Anita Martin

pollinator
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since Aug 16, 2018
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kids books urban chicken cooking food preservation fiber arts bee
Translator, gardener, book-lover, mother, home-maker and much more
Southern Germany
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Recent posts by Anita Martin

Annie Collins wrote:
Your cooking sounds delicious, Anita! Regarding the cookbook, would you please share the name and author of it? Thank you!


Not very surprisingly, the cookbook is called Bayerisches Kochbuch (Bavarian cookbook - Homepage cookbook), the most popular and most often sold cookbook for this region. It is updated on a regular basis (the first edition was published over 80 years ago, the precursor is 100 years old). It was and is used in schools for domestic housekeeping.

Reading the other replies, I find it is valuable if you had a teacher like mother or grandmother who lived through hard times.
My maternal grandmother, although a city girl, went foraging mushrooms with us and showed us how to make syrup with spruce tips. She was very frugal and I remember how she once asked me why I rang up a schoolmate instead of taking a walk and talking to her directly...

However, my mother is very bad at leftover management (and very chaotic with her financial planning).

My husband is from Argentina. They have a very different background without a war or depression they had to live through. I was totally shocked when I learned that bread (which is served with almost all meals) gets just thrown into the bin when it is not eaten. Granted it is a very tasteless bread, but still - my grandmother used to say it is a sin to throw away food.
Meat (especially beef, but also chicken) is so cheap there - at least when my husband grew up - that you only used the best cuts and fed the rest to the dogs. He will still not eat things like liver or heart.
My SIL throws away carcasses of chicken which I collect to make a great broth.
But soups, broth and casseroles are basically missing from the Argentine cuisine. Yes, the beef is heavenly (but far too much in one serving) and the Italian tradition of artisan pasta is great, but it is not a very frugal cooking.

Luckily my husband is as frugal as me and we both enjoy delicious meals that are homemade and not too costly.
20 hours ago
Lorinne, very good list, many of these topics are already in place here in Germany (over three weeks now).

Regarding music lessons: As soon as the notice was out that schools would close, the piano teacher of daughter number 2 already set up an online lesson system. They have both set their smartphones at the piano and it works fine, even if the transmission is sometimes a bit wonky.
Both her gymnastics and ballet teachers send out videos with exercises.

The tennis teacher of daughter number 1 sends out exercises every week as well.

Regarding food and services:
Anyone with a little bit of intelligence can work out that things (like groceries, especially fruit and veggies) will get much more expensive this year or not make it to the shelves. A lot of those groceries come from regions that are currently in lockdown (no veggies or flowers arrive from the Netherlands currently), that will have shortages of labourers (Germany, Spain, Italy)  or that will run into deep trouble in the near future (South Africa).

I fear it will be a bit like Fontaine's fable of the cicada and the ant. Of course I will help out those in need, but I would be much more willing to help if I saw that others took precautions as well. Everybody should plant a garden, not just worry which Netflix series will be available during school lockdowns.

On a municipal level, every town has ramped up their neighbourhood service - which was in place before for the elderly, sick, families without stable income. Everybody can apply for help or as a helper, this works very well.
Bigger cities might show a different picture as they sometimes have whole neighbourhoods with low income population.
21 hours ago
Are the blackberries you get shiny or do they look coated?

Blackberries love a loamy soil, even with some clay, and they need a bit of lime. They don't need humus. Maybe you are overfeeding them?
21 hours ago
Looks like the flowers don't get pollinated properly.
Have you ever noticed any bees or other pollinators on them? In my garden, they are very popular with my bees and also bumble bees.
1 day ago
Very pretty!

I have the same doormat I believe. And yes, one year it looked similar. But as we used the entrance to that door regularly, the moss was of a different kind and shorter. Still, it had enough muck and moisture (and shade) to have a nice green shade!
1 day ago
The news you get from Spain, Great Britain and the US are scary enough.

But there are indeed places that are not in the public focus and that are hit harder.

