Latest Event Updates

St Leonhard and the horses

Posted on Updated on

St. Leonard was a French monk of the 5th century in Limoges, Aquitaine, and he is normally portrayed in a monastic habit. On the few paintings or tabloids he is identified by his attribute, a set of shackles or fetters, either made partly of chain or all of iron.
The Golden Legend tells of several miracles in which prisoners were set free by the intercession of St. Leonard. Some gained their freedom even while Leonard was still alive, just by invoking his name.

Portraits sometimes show the saint with not only his attribute but one or more prisoners praying to him (as in the first image at right) or being led out of prison by him.
As for narrative images, a pair of stained-glass windows in Regensburg/Germany presents fourteen vignettes from St. Leonard’s life.leonhardifahrt-bad-toelz-aufbruch-1220x550-2

Bavaria, Austria and the Saint

The Leonhardi fahrt (drive) or the Leonhardiritt (route/ride) is a procession on horseback, which is part of the tradition in Old Bavaria and Western Austria. It takes place in honor of St. Leonhard of Limoges (6th century) on his memorial day, 6th of November, or a neighboring weekend. Some villages in Bavaria also celebrate Leonhardi in the summer.

As patron saint of agricultural animals, today especially of horses, pilgrimages are made to Leonhardi with animal blessing. The motive for the blessing (often falsely also called consecration) of the animals, especially the horses, is their role, which they played as load and work animals for the rural population.

As the largest and most important Leonhardi ride, the Tölzer Leonhardifahrt was recognized as an intangible cultural heritage of Bavaria in July 2016 and in December 2016 was included in the National Register of Intangible Cultural Heritage by the German UNESCO Commission.Copy-20of-20Leonhardifahrt031

Miesbach, Bad Feilnbach, Utting at Ammersee etc..

The Leonhardiritt in Leonhardspfunzen is the largest in the district of Rosenheim and has a long tradition. Records of this event can already be found in writings from 1436. The oldest ride to date, which was first mentioned in 1442, takes place in Kreuth am Tegernsee. In 1809, a state commandment was issued prohibiting religious encride. When it was repealed by King Ludwig I (Bavaria) in 1833, many Leonhardi rides and rides were so stray that they usually had to be re-introduced many years later or were completely omitted.

As a secular supporting program, the Leonhardi fest usually takes place with beer tents, fairs and dance events. In Bavarian there is no distinction between Leonhardifest and Leonhardifahrt. Both are referred to as Lehardi (sometimes also Lehards or Leachats)

In Limoges, Aquitaine, St. Leonard, Confessor. He was a disciple of blessed Bishop Remigius. Born of a noble family, he chose the solitary life and was famed for his sanctity and miracles. He is especially noted for his effectiveness in the freeing of captives. – Roman Martyrology for November 7.Copy-20of-2063341920

Edible plants for Halloween

Posted on

Orange pumpkins are the icon of American Halloween festivities. But the holiday is actually All Hallows Eve, a time when ghosts may emerge from their graves and scary things can happen at night. That opens up many more possibilities for plants for a Halloween garden. When you are selecting Halloween inspired plants, go for the interesting, the spooky and the night-blooming. Read on for some tips about choosing first edible plants with a Halloween theme then with scary names.IMG_20150920_172316

Edible plants
I wanted to find some edible plants for Halloween and for my surprise I came across with couple of them in my local grocery shop. Here are the popular Halloween flavory plants for this year:

1st On the first place was the Hexenfinger (Carpobrotus edulis). What it’s good to know about it? It’s a ground-creeping plant with succulent leaves in the genus Carpobrotus, native to South Africa. It is also known as Hottentot-fig, ice plant, highway ice plant or pigface and in South Africa people call sour fig (suurvy). Actually it belongs to the fig-marigold family (Aizoaceae), and it’s one of about 30 species in the genus Carpobrotus.

