Thursday, September 18, 2014

Dear Scotland,

I´d have wished you independence.

Two years ago, I found the idea of an independent scotland ridiculous, outrageous and unbelievable, but then we had an awesome scotsman in our home who totally convinced me otherwise.

I was anxious for the results, and excited to see how an independent Scotland would change Europe. A peaceful separation of a two countries I grew up taking as a granted union felt refreshing, and I - as everybody else, I guess - imagined the watershed-effect for countries in a similar situation - Catalunya, Belgium, Wales - would we become a different Europe? 
I wished all the best for the Yes-side, because I liked the dedicated, but overall constructive way of the debate, and I stayed up late and got up early to see the results. 

Well, maybe a Union with Britain is not so bad after all.

Here´s some consoling music:

5 minute hat from an old sweater

Ronja had this blue, knitted sweater that she´d long outgrown but still regularly wore, despite the arms being to short, so I snitched it from her.

I didn´t want to throw it away, though, because I could see why she loved it - it had some nice, elaborated knitting patterns.

So I made a hat from it:


I simply cut out a shape roughly resembling a hat and sew it together. 


So now it´s Evas cozy winter hat :)  

Music: 

Monday, September 15, 2014

Fig tarts

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These are super easy and yummy and fast to make.

You need
  • Ready made dough, a kind you like
  • Figs, obviously - one for each serving
  • Goat cheese
  • Bacon
  • Honey to drizzle over them
All you need to do is spread the dough in your dishes, put cheese in it, cut the figs into quarters and nicely arrange them on top of the cheese, add the bacon (or leave it, to make it veggie), and put them in the oven for 15 minutes.

When they come out, you sprinkle them with honey.

Enjoy :)

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Something new.

Friday morning, I volunteered in an old peoples home.

I´m the local story teling lady, but usually, I read for kids, teens, and, sometimes, adults. I´ve never read for people with dementia.

A friend of mine works in an old peoples home, so she asked me whether I´d like to read to her folks, and sure, why not? When I´m old, and my eyes are to weak to read by myself, I sure want someone to come and read me my Stephen King. But at first, I wanted to get to know them, so I could choose the literature appropriate - what would they like to hear, what would be interesting, but not too challenging, how long is their attention span, those were questions I wanted to explore first. So my friend suggested I come first to volunteer, to get to know my audience, which I then did :)

My audience is in severe need of some upcheering. We made plum cake together, and most of them are really, really far gone and need a lot of assistance, or very, very depressed, or both. Unlike a school, an old peoples home is, despite all the efforts of the great staff, still a depressing place, let´s not pretend otherwise.

So I´m coming back, next month, to start telling some good old german fairy tales. Stuff they know from their childhood. And I won´t be just reading. We´re making a show out of it, bringing requisites to touch and taste, and we´re going for a very interactive reading, and I´m excited for that.

Then, Friday afternoon, Miro won the fourth price in a baking contest.

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His cake looked like the earth, and he made it all by himself, decorating and and baking and all - he even burned himself in the process. His price was a 20 Euro voucher for the local restaurant, and he is very, very proud.

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I made a cake, too - I was reading that day anyway, so I decided to bake the book I would be reading.

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Our local library held the baking contest, and I was reading there, anyway,and I love love love playing with fondant and marzipan. I also loved to take this baking contest as an excuse to finally get myself these food-coloring sharpies I´d always wanted to try :)

See? I told you I wanted to celebrate my housewifey-ness. Is that a word? 

Saturday morning, we went off to a horse racing track.

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Again, something I´ve never done before, and something that never really was on my radar - neither am I much of a horse lover, nor a sports fan. I do like trying new things, though, so when Tim suggested it, I was excited - what an awesome, creative idea for a weekend outing!

We rode all the way by bike - 34 kilometres all together. I had expected to see a lot more crazy hats, but they were non - not on heads, though you could buy some. 
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Tim even placed some bets - for the exorbitant sum of one Euro for each child - and Mehmet won 60 cents to reinvest in sweets. He also got a horseshoe, which he´s keeping for the day he´ll open his farm. 

