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A small gift for you – ALMONDS

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As long as I can remember come New Year’s Day I have made “Gebrannte Mandeln” (sugar-burnt-almonds) to give away to friends as a little ‘thank you’ for this and that.

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Wrapped in little cornucopias simply made out of newspaper they always bring a smile to everybody’s face; with most of us being reminded of those fun-filled childhood visits to our local Christmas Markets. Although I never had an overly sweet tooth this did not stop me from nagging my own mother to buy me a portion of those deliciously smelling ‘gebrannte mandeln’ each time we visited one of those markets – until she decided it would be cheaper making them at home.
To me and many people around the globe the almond is a symbol of good fortune and happiness.

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….already at sea en route to Germany, the biggest import market.”

And this is one of the main reasons why today I like to present each one of you with my little gift combined with my very best wishes for

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There are so many uses for this nut in the kitchen alone, too many to start listing them all here.

And although I use Almonds a lot in my kitchen, one of my own personal ‘comfort dishes’ (especially when the wretched cold/flu has hit me) is a nice bowl of rice pudding, laced with a pinch of cinnamon and a dollop or two (wicked!) of jam and some Almonds. By the way, this is also a Swedish Christmas Tradition.

Here in India we say that eating 10 Almonds a day is good for the brain (….oh yes?!) – and so I keep stocking up once a month!

And who does not know the 5 important health benefits of Almonds: they are of course as follows:
1) Almonds are a great source of healthy monounsaturated fats.
2) They are a good way to get your magnesium, copper, manganese and vitamin B
3) They are particularly high in antioxidant vitamin E
4) Eating Almonds instead of high carbohydrate foods has been shown to aid weight loss.
5) Vitamin E in Almonds protects your skin’s collagen to keep you looking younger for longer.

Now for you, who like to make those Almonds at home, here is this very simple recipe I have been using for so many years.
300 g Almonds (with skin on)
180 g white sugar (you can use more if you like, but ….)
2 Tbsp Cinnamon powder
The inside (pulp) of one Vanilla
40 ml water

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Take a large frying pan and on medium flame heat water, sugar, cinnamon and vanilla pulp stirring continuously until sugar has molten.
Add Almonds and continue stirring until all the Almonds are well covered. Now for the next 10-15 minutes keep stirring until all the water has evaporated and the Almonds have turned nicely brown.

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In the meantime line a tray with parchment paper and transfer all the Almonds onto this, spreading them out and simply let them dry for a little while. For this I put the whole lot into the oven (WITHOUT HEAT) for maybe 30 minutes or so.

That’s it – done – ready to be bottled or boxed and enjoyed.

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Come now and join me – jumping straight into a New Year, with a spring in one’s step, a song in one’s heart, a smile on one’s face and hope for a better tomorrow.

Namaskaram
Carina

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Out with the Old – in with the New

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2016 – Nothing good is to write about that year (at least from my perspective) and so I will not dwell on all the sad, bad and unpleasant things – they came and went and now I want to leave those behind and just concentrate on the New Year ahead.

JS and I wish you all a better, happier, healthier and safer

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And to put you into the right mood tonight I like to give you all a little musical gift – one of the most famous musical pieces for this occasion

AULD LANG SYNE

so beautifully (and heart rendering) performed by the Band of the equally famous Royal Scots Dragoon Guards

I just know that, just like me, quite a number of you will need a handkerchief and I also know of at least one friend in Canada who will actually need 2 of them, – yes, this music is especially for you, Rebecca!

And if THE PIPES are not for you, you might like Rod Stewarts rendition live from beautiful Stirling Castle

or you, who still remember the 1940 film “Waterloo Bridge” (starring Vivien Leigh and Robert Taylor), might enjoy listening to Michael Buble’ and Kylie Minogue’s version of AULD LANG SYNE.

Whatever – come midnight lets join hands through cyberspace and hope and pray for a more peaceful and happier NEW YEAR.

Carina
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Merry Christmas to you ALL

To all my Blogger friends, near and far, I wish you a joyous, peaceful and for all of you who are travelling, a safe CHRISTMAS!

GOD’S Blessings to you all.

My heart is too heavy right now to post a food blog this time – I am still shocked and saddened by the latest atrocity in Berlin – in my home country! What has become of it – what has become of Europe?!

I hope you find at least a couple of minutes in your own busy schedule to listen to one or more Gregorian Christmas Chants which were actually recorded live from Berlin.

