Monday, November 29, 2010

Meet me on Monday

I missed Meet me on Monday last week, just because I was too busy getting older:)

So join me now for Java's new round of questions.

Welcome to the 24th edition of  "Meet Me On Monday!"

Blogging is a funny thing...we tell our most intimate thoughts for all to read and yet most of the time I find myself sitting and wondering, "who is this person!?" I know them...but yet I don't know them! I want to know who the person is behind all those words so I thought of a great way for all of us to "meet" each other!


1. What is your favorite way to eat chicken?

Coated in bread crumbs and deep-fried. But because this is probably the most unhealthy way to eat chicken, we don’t have it very often.

2. Have you decorated for Christmas yet?

I made a crocheted wreath for the front door, and I’m planning on setting up the tree this week.

 3. What is your favorite article of clothing?

That changes so often… right now it’s a plum-colored, Japanese style tunica to wear over black jeans. I found it at the second hand store for about 4 $.

4. Do you pay your bills online or write checks the old way?

I guess it would be writing checks, but not in the same way you would in the U.S.

5. Do you make Christmas cookies?

Yes!!! My sister and I and all of our kids get together at my Mom’s (air-conditioned) kitchen and bake A LOT of cookies to gift and eat! Great tradition!

 I hope you all have a good week, preparing your homes for Christmas traditions and preparing your hearts for the celebration of Jesus's birthday.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Update on my life

Hi, I haven't posted anything in a while, so I'll give you a few picture to look at, until I find something interesting to write about:)

I had a few partys last week to celebrate my birthday. On Saturday morning about 11 ladies were here for coffee and cake. Most of them were my neighbors from my village and the village close by, and my Mom was there too:)

I made a Bl├Ąttertorte (Napoleon Cake, you can find a recipe here) and a sponge cake filled with yoghurt/whipped cream and raspberries. Also some muffins, sandwiches and pizza buns.

We had a bbq on Sunday night with good friends and for that I served Southwestern Rice Salad, potato salad, ice cream and this trifle. It was very good!

We thought it would rain a few times last week, the clouds looked promising, but it's not our turn yet.

So we wait...
 The girls like taking my camera on their walks, and usually there are a few really good pictures on it. Like this one... It's the sun setting over an australian well (a huge pile of earth formed into a volcano shaped mound to keep water in for the cattle).

And this picture...
...anyone else have any idea what kind of animal has a skull like this? :)

My sister- and brother-in-law are hosting a bbq for my birthday today, so I need to get going. I hope to post something for Meet me on Monday tonight or tomorrow. I'll see you then!

Monday, November 15, 2010

Meet me on Monday turns 22

Meet me today and please cheer me up. I have a sore throat and I feel BLAH! I'm turning 39 on Saturday and I feel old...

Ok, I got that (partly) out of my system, now for the fun part. Java's given us some nice questions again. Here are my answers:

1. Do you eat Sushi?

I've tried a few times, but I can't say that I liked it very much.

2. What kind of bath soap do you use?

I love shower gels and currently am using this one from Lux.
3. How often do you talk to your Mom?

3 -4 times a week?

4. What TV shows do you watch on a regular basis?

Castle, Big Bang Theory, CSI Miami and New York, Cougar Town, and the girls and I started watching Wallace and Grommit's Inventions.

5. Did you start Christmas shopping yet?

No, but I started crafting some things for Christmas.:)

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Zwieback, the best rolls in the world

The most important recipe my mom taught me before I got married is Zwieback, buns or rolls. You see, I live about 15 km from the nearest supermarket. If I were to rely on shopping for fresh bread, I'd be driving around all the time. But if I bake these pillowy soft rolls once or twice a week then freeze them, we can have some fresh buns on our table all week. I took pictures this week and will give you the recipe step-by-step. Here goes:

Zwieback, the Mennonite buns/rolls

1 liter of milk

Put this into a pot and let boil up once.

Add 1 cup of butter.

I put the pot with milk and butter into my sink, fill it half way full with water and let it cool down to slightly warmer than room temperature.

When the milk has cooled down, put 2 tablespoons of yeast and 1 tablespoon of sugar into a large bowl, add 1 cup of slightly warmer than luke warm water and let stand for 5 minutes.

