A photo an hour: 11 October 2014

I feel like I only just did a photo an hour post, but the September one was, in fact, nearly a month ago and yesterday it was time for the October version.
I actually got up at 10:30, but again I wanted to take my photos at full hours, so my first one is from 11.

11 a.m. Making breakfast

Toaster

12 noon. Out of the shower and on my way to get dressed.

PJs

1 p.m. Off to the supermarket for a few bits.

Trolleys

2 p.m. I woke up with the urge to bake, so now I’m back from shopping that’s what I’m going to do.

Baking

3 p.m. The cookie dough is chilling in the fridge, so time for a bit of cross stitch (I should really have been doing the dishes at this point, but whatever).

Snow cross stitch

4 p.m. Just finished hoovering

Hoover

5 p.m. Making a couple of baked potatoes for Jan and I to eat.

Potatoes

6 p.m. Preparing some snacks for movie night – this will be sausage rolls.

Sausage rolls

7 p.m. Snacks and a film… now all we need is for our friends to show up. (The sausage rolls were still in the oven at this point).

Snacks

Aaaand after 7 p.m. I forgot to take any more photos. For the record, our friends showed up and we watched Zombieland followed by Dogma. All the food was devoured (apart from a few cookies that I had for breakfast this morning), everyone left at midnight and then I went to bed.

For more Photo an Hour posts, see Jane’s blog Is That You Darling. Next month’s Photo an Hour will be taking place on 8th November. If you would like to join in, make a note of it now 🙂

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A taste of home: Sausage rolls

I’d been living in Germany about 5 years, buying sausage rolls every time I went home, before it finally occurred to me that I could make them myself! I’ve made them a few times since (Jan loves sausage rolls!) so when I was trying to think of something to bring to a party on Saturday, sausage rolls seemed like the obvious answer… easy, fairly quick and I knew nobody else would be making them! I thought other ex-pats who are craving sausage rolls might like to know how to make their own, too, so I decided to share mine. There are loads of recipes all over the Internet, of course, but mine comes with instructions on what to do if you live in Germany 😉

Vegetarians and others who are disturbed by the sight of raw meat might want to look away now…

You will need the following:

  • These are the sausages you need
    These are the sausages you need

    1 packet of pre-made puff pastry – Blätterteig in German (yes, I’m that lazy!)

  • 500g sausage meat or pork sausages that you can easily remove the filling from (in Germany, you need to buy the fresh “grobe Bratwurst” type… Nürnberger and things like that won’t work!)
  • About a teaspoon of dried parsley (or chopped fresh parsley if you have that stuff around. I never do, unless I buy it specially)
  • About a teaspoon of dried thyme
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • A dash of cayenne pepper
  • Freshly ground black pepper

1. If using sausages, remove their skins then place your skinned sausages or sausage meat in a large bowl. My bowl contains a lot of sausages because I tripled the above ingredients to make sure there would be enough…

Skinned sausages
Skinned sausages

2. Add the crushed garlic and mash/stir it into the sausage meat until it seems evenly spread.

3. Add parsley, thyme, a small dash of cayenne pepper (seriously… just a small dash, unless you want spicy sausage rolls, in which case feel free to add more) and as much freshly ground black pepper as you like and combine everything together well.

The sausage meat mixture
The sausage meat mixture

4. Unroll your pastry and place a thick line of sausage meat close-ish to the edge, leaving a gap slightly larger than the width of your sausage strip for rolling.

sausage meat and pastry
sausage meat and pastry

5. Fold the edge of the pastry over the sausage meat and cut the pastry just past where it comes to, then roll the pastry around the sausage meat. If the end doesn’t stick by itself, use a tiny bit of water. Repeat this step until you run out of pastry (hopefully you will also run out of sausage meat at the same time).

Rolled

6. Cut the rolled-up, sausage-filled pastry into whatever sized pieces you would like. I tend to make mine fairly small because I’m paranoid about poisoning people and think if they’re small they’re more likely to cook through properly.

All ready for the oven
All ready for the oven

8. Brush the top of the sausage rolls with a little milk, if you want (I didn’t because I knew at least one person attending the party is lactose intolerant) and bake them at the temperature shown on your pastry packaging for about 15-20 minutes.

The finished article...
The finished article…

9. Leave the sausage rolls to cool for a bit before enjoying. I’m serious… they may look tempting, but those things are hot when they come out of the oven!

