Thursday, June 26, 2008

So very late

I apologize for being such a blog delinquent. I've been doing final exams and papers for my study abroad program...but now I am done! Only with the program classes though, I still have two university courses. Regardless, I will have a lot more free time now, and therefore will go on lots of walks with my camera. I hope to do a series of "My Favorite Places in Freiburg" posts before I leave.

First, though, here is Travel Photo Wednesday.

In Meissen, Germany at Meissen Porcelain. We got to see several demonstrations of different steps of the process, which was far more involved than I imagined and explained why everything was so expensive. So much for bringing home a souvenir...but I was really impressed by the work and talent that went into each piece. There were even flowers that were made by hand, and you could see the fingerprints on each petal, shaped by hand, one-by-one.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Not generally a huge sandwich fan...

...But I devised a wonderfully delicious sandwich the other day. Unfortunately I didn't get to take pictures before it was entirely devoured.

Sandwich components:
1. Toasted wheat bread
(I used my fresh, homemade rosemary seven-grain peasant bread. It doesn't get any better than that, but something else just might also work.)
2. Whipped cream cheese
3. Spinach & Arugula
4. Parsley (I used flat leaf -- perfect texture)

Try it. Then thank me.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

John Lennon

Prague, March 2008

This wall has a constantly changing coat of graffiti, mostly John Lennon themed, lots of Beatles lyrics. That yellow paint in the lower left corner is part of the "F" in Free Tibet and was also, as a fellow traveler discovered, very fresh. I think she might still be carrying a little piece of Prague on her purse.

Rocks and trees

Sächsische Schweitz (Saxon Switzerland), near Dresden, Germany
October, 2006
Taken during a 19km hike ending in the Czech Republic, in the region known as Bohemian Switzerland.

Monday, June 16, 2008

an unfortunate accident

Tonight I put my camera in my back pocket when I went into the kitchen to watch the Germany v. Austria soccer game with my roommates. They hung up a sheet and projected the game over the sink, and we put out all kinds of tasty snacks (the Americans provided chips and dip, the Germans provided baguettes and marmelade).

Unfortunately, I didn´t take a picture before my camera slid out of my back pocket and into the toilet. Right now it won´t turn on, but it is drying on my windowsill and I am hopeful. I will report on its condition, but don´t expect any pictures for a while. Perhaps I´ll steal pictures from friends I´ve traveled with so that I can still post a Travel Photo Wednesday pic.

edit, wednesday: just tried it again and it works! celebratory photo of my breakfast:

Friday, June 13, 2008

dresses, plants, rain

I haven't posted anything real in awhile.
That's mostly because I have been filling out job applications like it's my, um, job.
Unfortunately, it's not. I don't have one. But I will!

And in the mean time, I'm going to
1. sew a jacket
2. read Jane Austen
3. swim
4. update this blog. seriously.

here's a quick tour of this past week:

The cutest thing in the garden right now is our circle of friends of green beans:

They've survived the recent downpours like champions.

And what garden would be complete without a terrifying plastic owl?

It won't surprise anyone to know that I've been cooking...

& my parent's CSA box has been keeping things interesting. We made a sweet salad from these pea vines:

Oh! And I totally forgot to post the (basically) completed gingham dress!
It's been sitting on my dressform, almost complete, for well over a week now.
The button tabs are still only pinned on. I just haven't gotten around to it...
But you get the picture. It's pretty sweet.

Until next time!

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Late, late, late

We can't all be on time for Travel Photo Wednesdays.
But better late than never, right?

This is a photo from a cafe in Amsterdam. They had a couple of sculptures... Really added to the atmosphere of the place. It was taken in late March, 2008.
We had come in from the cold, and after drinking our coffees, poured smuggled-in wine into our empty cups. Excellent idea.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Travel Photo Wednesday

Colmar, France
I was there on a day trip with my study abroad program, it's a really cute town and not far from Freiburg. We went to a wine tasting and wandered around peering in bakery windows, then bought a bunch of bread and cheese to go with the wine we bought. Exactly how I had pictured a day trip to France.
March, 2008

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Bits and pieces

I'd hate for my next Travel Photo Wednesday post to be my last post since, um, last Wednesday (ok, Thursday). But finals are looming, and I have limited time. So instead of something coherent and unified, here are some snapshots of my life in the past week:

I was walking home one day, and there was a carnival being built in the park near my apartment! Exciting. I didn't go on any rides, but I did have a beer with my roommates in the beer tent. Oh, and I bought a paper cone full of delicious french fries for 50 (Euro) cents.

Saturday was one of my roommate's birthdays and he wanted a Christmas party. I baked cookies (chocolate mint and peanut butter with chocolate on top) and we hung up paper snowflakes, listened to the Sufjan Stevens Christmas albums, and made Kahlua milkshakes.

I gave myself a haircut! The bangs were easy, but the back was tough. I wish it were shorter, but that will have to wait until I once again have a live-in hairdresser (um, mom).

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Wednesday, only a bit belated

At the Naschmarkt in Vienna, where I went in March to visit a friend for a week. Every Saturday there is a huge flea market in addition to the huge food market. The buttons continue a considerable distance to the back and the left...all I could do was stare, a little shaky and weak at the knees. The embroidered ribbon/trim/lace stand produced a similar reaction

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Wednesday Again!

Czestochowa, Poland
A popular Catholic pilgrimage site, the location of the Black Madonna, and a fun idol-filled day trip from Krakow.
November, 2006

Tuesday, June 3, 2008


The Germans go pretty crazy over white asparagus when it is in season.

Yes, it is beautiful and delicious, and in season for only a short period, but here asparagus season is like a holiday. Asparagus isn't a side dish, it is the main event. Whole meals are planned around it. In the bookstores there are tables full of cookbooks devoted exclusively to asparagus recipes, sauces, and sides. Grocery stores have displays with hollandaise sauce mixes, common side dishes, recommended wines, and special spice blends. I even saw a bag of potatoes specially labeled "Asparagus Potatoes" because they were the perfect kind to serve with asparagus. Department stores and cookware stores have tables of asparagus serving platters, tongs, steamers, and other asparagus-specific equipment. In one grocery store, along with a loudspeaker announcement about the weekly specials there was a little jingle about "Unsere schöne Spargelzeit".

What I'm saying is, they take it pretty seriously.

Some friends and I decided to get together and cook a bunch of white asparagus with traditional accompaniments. One friend had previously stayed with a family in Offenburg and got recipes and asparagus-cooking-tips from his host mother. We decided on steamed white asparagus (steaming water seasoned with a little each of salt, sugar and vinegar) wrapped in crepes with hollandaise sauce, and a side of small boiled potatoes tossed with salt, pepper and lemon.

Separating eggs for the hollandaise sauce - my first time making it from scratch. Absolutely worth it.

A very tempting stack of crepes - we had a hard time keeping our hands off of these while getting everything else ready.

An assembled asparagus bundle - heavenly. I had never eaten white asparagus before, and it turns out it is very different from green asparagus. Delicate and almost buttery, and the tips practically melt in your mouth.

The spread - white wine, hollandaise sauce, potatoes, and the asparagus and crepes both covered to stay warm. We had to cook the asparagus in two batches, because we bought a lot. As it turns out, we overestimated our stomach capacity a little bit, and had leftovers. The leftover crepes were filled with strawberries for dessert, after a little break to let our stomachs catch up.

And two days later we pureed the leftover asparagus and potatoes into a creamy, delicious soup.

I initially found all of the fuss about asparagus season kind of funny, but now I am totally on board. Schöne Spargelzeit, indeed.