Happy today because....

Started by Steve, April 14, 2007, 10:39:40

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Ulrich

... on Sunday I spent some time in a peaceful valley:

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MeltingMan

I have my extra strong beer for Christmas. 😋

Ulrich

So early? I haven't even eaten a "Lebkuchen" yet (even though they'd be "fresh" now)!  :1f635:

I'm happy about some work arriving. Something to do for a week or so.  :cool
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SueC

OMG, Lebkuchen.  :yum:  Now I'm starving... and wishing for a nice piece of chocolate-coated Lebkuchen to go with my woke-up-in-the-wee-hours cup of tea...

I might have to have a go at making some for this Christmas - international mail orders are terribly delayed just now, and you do have to order the good stuff in this part of the world unless you live in a gastronomic metropolis like Sydney or Melbourne... but even they tend to import the cheap, sugary type instead of the proper stuff from Nürnberg...

Speaking of beer, we currently have a bottle of it in the pantry that some visitors left us weeks ago and are debating what to do with it... we're thinking of turning it into Welsh Rarebit, which is a nice use of beer if you can't stomach the idea of drinking any.  Amusingly, the beer is called "Corona Extra"...  :lol:

I'm happy because a friend from the Perth area is coming down for a week to hike and generally hang out, week after next.  :cool
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SueC

I'm happy because we have such crazy animals.  This is Mary Lou looking for the humans...

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Ulrich

... in the meantime I had the first "lebkuchen". :yum:
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SueC

Mmmmhhh!  Yum!  Chocolate, plain or white?  :)

This evening I'm happy because I've just had an enormous serving of warm apple/pear/mulberry strudel with cream - and then I went back for seconds!  :yum:  It's from our very first take of mulberries off our very young trees, which we didn't bother netting (birds!) last year, but this year it's worth it already.

If you want to make this at home, make strudel dough in the usual way (German cookbooks will tell you how - and I make it in the breadmaker - 250g plain flour, 125ml water, 1 small egg, 1 tsp oil, let the machine do the kneading while you get on with other things...)

I used 1kg of apples and pears (about 50-50) and a big mugful of black mulberries.  I chopped the apples and pears - and I don't bother with peeling, I just wash thoroughly - and mixed them with the mulberries and the juice and grated zest of one large lemon.  The mulberries stain like mad (my fingers are still purple) and this gives the apples and pears a lovely rosy colour all over.  To finish my filling, I rough-chopped a big mugful of almonds in a food processor and mixed that through (because you should have some protein and essential fatty acids at every meal).  No sugar in the dough or in the fruit filling - completely unnecessary.

Using a teatowel for rolling out the strudel dough is a helpful trick - just dust it with flour first, and then make a very large rectangle nearly the size of the teatowel.  Spread your filling over 3/4 of the pastry, leaving margins and a free end.  Use the tea towel to help you roll up the strudel, then seal the sides (if anything comes out of them, just push it back in first) with your fingers and a fork.  Roll the strudel off the teatowel onto a baking tray lined with baking paper, and bake 40-45 minutes at 200 degrees C, fan forced, middle shelf.  It's ready when the top starts to brown...

(On the flip side of my day, it's after sunset and this recalcitrant swarm of bees I'm trying to catch is still humming and hawing about whether or not they like the box I shook them onto/into.  Can't make up their minds.  Half of them are inside on the honeycomb, the other half are hanging on the outside of the box like a big beard.  Beekeepers specialising in swarms have special vacuum cleaners to aid in these scenarios... Wish me luck.  I can't move them unless they're all "indoors" and if I don't move them before dawn, they will take their orientation flights from where the box currently is, first thing in the morning, and then I will be unable to move the box more than 1m a day, which would be highly inconvenient, as the box is right in front of the shed access door...)
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Ulrich

Quote from: SueC on October 15, 2020, 13:54:42Mmmmhhh!  Yum!  Chocolate, plain or white?  :)

Plain, it looked a bit like the one top left:



I hope to have all other types as well before Xmas.  :yum:
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SueC

Peak wildflower season here - total floral wonderland.  There's hundreds of amazing flowers out, here's just a little sample...






(Not a flower - just new growth - but still pretty)


(Probably not native, just gone native)






The (white, on a stalk) flower isn't there yet, just the rosette - this is a carnivorous plant - has sticky secretions that catch midges for fertiliser, because the soils these plants grow in are so poor...










(If this looks weird, it's probably because you're from the other hemisphere ;))

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chemicaloverload

Oh Sue, how I would love to spend a day in your surroundings. Absolutely divine for a picnic
Life is only a dream and we are the imagination of ourselves

SueC

Quote from: chemicaloverload on October 20, 2020, 19:04:20Oh Sue, how I would love to spend a day in your surroundings. Absolutely divine for a picnic

Got a TARDIS?  :cool  I've got to say, I salivate when I see the Scottish Highlands and far islands, which I've never been to, but of course moving to a farm makes it difficult to travel even without a pandemic happening. Bit of a trade-off, but no regrets - we already live in a spectacular part of the world and haven't even discovered half the trails and secret beaches around here because there's just so much of it.

