A Week on the Baltic

In June 2015, we added another Bundesland to our list of places we’ve visited in Germany: Mecklenburg-Vorpommern.1 It was a relaxing trip, which after some work stress, was just what we needed.
Continue reading A Week on the Baltic

  1. There are 16 of them and only Brandenburg, Saarland, and Sachsen-Anhalt elude us now. []

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.

Bridge Update for June/July 2015

From what we’ve seen in local media, tomorrow is the official opening of “our” half of the bridge. Since about a week now, pedestrians on weekends have taken to simply moving the barricades aside and walking about where they please on areas of the bridge that are obviously complete.

IMG_0766 Continue reading Bridge Update for June/July 2015

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.