Tag Archives: holidays

Summertime!

21 Jun

It’s the summer solstice, and despite my best efforts the day has been swamped, and I have no ritual or celebration prepared. It has been like this for almost every major witchy holidays for years, and I have complained about it more than once.

Today we met with a friend and her daughter after work. Burgers turned to ice cream, cats and dirty talk in different dialects – a hilarious topic. Then I remembered I would have to rush home, give input on the blurb for the hilarious tentacle book and continue with edits. Plus you guys are still waiting for, but only about twelve pages away from, “School of Fire” (which might end up being called “School of Flames” after all). No rest for the wicked, eh?

Anyway, I decided to do a bit of everything. There’s a bottle of pear cider in the fridge, I blew up a bed on the balcony for later and promised myself I’d switch off the computer at ten p.m. sharp. Outside the birds are chirping a lullaby, the neighbors have turned on the decorative fountain on their terrace, it’s agreeably warm outside and the sun is sinking below the horizon. The cats are doing the only proper thing to do on a day like this – chilling nearby and waiting for pettings. Later I will lie outside, call Richard (who’s still working in another city four to five days per week) and watch the sky turn dark as I count my blessings.

Merry midsummer everyone!

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We went on an adventure – to Iceland

1 May

We don’t travel nearly as much as I would like, but in April we had the opportunity to visit an old friend who recently moved to Iceland to be a professional pony hugger, and of course we jumped at the opportunity! I managed to pick a still ridiculously large group of pictures out of the more than 1.5K photos we brought back home (for most of which I blame Richard, of course) to share with you. Sounds great? I thought so!

Well, we were gone for a week.

Which Ronja did not like, but we could not bring her. Another friend took care of the cats in exchange for some homemade lemon curd and the opportunity to use our PS4. So we set out early on Monday, having packed everything and the duck, for departure from Frankfurt. It’s a really big and really busy airport. As a contrast you see a view from the FlyBus, which brought us from the airport in Keflavik to Reykjavik. From there we travelled by bus to Hveragerdi, where our friends were waiting for us with a meal and a bed. Both much appreciated!

The next days were spent driving around and trying to take in as much of the country as possible in this short amount of time.

On the first day we miscalculated our schedule and so only were able to see two out of three attractions of the “Golden Circle” tour, namely Thingvellir (where they used to gather to discuss problems and present new laws in the old days), which is a huge national park these days, and Geysir – the name speaks for itself. This was the only day we had a significant amount of rain, so we were very lucky!

Wednesday was spent driving several hundred kilometers to take in the landscape and see two major attractions – the first one being the black beach at Vik. If you ever get the chance, I highly recommend going there. Just don’t step too close to the water, the waves are sneaky and pull in several tourists each year. This was one amazing place, and I would have been happy to just stay there for the rest of our trip. Bundled up with a mug of coffee, of course.

The second “big thing” on this trip was the glacier lagoon, complete with seals. It was amazing, and far more so than you can see in the photos.

Thursday was a slow day. We took a walk around Hveragerdi. The hot water from the ground is used for heating, to generate electricity – and it’s the actual hot water coming from the tab at home. Oh, and we just had to buy “möffins”.

And in the afternoon said friend took us on a ride. I hadn’t been on a horse since I was eleven or so, and Richard since the age of five (I guess that doesn’t even count as riding), but we enjoyed ourselves a lot.

On Friday night we were supposed to return to Reykjavik. Before that, though, we followed some advice and hiked up a mountain. The view was amazing! And we were rewarded for our troubles …

… by taking a bath in a hot river! This seems to be a gathering place for hikers and tourists, and it was amazing! Snow on the mountains around you, the air smelling of sulphur, and pale bodies immersed in water that is, depending on where you enter, either almost too hot or just right. We took our time before hiking back down, and then in the evening took the bus back to Reykjavik.

We ended up in a funny little hostel not too far from town with stairs so narrow we had to unpack Richard’s luggage and get everything up to our room separately. It was maybe not too luxurious, but it surely did the trick, as it was warm and kind of quiet (except for the Asian guys partying downstairs).IMG_3323

Taking a break in our room.

The main reason for going to Reykjavik was Richard’s wish to go whale-watching. Which we did, although the sea was declared to be rough. And indeed, as soon as we left the harbor, you could constantly hear someone puking. I was feeling not too well myself, either, but once we were outside I felt better. And we were rewarded by seeing several dolphins and minke whales as well as puffins. Richard also saw a humpback whale, while I spotted only its blow.