I have seen documentaries on townships in South Africa where people live packed and in extreme poverty, there is no chance of social distancing. Same in other megacities and slums around the world. Imagine what could happen in India, the Brazilian favelas and places like the Greek island of Lesbos with thousands of immigrants stuck in make-shift shelters.

I have read that the indigenous population in the Amazonia had its first case of Corona infection.

And I have seen an interesting news story on an ultra orthodox town in Israel where the people rely on strictly following religious rules instead of scientific recommendations, same for orthodox christians that are soon to celebrate Easter and the believers kiss an icon, one after the other. You need just one of them to be infectious.

There are moments when life feels very normal, like this weekend in the garden, and others where the news can overwhelm you. Our nearest hospital is now closed (in quarantine) as one patient who was treated for another illness has infected many of the doctors and nurses. You better get not sick now.
1 day ago
Meatloaf: In Germany we have a dish that is like very small patties out of ground beef, egg, old rolls (soaked in milk), onions, herbs etc. called Fleischpflanzerl https://www.chefkoch.de/rezepte/1537291259595500/Bayerische-Fleischpflanzerl.html.

As I only buy organic ground meat (about 7 USD for 400 grams, mixed beef and pork) I stretch the loaves/patties even more. I add more bread (old bread that has gone stale) and cut oats, or I make them vegetarian altogether (based on bread or pulses like lentils). When they are condimented wisely, the kids will like them.

If you want to stretch ground beef, you can also use it in lasagna or bolognese style pasta sauce.

Another cheap dish is risotto where you can use a veggie like fennel or just onions and carrots.

My aunt gifted me a traditional Bavarian cookbook which is still very popular (many households have an edition) and it contains all the classical dishes that were used to feed the family without spending a lot. Traditional dishes include a wide variety of vegetarian dishes based on potatoes or eggs and flour ("Mehlspeisen", a tradition we share with the Austrian kitchen). Meat was mostly for sunday roast.
The book has all the basic classic recipes plus tips on frugal cooking (including offals).

SpƤtzle is a dish I often make, and I have taught my eldest daughter how to make delicious vegetarian gravy to go with it. It is also a big favourite in our family.

Tonight we had easy-style wraps: Just make pancake batter (luckily we have our own eggs), use a pancake maker in the middle of the table, and fill them with chili-sin-carne (I used kidney beans I soaked and cooked myself, a can of tomato sauce, onions, garlic, cumin, paprika, chili powder, fresh cilantro) and grated cheese. We had a bit of creamcheese left as well.
It was delicious, and I served it with a big bowl of salad from the garden (lettuce and all sorts of edible herbs and weeds and three mushrooms I harvested from our mushroom cultivation box).
1 day ago
I might have some extra seedlings, but not too many. All my windowsills are full, and the little greenhouse almost.

I had planned to have more tomatoes, but not all seeds grew.
But I will have enough basil and physalis to give away, also random things like walking onions, cilantro, probably fennel.

Waiting for the radishes to grow further. I planted them weeks ago but with the frosts (at least in the nights) they just remain the same size. If they all make it I will have enough for my neighbours.

Today I cleared and prepared three more spots for pumpkins (hokkaidos), and I might plant some dwarf beans in the same bed among the perennial flowers and berry bushes.
Tomorrow I will put the first potatoes in the earth.
I can confirm both borage and squash, furthermore all the other cucurbitae are a hit: cucumbers, caigua (lady's slippers), kiwano...

Beans, peas

Different herbs when they flower: thyme, rosemary, rucola, basil, mints, salvia, hyssop, chives

All berries, especially raspberries and blackberries, but earlier in the year siberian honeyberries, gooseberries, currants.

And of course the fruit trees!
1 day ago
Today I posted an online order to a renowned herb provider, a thing I had been wanting to do for the last three years.

I agreed with husband that we order German hops, and I ordered all the other things I had on my list.

Among them are two perennials:
Sedanina (apium nodiflorum), similar to celery (as per the description)
and
Perennial cress (lepidium latifolium)

I did not order the perennial kale as it would not be a hit with the family...

But I am curious about those two.
3 days ago