Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Baking the last of the Figs . . . . . . .

I just want to tell you about this ready-to-bake pie crust in case you've 
not come across it. I've always used Pillsbury, or a particular chain grocery store brand,
 however have never really been pleased with either.
I found this brand recently at Fresh Market. Hopefully it's available in other groceries
if there's no Fresh Market near you. It's made in Canada and, if you buy readymade 
crusts, you may want to try it. 
The flavor seemed much fresher, more like homemade, it was sturdier to handle 
and didn't tear, and it held the juice from the fruit and sugar much better, 
no leakage on the baking sheet which always makes the tart stick and hard to remove 
to a serving plate, and the sheet much harder to clean. . . . . I hate that part, don't you?
A really nice crust for these easy to make fruit galettes.
This will definitely be my go to pie crust when I don't make one from scratch.

. . . . . . . and yes, this really is my final post on this year's fig harvest!
It certainly was a good one.

Monday, August 31, 2015

COLOGNE, Germany - Part II

In my previous post I shared photos of the exterior of the magnificent 
Gothic Cologne Cathedral, the largest in northern Europe, here are 
photos I took of the splendid interior.
Entering Cologne Cathedral took my breath away. First, one feels incredibly small 
beneath the 140 foot ceilings. It was light and bright with numerous soaring stained 
glass windows, paintings, frescoes, statues, carvings, and hanging tapestries, artifacts 
in silver and gold. 
There was no evidence of the darkness of the Gothic exterior, the eye was 
immediately struck by color and light everywhere.

After feasting my eyes on beauty whilst looking up, around and about, on reaching 
the choir I suddenly looked down where my feet stood on what to me were the most 
exquisite mosaic floors. 
These were so beautiful and the work to create the meticulous designs
must have have taken many artists years - there were so many areas covered.

I really loved the natural things depicted in the designs - acorns and oak leaves, 
grapevines bearing fruit,  ivy twining, even the thistles of Scotland with the 
English Tudor Rose in the center (above), which I admit I've only just noticed in my photo.

Via Cologne Cathedral 

Cologne Cathedral Floor Mosaic Floor Plan

The floor, completed in 1899, measures 1,350 square metres and is the largest 
work of art in the cathedral. 
It covers three main themes, each of which is portrayed in a different 
part of the choir: the history of the archdiocese takes up the entire ambulatory and
 features names and coats of arms of bishops and archbishops; the Christian world
order and humankind are portrayed in the inner choir; and the cosmos is depicted
 in the crossing
The entire cathedral is gorgeous - having a chance to view, even though our time 
was brief, was time well spent and memorable. Once again, Germany's 
beautiful architecture and art came through - noticed in the smallest village 
house to the largest place of worship.

Sunday, August 30, 2015

COLOGNE, Germany - Part I

Sunday, beautiful late Summer morning, and I'm working on my final posts 
from the Spring trip we took from Budapest to Amsterdam, and the last pix from 
Devon and London trip in June. I need to remove many photos from my 
laptop to my TRAVEL portable drive before I travel again ---------
---------I desperately need to free up some storage space !

Cologne, Germany's fourth largest city, is a major cultural center filled with museums, 
galleries, the university, historical architecture and of course the easily recognizable 
Cologne Cathedral which dominates the skyline.

Construction on this magnificent Gothic cathedral in the Old City commenced in 1248
and continued in several stages over seven centuries. Finally completed in 1880, it 
largely escaped the damage that ravaged the city during World World II. 
The largest Gothic cathedral in northern Europe, and a UNESCO World Heritage 
Site, it has two soaring spires and beautiful stained glass windows.

Friends Kim & Rob at the main entrance to the cathedral.
I think this photo shows its massive size compared to the people in the 

In my next post I'll share the interior of the cathedral - a truly fabulous place full of 
color and light, quite different from the somewhat dark exterior.

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