Sunday 28 November 2010

First Pause in Advent 2010.

As today is the First Sunday in Advent I'd like to share a little of my story with you, and introduce you to a wonderful friend of ours.
In 1984 Mr B's career took us to Bavaria, Germany.
We left all our family and friends behind in the UK to start a new life in a new country. Scary.
We threw ourselves wholeheartedly into our new surroundings, making many German friends in our neighbourhood and amongst his work collegues, but the most important friends we made were our landlords and next door neighbours Herr & Frau Wilde.
Over the years we shared many wonderful times with the Wildes, celebrating not only high days and holidays but also day to day life in Pöcking, a small town on the shores of Starnberger See.
Frau Wilde (never Traudl, never "du") sort of adopted me as the daughter she never had.
She taught me many things, like how to play bridge, she is a fanatical bridge player and to this day, if I ever get the chance to play, I always find myself bidding in German! (Vier pik!)
We spent many an afternoon sitting in her "winter garden" as she helped me improve my embroidery, knitting, and German conversation skills all the time enjoying her "kaffee und kuchen".
From top right: Our house
 a favourite woods where we walked our dogs,
Feldafinger Strasse.
The snow season in Bavaria starts around the beginning of December and during our first winter in Pöcking she taught me how to cross country ski on the local golf course in Feldafing.
Did I mention that the lady was born in 1918?
Frau W & me 1991
Perhaps the one thing that Frau Wilde taught me which touched me the deepest was how to celebrate Christmas the Bavarian way,
Her Weihnachts Plaetzchen (Christmas biscuits) such as Zimtsterne and Springerele were legendary.
And so on this First Sunday in Advent and in honour of a much loved lady, I'd like to invite you to "kaffe und kuchen" my way.
My Adventskranz 2010.
Sadly, fresh evergreen wreaths are not easily found here in rural Normandy and so once again this year, a "faux" wreath decorated with white poinsettia flowers and silver pine cones surrounds four classic white Church candles.
The china service is Rosenthal's "Classic Rose" in white, which with its silvery grey design and gold trim complements the Adventskranz beautifully.
Napkins: Spode Christmas tree. (was sonst?)
For you to enjoy during the Adventszeit old fashioned mincepies (click here for the recipe) and lebkuchen, a very simple iced biscuit, similar to gingerbread.
(Note to Floss: I'm going back to Delia!)
With this post I'm joining
Floss @ Troc, Broc and Recup for First Pause in Advent.
The Tablescaper for Seasonal Sundays.
Marty @ A Stroll Through Life for Tabletop Tuesday.
The Lady Katherine, for the first time, and Teatime Tuesday.
Click on the links above to see who else is joining in this week.

Saturday 20 November 2010

The Hairy Bikers Old Fashioned Mincemeat.

I'm joining The Tablescaper once again this week for Seasonal Sunday, with a new recipe of a traditional English favourite: the Hairy Bikers Old Fashioned Mincemeat.
Also sharing this post with Mary @ The Little Red House for Mosaic Monday.
Christmas wouldn't be Christmas for us if mince pies weren't involved and although we haven't actually lived in the UK for over 25 years I always bake lots of these small delicacies for us to enjoy during the festive season.
For many years I've always used a tried and tested Delia Smith recipe when making mincemeat.
However, I recently received a copy of the Hairy Bikers "12 Days of Christmas" cook book, (a lovely thank you gift from a thoughtful English friend) and was intrigued by their recipe for Old Fashioned Mince Pies with an Orange Crust.
Click here to get the recipe.
Traditionally I make my mincemeat around the middle of November just to get ahead with my Christmas preparations, but if time is short, the HB recipe can be made the day before you need it.

Some Brits believe that it is good luck to eat a mince pie every day during December and my DH would be one of those, if I didn't watch his waist line!

These jars will be going into the pantry, for a couple of weeks, to allow the boozy flavours to develop. Then my pies, according to the Hairy Bikers, will be "guaranteed to bring a smile even to Ebeneer Scrooge".....

Come back in a couple of weeks to find out how they tasted but in the meantime do pop over to The Tablescaper and to the Little Red House to see who else is participating this week.

Wednesday 10 November 2010

H is for Hibiscus on Hilton Head.

Just realised that I can join in with Jenny's Alphabe-Thursday this week with a triple HHH post.

This beautiful hibiscus plant is growing just beneath my balcony here at Marriott's Surf Watch resort.
The shadow capture was an extra bonus which means I'll be sharing this post with Harriet and her #130 Shadow Shot Sunday gathering.
Why not click on the links and visit both of these great blogs, I know you'll have fun.

Monday 8 November 2010

Holiday snaps.

A chilly morning on Burkes Beach, HHI.
November has truly arrived on the island.
Clocks went back at the weekend and suddenly our early morning walk turned a little chilly.
We came prepared however, with warm fleecy jackets and long pants. Flip flops are stashed at the back of the wardrobe to be replaced by "more sensible" footwear.
This old lady came to greet us as we walked along the beach.

We stopped to pet her for a while and chatted with her pal Redfish Rex. Isn't that a fab name! Click here to go to their web site.

Roger & Redfish Rex.

There's always lots of interesting driftwood and flotsam and jetsam to photograph.

Down at Coligny beach you can while away an hour or two, swinging and watching the world go by.
At South beach harbour we had lunch at the Salty Dog Cafe.

Is this not a Kodak moment?

Thursday 4 November 2010

Folly Creek Salt Marsh

Folly Creek Salt Marsh
The low country of South Carolina is an area of outstanding natural beauty and draws me back to Hilton Head time and time again.

Our timeshare resort enjoys a unique position on the east side of the island.

It overlooks the low lying salt marsh, fed twice daily by the ocean's ebb and flow, at Folly Creek Inlet.
The long boardwalk that crosses the salt marsh allows us to stop and observe the ever changing landscape during high and low tides.

Information about the salt marsh, the wildlife that inhabits the region and the maritime forest that encloses it is provided to educate us further.

Finally, as we cross the sand dunes and arrive at the wide, flat beach itself we turn left to begin our early morning walk.

The gang's all here.
We usually set ourselves a target to reach, before turning around and heading back, we try and walk about 3 miles each day.

This morning the skies are grey and overcast, although it hasn't rained yet we expect some later today.
Perhaps we'll be mall walking instead!
Linking this post about one of my favourite places to Lauries A Few of My Favourite Things gathering so, why not head on over to see who else is participating this week?

Wednesday 3 November 2010

HFTS & NL get together in Savannah.

The annual QCI meeting always provides us with a great way to catch up with old friends and make new ones too.
Sarah of Hyacinths For The Soul & I have been friends for many years since getting to know each other at a previous meeting.
We had hoped to be able to spend more time together this year but it was not to be as she was delayed in getting to Savannah and therefore missed a couple of events with us, which was a shame.
On our very last morning, before we all went our seperate ways, Mr B took a quick photo of us together.
Oh well!
There's always next year's meeting which will be held in Quimper, Brittany until then we'll just have to be satisfied with virtual visits courtesy of blogger!