Feb 222012
 

During the past years I’ve been to many different places. As work trips usually mean work during the days in areas that are good for industry but not for tourists, I usually barely have the opportunity to do extensive sightseeing. Also, after a while I got tired historic church – birth place of <insert famous person> – unique architecture – outstanding park tourist program. Most galleries and museums are closed in after work hours. So there is not much excitement left. I find it far more interesting meeting different cultures and their kitchens. Local specialties at good restaurants I cannot resist. I discovered some quite unique foods, here is the list of my favorites:

  • Tromsø, Norway Lutefisk it is an aged, jelly like dried fish that got soaked in a liquid for a long while. I was told it was especially served in winter just before christmas. I had it with sweet brown cheese, mustard, fried bacon, potatoes and a local ale (Mack beers).
  • Lisboa, Portugal Bacalhau salted, preserved cod served in a vegetable soup.
  • Milano, Italy Mozarella Bufalata very creamy, mild bufalo mozarella.
  • Selengor, Malaysia Durian a very smelly, creamy, sweet, tasty and unique fruit. It’s
    a pity that it is not growing in Europe and usually out of season when
    we are in Hong Kong. Very tasty.
  • Singapore Hainanese Chicken a rice dish where the rice is soaked in a rich chicken broth with cooked and marinated chicken – a dish full of flavors
  • Yuen Long, Hong Kong Water Checstnut Cake cooked by the grandmother-in-law.
  • Sonoma, CA, USA Carneros Cuvée perfect sparkeling wine.
  • Dresden, Germany Chocolate Balls these were a surprise dish in our wedding, a rarely known recipe by Frank Ollhof (Petit Frank)

There are also a couple of restaurants experiences that were outstanding: Like a small restaurant in a small town owned by a soon to be retired Michelin star cook, or a surprisingly good delicatessen store in Nottingham that served outstanding breakfast, an Asian restaurant in Milano successfully creating an Asian-Italian fusion kitchen with e.g. Tartufo Dim Sum.

The flip site of work travel is that most of the time I eat 3 times a day in some sort of restaurant and I barely know what they put in the food, how it is prepared or how fresh it is. What I enjoy most after all is self prepared and home-cooked food with husband.

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Jun 242011
 

This year’s BRN was the reason why I booked tickets for a trip to Dresden in June together with my fiance. We arrived at Thursday afternoon and left Sunday afternoon after almost excactly 72h. It was a great long weekend stuffed with things even though we haven’t planned anything particular before. 

Day 1

My parents picked us up and took us to my uncles garden for having coffee and cake. So first stop was with fiance at a German bakery. Arrived at my uncle’s garden fiance got introduced to a few more of my family as well as the concept of German allotment associations. It was a great time, I haven’t seen my uncle in ages, so it was good fun to have a chat. After that we went to a restaurant in a pasta manufactury in Riesa. After that we wanted to go to a micro brewery which unfortunately had closed that day. We eventually got to my parents place and spent the evening there.

Day 2

We had to get up early as we needed to get to Dresden because I arranged a hair dresser appointment with the best hairdresser alive. To not bore fiance out of his mind I sent him togehter with my father to the Panometer in Dresden – a 360° experience of Dresden as of 1756. Once we all were finished we got to the historic city centre and had lunch at the Coselpalais close to the famous rebuilt church Frauenkirche. From there we did drive along the river to see the bridge in construction in Elbe valley which caused Dresden being deleted from the world heritage list in 2009. We finished our visit with my parents at Louisenhof with a panoramic view over Dresden’s skyline on a beautiful summer day sitting on a terrace. The evening we spent on a friends place having a BBQ with his family – his wife and 2 daughters. This was quite fun, it’s amazing to see how fast children grow up and develop their personalities. 

Day 3

After breakfast we left and got to Dresden city center to a place called Max for a light lunch and mainly to meet two friends of mine and chat for a while. I was surprised about fiance not complaining drinking a capuccino with 4 girls ;) From there we got to another friend’s place who recently moved. I love his new apartment and it was good to see him again. With him we got to the Neustadt part of the town to attend the BRN a pretty unique street festival. We strolled around all evening, tried random food and drinks, listened to random bands on one of the many stages – especially to mention The Blumenkinders as their singer is my friend’s buddy; they also were pretty good entertainers. 

Day 4

 

Last day started with a surprise for my friend. As he slept much longer than we did, mutual friends decided to stop by his place to say hello. They have a daughter which can already walk, last time we saw her she was a few months old baby and before that she was still in production. Time flies! We left at noon to meet one of my dearest, oldest friends to have lunch at the Schillergarten and a good chat. Due to unforseen circumstances we spent much less time with him than planned and wished :( Next time…

And that was it. 3 days in Dresden without planning and especially without any planned sighseeing turned out to be for fiance lots of new impression like the street festival, several local dishes at restaurants, a few panoramic Dresden views and lots of fun with good people. I am always happy when I return from Dresden as I had perfect days with well-entertained fiance, met people who matter to me and who I miss. But then, back home I get my blues about all the people and things I miss in my daily life here in Dublin. 

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Apr 302011
 

Jim planned to do some breakfast and asked me what I would like. I hadn’t had a boiled egg in ages, so I was asking him for a soft-boiled egg for me. As he – as a good cook as he is – doesn’t know how to cook these, the day started with Loriot, a German lesson and some facts about marriage which a freshly engaged couple would swear it will never happen to us…

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Dec 172010
 

Today we had planned a lazy day doing nothing but strolling around some town centres and do some window shopping with one of Jim’s aunts. The day started with a great breakfast: water chestnut cakes, sweet potatoes and oolong tea. Then jim got some photos to look at and then we got into town for lunch. We killed some time and then met another aunt for viewing her new apartment. As I am still a bit out of sync with the current time zone I decided to have a power nap before we met up for dinner and dessert. Dinner wasn’t too impressive, the dessert tasted interesting – it was made of toad. Now we are back at the grandmother’s place and I am feeling already tired again. Attached some pics from during the day.











crazy dog lady…

the scaffolding is made of bamboo and ropes, even for building sites of high towers

renewing windows on 32nd floor





imagine that – an oyster take away – how cool is that!



random street view at night

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Dec 162010
 

Yesterday midday we arrived in Hong Kong, took the bus and the taxi to get after almost 20h after leaving home at jim’s grandmother’s place. Since then I mostly remember food, meeting more relatives and sleeping. Today we had an invite for dim sum for breakfast, then curry fish balls, roast pork, fried tofu and soup as ‘light’ snacks before dinner where we had a chicken hot pot with goose intestines, thin sliced beef, loads of vegetables, more fish balls, frog legs and more… Most plans made for us so far are meet up’s for dinner and other meals. As much as I love to discover new flavours and kitchens I hope this won’t continue like that all holiday ;) attached there are a few pictures from dinner, I am especially proud of the battlefield left afterwards, we apparently enjoyed dinner a lot…











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