Lovely ghosts

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We’ll turn back time this weekend and soon later lots of little scary figures will ring the doorbell shouting: “Trick or treat?” Simply take some sandwich bags to have some ghosts on your window sill. Paint funny ghost faces with a black felt pen and cut the bag’s bottom into 1cm wide stripes. In order to fix them on a chain of lights cut small slit on both sides of the bag to pull the chain through the bag from one side to the other. Thus the bag’s bottom will hang over your chain.

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I placed some lovely colored leaves beside my ghosts. They weren’t found in our woods but in our kitchen. Their big advantage. they won’t dry, won’t crumble lateron and even for kids it’s quite easy to make them.  You’ll need filter paper and kids water colors. Use a plastic tray to work on. First lightly wet the paper with clean water, then take up the selected color with a soft paint brush and dab color on your filter paper. When dry, cut different leaves. In case of two-layered filter bags cut the leaves so that a small part of the bag’s bottom still sticks together. That allows you to simply hang them over one of the lights. Cut a small slit into single-layers filter paper and pull the chain through it alternating with the ghosts.

 

 

Autumn’s coming

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While most of the summer flowers run out of steam our automn plants like dahlia, sunflower, Chinese lantern and hydrangea just start to be in top form. So why not take them in or put them on our patio table. When strolling through the local woods keep your eyes peeled for pieces of tree bark to take them home. If necessary ask the responsible ranger or landlord if you’re allowed to collect those pieces. Ours was a colleague’s gift. She had to fell a pine tree in her garden. It’s good to leave the bark in a dry place for some days thus enabling any tiny crawling animal to look for a new home.

When dried start to decorate it with Chinese lanterns or other flowers from your garden or balcony. Most of the local florists are selling the little lanterns or maybe you’ll find a neighbour willing to share some of his plant with you. A large hydrangea flower will even allow you to use your bark as a center piece. As soon as the first leaves or flowers have faded replace by new ones. You may use chest or beechnut cupules, twigs of yew tree or cypress and even hop tendrils are looking very nice. For Holiday season choose pine cones twigs, wooden stars or a pine cone goblin and here you are with a wonderful Christmas decoration. For Christmas Eve you may even create a highlight with a wooden angel, some tinsel tressels and small Christmas balls.

 

Blueberry cake

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What’s best for summer? Fresh berries! Add them to a fluffy batter and they will make a lovely summer cake to be enjoyed as a dessert or for tea time.

Ingredients: 250ml whipping cream, 2 cups sugar, 3 cup flour, 4 eggs, 1 bag baking powder, 300 – 350g blueberries, some powdered sugar

Grease baking tray and powder with some flour. Preheat oven at 180°C. Wash blueberries and let dry on a paper towel.
Five eggs and sugar in a large bowl. Beat thoroughly until getting a foamy mixture. Add whipping cream and continue beating for 1-2 minutes. Finally sieve flour and baking powder and fold in carefully.
Pour mixture on baking tray and scatter blueberries on top. Bake for 15- 20 minutes, then remove tray from the oven and let the cake cool down on a rack. Before serving spread some powderen sugar or simply serve with some vanilla flavoured whipped cream. You may take frozen blueberries as well but then don’t let them unfreeze before giving them on top of your batter.

 

Sweet flamingo

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Wether you’re young or not, a sporty or a more romantic girl. Pink or apricot will never ever be wron. Look at these lovely flamingos which I found on the site of hooraytoday.de. Use them to hold a napkin or to hold the place for your guests. 

You’ll need pink or white card stock, pink pipe cleaners, pink, apricot or white feathers, small google eyes, felt pen, scissors and liquid glue

Cut two paper hearts for each flamingo. Shorten the pipe cleaners to get two pieces, one 10 and the other 6-7 cm long. Form the shorter piece like a questionmark to get neck and head. The long piece will give the flamingo’s legs. Fold them in half and then bend both ends to form some feet. Disperse glue on the inner side of one heart, put head legs and a tail feather in place. Cover second heart’s inner side with glue and put it on top of the first heart. Press thoroughly and let dry for some minutes. Finally take a tiny feather or the tip of a larger one to glue it on the flamingo’s body. Glue a goodle eye on each side of the pipe cleaner head and colour the tip with a black felt pen.

 

Iced cucumber soup

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For more than two weeks we’re having around 30°C and everybody feels quite exhausted and no need to do a lot of cooking. On the occasion of our last vacation to the Spreewald (Spree forest) in the south of Berlin we tasted one of the specialities made with cucumber. It’s a light soup that doesn’t need any cooking and may be stored in the fridge until the next day. Serve it as a starter or add some toasted bread and have alight supper.

Ingredients: 1 large cucumber, 1 pickle, 2 tbsp of pickle juice, 150ml yoghurt 3,5% fat, 100ml crème fraîche, salt, pepper, 1 dash of sugar, chopped dill, 2 tbsp linseed oil

Wash and peel cucumber. (Put the peelings aside to prepare cucumber oil later – we’ll post experiences) Take off the scores with a teaspoon. Cut cucumber and pickle into dice and give them into the blender with yoghurt, crème fraîche and pickle juice. Blend well, season with salt, pepper, sugar and chopped dill. Put it in the fridge and add linseed oil juts before serving. Instead of toasted bread we served them with puff pastry cheese sticks. If you like seating it like people do in Spreewald then serve linseed oil seperately allwoing everyone to take as much as he likes.  A delicious and very refreshing soup for hot days.