Monate: Juni 2016

Lake Garda

Lake Garda – Impressions

Two weeks ago my boyfriend and I traveled to Lake Garda in Northern Italy. Living near Munich in Bavaria until I was 24 years old, Italy was always our first choice. It is not far away and even weekend trips are possible. This preference for Italy as travel destination never changed, and as we spent our holiday at Lake Garda two years ago, we decided to go there again. I am frequently ambivalent when I have to decide where to go for holidays. On one hand, I love to visit new places and make new experiences. On the other hand, I enjoy knowing which restaurants are good and which hotel to choose. Traveling to a place where you have been before allows you to deepen the experiences you made. You already know what is good and what to avoid, and at least you can refrain from typical tourist attractions (you already saw them) and just do what locals do. This year we divided our stay up into two blocks, one half we spent in the …

growing_Japanese_Plum

Growing Eryobotria japonica (Japanese Plum)

This year´s trip to Garda Lake brought me a new permanent guest in my plant collection. It is called Eryobotrya Japonica or commonly Japanese Plum. Somehow I never drew any attention on this plant before. The leaves are beautiful, dark green, lanceolate and with a shiny surface. Beside that, the fruits are bright orange and contain big brown seeds that “shouted” at me to plant them (or at least that is how I imagine it sometimes). Unfortunately these small trees are not frost hardy enough for our Central European climate. As it is possible to overwinter them indoors, there is nothing to stop me from planting them. There is no pulp sticking to the seeds, so it is very easy to extract the seeds from the fruits. In this case the seeds were already sprouting when I removed them from the fruits, so that part was even easier. I just planted them after carrying them with me for a couple of days in a lunchbox with wet paper towels. If the seeds are not sprouting …

Jam Session #1 – Blueberry Jam with Elderflowers

This is the first of three posts about the different jams I preserved this year. Summer is my preferred season for making jam, as at this time it is possible to use a large selection of different fruits. Of course, nowadays you can buy everything at every time of the year, but I try to use products that are produced as regionally as possible and furthermore I never experienced strawberries in the winter which actually tasted like strawberries. There is only a short period of time in which it is possible to make this variation dependent on the flowering time of the elder, but this ingredient definitely adds a very special flavor. Blueberry Jam with Elderflowers Source: own creation Ingredients 750 g blueberries (fresh or frozen ones can be used) 250 g preserving sugar 3:1 about 8 elderflower umbels, the single blossoms picked off Instructions Firstly, prepare some jars, clean them precisely and sterilize with boiling water. Put the blueberries in a pan. (If frozen blueberries are used, wait until thawed.) Puree the fruits until …