Uta’s Diary, towards the End of May 2015

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This picture we took when this cafe had just been opened. This was a few years ago. It took the place of a book shop. Not many book shops in our area have survived. Over the years we have been to this cafe a few times. We like their coffee. We also like their hot chocolate.

The other day we had lunch in this cafe before we went to a close by cinema to see THE WOMAN IN GOLD. This movie did grab me emotionally.

This movie did not get a very high rating. I would have rated it much higher. I did not find it boring at all. On the contrary. And I found all the actors very good.

Maria Altmann, an octogenarian Jewish refugee, takes on the Austrian government to recover artwork she believes rightfully belongs to her family.

Director: Simon Curtis
Writers: Alexi Kaye Campbell, E. Randol Schoenberg (life story), 1 more credit »
Stars: Helen Mirren, Ryan Reynolds, Daniel Brühl

Biography
Maria Altmann was born on February 18, 1916 in Vienna, Austria-Hungary as Maria Viktoria Bloch-Bauer. She was an actress and writer, known for The Rape of Europa (2006), Woman in Gold (2015) and Adele’s Wish (2008). She was married to Friedrich Altmann. She died on February 7, 2011 in Cheviot Hills, California, USA.
Waged a seven-year legal battle against the Austrian government to recover five works by Gustav Klimt, commissioned by her uncle, which were seized by the Nazis when Austria was annexed in 1938, including two done of her aunt, Adele Bloch-Bauer. She sold “Adele Bloch-Bauer I” (1907) to Ronald Lauder in 2006 for a then-record $135 million. The four other works brought $192.7 million at an auction later that year.
Played by Helen Mirren in Woman in Gold (2015).
After she moved to Los Angeles, her brother-in-law Bernhard Altmann sent her a cashmere sweater, not yet available in the United States, with a note: “See what you can do with this”. She sold the sweater to Kerr’s Department Store in Beverly Hills. The resulting demand for cashmere enabled her to start her own clothing business. Among her clients was Caroline Brown Tracy, mother of Spencer Tracy. Bernhard Altmann was forced to sign over his Vienna textile plant to the Nazis in 1938 in exchange for the release of his brother. Having immigrated to the United States in 1941, he added cashmere wool fiber to his New York City-based yarn trading company in 1947. He then re-launched his Vienna factory and opened a factory in Texas, undercutting Scottish manufacturers, which had the cashmere wool market cornered at that time.

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Three years ago, in 2012, we took this winter picture of Lake Illawarra. Well, from next Monday on, the first of June, our winter season has started. But if you ask me, we’ve been in the midst of winter already for the last few weeks. The nights are dreadfully cold, and during the day it does not get very warm either.

Before I got up out of my warm bed this morning, I was planning in me head what I would cook today. I knew I still had half a cabbage and some carrots and sweet potatoes in the fridge. Also onions, ginger and eggs. Peter had one Kranski left and there was some nice sweet Muscato wine in the fridge. Later on I managed to make a lovely meal out of all this. It would have made a nice picture, especially topped with some fresh parsley!

Instead of the wine Peter preferred to have some water with some apple cider vinegar in it. The ginger pieces I cooked together with the the orange vegetables in some vegie broth. I took them out, cut them into very small pieces and added them to my meal on the plate since Peter does not care to have ginger pieces in his meal. But he had nicely fried Kranski sausages. And we had a fried egg each.

I found this meal very satisfactory. I rounded it off with an espresso coffee. Peter did not want any coffee, but he did the dishes. I had my coffee while I was wiping some of the dishes and putting them away. Peter is going to have some afternoon coffee and cake later on, while I am looking forward to have a pot of tea to warm me up in the afternoon.

Well, today seems to be a day, when it shows that Peter and I have sometimes different likes and dislikes. But I think this all right. As the French say: Chacun a son gout!

Grünkohl – Kale

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Cooked Kale
Cooked Kale

The pictures are from Wikipedia

Kale or borecole is a vegetable with green or purple leaves, in which the central leaves do not form a head. It is considered to be closer to wild cabbage than most domesticated forms. Wikipedia

I copied underneath some pages about kale for your perusal. First I want to relate now some of my recent experiences with kale:

After having had a look at the above you are probably convinced that kale is very good for you. Apparently kale is getting more and more popular in Australia. We did buy a bunch of it the other day at a greengrocer’s in Thirroul. It was only three Dollars, which we thought was a very good buy. Today we bought another bunch here in Dapto, costing us five Dollars.

Today’s bunch was a Hydro Produce. Does it mean it is free of pesticides? I hope so. When Caroline gave us a bunch of kale the other day, this was probably organically grown kale. Caroline usually buys organically grown vegies.  Out of Caroline’s kale I made a meal for breakfast. I had a few boiled potatoes which I cut into small pieces. Then I hacked the kale leaves into tiny pieces. I also cut some fresh red capsicums into pieces. I used two frying pans: One for the potatoes with the kale pieces, the other one for the capsicum. I sauteed everything in organic butter. I transferred the cooked capsicum to the big frying pan. Then I used this smaller frying pan to do some scrambled eggs in. Once everything was served onto plates these looked rather colourful: Sauted potato pieces, tiny green kale pieces and pieces of red capsicum on one side and beautiful yellow scrambled eggs on the other side. I like to eat food that looks colourful like this! 🙂 When I cooked this breakfast we still had Caroline and Matthew with us. They praised my cooking which made me very happy.

