Thursday, 30 October 2008

Quick lunch


Today I was even busier, deadlines approaching, time to make a quick soup with the leftover pancake batter from Tuesday - classic Southern German and Austrian soup - and apparently in italy it's called zuppa di frittata!
Although there is nothing in it for me, I feel kind of pleased that we have a new woman agriculture minister in Germany who used to build helicopters in her former life.
By the way - thanks for all the feedback, it's nice not to write for a void. Which reminds me - whatever happened to my friend in Copenhagen?

Saturday, 25 October 2008

Happy Breakfast


Saturday morning, time for the mega breakfast. I wish I were one of those people who have a slice of mango and lemon tea for breakfast, but it just ain't gonna happen. It's bread, croissants, butter, jam, cheeses, philadelphia all the way.

Thursday, 23 October 2008

Simon's mirror

Once upon a time....

....there was a beautiful space in Camden Town, London, which was lovingly turned into a huge and hugely ambitious café by Danny, Debbie, Haitch, Dorothy and myself. It was called WKD and all our friends were involved in some way, either working there, helping, being there, dancing, drinking, eating, bringing more friends...
Here is Roz sipping one of our many house cocktails
For two years I more or less lived there, until I couldn't drink, work and stay up all night any more, and everything started going a little bit pear-shaped.
Here are Victoria and I with our beloved Brasilia coffee machine.
But while it lasted it was the best place in the world. We had bands on every weekend, among them the just about to happen Jamiroquay and the majestic Dionne Warwick - and even Chaka Khan (which involved Danny cashing in his life-long devotion to her). I also met the most wonderful people there, working with Mel from Camberwell, London, (now in Florida) below with Danny (the man who made it all happen) and Niki from the States,
Victoria from New Zealand, Simon, Kate and April from Australia, Shahina who was a yummy mummy in Brighton last time I saw her and Sue from West London, and a cast of thousands never forgotten.
Here Debbie and I are seeing off Simon who is going back to Oz.
There was also Sam, a Soul man of four cubic meters, the gentlest bouncer who ever lived who called me for help the few times something a bit heavy happened at the door.

And here is the mirror Simon gave me when he moved back to Australia, with the words "You will think of me every time you look in it". He was that kind of guy - everybody loved him.

And he was right. I do!

Sunday, 19 October 2008

Life goes on!


Today we - the family - went to a Kirta (a harvest festival near my Mum's), I took about a million pictures of the kids dancing, so sweet. I like this woman in a dirndl with a pierced nose, too.

And - last night I watched two films in a row on TV - I could not tear myself away, they were both brilliant and both heartwarming films - about women dying of cancer. Yes, that sounds weird, but they were feelgood films, without taking anything away from the horror and shock of being told you have to die. They were just showing how people deal with it in different ways.
The first one was a Bavarian film ("Marias letzte Reise - mit der fantastischen Monika Bleibtreu und anderen ausgezeichneten Schauspielern) which people outside Germany will never get to see - Bavaria and Austria make some excellent films! But probably not commercial enough to dub or subtitle. The second one, "My life without me" (Mein Leben ohne mich) was made by Isabelle Coixet, and I just loved it because she loved the characters. Poor people shown not as trailer trash, but as human beings. Great story, too. Debbie Harry plays the mother, amazing. Coixet made another very good film, "The secret life of words", again with Sarah Polley in the lead role, this time with icons Tim Robbins and Julie Christie.
I could go on for hours but won't. Just check these films out.

Friday, 17 October 2008

Dinner with the "girls"

My friend S. has become a grandmother. We were invited to celebrate the event, with lots of bubbly and also some food.
First, the quiche - delicious, topped with toasted pine nuts
then we all admired S.'s tights - very stylish on her check floor.

Finally, pudding: Rote Grütze with vanilla ice cream (if we were in England, this would have been custard)

We were all four of us aware that ten seemed an okay time to go home (work, headache, rainy night, eaten a lot). For a cheap laugh, I suggested we all go to Löwengarten (our local) now. Going out at 10 used to be when the evening started in our glorious youth - eating a Chef salad at Stop In at 2 a.m. no rare event. Now we just long to be in bed with a book (sometimes, on a rainy night).