The yeast will start to bubble a bit, then you know it's done. I used instant dry yeast, but I've had the same good results with normal dry yeast and also with yeast cakes.

Add the milk/butter mixture and add 2 tablespoons of salt.

Then add flour, one cup at a time and with your kneading hooks on your beater/kitchen aid or with your bare hands, start mixing the dough together. Keep adding flour until you have a nice and soft, but not sticky dough.

I used 9 cups of flour, but you might need more of less. You can also replace some of the flour with whole wheat, sorghum, rye or any other kind of flour. I also add sesame seeds, linseeds, and/or sunflower seeds to the mixture at this point.

When the dough looks like this, you can transfer the dough to a larger bowl and knead it some more with your hands. Sometimes you might have to add some oil to your hands, so that the dough doesn't stick too much.

Then put your cutest tea towel over the dough, put it in a warm place and set your timer for about one hour.

After an hour your dough should look like this.

Now comes the tricky part: take some dough into your greased hands, and pinch an egg-sized portion out through your index finger and thumb. Place the roll on a greased sheet and fill one sheet like this.
(If you do all three sheets at once, the last sheet you bake will probably rise too much and flatten out. So I prepare the first sheet, wait 15 minutes, do the second, etc)

Place a clean (cute) tea towel over the rising buns and place in a warm spot in your kitchen. After the first batch has risen for 3/4 hour turn your oven on highest and wait for 15 minutes to place the first sheet into the hot oven.

After 12 - 15 minutes your Zwieback should look like this, and your kids and neighbors will be standing at your door asking for a fresh bun:)

Dump the fresh buns onto the counter top to cool off, then eat them all:) or package into plastic bags to freeze for later.

I hope you enjoyed this recipe. I used the terms Zwieback, rolls and buns throughout the recipe. In german we call these Zwieback. (Even though real Zwieback means to bake something twice or to roast bread) At home we called these buns, but I've heard the word used for some body part too. Rolls is what I think the Canadians and Americans would call these.

Call 'em what you like, they're good!

Thank you for joining me today for my first recipe tutorial. Here are the ingredients once more:


1 liter (4 cups) milk
1 cup  (200 gr) butter
2 tbsp yeast
1 tbsp sugar
1 cup warm water
2 tbsp salt
about 9 cups of flour

Monday, November 8, 2010

Meet me on Monday, twenty-one

Good morning all you bloggers out there. Aren't Mondays great? A fresh start, every week. :)

Last week I told you that my oldest, Amy was sick. During the week Cindy, daughter # 2, caught the same fever-flu. And (finally) yesterday Brianna got it too. With her I'm much more worried, with her history of seizures with high fever. So I'm keeping her home today. She's in my bed now, looking at old Good Housekeeping magazines and drinking chocolate milk. Who said being sick has to be boring, eh?

I'm linking to Java's today with her weekly questions. Hope you enjoy!


1. What is your favorite kind of pie?
This is the best pie ever!
2. Have you ever ran out of gas in the car you were driving?

No, but I've run out of gas on my motorcycle a few times:)
I have a 20-year old bike just like this one, just blue. Now my daughters like to drive around the farm on it:)  
3. How many languages do you speak?

English, German, Low-German, Spanish, and a little bit of portuguese

This is a poster ad on the wall in the supermarket in the neighbor town. They wrote the caption in Low-German.

4. Do you take daily vitamins?

No, but I try to eat fresh fruit from our orchard, when in season.
5. What is your worst eating habit?

Snacking in between meals!!!

Thanks for visiting, feel free to comment, hugs to all, I'm off to feed the zoo...

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Totally random stuff today...

Hi amigos! I'll be writing about different things today, hope I don't bore you:)

I was looking for a website the other day, where I could maybe trade my crafts for something else. I found We-Swap and Swap-bot.

I haven't done anything at We-Swap yet, thats a one-on-one trading place, and I haven't found the courage to post any of my crafts there yet. But I became a member at Swap-bot in September, and up until now I love it!

