Book: Die gelben Augen der Krokodile

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Die gelben Augen der Krokodile by Katherine Pancol. I read this book in German, I could not find an English version. The original is French (Les Yeux Jaunes des Crocodiles).

I really enjoyed reading this book! And when I turned the last page I was sorry to say good-bye to the characters I got to know over the course of 600 pages. The sequel (Der langsame Walzer der Schildkröten) is now out in German in hardcover, but I decided to wait until it is available in paperback and I am definitely looking forward to meet again with Josephine and her family.

At the centre of the book is  Josephine, mother of two, an expert in 12th century history, working at the university. Her knowledge and skills are dismayed and undervalued by her family and surrounding, not only because she does not believe in herself. The book accompanies her on her path of gaining strength and blossoming into a successful writer. The characters are vivid and (mostly) believable. And the story has a feel-good element which makes it a pleasant read.

If you like stories about women who’s strength and talent are unrecognized by themselves and others and who grow as a result of circumstances and prevail at the end, then you might like this book!

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UFO: aligator scarf

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I am still in the process of cleaning out my office which also houses a big basket containing my yarn stash. I opened this basket after a very long time and – Oh – I found so beautiful yarn! Beautiful wools, and silks and cottons! Even a very nice colorful Japanese yarn, enough for a pullover or jacket…… I really should do more knitting again!

In this basked was also a lovely U(n)F(inished)O(bject) which I wanted to share with you. It slept in here for over four years! It is an alligator scarf, pattern and wool from Morehouse Farms.

Why did I stop? When I received the knitting kit initially, I was quite disappointed about the wool. The wool is rather stiff and rough and I didn’t find it suitable for my son, then just a year old. Nevertheless, I knitted everything except the tail, and then somehow stopped. I wanted to make good use of the yarn and was shy of starting the tail too soon or too late (I know, stupid).

What is still to do? Knitting the tail. I am wondering whether I should cover the left side with a soft (yellow-green striped?) jersey?

Will I finish it? I picked up the needles again and started on the tail. My son is now five and thought the scarf is cool. Well, if THAT is a not motivation right here. So, the answer is Yes!

Update: I finished it! And our big boy is wearing it. Just didn’t get around to take a picture yet, I ended up not adding a lining to the scarf. The reason for that is a) stoff.de didn’t deliver and b) we are wearing it as it is all right.

Veggie day: chard quiche

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Did you hear about Donnerstag-Veggietag (similar to Meatless-Monday)? In short, we eat to much meat. This is bad for the animals, bad for the environment and bad for us. To bring more awareness to our meat consumption and especially to tasty alternatives, the movement Donnerstag-Veggietag suggests to eat no meat for one day every week. Many public places like cafeterias in universities or companies have already adopted the  Donnerstag-Veggietag. But here is the problem: I feel that Germany is a desert when it comes to vegetarian dishes! A common vegetarian dish in cafeterias is Apfelstrudel with vanilla sauce, or Kaesspaetzle (our Schwabian version of Mac&Cheese). Are you kidding me? This are not proper meals! And to just put in soy pretending to be meat is no solution either. I am not even starting on restaurants!

So, what we need is not just the awareness of the fact that we eat too much meat, but we need good and tasty vegetarian options! I want to do my contribution and post here tasty meatless dishes once in a while, following the example of  siebenhundertsachen.

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Chard Quiche

Shortcrust: To make the shortcrust, I use a simple 3-2-1 recepie. Combine 300g flour, 200g butter, 1 large egg and a pinsh of salt and a pinsh of sugar, and mix it (not too much) into a smooth dough. Roll out a thin layer and line a cake form. This is plenty for a cake form of 25cm diameter.

Filling: Saute one leek and ca 500-600g chard, both cut into small pieces, in some olive oil until tender. Put aside and let cool down. Combine 3 eggs, ca. 150g sour cream, and 150-200g grated cheese. You can use any left over cheese you have. Last time I used feta made of sheep’s milk, which was quite tasty. Depending on the type of cheese you use, you can add some freshly grounded pepper, sweet paprika powder and/or nutmeg. The cheese usually adds enough salt.  Whisk everything together, combine with sauteed leek/chard and fill into crust. Sprinkle ca. 100g graded cheese on top and bake at 180 degrees in the middle of the oven until golden brown and properly cooked through.

Serve it with a mixed salad. Guten Appetit!

Paper Basket

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I quickly needed a small basket to give some Russian sweets and liquor to a colleague. The only things I had were some discarded printouts and a stapler. I got this idea from a blog post, but unfortunately, I can’t find it anymore…

For this basket I folded 24 sheets of DINA4 paper lengthwise three times and stapled them together pairwise at the small end, so that I had 12 long paper bands. Then I laid down four parallel and wove through them four perpendicular. I bent the ends upwards and wove four more bands around. The ends on top I secured with staples and cut off the access ends.