The Hexenfinger is easily confused with its close relatives, including the more diminutive and less aggressive sea fig, with which it hybridizes readily. C. edulis can, however, be distinguished from most of its relatives by the size and color of its flowers. The large, 2.5 to 6 inches (64 to 152 mm) diameter flowers of C. edulis are yellow or light pink, whereas the smaller, 1.5 to 2.5 inches (38 to 64 mm) diameter C. chilensis flowers are deep magenta. On the flowers, two of the calyx lobes are longer, extending further than the petals.

The sour fig grows on coastal and inland slopes from Namaqualand (Namibia) in the Northern Cape through the Western Cape to the Eastern Cape. It is often seen as a pioneer in disturbed sites. Flowers are pollinated by solitary bees, honey bees, carpenter bees,  carpenter bees, and many beetle species. Leaves are eaten by tortoises. Flowers are eaten by antelopes and baboons. Fruits are eaten by baboons, rodents, porcupines, antelopes, who also disperse the seeds. The clumps provide shelter for snails, lizards and skinks.  Puff adders and other snakes, such as the Cape cobra, are often found in Carpobrotus clumps, where they ambush the small rodents attracted by the fruits Ice plants grow year round, with individual shoot segments growing more than 3 ft per year Ice plants can grow to at least 165 ft in diameter.

Flowers are produced mainly during late winter-spring (August–October). They open in the morning in bright sunlight, and close at night.

On the Mediterranean coast, Carpobrotus has spread out rapidly and now parts of the coastline are completely covered by this invasive species. Moreover, another invasive species, the black rat, has been shown to enhance the spreading of the ice plant through its feces. As the ice plant represents a food resource for the rat, both benefit from each other

Its leaves are edible, as are its fruit, as with some other members of the Aizoaceae family. In South Africa the sour fig’s ripe fruit are gathered and either eaten fresh or made into a very tart jam. Carpobrotus edulis, also known as igcukuma in the Xhosa language, is a medicinal plant used by the traditional healers in cases of common infections in HIV/AIDS patients

2d the Rungia klossii

This plant originated and very popular in Papua New Guinea, Rungia klossii is a fast grower bushy herb, common named ‘Mushroom Plant’ due to its leaves special mushroom flavor! Rungia klossii’s beautiful green glossy leaves contain large amounts of iron, vitamin C and beta carbonate. The leaves have a crispy texture, similar to spinach and can be eaten raw in tossed salad, tucked into a sandwich or use as a great garnish. The mushroom flavor increases with cooking (in soups or stews). Pay attention that over cooking can make the leaves lose their bright color. So it is recommended to add it at the last minute of cooking. The mushroom plant likes to grow in warm conditions, preferably in shade. Grow it all year long in your garden, pots or planters and enjoy a unique culinary experience.

3d Tripmadam

Sedum reflexum or Sedum rupestre, also known as reflexed stonecrop, Jenny’s stonecrop blue stonecrop, stone orpine, prick-madam and trip-madam, is a species of perennial succulent plant of the genus Sedum, native to northern, central, and southern Europe.

It’s a popular ornamental plant, grown in gardens, containers, and as houseplants. It is drought-tolerant. There are named cultivars with variegated (multi-colored) leaves. Through vegetative cloning it is propagated from cuttings.

This sedum is prone to fascination, which produces attractive cactus-like forms, with irregular curves. However it reverts easily, so all normal offshoots need to be removed quickly to maintain the cristate form. The Tripmadam is occasionally used as a salad leaf or herb in Europe, including the United Kingdom. It is said to have a slightly astringent or sour taste.

4d Winter and summer savory

The Satureja Montana (winter savory or mountain savory), is a perennial, semi-evergreen herb in the family Lamiaceae, native to warm temperate regions of southern Europe, the Mediterranean, and Africa. It has dark green leaves and summer flowers ranging from pale lavender, or pink to white. The closely related plant, summer savory (Satureja hortensis L.) is an annual plant.

There is evidence of its use about 2000 years ago by the ancient Romans and Greeks.

Easy to grow, it makes an attractive border plant for any culinary herb garden. It requires six hours of sun a day in soil that drains well. In temperate climates it goes dormant in winter, putting out leaves on the bare stems again in the spring – do not cut the plant back, all those stems which appear dead will leaf out again. It is hardy and has a low bunching habit. It can be used within a herb garden as an edging plant.

