These past few weeks have been of the magical Berlin sort. You know, the kind where you walk outside your front door and are sort of overwhelmed with the loveliness of Berlin. Or is it just me? In any case, I'm grateful for it, for all the trees losing their blossoms and carpeting the streets with white and pink clouds, for the good, fresh air, for the happy crowds spilling out from cafés and on the banks of the lake near my house, for getting to live here.
And I'm grateful that when I go to a green market as lovely and bustling as the one at Winterfeldtplatz (so buzzy and crowded compared to when I used to go there with my mother, thirty (!) years ago), gathering up rhubarb, scallions, asparagus, fresh butter and good bread galore, thereby working up a slightly ferocious appetite, that there is bowl of puckery potato salad and Maultaschen in a savory, homemade broth just waiting for me, right there in the market.
Barbara's Kaffeetafel sells all manners of cakes (and a seriously gorgeous, burnished poppyseed Hefezopf), but what seems to truly be the bulk of her market business, at least, are her homemade Maultaschen (Swabian ravioli, for lack of a better descriptor), filled with meat (traditionally) or a spinach-fresh cheese mix. You can buy the Maultaschen by the piece to take with you or you can order a few for lunch right then and there. They come floating in a light, tasty beef broth or are served next to vinegary, faintly oniony potato salad (I could eat just the potato salad and be happy, too - it's pretty stellar). They're very good - savory and filling, the pasta dough toothsome with just the right amount of chew. The stand also sells freshly prepared salads - sliced beets or cabbage slaw, for example. Barbara's Kaffeetafel also caters, makes wedding cakes, offers cooking classes at your house, even delivers homemade cakes to you, if desired.
We ate our lunch standing up at the table next to the stand, just like I used to eat my Würstchen on that very same market square as a little kid with a bowl cut and stripey pants, and I practically got the shivers with happiness at this whole full-circle business.