Reykjavik is rather small, so you can see everything by walking around half a day. You can also eat amazing hotdogs. We did not visit the phallological museum, which I found kind of sad. And then we retreated for the night, as we had to get up extremely early to catch our FlyBus back to the airport at four thirty in the morning. Of course we started planning our next adventures before we were even back in Germany. ^^

Holiday plans

21 Apr

Yesterda marked the beginning of our two-week holiday. We don’t have any big plans – meet a few friends, watch a movie, go hiking – but I made one decision: I won’t wear any outfit suitable for the office! Yesterday I took the car to the repair shop and myself to the dentist, wearing pink shorts and a T-shirt with a Heavy Metal print. Today’s dress has a neckline that almost reveals my belly button (since there is no reasonable amount of boob to obscure the view). I totally need more hippie skirts and inappropriate tank tops. And I promise, the bikini will be reserved for the balcony – at least until the open air swimming season starts!

Heidi and the fat guy with the beard

25 Dec

Heidi und der Fette

I hope you are having wonderful holidays! Only there’s been a glitch concerning the presents… Heidi got to Santa first! Sorry for that!

More (improvised) gifts

19 Dec

Good morning! And sorry, sorry, sorry… I know you are biting your nails (hopefully not, there’s cookies!) waiting for more of the homemade gift posts I promised. But the knife of my food processor disintegrated, spraying almond milk all over the kitchen, and the new blades won’t be delivered until January, I fear. But this morning, between decorating, making breakfast and trying to find a kitchen under the dirty dishes and stuff, I improvised.

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Fortunately those last few gifts can be made on the spot, and for what I am bringing you today you don’t even need any equipment except for an electric coffee grinder (unless you have a food processor with grinding equipment with blades that have not disintegrated on you).

Remember that orange peel I told you to put aside to dry? Throw it in the coffee grinder and add sugar. Pulse. Smell. Smile. You have your very own orange sugar. If you want, you can add some (dry!!!) food coloring pigments to give it a nice sunny color, but I was in a hurry this morning and didn’t get around to that, plus the food coloring is buried somewhere…

The picture is not too impressive, I guess, but the jar on the left contains orange sugar, and the one on the right vanilla sugar, which was made the same way, except with half a vanilla bean (I used one I had previously cooked with, dried very will – they still contain a pretty amount of taste. And it really gets on my nervfe that I didn’t put the orange sugar in the jar with the yellow lid. I’ll have to change that tonight. I can’t work like this!

You’ll have to wait a little longer for the last few recipes I promised you, for tonight I’ll be whipping up a storm in the kitchen. My favorite guy in the world is growing – no, not older, but better!!! We have planned a three-course meal and later cocktails with a few of his friends, and I got up an hour early to decorate…

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Anyway, what have we got so far?

Last thing on my list is roasted nuts drenched in honey, which looks pretty, is healthy and made in under half an hour. Not just great for the holidays!

More on early gift-making – Spiced coffee!

24 Nov

Finally. I have heard all of you holding your breath.

Although this is a gift that is made in seconds and ready to be given away, I highly encourage you to make your first batch now to experiment with your spice mix of choice. There are several options: Vanilla coffee, Oriental coffee or the Full Metal Winter Mix with all three spices.

Of course I made the last option, but the process is always similar.

I used:

  • 100g coffee beans
  • 1/2 vanilla bean
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon cardamom

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  1. Cut the vanilla bean in four to five equal pieces.
  2. Grind part of the coffee beans with a piece of vanilla bean. Proceed until all coffee and vanilla have been used. Collect in a bowl.
  3. Add spices and stir.

IMG_0450Pre-stirring. ^^

The ground coffee is best kept in a tightly closed jar in the fridge and not stored too long, for ground coffee will indeed go rancid. I have a collection of jars telling an interesting story about my addiction to peanut butter, which I use for this.

IMG_0451See? 100g coffee beans makes about 12-18 cups of coffee, depending on how strong you want your black magic.

Tips and tricks:

  • If I was making a vanilla-only mixture, I would probably use one whole vanilla bean.
  • Keep in mind how the person you are making this for likes his or her coffee. For French-press lovers, the grounds should be not too fine. For those who make their coffee Oriental style, in a small pot on the stove, fine grounds are best.
  • I prefer storing coffee in glass jars, but you could also try to find pretty bags. And don’t use metal containers, they change the taste!!!

Oh, by the way… while you are at it, here is one preparation for the next kitchen witch gift:

IMG_0446Take one of your organic oranges and slice off as much of the orange part of the peel as possible. Set aside to dry. We’ll use this in a few days to make orange (and maybe lavender) scented sugar.

Extract and oil pictures

14 Nov

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Very exciting, right? But a promise is a promise.