It is used as a companion plant for beans, keeping bean weevils away, and also plant with roses, reducing mildew and aphids.

In cooking, winter savory has a reputation for going very well with both beans and meat very often lighter meats such as chicken or turkey, and can be used in stuffing. It can also be used in soups and sauces. It has a strong flavor (more than summer savory), while uncooked but loses much of its flavor under prolonged cooking. It can be added to breadcrumbs, as a coating to various meats including trout.

Winter savory has been purported to have antiseptic, aromatic, carminative, and digestive benefits. It has also been used as an expectorant and in the treatment of bee stings, or insect bites, by the use of a poultice of the leaves The plant has a stronger action than the closely related summer savory.

Taken internally, it is said to be a remedy for colic and a cure for flatulence, whilst it is also used to treat gastro-enteritis, cystitis, nausea, diarrhea, bronchial congestion, sore throat and menstrual disorders. It should not be prescribed for pregnant women.

The plant is harvested in the summer when in flower and can be used fresh or dried. The essential oil forms an ingredient in lotions for the scalp in cases of incipient baldness. An ointment made from the plant is used externally to relieve arthritic joints.

In traditional herbal medicine, summer savory was believed to be an aphrodisiac, while winter savory was believed to inhibit sexual desire (an anaphrodisiac). A French herbalist Maurice Messegue claimed that savory was ‘the herb of happiness’!P1130297

And now here are some Halloween inspired plants with scary names

Why not grow witches’ thimbles or devil’s nettle in your spooky Halloween garden? If you’ve never heard of witches’ thimbles, it’s an alternate common name for both the foxglove and bluebells. Devil’s nettle also is called yarrow. Several centuries ago a gardener who grew these plants was labeled a witch, but today these are great plants with a Halloween theme. Look for plants with weird or creepy names when you are choosing Halloween garden plants.

Here are a few ideas: Bloodroot, Bleeding heart, Blood lily, Dragon’s blood sedum, Snapdragon Voodoo lily (Voodoo lily plants are grown for the gigantic size of the flowers and for the unusual foliage. The flowers produce a strong, offensive odor similar to that or rotting meat. The smell attracts the flies that pollinate the flowers. The blossom only lasts a day or two.
Consider making name tags so that these Halloween inspired plants create the proper scary effect.

P1130784

 

Winter toast with Brussels sprouts

Posted on

With summer passed, although leaving many bright thoughts with us, autumn is here. Sun-filled days exist, but the trees change their colors day by day. September, October create a contrast of colors, textures and tones in the gold and bronze autumn. A picture emerges, developing as the week pass, as fresh aroma, essences and piquancy all contribute finishing touches to a culinary masterpiece-just ready to savor. This time of the year to reacquaint ourselves with the apple, the fruit that has so many faces, each with a quite distinctive personality that can enhance such a range of different desserts and savory dishes. And the winter vegetables greeting us too, such as the cabbages, parsnip etc.! Autumn daylight may well be disappearing, but new tastes are just beginning.

Since I have many Italian friends I prepared a nice and easy Winter toast with Brussels sprouts! Yes Brussel sprouts! You might like them or hate them but this recipe is a must!

Brussels sprouts

This is the one of our most classic of winter vegetables. There are a few golden rules to choosing and buying sprouts. To appreciate the great flavor-quite different from cabbage-and their slightly nutty crunch, it’s important to buy them as small and tight-leaved as possible. Never buy yellowing sprouts, those whose color is fading, or those with too many loose leaves. All these signs will tell you they are old and they will taste pretty old too. another important point to remember is that, once they are cooked and unless you are refreshing them in iced water, you should always serve them immediately. Holding sprouts at high temperatures for too long-for example. Keeping them warm int he oven-leads to a bitter flavor.

Italian winter toast

Ingredients: 4 slices of bread, 150 gr pancetta smoked, 250 gr Brussels sprouts, 2 tbsp of balsamic vinegar, 200 gr cheese grated, 40 gr butter, onion (chopped) salt and pepper to taste

Methods:

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (205 degrees C).

