Winter resolutions.

November is usually a hard month for me - it takes me a while to adjust to the lack of light, and the weather isn´t helping either - but it´s slightly different this year. First we had that wonderful golden autumn and now we have somehow turned the corner already to real, proper winter with snow etc. Totally fine with me! 

Be that as it may, for this winter I have made up some strategies to keep me sane, and one of them is to cook more. Around here there aren´t a lot of options for those long winter evenings, so I tend to collapse on the sofa after work and watch whatever looks good on Netflix (I re-watched the entire series of House M.D. over the last winter. All seasons. I am not terribly proud of it.) (Although it´s really so good and I LOVE House.) 

Anyway I thought if there´s time to pass in the evening, I could do some proper cooking even on weekdays. I bought two new cookbooks which is something I rarely do because everything is on the internet nowadays, but I thought having beautiful books on hand would be motivating... so far it works! Lots of Persian and Indian dishes coming up this winter! 

Oh and by the way, the kitchen will stay as it is. I´ll find another way to store our preserves. Sometimes you need to consider change to realize that things are just the way they are meant to be. Goes for kitchens and life in general. 

Another resolution is to work on a few house-related projects, like a new picture wall in my library. Since this is the room with the best view of the garden I always thought it would be nice to have a wall of nature-related prints. I adore the work of Olga Inoue so I asked her whether she would do a custom order to make that happen; and this Saturday the most beautiful parcel arrived all the way from Russia (will you look at those stamps, oh my!). It will take me a while to get the prints up (I am aiming for my christmas break), so in the meantime go and buy all the things from Olga´s Etsy shop (here), her work is so very lovely (and even with the slow Russian postal service, everything should arrive in time for christmas - just saying!). 

Speaking of christmas, here´s a little wreath I made this weekend for our front door. I am not a professional wreath-maker, I have a very, uhm, creative way to throw them together, but  at least I love how they look so I think we are good. 
Have a happy week!  


Kitchen plans.

Here is my kitchen (well this is an old picture so the shelves are different now). It´s been almost three years since we first installed it and I still like it a lot. One day I´d love to review the window situation in here, because more light is always better, right? For a while I thought I wanted to extend the larger window to the left so that it goes all the way down to the floor, allowing direct access from the kitchen to the deck. But the longer I look at it, the more I think the part of the wall that separates the two windows needs to come down so that there´s one really large, square-ish window? Do I make myself clear? I think that would be pretty awesome. However that is waaay off and not the point of this post.

The point of this post is that we need more storage in here. Since we do a lot of canning and preserving there are always a gazillion jars of food around that actually do not have a proper place. I tried the basement but it´s too wet down there. Plus it would be nice to have the stuff on hand in the kitchen where I actually need it. So! More storage. I don´t want to do upper cabinets on the right side of the kitchen for a number of reasons, but I am toying with the idea of a storage solution that would go where the bench is now (which yes, means that the bench would have to go, which is sad).

At first I thought my shelves would have to go, too, but that doesn´t really make sense because they look great and hold a ton of stuff. So I am thinking whatever goes here would have to somehow incorporate the shelves.

Which could look a little bit like this. The Ikea Faktum kitchen cabinets that we used in our kitchen can still be re-ordered until March next year and I think I could piece something together that looks like the solution on the left (which is actually from an old Ikea catalogue if I am not mistaken). I think this would look pretty good next to the shelves, yes? I could actually let the upper cabinets go up to the ceiling like in the picture on the right - it´s a look that I love - but the shelves don´t go all the way up either and who am I kidding, we are talking about a ceiling height of 3.5 meters, how would I ever retreive stuff from up there?

So, thoughts? The only downside that I can see is that the kitchen now feels so open and simple and I am not sure whether a wall of storage would possibly be a little overwhelming. Oh and there´s another downside of course: It costs a lot of money. Ha! Minor details.

(Sorry I don´t have an image source for the picture to the right - I tried to trace it back but had no success).



Hello November.

November already, time is flying! Thank you so much for all your comments on my last post, I feel much better now and hope it will last this time. We´ve had the most wonderful autumn weather this past week and I am trying to soak up the sun and be outside as much as I can because I know it is going downhill from here!

There are a few weeks at the end of October/beginning of November (and then again in February) when the sun is low enough to flood the entire house with light. This house always gets good light, it´s what I love about it the most I think, but these few weeks are just glorious.

Also the sheepskins are back in the dining room! We had cheap synthetic ones last year but upgraded to the real thing a few weeks back. I love them. (To whom it may concern, I think the Ikea "Ludde" sheepskins are being discontinued, they are on sale right now, at least in Germany. Grab them while you can!)

I think these are the first interior pictures in a good long while... it´s funny how this blog´s focus changes so much from season to season. I often wonder if a whole different crowd reads this during winter when this is more an interiors blog as opposed to summer when it´s all about the garden? Anyway we have quite a few house projects lined up for this winter.... I think we´ll switch around the rooms upstairs, possibly make our second bathroom functional again and I am still toying with the idea of making changes to the kitchen (more on the latter in a separate post).

Speaking of the kitchen, a few of you have asked for an update on what happened with all the quinces. Well so far I´ve made compote (after the recipe in this fabulous book - if you can read German you should get it!), jelly and jam (so so good!) as well as syrup and quince bread (not pictured). It´s all delicious and I am so happy about my first quince harvest! 
Happy November!  


Autumn leaves.

I am sick AGAIN (I know, it´s getting really old - any recommendations for natural remedies? I´ll take anything that boosts my apparently very tired immune system) so I don´t feel like writing much but here are some pictures I took today during a walk with Ludwig. We haven´t had the best weather lately - lots of rain and fog - but I find the turning leaves are particularly stunning this year. 

A I right or am I right? 

Bonus picture from inside the house because I like it so much! Have a happy and healthy week.


Quinces and walnuts.

I took a very similar picture of these quinces with my iPhone today and posted it on my Instagram account and it generated so many comments, it´s quite funny. Apparently everyone loves quinces! And I do get it. I always wanted a quince tree and it was the first fruit tree we planted in our garden. This is the first year that it bears fruit and I couldn´t be happier. I am planning to do all sorts of things with them, compote and syrup and jelly... yum. 

Quinces are pretty much the last thing to ripen around here, so there will be one last round of canning and preserving and then we are done for the year. I am happy/sad about this. It was a good season and we have so many jars of homemade goodness. So many indeed that I am planning a new storage solution for our kitchen! Pretty excited about this. 

October is walnut season as well. Our village is known as the "walnut village" because we have so many trees here and they are really thriving in our soil. We have three mature walnut trees on our land which are providing us with a glut of walnuts this year. This spring, we have also planted two new walnut trees in front of our house to continue the tradition. 

We had the first frost at the beginning of last week, followed by lots and lots of rain. The asters and chrysanthemums aren´t happy about either so I had to cut them back today and while I was at it, I brought some of the survivors into the house. Pretty pretty.

However we did have some sun today which was much appreciated since there´s still so much work to do. It´s funny how it´s so much work to get the garden started in spring and then in autumn it´s always such a hustle to put it to sleep. It was wonderful to be in the garden today though so I am not really complaining. 

Ludwig enjoyed the sun as well. He spent the entire day running back and forth in the garden, chewing on walnuts and barking at the lonely hedgehog that lives on the border of our garden (who couldn´t care less). 
Have a happy week!