Picnic at the park

I recently have been so inspired by this list of 50 activities to do on your own, published by Jo Chunyan, that I printed the picture version of the list and hung it in my living room.

I loved the idea of giving value to time and activities done alone: in fact, there are many things on that list that are done outdoors, and/or involve physical activity, or let you improve the state of your home, and so on. For the shy personality of mine, it is a gentler invitation to get out and move my body, without the implication that I must interact with people or exhaust myself – and most importantly, that time alone can be spent in many ways (more than those 50, for sure!), which include my current indoor favourites: decluttering my room and reading.

Long story short, today the sun was shining, so I picked up two items from that list:

  • 42: Go to the park with some sandwiches, a picnic blanket and a good book
  • 49: Take a photo to depict each hour of your day (I actually read it as: take a picture of the same place at one-hour intervals)

Out I went to the park nearby with my packed lunch (I had leftovers from yesterday’s pasta, and fresh fruits and vegs, so it was really quick to put together) and a book that I have to read for my Montessori diploma.

I ate, read, dozed, smiled to passers-by, and took three picture at one hour interval:

Then I left because it had become too warm and sunny, but it was a great time outside, relaxing and interesting 🙂

 

Food blogs I follow

I wish to thank the food bloggers that inspire me with their stories, recipes and pictures, I hope you find joy from their posts too. It’s a long post, because I wanted to show a picture from each blog, I hope you enjoy them!

I start with Papaya Pieces: admire her wonderful berry cupcakes…

BBC Food Programme: 28-minute podcasts, funny, interesting, about ingredients or places or people, all around food. There are gems like: The Apple – how British a fruit?

Cookies and Chemistry: I love Cindy’s motivational posts, food photography tips, and life thoughts:

Charismatic Baking: nice balance of recipes and meditations around life!

Der Brotdoc (in German): worth a visit, even only for the pictures:

Cooking without limits: clever food photography tips and wholesome recipes:

The Little Vegan: lots of ideas for vegan versions of common recipes, and many vegan-from-the-start recipes:

frauke’s delicious fritid: mostly dessert recipes, simple and tasty:

My Lighthearted Kitchen: bilingual posts (English and French) about cooking and motivational thoughts:

Ricette Veg: my friend Madi’s food blog, where she posts traditional Italian recipes:

Green Cooking Blog: a 17-year-old foodie shows a great mix of creativity, cooking and photo skills:

Happy food-blogging everyone!

From the kitchen: bread #28

I am so proud of my 28th baking result that I have to post pictures immediately 🙂

I used a recipe from Brotbackbuch n.2, namely Roggenmischbrötchen (mixed rye and wheat flour buns) in order to use a generous amount of my rye sourdough, that was almost dripping out of its container.

I took some time to understand the format of the recipe, but then followed it without issues. I made 8 buns and let them rise under a cloth (a piece of BOMULL fabric by IKEA, that I received as a present from valhalla – actually, as the wrapping of a briaccola):

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Notice the separation folds: they keep the buns from sticking to each other, and partly decide how large the bun will rise. I put a good amount of flour on the cloth to prevent sticking.

After about an hour of rising, the buns grew twice the initial size, so I preheated the oven and tried a new technique to put them in it, using a half-circular wooden tray that I had from a small electrical pizza oven. It worked like a charm:

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The buns cooked nicely for 20ish minutes, in two batches of 4:

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And here they are:

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The black and orange tool is a temperature measuring device. It is super useful in the kitchen: I used it to check the temperature of the oven, but I most often use it to measure the temperature of oil in a pan, so that it doesn’t overheat, and is hot enough to start browning onions.

Here is the detail of two crusts:

I am going to taste one, as soon as it cools down a bit 🙂

I hope I inspired you to bake your own bread and buns!

My beloved lakes and rivers

Since I moved in Berlin, I have been enjoying its numerous lakes, rivers and canals. I have a special crush on the Dahme, which joins the Spree in Köpenick, one of the boroughs of Berlin I like most.

Evening in Köpenick

The quiet atmosphere of the river reminds me of Lake Maggiore, close to my hometown in Italy. Winter makes the sky of a darker shade of light blue, which contrasts with the houses’ warm tones.

Isola Bella, Lago Maggiore

I can’t say I miss Italian lakes, when I have such pretty landscapes in my neighborhood.