Place trimmed Brussels sprouts, olive oil, salt, and pepper and 2 tablespoons of balsamic vinegar in a large resealable plastic bag. Seal tightly, and shake to coat. Pour onto a baking sheet, and place on center oven rack.

Roast in the preheated oven for 30 to 45 minutes, shaking pan every 5 to 7 minutes for even browning. Reduce heat when necessary to prevent burning. Brussels sprouts should be darkest brown, almost black, when done. Adjust seasoning with kosher salt, if necessary. Serve immediately.

Or clean and pat dry the sporuts. Julienne them (cut them into very narrow slices). Melt the butter in a frying pan, add Brussels sprouts fry them. Salt and pepper to taste and let them simmer adding some water to pan until they are golden brown. Then add two tablespoon of balsamic vinegar. Put them aside.

Fry the bacon slices until they release the fat.

Prepare toasts.

Place breads into the baking tin. Spoon over toasts the cooked Brussels sprouts, add the bacon and the grated cheese then place tin in the oven and bake toasts until the cheese is melted. Serve immediately.a29

 

 

Steak with pumpkin, champignon and fries with choron sauce

Posted on Updated on

Ingredients: 4 steak meats, 2 parsnips, 2 red onions, 250 gr pumpkin without the skin, 150 gr champignons, 2 tbsp of finely chopped parsley, 1 el honey, 2 el white wine vinegar, 6 fries potato, oil, butter, pepper and salt to taste,

For the choron sauce: 2 dl dry, white wine, 200 ml estragon vinegar, 4 tbsp of fresh estragon, 2 bay leaves, 5 egg yolks, 50 g melted butter, 1 tbsp of fresh , 1 tbsp of tomato purée

Preheat the fritteuse for 160°C. Peel the potatoes and slice them into the required form. Wash in cold water and pat dry. Bake them for 5 minutes in fritteuse oil (160°C). Let the fries cool off. Preheat oven for 220°C.

Make the autumn salad

Peel the red onions and chop them. Peel the parsnips and cut them into nice slices. Do the same with the pumpkin. Place the vegetables onto a baking paper and scatter with some olive oil, salt and pepper to taste, then place into a baking tray and put it in the oven.

Bake veggies for 20 minutes or so. Pour the honey over the vegetables and stir them carefully with a spoon. Let it cool in the oven for 5 more minutes.

Bake the champignons in some butter until they are gold brown. Scatter some parsley on the champignons, salt and pepper to taste. Add champignons to the oven veggies and flavor with the estragon vinegar.

Make the sauce

Choron sauce is a variation on the classic Béarnaise sauce made by adding tomato paste to the basic Béarnaise. Like Béarnaise, Choron sauce is typically served with grilled steak. It is also delicious on eggs, chicken, fish, and vegetables. It is also known as sauce Béarnaise tomatée.

At the basic level, you might think of Choron sauce as similar to adding ketchup to mayonnaise to make Russian dressing but served warm. The tomatoes introduce a sweet element to the sauce. Depending on the recipe or your preference, the form of the added tomatoes varies. This recipe keeps it very simple in adding already-prepared tomato paste. Other recipes call for making a tomato purée or using diced tomatoes. Some references say that the tarragon and chervil typically used in Béarnaise sauce are omitted if you are going to use it to make Choron sauce.

You will need to start with the Béarnaise sauce, which is an emulsion of egg yolks with melted clarified butter, vinegar, shallots, tarragon, chervil, and peppercorns. If you have a favorite Béarnaise sauce recipe or method, you can use it, then stir in tomato paste at the end.

Chop the onion fine. Cook the white wine with the estragon vinegar, shallot, estragon, bay leaves, and a pinch of salt over medium heat. Filter through a sieve.

Add egg yolks and place the pan over bain-marie and stir until it starts to boil. Heat the  tomato purée for 30 sec in the microwave with a bit of water, then stir it and add to sauce. Finely add the melted butter to dish. Decorate with the chopped chervil.

