Sunday, September 18, 2011

Back Home Again

Surprise! Not only am I back here in Michelau

but I am actually posting something here after months of inactivity.

The month of August was spent visiting friends and family in Pennsylvania, Texas, and Colorado. I had a great time. Thanks to all of you who shared your time with us and made our time as memorable as possible. I do hope to write about those moments and post pictures here. In the meantime, here's a little about what we've been doing since getting over the jet-lag.

First, let me say this. If you leave home for four weeks, you are bound to return to a yard full of high grass and a garden full of weeds and rotten tomatoes. Those tomatoes could have been enjoyed by neighbors if they weren't also away on their vacations.  However, we did manage to collect almost a large bowl full of red, ripe tomatoes, several yellow squash, a red pepper, and a few zucchini which could have been used as self-defense clubs on our first day home (and lots more since).

So, one of the things we've been doing is preparing a variety of zucchini meals-- feta and tomato baked zucchini, zucchini and cheese omelets... I've got a whole book of zucchini recipes to keep us going. Next week I'll be making spicy sesame-zucchini stir fry and also a zucchini cake. So, if you've got some good zucchini recipes, please share. We love trying new things.

We also picked our first corn which we enjoyed with pork and veggies from the grill. Our basil had flowered but seems to be doing better now and the celery is growing well. One thing that didn't fair well were our grape saplings in the vineyard. They look pretty miserable. We're hoping they bounce back. On the other hand, the grapes in the garden look and taste great.

Next week we'll need to pick some apples. Our tree is full of them. Looks like we'll be making apple sauce, apple muffins, apple galette, Apfelstreudel...


Another thing we've been doing was preparing for the beginning of school. Katarina just finished her first week which had it's surprises and disappointments. She has two teachers she is definitely not fond of, but she is more than happy with her homeroom teacher, Mr. Stammler, who is also her teacher for math, geography and biology.

Here she is on the first day of school.

The class also held elections for Klassensprecher (class president). There are always two--one boy and one girl.  Katarina enjoyed doing it last year and decided not to run (even though I know she wanted to but wanted to give someone else the chance to do it). As it turns out, the procedure was a bit different this time around. Instead of people campaigning, classmates were told to elect people. They were then give a few minutes to accept or decline and say a few words. Katarina was elected so she accepted...and WON. This year a different boy won. So there is some constant, some change.  Seventh grade is a tough year, but we are off to a good start and hope it goes well. One of her assignments was to write an essay about her favorite day of summer vacation. She wrote about her day in Austin with my cousin Bob and his family. I will DEFINITELY be blogging about that at some point in the next month.

Other than that, we've just been trying to relax and enjoy things. The other day Stefan came home and said "Wanna get some flowers?" So, we went off to our favorite field. It is a place where you can stop and pick your own flowers. I've written about it on my other blog (click here).  This time instead of daffodils and tulips there were sunflowers

and gladioles in all different colors.

Aren't these gorgeous!

And there were red ones

and a bunch of other colors to choose from. It was so hard to decide.

Katarina went along and picked a few to put in her bedroom.


And I was busy snapping pictures. Here is one of my favorites.

The rain spoiled our plans today, so I guess I will just sit inside, write a bit, bake a cake and look at the  bouquet of gladioles. (Thanks, Stefan.)  Eventually, I will get around to those vacations posts. So stay tuned.


Belle said...

What a great post full of interesting stuff! Congrats to your daughter for being elected Class President. That is a honor. I love that there is a place where people can go and just pick flowers. What a wonderful idea. I hope Katarina enjoys her new school year.

Linda H. said...

Thanks for stopping by Belle and for commenting.

Ed Pilolla said...

wish i could have a few of those for my room, too. amazing images.

Heidi said...

Love your blog. So nice to see about Germany. Ich kenne Michelau gut, mein Vater war aus Ebrach und ich bin aus Bayreuth. Freue mich schon of deine weiteren postings. Liebe Gruesse aus Indiana...Heidi

Ella said...

Gorgeous photos; I love gardening!
Your grapes look amazing! I will go through my zucchini recipes. Lovely your daughter is Class President! She looks so happy; I hope she has a wonderful year~ Middle school can be difficult~ I love your sunflower photo; it is amazing!!!

Linda H. said...

Ed, Heidi, and Ella--thanks for stopping by.

Ed, the flowers are huge! I didn't have the proper vase and had to put rocks in mine to keep it from tipping over.

Heidi, there are 6 Michelaus in Germany. I've been to all but the one you know. That is next on the list.

Ella, you are so sweet and I love your blogs.

Deidre said...

You've probably used all your zucchini by now, but polenta with cuminy zucchini stew is one of my favourite recipes!

Linda H. said...

Deidre, that sounds so yummy! I'll keep that in mind for next year. (or for store-bought zucchini)