Saturday, May 05, 2007

...and then we all sat around the fire singing Kumbaya

It's been like summer camp around here this past week. No, wait, summer camp is all about rain and giant bugs and weird food and missing your mom. OK then, it was better than summer camp, especially the food.

The weather has been glorious - temperatures in the 20's and not a drop of rain for the past six weeks. The downside to that (besides me being a bit partial to rain) is that the crops, sugar beets and potatoes to name a couple, are drying up, and the grass is spontaneously catching fire in some areas. That's not good at all.

The upside is that with a some judicious watering, my garden is just bursting at the seams and we've been able to spend almost all our free time outside enjoying our little oasis. And there was a LOT of free time to be had since last Saturday. As well as the May Day holiday on Tuesday, my kids also had Monday and Wednesday off school. Mr M. enjoyed Monday at home too. As you may have noticed, this resulted in a serious lack o' blogging. I really need to get a laptop so I can blog alfresco.

My hostas are going crazy this year

Saturday, Sunday, Monday and Tuesday night the boys slept in our brand new 6-man tent, which is in reality only a 3-man tent unless you like to play sardines. You know how tricky those tent makers can be sometimes.

tight squeeze

Mr. M joined the kids on Saturday night and I had the pleasure Monday night. The great thing about camping out in your own back yard is that you don't have to pee in the woods. You still have to worry about mosquitoes and axe murderers, but you're not required to stumble through poison ivy in the dark when your flashlight batteries run out.

I've gotten back into the cooking mode a little bit lately, so besides the ubiquitous bratwurst and potato salad, there was also something for the more sophisticated palate: grilled zucchini-stuffed squid, shrimp skewers and red peppers.

And for those of us who think mentioning "squid" and "zucchini" in the same sentence is just wrong, we had that old campfire standby - bread on a stick, called Stockbrot in German.

please excuse the construction site behind the oven - the deck is having some cosmetic surgery done

For dessert one night I tried a new recipe. It's a sponge cake base with a molded yogurt and fruit cream on top. Very low calorie and very refreshing in this heat.

Last night we had friends over for a...barbeque. Ho hum. More bratwurst, more bread on a stick and more toasted marshmallows than anyone should ever be allowed to eat at one sitting.

Life is good. Right now, anyway.

I think I'll go do some macrame.

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At May 05, 2007 6:49 p.m., Blogger Schokolade Madchen said...

Your cake looks yummy and perfect for the summer. But usually "dessert" and "low calorie" don't go did it taste? I'm slowly learning to bake and I'd love an easy recipe....

At May 05, 2007 7:03 p.m., Blogger American in France said...

YUM, I think?

At May 05, 2007 7:13 p.m., Blogger Wendz said...

Did you not sing 'Kookaburra sits on the old Oak tree-eee'?...

I really should NOT visit your blog when I am hungry (which I am)..gah!

Good grub.Yum.

At May 05, 2007 7:32 p.m., Blogger J said...

Wait a minute - you and I are both happy? In Germany? At the same time?

Is the world is close to ending?

At May 05, 2007 8:17 p.m., Blogger CanadianSwiss said...

Your cake looks divina and absolutely calorie-free (well, almost). We (read: the plants) are now enjoying a good day of rain, but I guess we'll manage after all that sun ;)

BBQ will go on as of next weekend again. Wheee!

At May 06, 2007 12:34 a.m., Blogger Lynda said...

Are you sure you live in Germany? - that looks very summery Italy to me... Fancy Germany having such a beautiful start to summer. Ok so where is the recipe for that lush looking dessert? - link please!

Hehe - tent designers certainly take poetic license... I love to camp out - but only under 5 STARS!!

At May 06, 2007 12:34 a.m., Blogger Dixie said...

Your hostas look fabulous! And I'm drooling over the shrimp.

Can you part with the cake recipe? I could use a new summer cake recipe.

At May 06, 2007 1:11 a.m., Blogger Cathy said...

I can't believe how green and large all your plants are!
We still don't have leaves on the trees yet!
I am droolong over the food; that's it, we're having a bbq tomorrow, even if it's -10!

At May 06, 2007 8:00 p.m., Blogger Berlinbound said...

Love your hostas!

And everything else is just too beautiful !!!! C

an you come to my house and sort of "fix" stuff?

At May 06, 2007 8:07 p.m., Blogger Thimbleanna said...

Ok -- tell the truth. You bought that cake at the store! ;-) It looks too perfect!! And very delicious -- as does the stockbrot and everything else. Looks like you are all having a great time -- and please send some of your warm weather to us in the middle US -- we're freezing this year!

At May 06, 2007 8:55 p.m., Anonymous Maribeth said...

Everything looks lovely. We are still very cool here and I can't wait for the temperatures to go up and the sun to shine. At least we have a green house to start our seedlings.

At May 06, 2007 11:11 p.m., Blogger christina said...

schokolade madchen - I'll post the recipe - it's super easy.

american in france - Depends how fond you are of squid. :-)

Wendz - Oh yes, Kookaburra! We used to sing the Australian version, I guess, with him sitting in the old gum tree.