Carina and JS

EPIPHANY– 6th January

It is today that Christians across the world celebrate the feast of Epiphany which marks the official end of the Christmas season.

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These are the “Three Wise Men” from our own private Collection.
And here is my last music video for this season – just enjoy!


The Mediaeval Baebes ‘We Three Kings’

I leave you now with 3 beautiful pictures of the Magi

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Adoration of the Magi by El Greco, 1568, Museo Soumaya, Mexico City (Photo: Wikipedia)

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Adoration of the Magi by Bartolomé Esteban Murillo, 17th century (Photo: Wikipedia)

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The Three Magi: Balthasar, Melchior, and Gaspar, from a late 6th century mosaic at the Basilica of Sant’Apollinare Nuovo in Ravenna, Italy. (Photo: Wikipedia)

Carina

Meine eigene FREIE Uebersetzung:
Heute ist der Tag wo Christen in der ganzen Welt das Fest der Heiligen Drei Koenige feiern welches auch das offizielle Ende der Weihnachtszeit ist.

Dies sind die Figuren der Drei Koenige aus unserer eigenen Sammlung.

Und hier ist mein letztes Musik Video fuer diese Weihnachtszeit – geniesst es!

Und hier sind noch drei wunderschoene Photos der Weisen.

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L’Adoration desmages by Albrecht_Dürer – Photo. wikipedia

PADOVA – Giotto and San Antonio

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For the past 12 years or so this beautiful little town is our first stop of our annual Italian Holiday.

Coming from India on EMIRATES via Dubai we land at Venice airport and then take a short, only 30 minutes ride by road right into the centre of Padova.

It was my husband Jo, who had visited Padova previously, who took me there for my first visit – I was full of anticipation to see with him this town and all it has to offer.

He had already wisely booked our tickets, the queues can be very long and often there is also a sort of waiting list for visitors, to view the famous artwork at the Scrovegni Chapel (commonly known as the Arena Chapel) by the Italian Painter and Architect from Florence, Giotto di Bondone, but now always referred to simply as “Giotto”.

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It is one of the places I urge everyone to see when visiting Padova – I promise, you will leave this place in awe and most likely many of you want to come back.

Other places to see are of course Basilica de San Antonio de Padova, the Shrine of our beloved Saint.

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For you who are interested I refer you to two, more in depth articles in Jo’s personal blog http://www.manningtreearchive.com , viz., Viva Italia – 1: Padova – An Oasis of Calm (06.09.2012) and Viva Italia – 2: Santuario dell’ Arcella – Illustrious and Sublime (30.09.2012)

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Worth a visit are also St. Georges Oratory, the Roman Ruins, Basilica Abbaziale di Santa Guistina, Orto Botanico di Padova, etc.

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Orto Botanico di Padova, which is the oldest University botanical garden in the world and included in UNESCO’s World Heritage List.

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On my continuing journey around some of my favourite places on this earth I now leave you with this video and the beautiful powerful voice of Friar Alessandro from his Album “Voice of Peace” – relax now, listen and most of all – enjoy!

Friar Alessandro singing “Amazing Grace” from his album “Voice of Peace”

See you soon again, my Friends!

Carina
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Meine FREIE Uebersetzung hier:

Fuer die letzten 12 oder so Jahre ist diese schoene kleine Stadt zu unserem ersten Anreiseaufenthalt fuer unsere italienischen Ferien geworden.

En route von India via Dubai on EMIRATES wir landen in Venedig und dann ist es nur eine 30 minuetige Fahrt in das Zentrum von Padua.

Es war mein Mann Jo, er war frueher schon einmal in Padua , der mich hier zum ersten mal begleitete und ich war voller Freude mit ihm diese Stadt und was sie zu bieten hatte zu sehen. Klugerweise hatte er schon unsere Eintrittskarten gebucht, die Warteschlangen koennen sehr lange sein und oft gibt es auch noch so eine Art von Wartezeit fuer die Besucher, die wie wir die beruehmten Werke des Malers und Architekten aus Florenz von Giotto di Bondone, der aber jetzt nur allgemein “Giotto” genannt wird in der Scroveni Kapelle (allgemein als Arena Kapelle bekannt) zu bewundern.

Dies ist einer der Orte die ich ganz besonders empfehle fuer jeden Padua Besucher und ich verspreche, dass Ihr voller Staunen von hier weggeht und viele werden sicherlich auch wieder zurueck kommen.

Andere Orte die man sehen muss sind natuerlich die Basilika (Dom) de San Antonio de Padova, den Schrein unseres geliebten Heiligen.

