28 March 2014

Homemade Noodles - Recipe

Having brought home some gorgeously looking home-produced eggs from a friend's house, I decided to do what I saw my Czech Grandma do so many times - homemade noodles. I always watched her make them and cut them with great precision, so thin and then so nice when they were cooked and put into chicken soup - yum!

All you need is some flour, a pinch of salt and one egg (mine was blown, because I liked the colour of the shell so much, I am saving it for Easter decorating). If it is too hard, it is ok to add a tablespoon of water.

Knead the mixture properly, it is a really hard one, until all the ingredients join together, then roll the dough out as thin as you can manage. Given the hardness of the dough, it is really hard work, at least it was for me.

Let the dough dry for a few minutes, then cut it into stripes, place them on top of each other and cut thin stripes off. You can also make squares and other different shapes you  like in your soup, but thin short noodles are my favourite, because we always had them like that.

When all the noodles are cut, spread them out and let them dry. Of course, you can cook them straight away, but once they are dried well, they will keep for a long long time in an air-tight container. I am going to get transparent jars for my homemade pasta, so that I can see them, because I think they look incredibly pretty : ]

And the shells? Well, I'd say I'm pretty much ready for Easter :) White, blue, brown and speckled shells to put into my spring decoration bowl with grass (pictures soon).

As for the rest of the eggs, they ended up fried with onions and cheese, sprinkled with fresh chives, tomatoes and roasted bread.

Thank you for a wonderful dinner meal, lovely noodles and Easter decorations, my friends!

Simple Happiness

Okay, I know that many will laugh when they find out that this post is about food, but truly and honestly, having a tummy full of good things is one of the best feelings on Earth. I really enjoyed cooking for my darling while he was here, in a completely new way. It was great to make it look nice and make it taste nice and the final praise (and also the fact that I didn't have to do the dishes a single time while he was here) felt pretty good too. For the first dinner we had together, we ate steaks with veggies and potatoes sprinkled by my window-grown chives and our first breakfast was very fruity with hand-squeezed tangerine juice. I really look forward to adding more and more homegrown ingredients as I move to the UK and get the little piece of vegetable garden more established.

27 March 2014

Spring Storm

Back at home we say that April is crazy because of its weather changes, but so can late March be! From sunshine to scary storm in less than half an hour. We were lucky we got home from our walk just in time to make a cup of tea and watch the rain fall behind the window.

18 March 2014

Some Happy Little Things

It's a warm, but dark and cloudy spring day and as I walked home, I got caught in a little rain. There was a long line at the post office, not as long as it usually is and the ladies who work there were exceptionally fast, but still, it annoyed me to the bone. There are days when I just can't help it and my old habbit of depression kind of creeps on me. Other days the house can be robbed and my mind is clear and free of worry.

So I decided to borrow an idea from Chicken Blog and list a few good things that are going on, just to remind me and to write down some happy thoughts to hold on to and to live on.

  • My man is visiting in three days. It means tidying up and doing a lot of work before he comes, but that is definitely the best thing I can think of.

  • Work is ok. I go there happy and I leave exhausted, but happy, too. It keeps my head filled with nicely busy thoughts and I love what I do.

  • Spring is here. The peas on my windowsill is sprouting and so is the spinach. House plants are doing well, either shooting up new leaves or flowering.

  • I have spent a most wonderful weekend at friends' house with their lot of children and ecological garden, drawing with the kids, observing the goats, geese, rabbits and chicken, walking in the forrest, sowing tomatoes and I even had a go at skinning the rabbit which we later ate. After all those dissections at the university, I found it quite easy and it made my mind full of thoughts about food, where it comes from, how we should be thankful for it and how the life or gardening and keeping animals could be something I could really do and be happy with it. I came home with some wild tomato seeds, some colourful eggs and a very refreshed mind.
eggs with their amazing natural colours
a rabbit mother (there were little ones near her, invisible in a nest made of hair)

  • I have books. A lot of them. Well, three. Currently Hunger Games series is what keeps me occupied during my eighty minutes of public transport a day and I am completely absorbed in it.

No, things aren't bad at all.

13 March 2014

Spring Joys

✿ the orchid that I mentioned in the previous post has opened some more flowers 

✿ one of my other orchids is shooting up a flowering stem. I don't really remember what colour it was, I think that it's white, but I am not sure, so it's even more exciting 

✿ the Haworthia succulents are enjoying their spot in the sun and their middles are light green - a sign that they are growing 

✿ the little Stapelia is growing a new stem as well. It is light green and short and hairy and its growth is visible every single day. You can really see the difference. I can't wait for the weather to be warm enough to put these plants outdoors for a few months again. 