J - Either it's the end of the world as we know it, or they've been putting something in the water. Let's hope it lasts. :-)

CanSwiss - It's just a non-stop party in this weather isn't it? They're calling for rain tomorrow though.

Lynda - Everyone's quite amazed how lovely it's been. The recipe is from a magazine, I'll post it soon.

Dixie - We've had that hosta in a pot for several years and this year that whirligig thing just kind of popped up. It's getting huge.

Cathy - I think things are two or three weeks ahead of schedule and the garden centres are just packes with people buying bedding plants.

berlinbound - the hostas are my favourites and grow really well since we have a lot of shade. I'll be right over to fix whatever's broken at your place

thimbleanna - I really did make it and it's very simple. So sorry you're still freezing. Looks like this is going to be another strange year weather-wise.

maribeth - Won't be long now and spring will be coming your way too.

At May 07, 2007 3:48 a.m., Blogger Rositta said...

I am so jealous that you have stuff growing in the garden already, we don't even have ours started yet. End of May is the earliest in these climes...yummy looking food...ciao:)

At May 07, 2007 4:15 p.m., Blogger christina said...

Rositta - Around here they usually say to wait until the "Eisheiligen" in the middle of May to plant anything, but this year has been SO warm. We finally had some rain today too.

At May 07, 2007 9:13 p.m., Blogger Ginnie said...

We finally got our much-needed rain a couple days ago, Christina. A full inch at our house. But the drought is still in effect here in Atlanta. Hopefully Hannover will start getting more. Glad to hear you got rain today.

You know I'm the #1 fan of your posts. Along with everybody else, of course! :)

At May 07, 2007 9:32 p.m., Blogger christina said...

Ginnie - It's been raining like crazy all day and it looks like it will continue until the weekend. We REALLY needed it. Glad you got some rain too! :-)

At May 07, 2007 11:56 p.m., Blogger Haddock said...

Wow that molded yogurt and fruit cake thingy looks bloody nice! :)

At May 08, 2007 8:30 a.m., Blogger Knitting Painter Woman said...

Brats and stick bread. Sounds yummy. My Danish blood definitely thinks carbs and meat are all that is necessary. Oh, and a cheerful potato now and then. Glad you have cool weather and happy Hostas. It is in the 80's here already and our shade tree got blown down in high winds. MY hostas are going to fry.

At May 08, 2007 8:49 a.m., Anonymous jessica said...

Are you willing to share the cake recipe Mausi?? oh, wait, i just read the rest of the comments...great! it's raining here in CH and we just bought a tent too, but it's a little smaller and sadder compared to yours. that's so cool. where are you going to camp? or was this just a backyard toy?!

At May 08, 2007 9:13 a.m., Blogger mar said...

Thought of you over the weekend as we landed in Hannover to get our rental car in order to get to Hamburg (Iberia doesn't fly direct to HH anymore but we still had those miles).
Enjoyed a wonderful weekend with lots of sunshine and laughter. Your pics are wonderful, particularly your plant and your dessert! himmlisch!

At May 08, 2007 8:56 p.m., Blogger Angie said...

I'm not a big shrimp fan, but you had me at "bread on a stick." Yum!

At May 09, 2007 9:58 a.m., Blogger Sal DeTraglia said...

Hello, my gardening guru:

Really, is there anything more satisfying than a properly-blooming garden?

Well, yes. Cooking over a campfire.

As for the squid/zucchini combo, I can only say one thing: "Two great tastes that taste great together."

Funny that you mention camping in the backyard. My little Pumpkin requested the same just last weekend. I need to find an el cheapo tent and some sleeping bags within the next month or so. You've inspired me on this.

BTW...I see no reason why one can't play a rousing rendition of "Kumbaya" on the uke. Provided, of course, that you have all four strings.


At May 09, 2007 1:03 p.m., Blogger Cynthia Rae said...

The food looks wonderful! I will be over for lunch tomorrow!

Reading your post reminded me of the time when I used to camp in our back yard (when I was a kid). Oh the good old days!


At May 09, 2007 3:11 p.m., Blogger christina said...

haddock - It's so easy the Juniorette could make it!

knitting painter woman - Heloooo! Hope your hostas made it through. They don't like hot, dry weather much, do they?

Jessica - I don't know if we'll do any real camping, but Boy11 is going to take the tent to summer camp with him this year. Recipe is going up today!

mar - Thanks! Glad you got to enjoy the *good* German weather for a change! :-)

Angie - If you came over I'd made sure to keep the shrimp and the bread on a stick totally separate!

Sal - The squid was delicious, I'll be making that recipe (that I got from our TV guide, of all places) again. Go for the tent! The kids just love it. It's fun and little bit scary at the same time. And get well soon to Felix, poor guy.

At May 09, 2007 3:13 p.m., Blogger christina said...

cynthia rae - We sometimes used to camp in our neighbours' backyard with their kids so there were 6 of us all together. Tons of fun.

At May 10, 2007 10:20 a.m., Blogger mar said...

Checking out if the recipe is posted :)


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