Today we had another sunny but very cold and windy day. Exactly the sort of winter day where some hot comfort food is very much appreciated. We still had some slices of kassler (smoked pork). Normally I do not like to cook any meat together with my vegies. However Peter wanted the kale cooked together with the kassler. And he wanted it cooked a long time (the German way) so it would be quite soft. So the kale with slices of kassler in it was cooked for a long time. In the meantime I also boiled some potatoes to go with the meal. I added some butter and pepper to the kale.  My slice of meat I did not eat for lunch. I left it on the side for eating it another time. Peter did eat two slices of kassler with kale and potatoes. I could see that he loved it a lot. We each had a can of beer to go with this very enjoyable meal. For desert we had some preserved sour cherries topped with a bit of organic yogurt and some custard. After lunch Peter served some espresso coffee with a piece of chocolate. Delicious! 🙂

Isn’t it amazing that we, being ‘poor’ pensioners, can afford great meals like these? As far as income is concerned we really do belong to the people with the least money. Still, we think our lifestyle is not poor at all, in fact we always are grateful how well we can live with our bit of money. Plus we have on top of the Australian pension a tiny German pension. This extra tiny pension helps us to do occasionally a bit of extra travelling. Our government thinks, it is about time we all learned to get by with less money. But I think most pensioners would find it very hard to make ends meet if the pension was to be adjusted to a lower level.

Here now is a link to the following page: http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=foodspice&dbid=38

I copied only some sections of it!

What’s New and Beneficial About Kale

Cholesterol-lowering benefits

Risk-lowering benefits for cancer

Providing comprehensive support for the body’s detoxification system

Researchers can now identify over 45 different flavonoids in kale.

WHFoods Recommendations: . . . . At a minimum, include cruciferous vegetables as part of your diet 2-3 times per week, and make the serving size at least 1-1/2 cups. Even better from a health standpoint, enjoy kale and other vegetables from the cruciferous vegetable group 4-5 times per week, and increase your serving size to 2 cups.
Kale is one of the healthiest vegetables around and one way to be sure to enjoy the maximum nutrition and flavor from kale is to cook it properly. We recommend Healthy Steaming kale for 5 minutes. To ensure quick and even cooking cut the leaves into 1/2″ slices and the stems into 1/4″ lengths. Let them sit for at least 5 minutes to enhance their health-promoting qualities before steaming.

……..

Kale and Pesticide Residues:

According to the Environmental Working Group (EWG) in their 2014 report, Shopper’s Guide to Pesticides in Produce, conventionally grown kale are contaminated with concentrations of organophosphate insecticides, which are considered to be highly toxic to the nervous system. While they were not among the 12 varieties of produce most concentrated in overall pesticide residues (and therefore not part of the EWG’s traditional “Dirty Dozen”), the EWG felt that this organophosphate concentration was relevant enough to bring attention to kale. They actually renamed their produce category of concern from “Dirty Dozen” to “Dirty Dozen Plus” with kale, collard greens, and hot peppers being the “Plus” conventionally grown produce. Therefore, individuals wanting to avoid pesticide-associated health risks may want to avoid consumption of kale unless it is grown organically.

………

Apparently all this is in kale in good, very good or excellent amounts:

vitamin K, vitamin A, vitamin C , manganese, copper, vitamin B6,
fiber, calcium, potassium, vitamin E, vitamin B2, iron magnesium, vitamin B1. omega-3 fats, phosphorus, protein, folate, vitamin B3″

Please go to the link if you want to find out more about the exact amounts.
Originally I copied nearly everything but then I shortened it quite a bit so the post won’t be so very long any more.

Isn’t kale a marvellous food? What do you think?

Another Weekend gone

Caroline did bake this cake.
Caroline did bake this cake.

 

It was a good weekend. We had the family visiting with little Lucas. And we received the great news, that in September Lucas is going to have a little sister or brother. How exciting this is for the whole family!

Caroline and Matthew arrived yesterday at lunchtime. This afternoon they left again to go back to Sydney. Yesterday we had Kartoffelsalat (Potato Salad) and Bouletten (Berlin Meat Patties) for lunch. Caroline did bring some cake which she had baked herself.  We had this yesterday for afternoon coffee when Monika came with Mark as well as Troy and Ryan who did bring little Lucas along. Ebony, the newly expectant mum, had stayed at home to have a little bit of a rest.

This is what my plate looked like for lunch, yesterday, 9th February 2914.
This is what my plate looked like for lunch, yesterday, 9th February 2014

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Caroline, Matthew, Peter and I went for a bit of Supper to the AGA (Australian German Austrian) Club.
Caroline, Matthew, Peter and I went for a bit of Supper to the AGA (Australian German Austrian) Club.

