Saturday 14 December 2013

The day before the first big storm

All day long we were informed about the 
Nor'easter that will hit the region on Sunday. 
Lots of wind and snow is predicted. 
As of today it is sunny, but cold -16°C (3,2 °F). The clouds are not supposed to roll in before evening.
Rather than to fret about it
I choose to see the pretty side of this vision. :))
Overnight we got new "curtains" on our
old fashioned windows.
Around noon Molly was getting bored 
and I decided that
it was high time to go for a walk.
We walked towards North Road 
that runs about 11 meters (12 yards) below our road.
It was all abandoned on this Saturday morning. 
Towards the water the raw see air
 covered the wood with
white frosting.
Access to Deer Island Ferry landing.
We went all the way down towards the water.
 The humidity close to the water 
brings lots of ice onto all branches. 

Molly didn't freeze at all. 
She found herself something to chew on.

Sea Smoke, a wintry type of fog, 
was drifting in from the sea. 
An icy wind blew out of the Northwest. 
What a difference just 15 meter (16 yards) in elevation makes. 
Down here it on the beach 
it was several degrees colder than 
at our house.
I stayed long enough to take a good look 
at the icy beauty of it. 
Sea Smoke drifts over the water,
view towards Eastport, Maine.
and west towards Lubec, Maine

Can you even imagine that we had summer 
just a few month ago?

That's all for today. 
We'll see how the upcoming snowstorm will change 
this view in the coming days.....

Thursday 12 December 2013

Ice cold and beautiful

For all of you sitting in the desert or other places nice and warm: think about what you are missing! 
Crisp cold air and bright sunshine. Cool, white snow.....
Lots of fun - or?
Well, while we are still here, why not making the BEST out of it?
Driving to the park I saw "Santa and his Reindeer" riding through a yard, nicely illuminated by the afternoon sunshine. 
Kind of funny.

On our way to the trailhead there were these tracks on the snowy road! 
Santa's foot prints?
Wouldn't it be nice?
 What an opportunity!
Unfortunately, it was not Santa.
Just J.P. and Molly walking ahead.
You come?
Wait a sec. - I have to take some photo first.
These blue patches on the ice look kind of intriguing....

OK, we'll go ahead and wait for you near 
Gibraltar Rock.
The "Thinker"
How many years may this rock have been laying here?
My guess, since the last ice age.
A half frozen, small creek
Beautiful - glittering ice decorating the tip of a spruce tree.
And if you wonder what I carry in the bag, it is fallen-off birch bark.
Excellent help for lightening up a fire in the wood stove.

Thanks for walking with us, stay warm and safe where ever you are!

Wednesday 11 December 2013

Wintry Wednesday

 Now it's our turn. The freeze finally crept up to our place.
Sunshine and freezing 19 °F (-7 °C). With a wind chill down to 0,4°F (-18 °C). And it is predicted to get colder still. It doesn't surprise me - it is winter in Canada!

But with the right amount of layers I managed a nice walk with Molly.
I think I am adapting to the cold.
I even enjoyed the beauty of the iced lawn.
A myriad of ice diamonds on the grass glittering in the late afternoon sun.

Monday 9 December 2013

Elisenlebkuchen, my favourite German Christmas Cookies

Elisen Lebkuchen (German Christmas Cookies, N├╝rnberger Lebkuchen)

This could be translated as "Eliza honey cake, ginger bread cookies" but there is no honey and only moderate ginger in this recipe.
I could probably find some of these in one of the better food stores. They would look more perfect of course. But this way I know exactly what the ingredients are and, it is always something special when home made.
Some I made a little smaller, they taste like macaroons.
Together with Hubby's favourites for coffee we are ready for Christmas!

Ingredients: (ca 20)
5 eggs
400 g (2 cups) sugar
100 g (2/3 cup) Orangeat (minced candied orange) I used candied orange peel
100 g (2/3 cup) Zitronat (minced candied lemon)  I used 1 tsp lemon zest
200 g (1 1/3 cup) Hazelnuts
200 g (1 1/3 cup) Almonds
  50 g (1/3 cup) Walnuts
1 tsp Orange Extract (could not find that)
1 tsp Lemon Extract  (could not find that)
5 tsp Lebkuchen Seasoning ( DIY, see below)
1 tsp Vanilla Extract
1/2 tsp Rum Extract
1/2 tsp Almond Extract
1 tsp salt

How to:
The first day:
Beat the eggs and sugar to a foamy cream.
Grind up nuts into a fine flour. Mince Orangeat and Zitronat in a blender.
Chop walnuts into smaller pieces.

Mix Lebkuchen seasoning with the nut flour and candied fruit bits and blend well with the egg cream. It is a very sticky dough. Cover with plastic and cool in the refrigerator the night over. ( I had it in the fridge for 2 days and still it baked well).

The next day.
Pre-heat the oven to 350 °F (180 °C)
With the help of two tablespoons place an egg-sized amount of the dough on a lightly floured surface. Dust with flour and roll into a small ball by hand. Place the balls onto a cookie sheet, covered with baking paper, and flatten them slightly.
Bake fir about 15 minutes. Don't over-bake, the cookies should still be soft inside and lightly brown on the outside.

They may be covered with lemon icing or melted chocolate. If you buy "Elisenkuchen" in a box you will find half of them are covered with chocolate the other half with lemon icing.

My own experience:
I didn't find all the ingredients, but the cookies tasted very good nonetheless.

I placed the dough with two spoons right onto the cookie sheet and formed them with the spoons, dipped in water, so that the dough didn't stick. That was the easiest and less messiest way to do it.

I also added more than told in the ingredient list.
You can add 100 g (1 1/3 cup) of each:
Minced apricot, raisins, figs, dates, marzipan, brazil nuts.
Add another egg per 200 g added ingredients.

Lebkuchen-Seasoning home made:

2 tsp Cinnamon
1 tsp Ginger, powdered
1/2 tsp Cardamom, powdered
1/4 tsp Clover, powdered
(1/4 tsp Allspice) optional
(1/4 tsp Nutmeg) optional
1/2 tsp Rum Flavour
1/2 tsp Almond Flavour
1/2 tsp Butter Vanilla Flavour

Lemon Icing
150 g Icing sugar ( add 1 tbls cocoa for a fake chocolate cover)
ca 1 tsp lemon juice (use water when using cocoa)
Brush onto the warm cookies. Cool so completely.