Bake the steak

Salt and pepper the steak and scatter some rosemary on the slices. Fry for 3 minutes long on each sides or until they reach the desired consistency. Fry the frittes again over 190°C. Serve the steak with the French fries and with the choron sauce alongside with some salades.steak_friet_met_choronsaus_en_herfstsalade_3

 

Japanese soufflé pancakes

Posted on

This is a miraculous pancake recipe!

Ingredients:

2 egg yolks, 20 ml milk, 10 ml oil, ¼ vanilla stick,

3 egg whites, 30 gr flour, 1 teaspoon white wine vinegar or lemon juice, 40 gr sugar

Methods:

  1. Mix together the egg yolks, sugar, milk, and pancake mix in a very large bowl until it is smooth with no large lumps.
  2. In another large bowl, beat the egg whites with a hand mixer until stiff peaks form when lifted.
  3. Carefully fold the egg whites into the pancake batter, until just incorporated, making sure not to deflate the batter.
  4. Grease two 3.5-inch (9 cm) metal ring moulds and set them in the middle of a pan over the lowest heat possible.
  5. Fill the moulds about ¾ of the way full with the batter, then cover the pan and cook for about 10 minutes, until the center of the pancakes are slightly jiggly.
  6. Release the pancakes from the bottom of the pan with a spatula, then carefully flip them over, making sure not to spill any batter inside.

7. Cover and cook for another 5 minutes, then serve with butter or cream and syrup,              and berries!Japanese souffle pancake

 

 

Parmesan mousse soup

Posted on Updated on

Ingredients: 1 onion, 2 tbsp of olive oil, 200 ml white wine, 500 ml broth (vegetable stock), 250 ml cream, 150 gr grated parmesan, salt, pepper to taste, watercress, 2 tbsp sour cream

Methods:

Fry the onion in the two tablespoons of olive oil, then pour over wine and chicken or vegetable soup (500ml).

Let it simmer. Then salt and pepper to taste the soup, pour over cream. Purée it with a blender, add grated parmesan to soup.

Portion soup into bowl adding sour cream to it and mix with it carefully.

Garnish soup with watercress or with fried bacon. Or toss some pine seeds on the top.

It’s a delicious autumn soup recipe.Parmezánleves

 

 

Frisian tea ceremony with sea-buckthorn

Posted on Updated on

Do you feel like a cup of genuine Frisian tea? Then go to Friesland! Nowhere in the world do they drink more tea than there. By today the ceremony of preparing a Frisian tea is considered a recognized cultural heritage. A blend of Ceylon, Assam and Darjeeling – and the Sea-buckthorn and the tea is drunk from thin and fine cups!-That calls perfection!

Friesland

East Friesland or East Frísia, in northwest Germany, is a mixture of coastal mudflats, dikes with lighthouses, green meadows, woods, lakes, un-spoilt sandy beaches and heath land, where for centuries seagoing traditions, fishing and farming have influenced the way of life in both town and country. There are castles, ancient churches, abbeys, villages built on the top of artificial mounds, old-fashioned windmills, canals and a wealth of flora and fauna covering the countryside, and throughout the region historic customs and traditions continue to be a part of everyday life. One of which is Friesen tee (Frisian tea) and its tea ceremony.

Unlike the rest of Germany, where coffee is more popular than beer, the number one beverage for East Friesens is their tea. With an average of 290 liters (about 80 gallons) for each person every year, they drink twelve times as much of it as other Germans and have taken first place in the World Tea Drinkers Championship.

Coffee does have some fans in East Frisia, -or Ostfriesland as it is in German, however anyone who spurns tea is known as a ‘Koffjenoese’, a coffee nose.

The story behind the Sanddorn tea ceremony

Tea is so firmly rooted in East Frisian culture that during WWII the East Frisians were the only Germans granted extra tea rations. Beginning with 20 grams per month for anyone over 35 years old, this ration was later increased to 30 grams as they complained it was not enough, and in addition they were also given ‘Teetabletten’, which are sweets made from sugar with tea flavoring.

The tea drinking tradition is based upon an old Frisian proverb ‘Drei is Ostfriesenrecht’ (‘An East Frisian has a Three), which means that there are three cups each break, and four breaks every day: from ‘wake up’ or ‘warm up’ early in the morning – one before noon, the ‘Elf’rtje’ – one in the afternoon around 3 pm, mixed with rock sugar and cream or, especially on a cold winters day, with Koem, a locally distilled rum – and in the evening after 8 pm, a tea which is often brewed with herbs.