Wenn Ihr weiter hieran interessiert seid verweise ich Euch auf Jo’s eigenen Blog http://www.manningtreearchive.com ganz besonders auf “ Viva Italia – 1: Padova – An Oasis of Calm (06.09.2012)” und “ Viva Italia – 2: Santuario dell’ Arcella – Illustrious and Sublime (30.09.2012)”

Sehen sollte man auch St. Georges Oratory (St. Georges Oratorium), die Uberreste der roemischen Ruinen, die Basilica Abbaziale di Santa Guistina, den Orto Botanico di Padova, welcher der aelteste Universitaets Botanischer Garten in der Welt ist und auch jetzt zum UNESCO Kulturerbe gehoert.

Auf meiner weitergehenden Reise zu den Plaetzen auf dieser Erde die ich besucht habe verlasse ich Euch fuer heute mit diesem Video und der wunderschoenen maechtigen Stimme von Pater Alessandro von seinem Album “Voice of Peace” (Stimme des Friedens).

Bis bald, meine Freunde

Carina

Vatican City ….. and two birthdays

Christ, our Saviour was born today and around the world Christians celebrate His birth.

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There has never been a time that Jo and I would visit Italy without having a few days break in the Eternal City, known as Rome! But today I am not taking you on a journey through this breathtaking city, but to another city – Vatican City!

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On 17th December was also the birthday of our Holy Father, Pope Francisco (Pope Francis), who was born in 1936 in Buenos Aires/Argentina.

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Amongst many other things the Holy Father is also known for his great fondness for the traditional music of Argentina.

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A long time ago I was given an LP recording of the complete “Misa Criolla” (loosely translated: Creole Mass) by its composer Ariel Ramirez when I lived for 3 happy years in Trinidad/W.I. But I have to confess, that in my ignorance in those young days  I did not think for a moment that I would enjoy or even play “church music” that often, but …. as soon as I heard the voices of ‘Los Fronterizos’ I was hooked.

Navidad Nuestra. Ariel Ramírez, Los Fronterizos, Jaime Torres y Domingo Cura. 1967

The voices, the instruments, the harmony and the joy in their performance took me over and for literally years this record became one of my precious ones – it manages to stir up a lot of emotions in me.

So, could I find a better group to say musically “Happy Birthday Holy Father from my family” – no, in my opinion I could not!

And so, here ends my little musical journey around the world for today. Hope you still enjoying this.

Carina
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Vatican City… …. und zwei Geburtstage.

Christus unser Retter wurde heute geboren und um die ganze Welt feiern Christen seine Geburt.

Da war nie eine Reise nach Italien ohne dass Jo und ich nicht fuer einige Tage in die Ewige Stadt, die als Rom bekannt ist, kamen. Aber heute will ich Euch nicht auf eine kleine Reise durch diese atemberaubende Stadt nehmen, aber in eine andere Stadt – Vatikan Stadt!

Am 17. Dezember war auch der Geburtstag unseres Heiligen Vaters, Pabst Francisco (Pabst Francis) der im Jahre 1936 in Buenos Aires/Argentinien geboren war.
Abgesehen von vielen anderen Dingen ist der Heilige Vater auch fuer seine grosse Vorliebe fuer traditionelle argentinische Musik bekannt.

Vor einer langen Zeit bekam ich eine LP Platte mit der kompletten “Misa Criolla” (frei uebersetzt: Creolische Messe) komponiert von Ariel Ramirez geschenkt. Ich lebte damals fuer 3 sehr glueckliche Jahre in Trinidad/W.I. Aber ich muss hier eingestehen, dass damals in meiner jugendlichen  Unerfahrenheit ich nie fuer einen Moment daran dachte, dass ich diese music moegen wuerde oder sogar diese “Kirchenmusik” oft spielen wuerde, aber …. sobald ich die Stimmen von “Los Fronterizos” hoerte war ich eingefangen.

Die Stimmen, die Instrumente, die Harmonie und die Freude in ihrem singen und spielen haben mich total eingefangen und fuer echt viele Jahre wurde diese Aufnahme einer meiner liebsten – sie wuehlt eine ganze Menge Emotionen in mir wach.

So, konnte ich deshalb eine bessere Gruppe finden um musikalisch “Happy Birthday Heiliger Vater, from my family” zu sagen – nein, meines Erachtens konnte ich das nicht!

Und so, hier endet meine kleine musikalische Reise um die Welt fuer heute. Hoffentlich geniesst Ihr sie noch.

Carina