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Saturday
Jan022016

2015 in pictures.

Happy New Year! Let´s look back at 2015, shall we?
In January, we installed new shelves in the kitchen. I´m still not super happy with them so I recently decided they have to go. Yes another installment of the kitchen shelf saga is waiting for you, are you excited yet?

Another house-related project I did in February was to re-paint my living room. The color is Cornforth White from Farrow & Ball, one of my all-time-favorites.

Spring arrived in March and we spent a lot of time outdoors! I just love this picture of Ludwig.

The beginnings of this year´s vegetable garden in April

In May I got new chairs for our deck and the walled garden looked quite pretty. 

In June I made quite a few wildflower bouquets, this one being my favorite. I also took this picture in the walled garden, which is my second favorite garden picture from this year. 

Because my very favorite garden picture is this one from July with the blooming rose in the walled garden. 

In August, the veggie garden provided us with lots and lots of produce. 

In September we went on a wonderful holiday in Sweden.

In October we enjoyed beautiful asters and dahlias. 

November is the month with the most magical light in the house (if there is sunlight at all). 

And December was all about Christmas.

2012 in pictures.
2013 in pictures. 
2014 in pictures. 

Monday
Dec282015

And so this was christmas.

Before Christmas I told my husband very firmly that this year, we would get a very modest christmas tree. Well, judge yourself from the photo above how that went. In his defense it´s definitely the most beautiful tree we ever had. It´s strangely hard to photograph a christmas tree but this one is really quite something.

The christmas table with a new wonderful table runner that was a gift from my mother. Little pops of red are just enough for me so this is perfect. And look how well it plays with this gorgeous amaryllis which was a birthday gift from a neighbor. It was meant to be! So pretty.

On Christmas eve we roasted a leg of wild boar, all 10 pounds of it (we were four around the table). I am not sure what we were thinking, but it was delicious and and we have a big freezer so no harm done. I also tried my home made fruit bread (above) and while there´s definitely room for improvement I really like it! And since there´s no sugar in it it´s actually one of the healthier Christmas treats (or at least that´s what I keep telling myself). 

The weather has been amazing lately, so mild and sunny, almost like spring. Which is mildly terrifying at the same time. Is this global warming? In my garden the first perennials are starting to sprout and the hazel is blooming. Not good... but the forecast says we´ll get snow this week, so I hope things are getting back to normal soon.

Last but not least, airborne Christmas greetings from Ludwig! He had six presents (new toys) under the tree, four from us and two from the proud grandmothers ;-) We always wrap them nicely because he loves to unwrap things. I really need to make a video next year because it´s painfully cute. 

So this was Christmas! I hope you had a nice one. Now if only we could fast forward to January 1st - how I hate those fireworks! I´ll probably be greeting the new year holed up in my bedroom with a frantic Ludwig. Oh Joy! 

Tuesday
Dec222015

Winter solstice and merry christmas.

Yesterday was my birthday and it was a beautiful day. Even the sun came out! Most people think it´s unfortunate to have a birthday so close to Christmas, but I not-so-secretly love that my birthday is on winter solstice. I think it´s a very special day. Here´s a little blurb why it is so special, not my words obviously but I couldn´t have said it better. 

Here´s a picture of my dining room cupboard, back to the low version (for now) and all prettied up. I made that bough a few days back and I love how it came out. Anyway, Merry Christmas! May your days be merry and bright. 

Sunday
Dec132015

Random pictures.

So this is a random post without a real focus. Bear with me! First of all, I´m still baking! Christmas cookies this time, or "Plätzchen" as we call them in Southern Germany. I am not an enthusiastic baker of Plätzchen, mostly because I don´t like to eat them all that much (I know!), but I manage to make 2-3 varieties every year - always Vanillekipferl (vanilla crescents) and Brabanzerl (chocolate cookies filled with jam) and today I made sourcream cookies with plum butter for the first time. They turned out real good, and even quite pretty, even though I am usually hopeless at this! My cookies taste fine, but they definitely don´t win a beauty contest. I don´t know how other people do it - you should see my mother´s Plätzchen, they´re basically art!

And a few weeks ago I made fruit bread with dried pears and apples from my garden (or, in case of the pears, from other people gardens)! Also a first. It was a terrible pain to make so I hope it will be good! It will be ready to eat around Christmas. My grandmother always used to make fruit bread and I never really knew how much work goes into one loaf. So Oma, wherever you are, I hope you approve! 

Here´s a picture of me and Ludwig on one of our Sunday walks last week, no make-up and all, because #keepingitreal, right? I am pretty good at getting dressed each day (as in no sweat pants) but I can´t be bothered with make-up on most days. That´s what working from home does to you! 

Last but not least! We played around with the cupboard in our dining room today. It´s made from modules so depending on how large you want your piece of furniture to be you just stack them on top of the other. Since we had another cupbaord like this in our bedroom that isn´t a super great fit there we thought we´d try to extend the one in our dining room. I think I really like it! The upper half would be painted the same dark color of course (Down Pipe from Farrow & Ball). I think the room suddenly looks terribly grown-up. Ha! Thoughts?

Sunday
Dec062015

Baking bread.

A few years ago I started to bake my own sourdough bread since I literally couldn´t stomach industrial bread any more. For a long while I actually made all the bread we ate. Today that´s not the case any more, but I still enjoy baking bread when I have the time. Baking sourdough bread is often considered complicated and a "science". It´s not really. Certainly there are a couple of rules but I find bread is fairly forgiving and once you get the hang of it it´s quite easy to successfully adapt recipes or make up your own.

This past summer I finally invested in a huge earthenware bowl from my favorite local pottery which makes it possible to handle large quantities of dough. I am super happy with it. It also came in handy last weekend when I made potatoe salad for 40 people at our village christmas party!

Sourdough is a wondrous thing. I always wonder how on earth people figured out that it would be a good idea to use a weird smelling fermented substance in their bread. 

Baking pure sourdough bread takes time, and I love that about it. I like to stretch and fold the dough over hours and it always feels like a small victory when the bread actually does rise! 

The best reward however is a beautiful loaf of bread, still warm from the oven and heavenly smelling. This is a wheat-spelt sourdough bread and the recipe is from this book. I probably don´t have to tell you that it´s really good. 

PS: Completely off-topic, but I´ve watched this spot 20 times and still counting. I love all of Judith Kerr´s creatures. Be sure to watch the Behind The Scenes as well. Happy second advent!