Here's how it works, explained by squidoo:

Swap bot is the latest in swapping technology. Started in 2005 by Rachel and Travis Johnson it is one of the coolest sites online. If you craft, pen-pal, or blog swap this is the perfect place for you. Before swap-bot if you wanted to conduct a swap you would gather the names of the participants and then using your genius and referee skills assign partners to others. With Swap-bot you no longer have to do that work. You host a swap, approve participants, and then Click Assign Partners and the technology does all the work for you. It even sends reminders to all your partipants.

I've participated in a few electronic swaps (meaning I send only an email or photo with email) and a few snail-mail and package swaps. I already showed you last month the keychains I got from France. Sadly the other person I swapped with didn't send me anything or else her package really did get lost in the mail.

Two weeks ago I received a bigger package than keychains! I joined the swap called "Stuffed Handbag".

We were supposed to send a handbag (new or in very good shape) filled with things we liked to put in our handbags. I was so excited to get a package from San Fransisco, U.S.A. And this is what was in it:

Inside the chic silver handbag were: hair elastics, bobby pins, a little first aid kit, disposible toothbrushes (to use without water), birthday candles, candy and big red gum, a pack of pink playing cards (so fun!), a souvenir of some chinese march with a hotel card inside, a vintage newspaper clipping with a sponge cake recipe (yum), a powdered energy drink, some brochures from San Fransisco, a key chain, a sharpie (forgot to pose it in the pic)(and now I finally know what a sharpie is:) and a lovely, handwritten letter. She also sent me her card with her website on it. I was smiling all day after I got this package:)

So now I'm hosting my own swap. It's called Stuffed Christmas Stocking (International) You can see the details here.

Swap-bot swap: Stuffed Christmas Stocking (International)
I swap with Swap-bot!

If anyone is interested in joining, feel free to sign up until next Saturday. You have one week to get your stuff together and send the package to your assigned partner. (Partners will be assigned on November 13)

We finally had some rain this week and Marvin is reseeding the field for the third time with sesame. He'll be planting peanuts too, but we're waiting for more rain for that.

We had some beautiful weather the last few days, cool in the mornings and not to hot in the daytime. Here's another sunrise photo I took, when I went to check on the cattle with Marv one EARLY morning.

This month is going to be crazy with all of the programms in schools. Brianna and Cindy's school is over on the 13th and Amy on the 20th. That reminds me...

Something important on the 20th. What was it?

Oh, now I remember, it's my birthday! I'll be celebrating my last birthday in my 30's this year! I hope no one gets me middle-aged-gag-gifts!:) I plan on having the ladies from my village over in the morning, maybe my english friends in the afternoon, my in-laws have invited us for the evening, and maybe we'll squeeze in another BBQ on sunday night. Not too stressful, is it?

I hope you all have a "tranquilo" weekend! Hugs from Paraguay!

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Wordless Wednesday, the one with the sisters

Welcome to the 6th Edition of Wordless Wednesday!

Wordless Wednesday is a great day to post an awesome picture that “speaks” for itself, no words needed!! (But I will be adding some words today:)

Amy, Cindy and Brianna, the three pieces of my heart.
I love seeing my daughters like this.
This is one of the pictures they will cherish when they are all grown up.
I miss my sister-group-hug!
Miss and love you, Dani, Caroline and Andrea!

Linking up to Java and for the first time at Finding Joy.

Lovely Photo - Wordless or Not-So-Wordless Wednesday at Aspire

Monday, November 1, 2010

Meet me on Monday for the 20 th time

I'm linking up to Java's again for another round of deep, soul-searching, fun questions. I'm keeping it short and pictureless for now, I'm going to the doctor with Amy soon. She has a bad cold and because she's had asthma as a kid, I want a doctor to see her. Hope she feels better soon!

1. Have you ever been on a cruise?

Nope, never.

2. What is your favorite way to eat eggs?

Egg salad sandwich, and also fried, sunny side up with a thick slice of tomato and a fresh roll to go with it.

3. What is your favorite reading material?

Almost everything, but I love books by Max Lucado and also comedy, adventure, action, and mysteries.  I also devour magazines, especially crafting, quilting and crochet mags.

4. Name all the pets that you have ever had?

Do we have time for this?:)

Dogs, cats, horses, cows, parrots, rabbits, chinchillas, hamsters, chickens, turtles, armadillo, I think thats all:)

5. Were you ever a girl/boy scout?

No, never had the opportunity.