May 2020.

Beautiful May. The smell of roses. The red poppies. Those temperatures. That blue sky. Maiglöckchen or Lily of The Valley (what a pretty name) & red reddish (we had that one already… still eating them).

May is also the month of Birthday. Bank holiday(s). Mothers Day. Father’s Day. Long weekends… Plenty of reasons to get together to celebrate the happy moments.

Planning my birthday in corona times is not only difficult but rather a real challenge:

1. Challenge accepted! (at no #5 I almost gave up).

2. Find out about the current rules (they change constantly).

3. Try to understand them. It took me quite a while this time. I even had to ask friends & potential guests for help. WTF! Why so complicated?

4. Think about who you want to invite. And more importantly these days: which county do they come from? (if different ones, go back to 1. and repeat research).

5. Calculate how many people from which households are allowed. Who is considered family? New thoughts: Are we not all sisters & brothers?! (LOL).

6. Do I really want to celebrate my birthday?

7. Yes I do!

8. Ask the guests if they “are willing” to be in contact with other “households” (risk!).

9. It was a “first come, first serve” kind of thing. (Sorry for all the others… 2nd party?).

10. Not planned but happened: celebrating all weekend to be able to see everyone 🙂 (the last guests just left. I needed a little siesta… getting older, you know).

11. Social distancing can be beautiful.

I had a fantastic birthday (weekend)! Surrounded by lovely people: family & friends. Thanks for coming! You made my day & weekend! It was fantastic to see you all again! It’s been a while! And that’s all what matters!

A garden party. Not only because of social distancing. The weather was fabulous (well deserved I think)!

Enjoying brunch:

Romantic and yummy dinner with hubby in a restaurant (our first visit since corona re-opening). So much detail & beautiful work on this plate!

Pure joy!

More celebrations with family:

Living in Swabia means Black Forest gateau – of course!

Family portrait May 2020:

A visit in the Wilhelma, Stuttgart’s zoo:

Beautiful!

Thanks for all the beautiful gifts! A new bottle of gin (very much needed with the never ending home office days). Macarons (that Wanderlust keeps rising…). Beautiful flowers for the garden & for the table. Tasty things from the homeland. A book for becoming a baking goddess (dear neighbors, your diet has ended, new pies will follow). And so many more…

A flower cup cake!

Day 4: a break. Also much needed 😉 (not 16 anymore…).

Autokino

We know Autokino from America. And from Kornwestheim (cars are not as cool here…).

In corona times it became so popular that tickets have been sold out fast. All the time. Every week. Every day. Except tonight. We made it!

Mini is on!

The program: 25th Tatort Stuttgart. A premier. Love it! (Sunday on TV)

You purchase your ticket online, you bring your own snacks and radio.

Front row is the penalty for coming too late (we notice that we should have cleaned the windscreen…). The film starts rather late due to summer time (let’s see if we middle old people can make it).

#WeStayInTheCar

My Sunday…

Sittin’ in the mornin’ sun

I’ll be sittin’ when the evenin’ comes

Watchin’ the ships roll in

Then I watch ’em roll away again

I’m sittin’ on the dock of the bay

Watchin’ the tide, roll away

I’m sittin’ on the dock of the bay

Wastin’ time…

Love the song.

Love our vinyl.

Love the singer.

Love listening & dancing in the living room at 8am because I cannot sleep anymore (wish I was at the bay though…).

The plan for later: reading my favorite weekend newspaper for a couple of hours. In Pyjamas (or lounge wear how I now prefer to call it. PS: Lounge wear can be also worn in the supermarket!). A lot of coffee included. Followed by a siesta in the garden. Just wonderful! Pure luxury.

My Sunday so far…

Keep enjoying your weekend, y‘all!

Garden love

Guess, what we have been eating since a couple of days?

Yes! Our first home-grown radishes are ready and soooo tasty!

Lessons learnt though: don’t grow a hundred radishes at the same time and believe half of them not gonna make it. Otherwise, Monday: radish with salt for lunch. And with vinegar for dinner. Tuesday: radish with salad. Wednesday: radish with lamb. Thursday: radish with steak. Friday………..

It all started pretty much 9 weeks ago with the corona lockdown. All of a sudden we had time. A lot of time. A perfect time for gardening! Time for growing red radishes (and chili’s, spinach, carrots, beans, rucola, lettuce, basil, leek, peppers, potatoes, tomatoes…) in our garden.

A seed.

Seedling sprouts.

Seedlings.

It works! They grow!

It feels very gratifying taking a plant through its whole life cycle.

Is there a nicer place to grow?

After sometime we moved them to a new home: hubby’s self-build raised bed (a former TV transportation box from China…).

We watched them grow. Daily. With excitement & big surprise. I guess we didn’t expect them all to grow. And we appreciated how lovely the silence of growing things is. That’s how we felt for the past 9 weeks.

Gardening is the slowest of the performing arts. Don’t they look artistic (well, maybe the shape is a bit weird)?

Patience missing: maybe harvested too early.
Yummy!

There’s kind of a competitiveness going on. Between sister & brother and neighbors. In a good way. Exchanging photos of seedlings 🙂 It feels good.