Thanks to the newly open flowers, Anthurium matches its pot again 

✿ my friends brought me a belated and colourful birthday gift 

✿ even the aquarium is the good shade of green now : ) 

✿ ✿ 

09 March 2014

Returning Home

Every time I come home from visiting my man in England, I get very mixed feelings. Sometimes I feel like I am living in two different worlds - one is the sunny Czech world full of work and some friends, the other one is the rainy English one, full of friends and fun and exciting stuff and spending way too much money and gardening and doing whatever I please. It is hard to leave the cosy house with a man who brings breakfast to bed and go fend for myself again. So I try to concentrate on the nice little details. Being at home. Coming to a clean room. Unpacking and putting things into order and where they belong. Seeing that the orchid flower has open. Making more sock yarn. Having coffee and a waffle at Starbucks. And other little things like that.

Birthday Surprise in Beaconsfield

I experienced the first ray of spring sun this year in the UK. It was a nice sunny Monday and I was acompanying my man on a way to a piano tuning to Beaconsfield. Having done some research and printed out a map, I went for a long long walk. Thanks to my great sense of orientation (and the fact that the man dropped me off at a totally unplanned spot), it only took me two hours to find the church that I saw on Wikipedia :)

St Mary and All Saints Church is a wonderful place, especially when enlightened by the sun. I walked around it several times, observing the beautiful architecture, the graveyard with tombstones covered in lichen and moss, so abundant in England :)

 For a while, I rested in a little corner nicely called The Garden of Rememberance. It made me think of all the people who are gone and awoke many happy and heartwarming memories. 

The town itself was nice and the walk was very pleasant. For me, everything in England is different and new and exciting and cute, because it is simply so completely different from what we have here in Central Europe.

Eventually, cold to the bone, I anchored myself in a very pleasant restaurant called  The Royal Saracen's Head. I started with an absolutely delicious cappuccino served witha  cookie and sugar lumps (how thoughtful!) and then when my man caught up with me, we continued with a roast lunch made up of a whole roast chicken, Yorkshire puddings, potatoes, cooked vegetables and various sauces. 

However, none of these things were the best part of the day. My gorgeous boyfriend arranged a super secret meeting with my friend Emily, whom I have not seen for eight years! (And her husband whom I have never met.) We had a great time drinking tea together and talking about all the big changes that being grown-up and having actual jobs brought into our lives. 

All in all, spring is a happy season and sunshine is good, but friends are the nicest flowers and warmest sunrays a person can have. :-*

03 March 2014


I started this post about three times by now and I still cannot really express myself, so I think it might be the best just to say it factually. This morning, while we were all gone to work, the house that we live in was robbed. The whole ground floor was turned upside-down, inside-out, many valuable things taken. The only thing that separated us from all this is a few stairs and a door that we never lock. That's all. And yet, by some weird twist of fortune, they did not pay us a visit. My hands are still a bit shaky, but I feel really thankful and calm inside my head. There are many bad people in the world and they do bad things, but we were spared and that is truly something to be thankful for. So thank you, whoever you are, for watching over us.

01 March 2014

English Gardening

It has been  a while since I returned from the UK, but I still recall the few rainless hours that I spent in the hidden back corner of the garden, digging upthe weeds, creating beds for flowers and vegetables in the wet soil full of earthworms and smelling of foxes.

It was a very forgotten piece of garden with a bonfire spot, a shed and old flowerpots and not much else, but I was surprised to see how nice the soil was, already full of pleasant natural helpers : )

To me, it is alway great pleasure to put hands in the soil, pulling out weeds, planting the seedlings or sowing the seeds. Being literally "in touch" with nature, listening to birds chirping around me and seeing occasional squirrels chasing each other through the trees above my head is what makes me happy and charges me with energy.

The rhubarb crown I planted is marked and guarded by sticks, while the compost bin is guarded by a forgotten little hippo sculpture. I love the hippo :)

And of course, there are many snails and other creatures in a wet English garden like this. And even the shells of those that have already passed become shelters for younger ones of the same species. Nature is just full of little surprises like this.

Speaking of surprises, I also discovered a lot of forgotten bulb plants that were bought in flowerpots, then left to flower, then put away into the back garden and then... forgotten. Now in spring they started sprouting again, so I dug them all out and carefuly repotted them into five different pots and put onto the terrace to see what will become of them. I enjoyed this job. While some were clearly daffodills, I was unable to identify others, so they still remain mystery plants, until they flower and we will finally know what they are.

To be honest, I have completely forgotten about them, until I received an email with the photgraph above. Now we certainly know that at least some of the bulbs are Muscari sp.(also called grape hyacinth). I find the strong blue colours of the flowers very unusual among spring bulb plants, so I really hope there are more of these and I cannot wait to see more photographs of them soon :)

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