Tag Archives: Christmas

When Winter Just Isn’t Winter

There’s people walking about wearing T-shirts. And cycling in shorts. In Bavaria. In late December. Outside!

It smells like autumn. But it feels just like spring. Even the bees are busy, but busy with what…? Flowers are far and few between. Plant life is dormant. Or trying to be. The poor buzzy blighters can’t sleep – it’s too hot to hibernate.

This non-winter is a tricky situation not just for them, but also for faux photographers like me. Bavaria is pretty in the snow. In absence of a powdery white blanket beautifying the season’s barrenness, there’s usually at least an early morning dusting of frost gracing the trees, making them sparkle in the sunshine.

But this year, with temperatures persistently well above zero, everything is brown and (brownish) green. The gently rolling countryside, though easy on the eye when you’re standing in it, turns into nothing-to-write-home-about snaps of muddy fields and dead bristly bits. And my camera is way too crappy to capture the faint silhouettes of the snow-capped Alps towering above the landscape in the far distance, like ghostly dinosaurs.

I had to re-think my strategy. So, here it is: Big skies, small details, textures and splashes of colour where I could find them. And trying not to get myself arrested while loitering around people’s garden fences.

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Birch trees laden with mistletoe

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And I know you’ve all been waiting for this:

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Mum’s Christmas baking 🙂

 

Some of you may remember that last year’s winter-time shots of my tiny little village and surroundings were wildly different:

A stunning white Christmas: https://ladyofthecakes.wordpress.com/2014/12/26/a-white-christmas-after-all/

Followed by an equally dazzling New Year: https://ladyofthecakes.wordpress.com/2015/01/01/a-happy-new-year-from-narnia/

Apparently, there will be snow next week. Am not holding my breath…

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Winterwonderland Didn’t Last…

The magic is gone. We’re back to drizzle, slush, treacherous black ice and pitiful corpses 😦

Nothing but sad remnants remain...

Nothing but remnants remain…

If you want to admire the above snowman when he was still a strapping young lad in his full frosty glory, click here.

To comfort ourselves over the sad demise of the sparkly wintery snowscape, my friend Peggy laid on a festive afternoon coffee:

Note the AMERICAN chocolate chip cookies on the right-hand side, which are a real challenge to re-create in Germany, so I was told. Delicious :)

Note the AMERICAN chocolate chip cookies on the right-hand side, which are a real challenge to re-create in Germany, so I was told. Delicious 🙂

Here's a close-up, in case you've missed them ;-)

Here’s a close-up, in case you’re not drooling quite enough already 😉

The snow may be gone, but I caught a nice sunset on my evening walk today:

Sunset

If you’ve missed the Bavarian Winterwonderland pictures, you can see them here and here.

 

 

Raiding Mum’s Christmas Baking

Mum’s busy in the kitchen, so I sneaked into her bedroom to investigate the contents of the seven huge metal tins crammed to the brim with her Christmas baking. This is what I found:

Plätzchen

 

Shortbread with jam

Lebkuchen... my favourite!

Lebkuchen… my favourite!

Hazelnut macaroons, made with the neighbour's hazelnuts. They may not look much, but the taste is out of this world...

Hazelnut macaroons, made with our neighbours’ delicious hazelnuts. They may not look much, but the taste is out of this world…

Mehr Plätzchen

Little shortbread stars, lovely and buttery

Little shortbread stars, lovely and buttery

Vanillekipferl

Vanillekipferl

Sadly, by the time I got here, the Christmas baking project was already completed, so I can’t show you any of the steps. However, I did make Vanillekipferl with my friend Lorena last year, and if you want to see how WRONG things can go, just click here 😉

 

 

Christmas Transitions

I´m not really a Christmas person. But then, I am a glutton, and the food sways me. Also the pretty colours. On Sunday, I was strolling through Toledo´s Christmas market. I didn´t even know we had one, until my friend Carmen, who I was having lunch with that day, educated me.

Toledo Christmas Market

Christmas market stall

 

Salt cod

Salt cod

Yesterday, I got on a plane…

The red, sandy soils of central Spain

The red, sandy soils of central Spain

My first glimpse of ¨home¨: magnificent Lake Constance, where Switzerland, Austria and Germany meet

My first glimpse of ¨home¨: magnificent Lake Constance, where Switzerland, Austria and Germany meet

A minute before touchdown in Munich. Oddly green for this time of year. You can make out the Alps in the background.

A minute before touchdown in Munich. Oddly green for this time of year. 

The first thing I had after I got off the plane was a steaming hot mug of Glühwein from a stall at the Christmas market right outside the airport terminal. I really needed that…!