When enjoying a warming cup of Frisian tea away from the ever-present North Sea wind, it is easy to imagine how the tradition grew amongst the wives of 18th century seafaring men, who left their cold and damp coastal homes to meet each other for a few hours during the hard winter days.

Tea was first brought to Europe by the Dutch East India Company in 1610.  Freisland shares a border with the Netherlands and it was introduced to the Frisians at the beginning of the 18th century, who then drank it as an alternative to the alcohol which their Calvinist culture frowned upon, and also as a medicine.

The good health and long lives of the Japanese and Chinese, who the traders and explorers had met and described, seemed to show tea to be some type of magic herb which heightened resistance to disease and cured all ills, from headaches and stomach problems to stress. In addition, boiling water had proved to make it safer to drink, while as the area is at a low altitude and has a peaty soil, the tea disguised the salty, earthy taste of the local water.

‘Opwachten un Tee drinken’ is another of Eastern Friesland’s most popular proverbs, ‘Wait and see and drink some tea’, which sums up a way of life in which unhurriedness and gemuetlichkeit are valued, especially during the frequent windy and rainy weather.

Nevertheless the entire process of brewing and drinking Friesen Tea is almost like a sacred ritual, here the tea ceremony filled with tradition, etiquette and superstition:

The traditional tea itself is a strong blend of black tea with a malty, spicy and aromatic taste, mixed to various ‘secret’ recipes, and mainly second flush Assam with quite small amounts of Sumatra, Java, Darjeeling and Ceylon teas and with sea-buckthorn. Each year, after the tea is harvested and has arrived in Germany, tea testers try up to 400 different varieties a day, all having come from different plantations and areas in the world, and generally choose between ten and twenty different teas to obtain the unique Frisian taste.

There is quite a ceremony involved in making a cup of tea in East Friesland, which is always served with special sugar and cream.  ‘Kluntjes’ are large single clear crystals of brown or white sugar that are impossible to bite, difficult to suck, and are left to dissolve in the tea.  The ‘lower classes’ could not afford to buy sugar in the early days of its European production from beet, however they collected the residue from the bottom of sugar barrels where the dregs of syrup had solidified during refining. These pieces of sugar, Kluntjes, were treasured and each small lump had to be used in several cups of tea, then anything left in the cup was given to children as a treat. (Finding cream was easy as most households had a goat, but today special cow’s cream not found outside East Frisia is used, although single cream makes an excellent substitute).sea buckthorn

Enjoy genuine Frisian tea at home

So please follow these instructions. You need: Frisian tea, Kluntjes (coarse white candy), cream, a tea set, preferably with a Tulle sieve. A Tulle sieve prevents the tea leaves from being washed into the cups. Even if it harms the aroma a little: of course, it also works with a standard tea sieve

The right preparation

Rinse the teapot with hot water and add one teaspoon of tea per person. An extra one for the pot itself.

Pour boiling water over the tea leaves until they are just covered and let the tea brew for about five minutes. If too much water is added, Frisians speak of “offsoppen tea”.

Then fill the pot with boiling water according to the number of cups you want to pour and place it on a warmer.

Now a piece of candy is added to the cups, followed by the tea, then some cream with a cream spoon and stir with careful circular movement. This is the only way to create the clouds.

Interesing facts about Frisian tea

Tea is usually on the stove all day long in Frisian households.

3 cups of tea are Frisian Law, which means that traditionally cup are filled three times.

The bigger the candy – the higher the reputation of the guest.

The teaspoon is not used for stirring. Tea is not stirred. The purpose of the teaspoon is to be placed in the cup if the guest no longer wants tea.

The teapot is not rinsed

Tea, that is too strong, can be diluted with hot water in a cup or jug. Frisians speak of “bath guest tea”, because it is not typical.

In East Frisia, the littlest details are important to the whole experience, including the type of cup used and the special use of your spoon.ősz