite
vegetable food bar none, I scarfed up five of ’em for a salad.
To make the salad I prepared some artchokes by cutting off the top two thirds of the leaves, taking off everything leafy at the bottom and using a hollowing device to scoop out the hay. After this I dropped them in lemony water.
Then I pared down the stalk to about an inch and peeled it. In the end I quartered the pared artichokes and put them in salted lemon water.
I cooked them for 20 minutes and threw them into cold water to stop them from cooking (and discoloring).
There were a few vine tomatoes from foreign lands I chopped and added to the salad bowl. A pinch of salt and pepper, juice from half a lemon along with a tablespoon of vinegar and three tablespoons of olive oil.
The artichokes were fried in olive oil, a finely chopped shallot and a clove of garlic, also finely chopped.
Then I added them to the tomatoes. Parsley is a must in my book for a salad like this, and the unchopped leaves look particularly good, I think.
The store had some pretty incredible deals on semi-processed seafood, and so I walked out with a good pound of breaded
octopus rings. The instructions said to deep-fry them, I baked them for 25 minutes instead.
Together, this was a welcome breather from the winter fare that gives me the food blues sometimes.