Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Miscellaneous updates

Ok, no more excuses. I'm overdue for an update here! I will start by saying that I have passed with a very good grade my final exam at the language center! Woohoo!! This reminds me that I also need to update my personal information... ... ... Oh well, that's another story. For now, it's to you guys I want to talk. 

My next student step is to take an extra course in Danish to further develop my writing and communication skills in that language.  In addition to this, I will be taking two subjects at the adult education center: "Society" and "Psychology". I was accepted at both and start mid-august. :) It won't be easy in the start to sit in classes with all-danes for the first time, as they do speak way faster than the teachers at the language center. However, I strongly believe I can follow and succeed. On top of the subjects themselves, the two courses will be an excellent way to take my danish to a higher level. It goes great with the extra danish course. ;)

Ok, now that the schooling update is done, let me take you back into my garden. Remember my garden patch? Well, it is not going too well over there. Nearly nothing sprouted. :( I think one of the problems was that I sowed right before a warm, dry spell, and even tho I tried to water a lot, it just wasn't enough. Also, I had to remove the cucumber plants, as they were having a really hard time in the wind. It is so windy in Denmark. However, my tomato plants are doing quite well. There will be tomatoes in not too long I believe. :)

In order to try to "save" the patch a little bit, I sowed again, but in pots this time. I will be attempting to transfer the baby plants in the garden after I have cleaned it again. I'm not sure they will grow and produce in time, but at least I am learning a few things in the process! Oh well, better luck next year... hopefully. 
As for my plants and flowers in pots, they are all doing well. My chili and gooseberry plants are not so big, but they are producing, so that's got to be at least half good, right? 

The corner of our second terrace. Mint, decorative squash, chili, herbs and  diverse flowers. 

I do have one huge problem in the garden at the moment. Most of my plants are being overtaken by pests. I think they are called aphids. :(  A good friend of mine gave me some tricks to get rid of them, but am yet to try them out. I hope I can get some control over that issue before it is too late... Maybe it is already too late. :(

My husband and I have been talking about getting a greenhouse. I've been dreaming of one since even before we moved to Denmark and now perhaps that dream will come true just a little later this year! :) If possible, we'll get one and install it before winter, so that I can use it early in the Spring. I can't wait to be able to do "greenhouse updates"!

In the meantime, school is out and summer is here... well... Not really here in Denmark, as it's not been that warm lately, but I'm sure it's summer somewhere in the world! ;)

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

En Papillote

With the summer months come delicious grill cooking and experiences for the taste buds. Our grill has been out for a couple of months now and we've cooked several meals on it, but none as good as the one we had today! My favorite way of preparing vegetable is by far "En papillote" (in parchment), where vegetables are cut and placed into an aluminium pouch that is then carefully closed and put on the grill. The steam created allows the content to cook perfectly, and the taste is just awesome! One can choose pretty much any combination of vegetables for a papillote. My combinations are usually dominated by root vegetables.

Vegetables En papillote, served with a yummy, tender steak

I prepared such a papillote today, and both my husband and I were pleasantly surprised at the result, as I tried a combination I had not tried before. Here is the recipe:

(For 2 papillotes / 4 big portions)

- 2 big sweet potato
- 3 big potato
- 2 big parsnip
- 4 small to medium carrots
- a few broccoli pieces
- 1 big onion
- fresh ginger (to taste)
- fresh garlic (to taste)
- fresh chives (to taste)
- fresh oregano (to taste)
- butter
- salt
- pepper

Before grilling

1) Lay out 2 big pieces of aluminium foil.

2) Cut the potatoes, parsnip and carrots in cubes, sticks or slices (Do not mix together)

3) Split each veggie portion in two, and place in layers on the aluminium foil in this order: Parsnip at the bottom, carrot, potato, sweet potato.

4) Cut the broccoli in bite size pieces. Place on top of each pile.

5) Cut the ginger and onions in small fine pieces and sprinkle evenly on top of each pile.

6) Cut small squares of butter and place at various places on top of each pile (3 squares each papillote)

7) Garnish with fresh chive and fresh oregano leaves.

8) Add salt and pepper to taste

9) Close each pouch, folding the paper carefully so all the steam can be contained.

10) place and the grill and cook for 30 to 45 minutes.

And you're ready to enjoy a wonderful bouquet of flavors!

Happy grilling!

Saturday, June 09, 2012

A lovely experience

What a lovely couple of weeks it has been. I had the opportunity to give a helping hand in an outdoor circus / acrobat show, where I helped welcome and direct the public. I've met lovely people and felt the "behind the scene" excitement that runs through the troop before the spot lights are switched on. It's not a whole lot I do there, but just BEING there has been fantastic. The show itself is just awesome and very imaginative and original. My only regret is that I arrived so very late in the project.

Acrobats names to come... 

This kind of stuff used to be a passion of mine. As a teenager, I was part, for a year or two, of the high school theater behind-the-scene team and loved the preparation, repetitions and organisation of it all. I loved the atmosphere, and how close we all got to one another. I loved how excited we were before the curtain was lifted... and how absolutely delighted and proud of ourselves we were when the curtain fell again. It felt like such a huge accomplishment.

In fact, there are only two reasons why I did not study to become stage manager or something of the sort. 1) I don`t feel that show-business agrees very well with my idea of family life and 2) I realized I really needed to work with children, and would have dearly missed interacting with them if I went on to do any other job!

With the present project, even though my only assignment is to move the public around for 2 or 3 of their 12-or-so representations, the theater flame in me got revived.  Now that I know of this team, I'm going to be keeping a close eye on their activities! Who knows... maybe I can get a little more involved in a future project.


For my danish readers; Treat yourselves to a beautiful and different experience. Get yourself a ticket for one of the remaining representations! It's an amazing way to spend an evening on "Slotsbryggen" in Nykøbing F.