I accidentally met Karen Matheson once in an interval in a Capercaillie gig at our arts centre, and she told me that the coastal scenery in our part of the world reminded her very much of Scotland.  Remote, windblown, spectacular...

So I think it's really cool when people from different parts of the world on a forum post photos so we can all do some virtual travelling that way.  I was born in Germany but never got to see the incredible region @Ulrich lives in, and now he posts these amazing photos of castles, karst landscapes etc, which makes up for it significantly for me because it's not just the photos, it's knowing that someone known to you is enjoying it, if that makes any sense.  I mean, we could all look up photos of the whole world online, but it means a lot more if the photos were taken by people you talk to and like - it's like there's already someone in that place doing the exploring and enjoying, so you don't have to be there - it's more than a photo, it's a journey someone is sharing with you, a window into another world.  (I kind of learnt this from the other forum I'm on, which I've been on over six years, and every day I can travel from the armchair, through people I talk to and really like, in their various parts of the world - and then when I travel around my own area, I can share that back to them.)

So that actually makes me happy.  It's a sort of global community thing...  I've got something really cute to post that I'm going to add to this when it's on YT - the friend who's staying with us just now went to interview two of our donkeys yesterday and made an adorable film of it...  :heart-eyes

OK, here goes:


:lol:
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Ulrich

Quote from: SueC on October 21, 2020, 01:54:14... now he posts these amazing photos of castles, karst landscapes etc, which makes up for it significantly for me because it's not just the photos, it's knowing that someone known to you is enjoying it, if that makes any sense

Thanks, makes it all worthwhile!  :cool
Nice flowers pics you posted, btw!

Here's some strange clouds I saw on Sunday (no filter, with my photos it's mostly "what I saw is what you get"):
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SueC

Wow, where we live is usually too windy to get clouds that shape.  Very "moody" photo!  :cool  Is that black-and-white, or just the time of day it was?

Eileen is back with us and taking incredible photos as usual.  Here's a sample from an afternoon at Cosy Corner Beach - the closest beach to us, by the back roads:











...and this is what happens when you don't know someone is clicking away...  ♥



Which reminds me of one of my favourite pieces of writing about love relationships:

Let there be spaces in your togetherness
And let the winds of the heavens dance between you.
Love one another but make not a bond of love:
Let it rather be a moving sea between the shores of your souls.
Fill each other's cup but drink not from one cup.
Give one another of your bread but eat not from the same loaf.
Sing and dance together and be joyous, but let each one of you be alone,
Even as the strings of a lute are alone though they quiver with the same music.
Give your hearts, but not into each other's keeping.
For only the hand of Life can contain your hearts.
And stand together, yet not too near together:
For the pillars of the temple stand apart,
And the oak tree and the cypress grow not in each other's shadow."
  (Khalil Gibran)

The rest of the beach photos can be accessed directly on the Flickr page (by opening any of the photos here).
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Ulrich

Nice photos by Eileen!  :smth023

Quote from: SueC on October 23, 2020, 10:42:52Wow, where we live is usually too windy to get clouds that shape.  Very "moody" photo!  :cool  Is that black-and-white, or just the time of day it was?

Well it was a cloudy, grey day. I saw these clouds and took a photo with the camera headed towards the sky and this is how it came out (no b/w, no filter).
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SueC

I'm happy because even though I have to do tax paperwork, the garden out there is beautiful:



And because it's nice to walk through ancient mountain ranges.  The granite in the Porongurup Ranges is over 1.2 billion years old (older than multicellular life), and at one stage the hilltops were islands in an ancient ocean.  These photos were taken by Eileen on a hike we did last week.

The ascent through Karri forest (an outlier of this wet forest type, which survived here due to orographic precipitation - Australia's been getting drier as it's drifted north, which it does at the rate of approximately 7cm a year, so its temperate wet forests have receded to the higher-rainfall continental edges, and of course now things are getting drier more rapidly with climate change on top of that).



The start of the ridge walk across three peaks - with the Devil's Slide in the background, across the valley.  I worked out 20 years ago why it was called that, when I climbed it in the rain for the first time!  :lol:



As the afternoon progressed, we got some drizzle - always atmospheric - and here's Eileen with her high-tech beating-people-over-the-head-with sticks:



Descent from Nancy Peak, the highest peak in the ridge walk.  This peak was named to commemorate a cow called Nancy who was found by a farmer over a hundred years ago sheltering in the lee of this peak during a bad storm.



Descent from Morgan's View, into Eucalyptus woodland.  Great fun to walk this track, and a decent workout.

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