Last week saw the arrival of the second Saaremaa Food Festival.
Restaurant Week was part of the festival. Most of the cafes and restaurants created special menus for this week with fixed prices. Two course lunches for 10€ and three course dinners for 15€. My intention was to try five different restaurants, but I had to go with four.

Mosaiik Cafe lunch offer on the left, BBQ beef fillet. Saaremaa Veski pan bread with pork and cabbage on the right. Veski dessert was a classical floating islands.

Retro Cafe kama dessert.
Retro lunch menu also included pork chop with roast potatoes and coleslaw. The pork chop was thick, big chunk. The sauce and coleslaw were awesome.

La Perla dinner menu: three aubergine bruschetti, whole baby trout a la Meuniere, panna cotta with spiced plums

I'm not a fan of aubergines, it was ok I guess, the tomato salad on top was tasty. Trout was flaky and moist with a superb crispy skin. I ate all of that trout skin! Usually I wouldn't eat fish with tomatoes but this tomato salad was very citrusy, making it an ideal companion. The panna cotta wasn't too photogenic but it was seriously tasty with the right amount of melt-in-your-mouth softness. They should add it to their regular menu. Mmm.

I also wanted to try out Chameleon as I've never eaten there but they insisted that I either have to book days in advance or buy a load of booze. Their dining room was practically empty. I opted for the third variant - big fat PASS! Won't be going back.

Another exciting event, and probably my favourite of the week, was the day of pop-up apple cafes.

Three chefs with a food truck. Same as last year. Simple three item menu:
pulled pork bun, chickpea coconut ramen, apple crumble with ice cream.

Sisters Luule and Lea set their cafe near the post office. Every local knows that these sisters can bake! The trail with little apples was so sweet.

Ristorante La Perla had an extensive menu with apple themed cocktails. I tried their tiramisu.

Suur õun.

Altogether there were ten cafes. I did not photograph them all.
Though the idea is that these cafes should be homey little pop-up cafes in peoples' gardens, a third or more of the cafes have professional chefs or caterers. It's good to have some professionals in the mix but I hope it will not start to dominate. That would kill the fun factor.

Looking forward to next year's event already!

Summer was really full of sunshine, since the second week of July we basically had no rain for two months. Wells got dry, grass went brown. I spent my days outside. Without a computer. Here are some of the good eats of these months.

 Smoked chicken and mozzarella pizza; poached duck egg, asparagus and toast.

 Another duck egg; asparagus and halloumi skewers on the grill.

 Glazing lamb ribs as they sit on the grill.

As the fat started dripping, coals took flame and it became nice and smoky.

These three tortes below are all from the cake sale that took place in the end of June at the regional training centre. All the cakes, biscuits and tortes on sale were made by the confectionery students for their graduation exam and were put up for sale later.

Strawberry-rhubarb-mokka on the left, pistachio and orange on the right. The pistachio cake does not look as showstopping as the other two but the taste was addictive!

Cream cheese mousse and fresh berries.
The cake sale was fun. Again next year!

First blueberries from our garden; black raspberry that I planted one year ago is thriving.

Summer might decide not to arrive on this island this year but I refuse to be put off.
I have been making ice cream. If I have to eat it in the rain with 15C degrees out there, then so be it!

300g strawberries
100g sugar
2 tbsp Framboise

For custard
400ml whole milk
200ml double cream
pinch of salt
1 vanilla pod
4 egg yolks
120g sugar

Slice strawberries into a bowl and sprinkle with sugar and liqueur. Leave to infuse for a few hours.

For the custard, pour milk and cream into a saucepan, add salt and vanilla and cook over a low heat. Whisk egg yolks with sugar.
When milk is about to start to boil, lift from the heat and trickle some milk over the egg yolks. Keep whisking and adding the milk. Heat the mixture over a waterbath until it starts to thicken, whisking all the time. When it coats the back of a spoon, lift off the heat, cover and let cool.

Mash the strawberries using a fork. It's okay to leave some chunks in there.
Pour the custard into an ice cream machine and chill until just about ready, then mix with the strawberries.
If you don't have a machine, then just skip this step, it will be fine.
Fill popsicle moulds with streaky ice cream.
Pop in the wooden sticks and chill in the freezer.