Leek, spring onion, red pepper, chilies, mushrooms, potatoes, lettuce, sunflowers, lavender, poppies, tulips (2021)… to follow. Cannot wait! And in-between we may work on more radishes…

Strawberries growing well…
…and our runner beans started running.

PS: anyone interested in Turley-tomato-seedlings? Let us know! We have plenty. Might be even able to support Italy with tomato sauce this year 😉

Now ready for dinner: red radishes…

Mother’s Day

Today is Mother’s Day. 46 countries around the globe are celebrating today!

Driving home for Mother’s Day.

Heimat.

For me it’s the first Mother’s Day in 8 years that I’m in Germany and therefore close. Well, this years challenge: Corona! So close and still so far. Only 300km away and lucky us: surprisingly county borders were opened only 3 days ago & it’s now allowed to visit close family members. Yeah! Just in time (I would have gone anyway… just saying).

And off we go.

On the road again.

Hubby, Charlie & I.

For the first time in 9 weeks.

Exciting.

Oh it feels good.

It feels free.

It feels wild.

Our gift: time together & spoiling mummy. Cooking a 3-course-lunch for her (and us):

The chef of the day:

Our menu:

Greetings from the kitchen & starter: Smoked salmon Tatar with a wasabi note and garden spring onions on fresh field salad with pomegranate seeds.

Main: white Swabian asparagus on new potatoes with hollandaise sauce & Schnitzel (from a Swabian pork).

Clinking glasses with my favorite bottle of French Rosé included.

Dessert: A lemon berry mascarpone tart

(Followed by a little siesta, haha).

Bon Appetit!

Enjoying to be together again.

Happy that everyone is healthy.

Precious time together.

Happy Mother’s Day to all fabulous moms around the world!

From Charlie to me:

important appointment(s)

Lockdown opening continuous. Hair dressers are re-opening! Hallelujah, as my French friend would say.

Survived for the last 8 weeks (thanks to some cheating color spray… hair bands… hats & home office…). Meanwhile, decision was taken: growing hair again (powerless & confirmed decision).

Next challenge: schedule an appointment. ASAP! They shared via email when and how to be contacted for appointments: phone busy. App crashed. They offered what’s up service and eventually called back. The result: 2 appointments! One for color, 2nd for cut one week later (I feel like a winner)!

Next challenge accepted: follow hairdresser rules (informed via email called “update 3.0”):

Wait in front of door until somebody calls you in (luckily the rain stopped). No companions allowed (ok…). Bring your own face mask. If you forget, no problem, you can purchase one. No drinks provided (bring your own). No newspaper provided (bring your own). Hairdressers working with gloves (one pair per customer). Schedule your next appointment via phone only (to avoid queue at cashier). So far so good.

Today is the day, first visit: Maybe a bit nervous, checking my belongings: mask/check. Drink/check. Magazine/check. Wallet/check. Off we go.

Waiting to be called in:

Disinfecting hands. The salon smells like a bar… (No, I haven’t had my margarita yet…).

Smiles hidden by masks. Happy to be back. Happy to have me back (I guess).

Wearing a mask while getting color (mask & hair have now same color, didn’t like that green anyway 😉 ).

Getting hair washed with a mask is not as much of a challenge as I would have imagined. It was fine & fun. I feel like a human again. Yeah! Ready to meet some friends & family soon again.

What I really like and appreciate: hairdresser salon opening time got extended: including Monday’s and daily one hour earlier and one hour more (very work hour friendly). I love it, hope it will survive the corona rush hour).

Enjoy your own important appointment!

A second chance

Spring is in the air. It’s getting warmer and that means the first rhubarb is ready. Yea or nay?

Anyone who grew up in Germany will most likely remember this “fruit” from their childhood with a combination of fear and shaking. While it should change from astringent to pleasantly tart through cooking with enough sugar, too often this ended up as a sour green-brown pulp. If you were lucky it was mixed with vanilla pudding. And daddy proudly preparing this dish, and ended up eating it for days on his own… year for year. Not such good memories. And repeated every spring again…

All of that doesn’t sound appealing, right?That’s what I thought. But then we had the rhubarb and needed to do something with it. So I started looking up recipes. Thought it’s time to give it another try. And I have to admit: wow, how times change. It seems now featuring in more sophisticated guises, including Rhubarb Martinis!

Well, Martini sounds good but let’s start first with the old favorite tart (made lots of experience in the past weeks with lemon tart, strawberry tart…). This time with rhubarb based on a British recipe: a thin pastry shell topped with a thin layer of dark chocolate (for hubby) & cream.

I loved the different preparation style of the rhubarb – rather than stewing (memories!!), it’s gently roasting the rhubarb in the oven with a little sugar, which means you end up with tender chunks of rhubarb which burst with flavour and have a positively fluorescent pink color – awesome!

Super delicious! So good that it even deserves to be written about. The rhubarb definitely deserved a second chance! (The neighbors loved it, too).

I sent my father a photo, his comments: oh, that rhubarb looks wild (including some crying and thump down emoji…). Just now I asked my mum for her old rhubarb cake recipe… Father’s Day is coming up soon…