It’s not our Pfalz! Kulinarische Weinwanderung Freinsheim 2015

Summer’s done. The Herbstdult came and went, and our neighborhood’s Weinfest with it. Time for a short break to the other corner of the country, to a similar-sounding place that sort of used to be Bavarian outside of Bavaria. 1 Continue reading It’s not our Pfalz! Kulinarische Weinwanderung Freinsheim 2015

  1. But that Palatinate — Pfalz — should not be confused with our Upper Palatinate — the Oberfalz. Wikipedia knows more. []

Cathedral Dandruff and Bridge Update, August and September 2015

A couple weeks ago, a story appeared in the local newspaper to explain what was up with the construction equipment blocking pedestrian access to St. Peter’s Cathedral at the heart of downtown Regensburg.

Turns out they discovered hairline cracks in the masonry rather high up. The cathedral is one of the biggest draws to the town, and an iconic symbol of Regensburg. There’s no way they could block off access to the area — not with the hordes of river cruise and bus tourists from around the world. But they also could not afford to risk a piece of masonry falling on anyone. Result: a pedestrian shield set up around the falling rock stone zone.

Regarding the bridge work: there’s nothing new to report, at least as far as we laypeople can see. The south end (the city side) is still closed off, and the auxiliary bridge is still up on the north end (Stadtamhof side). I can’t fathom why they left the auxiliary bridge up still on this end. Its purpose has been served. Its ugliness is universally accepted. Tear it down! I like standing at the north end of Stadtamhof and looking all the way down the street, across the bridge, and over to the Dom spires. But it still feels weird for bike traffic to come zooming down the main bridge again onto “our” street after 5 years of that not being an option.

After a long, hot, dry summer, we finally got a few hours of rain at the end of August.

Foreboding Clouds (Landscape)

Foreboding Clouds (Portrait)

Superfluous Auxiliary Bridge

Mid-week Alpine Escape

The heat around Regensburg (indeed, much of Germany) lately has been hard to bear — particularly for a country so resolutely opposed to air conditioning. But upwards of 32 °C / 90 °F at 09:00 a.m. or p.m., even the most resolute of my AC-hating colleagues give up, and would turn it on in the office… if only they could.

We picked a good week to head south outta town on a workshop to (somewhat) cooler climes. Continue reading Mid-week Alpine Escape

A Visit to Schlosspark Nymphenburg

Schlosspark Nymphenburg

Back in June, we spent a couple days in Munich. Sarah had to spend all day Saturday there for a concert, and our pal Resident on Earth — our travel buddy on trips to the Shetlands in August 2013 and Northern France in May 2014 — was in town for it. She showed me around one of her favorite parts of Munich: the grounds of Nymphenburg.

Nymphenburg It threatened to rain most of the day, but never actually did for more than a moment. And sweet as we are, we’re not made of brown sugar.

We saw a surprising amount of wildlife just tromping around randomly between ornate hunting lodges. Examples: a tiny puffball of a field mouse (see below), and a crow picking at a baby mole out of his element on the grass in bright sunlight (too morbid to snap…and even the crow seemed embarrassed by it as we approached the scene).

You can walk around the park for free, admiring the ponds and fountains along the woodsy paths and meadows. If you head inside to one of the pavillions, however, you’re obligated to buy admission to them. It’s possible that admission to the Nymphenburg palace includes the pavillions (not sure, didn’t need palace admission). The security guy at the first pavillion we entered tried to upsell us on a multi-day pass to the pavillions, but knowing we’d only have one day in town, we politely declined, and bought admissions to just the pavillions for just one day. It was a nice way to kill time, mostly outdoors, until catching a bus towards Chinesischer Turm for a late lunch.

In-Laws’ Baked Beans

This recipe came to us, in its original form, from my father-in-law’s sister-in-law’s mother-in-law (no joke!), from a region in the USA famous for its baked beans as a side dish to barbecue. I’ve modified it slightly to reduce the amount of sugar and up the mustard and cider vinegar to give it a little more zing.

For the last two years at a local July 4th party, there have been no left-overs.


3 medium cans (15oz. or 425g each) VanCamps Pork&Beans – excess liquid drained, but not rinsed
1 big handful brown sugar
1/2 cup (120ml) ketchup – or to taste, I usually add more
4 or 5 strips bacon
1 medium onion, diced
1/3 cup (75ml) white corn syrup
2.5 tablespoons cider vinegar
1.5 teaspoon yellow mustard


  1. Fry up the bacon until it’s crispy but not completely burnt, keeping the grease in the pan. Chop the bacon into bits.
  2. Sauté the onion in the bacon grease — you want to cook the squishy crunch out of them, but not take them all the way to caramelization.
  3. Mix the onions, bacon, drained beans and everything else together in a large bowl, and bake uncovered at 350 °F for 1 hour in a 9″ x 9″ (23cm x 23cm) baking dish. If you’re scaling up the recipe, a 9″ x 13″ works well. In any case, stop baking when the texture has firmed up significantly from first having mixed the ingredients but bubbles are still burbling up from the lower layers.
  4. Let them cool in the pan and serve at room temperature.