The food I shall eat in Ireland

One of the most exciting things about our trip to Ireland – apart from the fact that I actually have friends who like me enough to go on holiday with me. Oh, and all the cool stuff we’re going to see of course – is all the wonderful food they have there. The Republic of Ireland may not be part of the United Kingdom, but when it comes to eating we have very similar tastes. With over a month to go until we leave, I’m already dreaming of all the foods I’m going to eat…

Homemade pie! I'm hoping to find many of these while in Ireland...
Homemade pie! I’m hoping to find many of these while in Ireland…
  • Full Irish breakfasts. Sausages, eggs, bacon, baked beans… just thinking about it makes me drool!
  • Roast dinners! We’re going to be there on at two Sundays, which means at least one proper roast dinner is a must. I can almost taste the Yorkshire Pudding…
  • Fish and Chips. With loads of salt and vinegar, of course!
  • Galaxy chocolate. I may not eat any while I’m there, but it’s definitely coming back with me.
  • Sausage rolls and pasties and pies. Because the Irish are like us and have realised that putting savoury things inside pastry actually works very well.
  • Cottage pie. I occasionally get to eat this at the local Irish pub, and I can make it myself as well, but if I spy it on a menu in Ireland I may be unable to resist…
  • Sausages and mash. I am sooo looking forward to a sausage that isn’t a Bratwurst!
  • Irish stew. I think this is the only thing on the list that is actually Irish, rather than British or Irish. Any dish that features lamb and potatoes is bound to be a hit with me!

OK, I have to stop now. Just writing this list is making me hungry, so I’m off to cook tonight’s tea!

Merry Christmas! Frohe Weihnachten!

It seems we are going to Jan’s dad’s for Christmas after all, a decision that was made at fairly short notice after Jan finally got hold of his dad yesterday afternoon. The dad said he had no plans and we could come if we wanted. Jan wanted, and so we go. Today!! With one day less than I was expecting and no magic housework fairy to help, I only managed to get about half of the cleaning done. We will come back to a mess, but it can’t be helped.

Last night we had a picnic tea, trying to use up things that needed to be used up. I made sausage rolls from scratch because you can’t buy them here and I know Jan likes them.

basket
Picnic basket (Photo: uberculture)

I only figured out that I can make them myself this July! My achievement of 2012! LOL. There were also roast potatoes, sandwiches (to use up the bread) and carrot sticks to make it sort of healthy.

Right, I must go and finish sorting things out now. I want to put another load of washing on before we leave. It can dry while we’re away, ready to come away with us for New Year. Merry Christmas everyone! I hope you have a lovely time and get everything you wish for, whatever that may be (peace on Earth? An engagement ring? A white Christmas? I’m just hoping our train’s not delayed!).

Karlsruhe Christmas market 2012
Karlsruhe Christmas market 2012

If I could have it I wouldn’t be craving it!

I’m sitting here eating a packet of peanut M&Ms.  I bet at least one person is now thinking “so what? I do that all the time”. Ah, but the thing is I do not do that all the time. You see, the boyfriend is allergic to peanuts. Not severely allergic, as in open a packet of peanuts while he is in the room and he will stop breathing, but allergic enough that he may well stop breathing if he accidently went and ate something from the packet. So I tend not to knowingly buy anything with peanuts in. (He’s fine with “may contain traces…” it’s just actual peanuts that are a problem). But I am alone this week, so when I spotted the yellow packet of M&Ms on the supermarket shelf I thought ‘why not’? And so I am now eating peanut M&Ms. By the way, in case anyone was wondering, Jan has been sent to LA by his work – some computer software in a hospital that needs to be looked at. According to him the problems they’re having are probably their own fault but he has to go and sort it out anyway. *sigh* Take my advice – don’t fall in love with a computer scientist!

Anyway…. back to the point.
Have you ever noticed how whenever you really, really want a certain thing it’s something you can’t have? Even if you’ve been shopping that day the thing you find yourself craving at midnight is guaranteed to be something you didn’t buy. Or maybe that’s just me? Either way, right now I have my packet of yummy peanut M&Ms but what I really want to be eating is poppadoms. I don’t even know why. Poppadoms just popped into my head at work this afternoon and now I desperately want to eat them. Unfortunately that’s easier said than done in Germany. Oh, you can get them, but only if you’re willing to pay over 3 euros for them. And the only ones they have here are the type that you have to cook yourself. By cook I mean place in extremely hot oil for a few seconds, causing your entire kitchen to become filled with smoke. Not a good idea if your little cooking space is miles away from any windows. What I want are those ready-to-eat Sharwoods poppadoms that are available in every single supermarket in England. But I cannot have them, which only makes me want them more.

It’s the same with most of the things I miss from home. When I’m in England I don’t feel the need to eat a packet of crisps every day, but in Germany, faced with the choice of paprika flavour or paprika flavour (although I have to admit they’re getting better) I find myself longing for some Flaming Hot Monster Munch. Or Skips. Or Quavers. Or some Worcester Sauce flavoured Walkers. Occasionally I will find myself in the corner of Karstadt staring longingly at the Kettle Chips. If I’m having a really bad day I might even buy a packet. (That doesn’t happen very often though. Not at the insane price of 3 euros. For a packet of crisps!). And then there’s crumpets. And pasties. And pies. In fact, anything savoury that can be packed in pastry (Hails made me feel very jealous yesterday talking about the sausage rolls she’s been eating). And don’t even get me started on Chicken Soup and Bird’s Eye Potato Waffles! Funny how I barely even noticed these things when I could have them every day.