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The Gossips Coffee Lounge

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Peter had to see his eye specialist Friday morning at 10,45. His appointment took more than an hour. In the meantime I had a lovely cup of coffee at the gossips Coffee Lounge.

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This is a book that the author Lily Brett signed for Peter and me when we saw her in Berlin. I like to brag about it that we’ve actually seen her in person.

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As Peter was driving I happened to notice this sign. So I took a picture of it. Looks like this meal is of good value!

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Anyhow, we were on our way home. I was looking forward to cook a bit of lunch at home. While I was cooking lunch I also had to put a frozen cake in the oven to bake in time for my visitors who were expected to arrive at 2 pm.

The pictures tell another story about having had a perfectly blue sky again on this beautiful Friday in the Illawarra.

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The potatoes had already been cooked the day before. I just had to peel them and then cut them into pieces, the same with the red onion. I fried all this in some salted butter and then added some eggs and last but not least the baby spinach pieces I still happened to have in the fridge. Just a bit of ground sea salt and pepper. Voila, lunch was finished and tasted good. At least I thought so!

My friends arrived on time and we had our games of Scrabble and Rummy, same as on every Friday. Next Friday we’re going to play at Irene’s place again. Erica won’t be playing for the next six weeks though, for she’s going on an overseas trip.

Come to think of it, we had at least three perfectly sunny days in a row, namely Friday, Saturday and Sunday! And when our daughter came to visit us at the beginning of the week the weather was just wonderful too.

Here now a few pictures with Caroline, our daughter. These pictures were taken at her last visit here. She had to go back to Sydney the following day when we took her to the Dapto train station.

We always use FREE RANGE eggs.
We always use FREE RANGE eggs.
Baby Spinach is nice in a lot of meals!
Baby Spinach is nice in a lot of meals!
Caroline and Papa Peter
Caroline and Papa Peter
Caroline and Mama Uta
Caroline and Mama Uta
Caroline cooked this for us for breakfast.
Caroline cooked this for us for breakfast.
At Dapto train station
At Dapto train station

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Visiting People’s Gardens on the Fringes of Berlin

On Monday, 10th September 2012, the day after our arrival in Berlin, we went to visit Daniel and Sakorn who was celebrating her birthday with a lot of her Thai friends. Daniel is a son of Peter’s sister Ilse. We traveled by public transport together with Ilse to the beautiful private garden where the birthday party took place. Later on the other son of Ilse, arrived with Susanne to join the party. I went to sleep on a garden lounge Daniel kindly provided for me. He also gave me a nice warm blanket. I was still badly effected by jet leg!

Some of the food Sakorn had cooked up for the Party bash. She always gets a lot of help by her women friends.
Some of the food Sakorn had cooked up for the Party bash. She always gets a lot of help by her women friends.

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Entrance to the Garden
Entrance to the Garden

Sakorn gave me boiled rice and freshly cooked vegies, wonderful vegies, for she knew I didn’t eat meat. She gave me also some excellently spiced sauce with my meal. And of course there was a selection of drinks available. They also offered Jägermeister, but I declined. I had the feeling that day that alcohol wouldn’t agree with me. Sakorn understood that I was still suffering from jet leg. She and Daniel fly just about every year for a visit to Thailand. We encouraged them to also come over to Australia next time they’re in Thailand. I think they might actually do this. That’s great. We love having visitors.

I’m coming now to Sunday, the 16th of September. On that day we were travelling by public transport to Borgsdorf visiting Ingrid and Erhard at their summer place. Ingrid is related to Peter’s family. Over the years we were always happy to visit Ingrid and Erhard whenever we happened to be in Berlin. On the phone Ingrid wanted to make sure we would come on Sunday. When I mentioned I still had a bit of a cold she said, not to worry, it was going to be a lovely, sunny day. I could just sit outside in the sun and this would do me good. I didn’t have to do anything. She was going to cook lunch for us, she said.

She did serve us a wonderful lunch. She loves to cook with healthy ingredients and lots of herbs and vegies from her garden. I really felt all right sitting in the autumn sun for hours and hours and being served a lovely meal and later on coffee and cakes. Before the coffee break we all went for a walk to the close by river. Borgsdorf is a very secluded little village. In people’s gardens we could see on their fruit trees hundreds of red apples. Sorry, no picture of the apples.

We saw this sign in Borgsdorf. It means you can go by bike all the way from Berlin to Denmark!
We saw this sign in Borgsdorf. It means you can go by bike all the way from Berlin to Denmark!
The S-Bahn (City Railway) took us to Borgsdorf.
The S-Bahn (City Railway) took us to Borgsdorf.

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Ingrid did grow these in her garden,
Ingrid did grow these in her garden,

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Boats come all the way from Poland to Berlin
Boats come all the way from Poland to Berlin

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This is what Ingrid served for afternoon coffee.
This is what Ingrid served for afternoon coffee.