Monday, 30 September 2013

Backstage in Meiningen

Have you ever been behind the stage of a theatre? Until last week I didn't. Peter and I spend a couple of days in southern Thuringia and had a great opportunity to go backstage in Meiningen's theatre.
First we went to the rehearsal room. A large room full of music stands and seats. Without the stories and explanations of our guide it would have been quite dull. Then we climbed lots of stairs and went to the stage via the entrance for the actors. The number of flood lights on stage is amazing. And the control room for those lights as well!
Then we went to the other side of the stage. Very spectacular too and such a contrast to the high tech backstage! Everything in the audience hall seemed to be freshly renovated but you got a feeling what the amosphere must have felt a hundred years ago.
Matching the audience hall was the reception hall, so much decorated and golden:

Thursday, 26 September 2013

Apple Crumble

Autumn time is apple time! And I love the smell of apples. Unfortunately I cannot eat them raw, they need to be either cooked or baked. So an easy and quick way to eat apples is to make some apple crumble.

You need:
150 g butter
500 g apples
1/8 l white wine or lemon juice
100 g flour
100 g ground almond or flour
100 g sugar

Peel apples, cut into pieces and mix it with the white wine or lemon juice.
I do this in the baking pan, so less dishes to wash afterwards.
Then combine butter, flour, ground almond and sugar in a bowl until you get crumbs. You can substitute ground almond with flour and white sugar with brown sugar. If you like you can add some cinnamon spice. Then scatter the crumbs on the apples.
 Now place the baking pan into the preheated oven (175° C) and bake until crumbs are golden (approximately 20 minutes).
 Take out of the oven and enjoy the apple crumble while still hot. Delicious! :-)

Wednesday, 25 September 2013

A Masked Ball

This is the title of an opera by Verdi we visited: "Un ballo in maschera". Great music, dramatic story and modern costumes. Peter and I loved it very much.
Look at the opera building! Even the statues were disguised with red noses and balloons.

Tuesday, 24 September 2013

Discovery Day Festival

"One can always find a reason to celebrate" the saying goes. The idea behind Discovery Day is to move people from the city to their surroundings to visit and to discover new places. All goals should be consistent with public transport and at a great price achievable. Parallel in the city, a great festival with six stages and 150 stalls takes place. In addition to the municipalities and communities, presenting with numerous actions , there are also local and regional associations, organizations and artists in the streets. We strolled along the many stalls and stages, had a "Bratwurst", a grilled sausage we usually eat when being in the city.
We were looking for the sports stage where local sports organizations are presenting themselves with a little show to attract new members. My Taekwondo club has a show team which prepared for a demonstration performance: Taekwondo techniques and powerful jumps, acrobatic and comedic skills inspired the audience and me too! :-) 
Our show team consists of a group of youngsters who are also members of the federal state competitive squad. So unlike the adult training group where I am exercising. We focus on "fit for fun". And fun it is!
So what is Taekwondo? It is the way of the foot and the hand, a martial art originating in Korea. It combines combat and self-defense techniques with sport and exercise. Gyeorugi (pronounced [kjʌɾuɡi]), a type of sparring, has been an Olympic event since 2000.
Taekwondo is my "active" hobby, when I am not cooking, baking or crocheting. I started more than 20 years ago, had a long break of nearly 10 years and started anew three years ago. It is still my favourite sport, even though I have to accept, that I am not 20 years old anymore, nor 30 but already 41! So techniques and jumps have lost their hight. Still an excellent way to keep in shape and to have some fun exercising.

Saturday, 7 September 2013

Easy bread recipe

This morning I felt like having freshly baked bread for breakfast, and I remembered an old, no fail  recipe I have used before.

You need following ingredients:
500 g flour
450 ml water
40 g yeast
1 tbs honey or sirup
2 tbs vinegar
1 tsp salt
Variations: sunflower seeds, pumkin seeds, oat flakes, dried onions.......

First dissolve yeast (fresh or dried) in warm water, add honey or sirup and stir. I use sugar beet sirup which gives a light brown coulour. Then stir in the vinegar and add salt.
Now mix flour and your favourite seeds until you get a dough which is quite sticky.

As for the flour I use wheat, spelt, maize meal or whatever is available. You can mix different types of flour as well.
And for the seeds you can also add anything you like, you can also add nuts or bacon bits or raisis if you like it sweet. I ususally add about one to two handfuls of variation ingredients.

Grease a loaf pan and fill in the dough.

Put the pan into the oven and bake at 200 degrees Celsius for about 50 minutes. You do not need to preheat the oven! When finished take the bread out of the pan, turn off the oven and put the bread back into the oven for another 10 minutes to get a nice crust.
Take the bread out of the oven and when the bread has cooled down it is much easier to cut. But I cannot wait.I love warm freshly baked bread with butter. Soooo delicious! The bread stays fresh for about three days. I cover it up with a large glass bowl. Mostly it is gone very quickly though ;-)
A very easy recipe indeed where you can use whatever is in store. Try and enjoy!