Sunday, 21 June 2009

Watermelons




This is not a post on the fruit I really really like (although it lacks real taste, somehow), but about the Watermelon award. It says here that it means that the person thinks your blog is a grand read - that your watermelons are a 10!

Thank you, Mary Ellen!

Now what am I supposed to do? Pass it on, of course, to other appreciated blogs. I will, I promise. I'll just sleep on it before I do that.

There is another thing in Mary Ellen's latest post which I really like: the idea of "no obligation blogging". Not that I ever write anything like “I’m sorry I haven’t posted in awhile.” I don't because I really don't think anyone has missed me so much. I also like writing when I really feel like it. And that is the whole idea.

Saturday, 20 June 2009

Today's Lunch



Even for lunch, I sometimes like something sweet. I remember things like this from my childhood - did I love them! Yummy! But then, when I was a little girl, all those yummies didn't stik to my waist. Instead, they got lost somewhere while I was playing and running around, not wanting to be still for long. Oh yeah, that has changed, too. Sitting still doesn't bother me any more. Is there a connection between the phenomena (my waist and the stillness) or what?

So this is what happened:

Two days ago I bought some apricots. I love apricots! But trying them, I was quite disappointed. They were tasteless, more or less. What a shame!



Then I decided they could taste better with some sugar. And they did.



I didn't eat apricots with sugar, of course not. I made something for lunch. I cut them in pieces and put some sugar on them.



Then I peeled and cut some potatoes and boiled them in salty water. I mashed them, added some flour, three eggs and some margarine and mixed everything.



I kned it into dough. I made a lump, see?



I used the rolling pin to roll it.



Then I cut it in pieces...



...and put the sweetened apricots on them.



I kind of played like when I was little. The difference is of course, I was only helping then. But otherwise, it's the same. It is easy, anyway. I shaped everything in something like tennis balls. A little bit smaller, but not much.



I put them into salted boiling water and let them boil for some fifteen minutes. In the meantime I heated some butter and put some bread crumbs in.



Voila! Ready! Apricot dumplings!




It's time consuming, so I always make enough for more than just one meal. I cook some and freeze the rest.
They can be made with different kinds of fruit, really. The most common ones, I guess, are with plums. Those are also very good. Plums are sweet and sour and with that sugar on top, they are just delicious!

I just thought it might be interesting for some of you to see this. Do you eat anything like this? I guess it's a Slavic thing, somehow.

The pics are not as enlargable as usually, I'm afraid. My cellphone is not as good as my daughter's camera.

And when did I become so fond of orange? I love red and warm colours in general, but today I've noticed we have lots and lots of things in orange. How long has this been going on?

P.S.: potato dough (taken from a website, since I never weigh things for it):

One kilo of potatoes
about 300 – 400 grams of flour
3 eggs
80 – 100 grams of butter (margarine)
salt

Boil the potatoes, peel them (not necessarily in this order, but it loses less starch this way), mash them, add the butter, cool just a little, add the eggs, the salt and the flour. Kneed the dough until it’s smooth.

You may add less or more (which is more likely) flour. Some like the dumplings softer, I rather make them more compact – easier to shape and also better to eat if you ask me. Not everyone would agree with me. But you must add enough for the dough to stop being all sticky. And then you need some more flour to work with. How much flour you add also depends on the flour itself, since they are not all the same. But I guess you know that from making other things.

Enjoy!


Thursday, 18 June 2009

The View

Today I wanted a view to take a picture or two. A proper view, not a look from our balcony or something. So I took the camera, waited for my friend and colleague and off we went.

We chose this little stroll - we figured we could manage it now that we've had a few walks, suitable for very little kids as well as for old citizens. Oh well...

The first number is the height of where we wanted to go, the number in the middle is how much we had to ascend - 870 metres. Okay, we can do that.



The path is nice, as long as it is not too steep. But it soon gets much steeper. Much much (much) steeper. And we huff and we puff and our faces get all red. Okay, let's go on anyway.



So now we are 1000 metres above the sea level. Good. Only 690 metres up. A piece of cake!



Where is that view? I can brag I actually saw a deer, but the dear animal didn't want to pose. No photo of it, sorry!
A view? There's a little something, yeah, but not really.



My legs are tired, my whole me is tired, but giving up... nope! I've come this far and I want that view! It's getting better, right?



That rock in the sun looks like a promise. Ten more minutes to get up there, maybe fifteen. And there must be a great view from there.



Now we're talking! The whole valley as on the palm of my hand! Too bad the light is not too good for talking photos. I still took some.
















I tried to capture it in a way which would make you understand better what I actually saw because I felt those snapshots just don't work that way. Quality? Well... :( ... but still...

Here:
video



So we made it - we got up here. Let's go back now - if our legs feel like jelly or not. And on the way home I caught a hint of another thing I hoped to take picture of: the sunset.



I'm going to bed now. I'm kind of tired

Friday, 12 June 2009

Taking a Breath


Finally! A normal afternoon after a long time!

Being in charge of the final (ninth) grade is no joke! Seriously!
Twenty-four individuals, all different - can't be any other way, right? - very strong minds, hormones pumping, high level energy and some of them sleepwalking by day - (different, I said). When you need ideas (and when you don't), they have a zillion of them. When you want to communicate, you should speak teenagean (a whole different language, full of doohs and eye rolling) or at least master the listening comprehension of it. But from time to time you do want to make them uderstand what you mean - even if in other cases you simply accept that their minds work in a way (many ways, actually), very different from yours.

But with all those sighs and eye rolling, they surprised me when we took that trip last week. Yes, it was a week ago, but a very very busy week ago - with all those school things and my mum's birthday on top of them.

Anyway, here is where we went:






Burano is an island and a town near Venice. The houses are so colourful because of their fishing tradition: the fishermen wanted to see their homes from far away when they were returning from the sea. They wanted to recognize it among the other houses. Nowadays the residents need a permit from the authorities if they want to change the colour of the fasade.

It isn't Pisa, but they do have their own leaning tower:


Actually, this photo isn't good enough to show just how leaning the tower is. They expect it will fall down one day, but not to one side, but rather downwards. It will lose the solid ground under its feet and just collapse into itself.

In the following photo you can see many small souvenir masks, typical for Venice, and some not so small, but real size. What Burano is really famous for is lace. You can see it on the right. Fabulous! Lots and lots of work!




We were soon off to another island: Murano. This is what we wanted to see:



I'm telling you: This man has got some lungs!Blowing the glass into shapes of vases and cups.... wow! He can also make other shapes. Mind you: no corrections possible and he only has a few moments to turn hot hot (about 800°C) glass into these:







From Murano we went to this beautiful and world-wide famous town:



With its typical representatives:



And by this I don't mean the tourists, but guys like this:



You cxan't go to Venice and not go to Rialto, right?



And this is the view from up there:



And the square, of course - Piazza San Marco:



How much do you think advertising costs f you choose to do it this way? Just wondering...



Aren't these T-shirts cute?



I also checked out many narrow streets and saw many interesting and cute things that I wouldn't buy:





What do you think about the clocks?

Anyway, it was time to leave, but let me tell you about the kids first: they actually gathered around the guide and listened to her explanations when I had already given up. Well done! They told us they liked the trip. I've been to the same kind of trip some four or five years ago and all we got were sighs and rolling of the eyes.

They had their final party - a kind of prom - on Wednesday, got their reports today and now they're gone. Well, that's life, too. Time flies.