Almonds In Bloom

DSC_0414We arrived a week late and some of the almonds were already nearing the end of the bloom, and had been beaten about by heavy rain and hailstorm a few days earlier. However, seeing the entire area covered in white and pink blossom rather than the usual lush yet boring rows of wine is quite something.

Almost every house, street and road, every front garden and hillside is covered in the delicate flowers.

Check it out! Die Pfalz is always worth a visit.

Bye Bye Annabell

DSC_0021Annabell, the beautifully waxy and ultimately flavoursome potatoes which be brought back from Neustadt in September are now officially gone. I just steamed the remainder for one last dish of Bratkartoffeln tonight, then it’ll be back to Elfe or Charlotte varieties. These aren’t bad, but they aren’t good either. They have the right consistency, but are lacking in the deep yellow colour, and in the rich flavour.

Hard times ahead.

(Picture shows Riesling grapes (I think). I didn’t have a nice picture of Annabell or a potato field, but at least the photos is taken in the right area.)

Homo Bratwurstensis

DSC_0053I never thought I needed an Irishman to explain what is now blindingly obvious to me. But I can answer the last question he left open, so I think of this as helping each other out:

Dara O’Briain’s Science Club reminded us on the fact that Homo Sapiens did not descent from Homo Neanderthalensis. They form two different branches of the evolutionary tree, and both descent from Homo Heidelbergensis. Well, there you have it. Homo Heidelbergensis lived practically in our home region of the Pfalz (especially considering the fact that Heidelberg University, after which Homo Heidelbergensis is named, is closely linked with Neustadt). It is very obvious to me, now, that modern man descents from the Pfalz. Africa was just a little trip down south.

No wonder everybody likes a Bratwurst.

Dara also explained that there was some interbreeding between Homo Sapiens and Homo Neanderthalensis for a while, but he wasn’t sure which one of the two species was the more sexually aggressive or submissive one. Dara you fool! It was the males on either side of the evolutionary fork shagging the females, you can put a bet on that. Evolution hasn’t come that far enough in half a million years for such basic behaviour to change.


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This Week I’ve Been Mostly Eating…

sweetThings …bachelor food, and Parisian restaurant food. So, here you go and take your pick:

Fresh sourdough spelt bread with a homemade spread made from Feta cheese, garlic, olive oil, red peppers, red chillies, and lots of fresh dill (there used to be a guy on the Neustadt market selling this. This is the first time in a very long time I ate this but it won’t be the last. Delicious, if you like strong flavours and don’t mind an intense breath).

Galettes “Super Chevre” (that is, very thin buckwheat pancakes with a filling from (briefly) fried beef tomato slices, goats cheese and thick cream, spiced with black pepper and a pinch of nutmeg) – this is soooo good that it is very difficult to stop eating. Super!

Andouillette with fries and mustard (restaurant in Paris)

Steak Tartare (lunch in a restaurant in Paris). You won’t see us going to Paris without, oh no you won’t. We are young and dynamic and flexible, but we insist on our traditions ;-)

Goats cheese salad, a fillet of beef with sauce Bernaise and a baked potato, sorbets (and a calvados – restaurant in St Germain, Paris).

Egg Fettuchini with lots of fresh Porchini and Chanterelles – yummie return to the own kitchen.

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The Voice of Reason


(Belated due to the H4P1 pause and other issues…)

He failed to apply his trademark style of offending lack of diplomacy and seemingly careless choice of words this time, but once again, his is the voice of reason. A long last, someone speaks up against Patio Heaters.

Ken says "We need to call a halt towards this trend for wasting energy in this way. I hope garden centres and other retail outlets will reconsider the promotion of these patio heaters." (BBC report here)

These things always seemed outrageously insane to me, blowing heat from gas burners into the great outdoors while enjoying a drink in the reflected warmth and discussing concerns about global warming.

My mother told me that the Kaffeehaus Fridericus (no homepage?) in my home town of Neustadt had found a very German, pragmatic and environment friendly solution to the problem of outdoor seating during the chilly season: They provided each outdoors seat with a fleece blanket, so you could curl up, wrap warm, enjoy an overpriced Latte and discuss concerns about global warming with a clear conscience.

Having just returned from the equally environment-aware Stockholm, I can report blankets on chairs there, too (although we also spotted patio heaters).

Very good!