Monday, 13 October 2008

The Good Life


Herrmannsdorf is a place of pilgrimage for all people who are into being green and eating good, "real" food. It is actually a lovely place, a big farm where you can watch the pigs play and then you can eat them. In the restaurant if you are a little bit well-heeled, or in the beer garden for the rest of us. Children love it there, and it is very down-home, and just a little trendy, very LOHAS. Still, it's very near to where my Mum lives, and we love it there, too. We eat...
...and Mum always goes on a little spending spree, buying natural soap and gorgeous pottery
A roll in the hay for little ones

Goaslschnoizn - a man with a whip climbs on your table and starts cracking the whip to music.
No one gets hurt.

Multi-kulti++


Eco chic
Add Image


Saturday, 11 October 2008

On the road again


Ammersee

Such marvellous autumn days. Got on my bike, sod the headache. M. and I cycled along two of the best Bavarian lakes, had an excellent lunch and lots of sunshine.
It is easy to be happy, but it is dead silly to think that money has nothing to do with it. It was nice to eat a meal sitting down by the lake (Schreyegg, Ammersee) instead of eating a hot dog.
Wörthsee
Oh and isn't this Kommissar Leitmayer, Tatort München, doing his day job at Sehaus Schreyegg?


Saturday, 4 October 2008

A day of baking and not doing much at all

Today, it rained. When I bought bread this morning, I saw Zwetschgendatschi in the shop, and I thought: "Hmm, I can make this at home for nothing!"
Zwetschgendatschi is made of yeasty pastry on a baking sheet. I prefer plum cake with shortcrust pastry, and I made small ones in the muffin tin. They look at bit messy, because I am not very patient. But they taste great.
Shortcrust pastry: knead together 100g cold butter, 150g flour, a spoonful of sour cream or crème fraiche, 3 large table spoons sugar. Form a roll, let it cool in the fridge for ten minutes or so. Then cut off discs and fit each in the muffin tin, put half a plum on each with some cinnamon and sugar. Bake till lightly brown.
And while I was at it, I also defrosted the freezer and found some frozen spinach, which I turned into a version of spanakopita, the Greek spinach and feta pies. I didn't have sesame seeds to make them perfect, but they turned out delicious.
Fry a little chopped onion, add chopped leaf spinach,warm it. Cut squares out of frozen puff pastry, fill with spinach and crumbled feta, mix in a fragrant herb such as marjoram, thyme or oregano. Make parcels, bake until light brown.
Eat.
Then, have tea and the cake.

Finally, a walk in the park.

Friday, 3 October 2008

A German Holiday


A lie-in without guilt is in order today, followed by a bracing walk in the park that calls for woolly hat and gloves. Afterwards, a simple meal of pumpkin, zucchini and a family-size pork chop from the depths of my Mum's freezer - just slice it, put it on a baking tray, smother in olive oil and numerous herbs and peppers and roast on a low heat for about 40 minutes. Butternut squash is my latest pumpkin favourite (or: PumpKing). When I was a child, no-one ever ate pumpkin - why? We at beans, and tomatoes, and spinach, and Wirsching (savoy cabbage) and Sauerkraut. No pumpkin. Mma Ramotswe of The No.1 Ladies' Detective Agency, for example, lives on pumpkin. A live without pumpkin would be unthinkable for her. But then, she lives in Botswana, not in Bavaria.

And afterwards: off to Oktoberfest: the highest caroussel in the world. Not. Shudder.

Wednesday, 1 October 2008

A stolen autumn day

Hip rosehip by the water of Kleinhesseloher See

Luisa on her bike in the English Garden

Autumn turned a bit golden today, and it is October 1st today, all this served as yet another excuse to neglect work. On a whim, I met up with my sister in the English Garden and we cycled for miles under trees and along the river Isar. Reader, I was happy!
For people who don't know Munich: the so-called English Garden is in reality a massive landscape garden that supplies parkland for about half the city and meanders along the river Isar until it just blends into the landscape. In a person, you would say it is under-selling itself.