And then, Saturday, night, I served some wine.
South African Chardonay and Shiraz.

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Actually, I never, ever drink any alcohol at all, but my best friend had decided to throw a house concert with a wine tasting, and I loved helping her out. I walked through the room and chatted with everybody and refilled their glasses, while telling them about cinnamon and honey like flavour - though I acknowledged that I didn´t taste the stuff myself - but I had thoroughly read the description :)

The house concert itself was sweet, as well - a group of five ladies singing really great accappella.

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Their humor wasn´t for me, but I loved the idea of hosting a house concert, and I´m pondering about how to organize that.

So that was my very busy weekend with lots of firsts, and lots of new experiences.

Now I deserve to sit on the sofa and treating myself with some warm, lovely, very September-like potato-pumpkin soup.
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Music:


The girls from my friend´s living room :)

Friday, September 12, 2014

My gorgeous

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Eva and her best friend recently did a photoshoot, and I´m loving the results!

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Eva found an advertisment on the door of a public toilet - seriously. Exchange your toilet coupon for a free photoshooting - one photo for free, the rest you have to buy. And of course she was eager to do it, and I agreed, because the photographer seemed nice and I liked her unusual approach on gaining new customers. I also liked that Eva decided to do it together with her best friend - I still have pictures of those two with matching permanent marker smears on their 3 year old faces. And I loved how they did each others make up - again and again - and picked clothes and giggled. Very sweet :)

Music:


Since this is an Eva-post - let´s go with this one :)

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Dehydrating food.

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I´ve been pondering about this ever since I began my juice/jam experiments. You can dehydrate fruits by putting them into the oven, at low temperature, and I did try that. The downsides are a) you need to turn the food over, so it dries from both sides evenly, and I never liked having my oven running for several hours - what a waste of energy.

If you live in a nice and warm and sunny area, you can apparently dehydrate food in your car. I´ve read several instructions on that. Only, neither do we have much sun, nor a car, and somehow, I feel strange putting trays with apples and bananas into a rental car. We might transport our chicken coop in it, but using it as a dehydrateer would be a bit over the top, wouldn´t it?

So I found this nice dehydrater in a Croatian supermarket, for a fracture of the price you´d pay in Germany, and happily took it home.

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It consists of several plastic trays which you load with fruit...

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...and then you plug the baby in and see what happens.

The results: 
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The strawberries are nice and crisp, and they taste like they would be awesome in a muesli - if they´d last that long. 

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My favourites were the figs, because they are crispy and remind me of croatia :)

And the bananas are sweet and delicious, a lot sweeter than fresh ones, and I love them!

As for the energy loss - I can´t really tell, but at least you can dry a far larger amount on much less space with this baby, and that must count for something. 

Music:



The first time I heard Taylors new single, I wasn´t too enthusiastic.  Then I found myself humming it, against my will, and Eva loves her Talor, anyway. And then this cute Tyler Ward cover popped up on my youtube feed last week, and I was pretty much sold :)


Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Beeswax Lipbalm, homemade.

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Looks pretty awesome for homemade, doesn´t it?

The recipe is super simple.

You need 30 % beeswax (which you can buy in pellets or, if you´ve got honeybees, harvest from your own tribes :)), and
70 % oil. I took olive oil, because I had it and it was suggested in the recipe, but I also made another version with linseed oil, and I imagine the almond oil we used for our handbalm to work even better.

You melt it both until you´ve got a homogeneus, golden liquid, and then pour it into the sticks.
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I got them on amazon and they are 15 cents, each. I also still had the little crucibles left, I think their intended use is to store nail glitter in them, but I always thought I could find some sensible use for them. So, when I still had some of the oil-beeswax mixture left, I poured it into those.

As for the pouring, I still need to look for a method not to make such a mess, but over all, it worked just fine - you can wipe the excess off with a paper towel.

And that´s basically it - the secret to super cool homemade beeswax lipbalm.

The labels are what gives them this extra touch, I think - I loved labelling them. I used picmonkey for it.

I gave most of them away, to friends, but Tim actually sold some at work, along with my homemade handbalm and that made me kind of proud :)

Music for the day:

This is a nice one :)