Sunday, July 19, 2009

Where the Heck am I? Will you be my neighbor?

It has been a bit to hot for me in the last week to work much in the garden. The only times I went out in the yard last week, I was picking Raspberries or Vegetables for Dinner or I just went around looking which areas need some attention. I know, once this heat wave (which luckily never lasts too long in Western Oregon) ends I will have some work to do out there. At least I got most of the weeding somewhat in control, but there will be many Perennials which need some cutting back.
I found, having the chickens, which love to eat the weeds I pick, makes me and my husband more eagerly weeding before the weeds seed out. Before we had the chickens, we weeded to get rid of the weeds, now the weeds are welcome fodder for our flock of chickens. It somehow gives weeding a better purpose "feeding healthy 'Greens' to our chickens" and the chickens for that will give me healthy Omega rich eggs and fertilizer for my garden.
So not spending time in the garden I had time to read a lot of my piled up Newspaper. I am somewhat a Newspaper-News junkie. I religiously read the local paper everyday from front to back, no matter if the article interests me or not. I also get the larger Portland paper 'The Oregonian' in the mail, since they stopped distributing them locally. Sometimes they come in late, sometimes 3 at once, so now I often don't get to them as fast as I want. Nevertheless I pile them up and read them in order. The Oregonian often covers stories our small local paper won't cover. My husband teases me about my Newspaper reading habit.
In Germany most people read the paper religiously, even many older children and teens. We like to be informed and see it as our duty as citizens to get informed what is going on in the world around us. I don't know why that is, it is just the way we grew up. Maybe it has to do with our dark history of the Nazi era. You have to watch the people in power carefully and an independent press will tell you what you need to know. But what good is an independent press if nobody reads it?
So I just read this article about Quality of Childcare in the US.
Where I come from 'Germany' Childcare is a right, just like Education is a right and Health Care is a right. It is subsidized by the government from taxes. So the childcare situation in the US always dumbfounds me. I can not understand the philosophy of not supporting parents, so they can go to work, supporting their families, their country without having to worry who will watch over their children while they plow away. In my opinion offering childcare subsidies are a win-win situation for the government. Yes, it costs money, but what you get in return are productive citizens which can support their government with taxes, you get an educated, well adjusted future citizen, who later will be able to support their country by working.

I have to admit, 'Affordable Childcare' and 'Quality Childcare' are dear to my heart as a German educated Childcare teacher and working as a former 'Au-pair girl' and 'Nanny' when I first came to the US.
So I may be a bit biased in this Childcare thing. But something truly needs to change.
The Childcare costs are unsustainable for most parents, that means the costs for Quality Childcare. Yes, one still can find somewhat affordable childcare, but most of those are nothing more then 'parking places' for children then places which will educate your child. The end-effect is, people who have the money, will get childcare where the child will be nurtured, instead the one where the child gets parked and being stifled in it's development.
The facts are children who attend high quality programs are doing better in school, need less special ed, are more likely to be literate, more likely to graduate from High School and more likely to become productive workers.The early years in a child's life are so important for the brain development so they can succeed later in life.

To me its a no Brainer.

As I kept reading this article I came across this paragraph comparing the US to the rest of the World in policies affecting children and families. I always get a chuckle out of these US/World comparisons, because the neighborhood the USA (the most industrialized nation on this earth) shares with. Which most the times comes out to be not with the other industrialized nations but with some of the most poor, third world or backward nations or even dictatorship countries.
So I like to share with you, that the good old USA, which has no mandatory paid maternity leave in comparison with 173 countries, where 168 of these countries guarantee paid maternity leave, shares the neighborhood of 5 countries which fail to do so, which are Lesotho, Papua New Guinea, Liberia, and Swaziland. Is this the countries we want to be compared to?
Can't we do better?

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Berry Season-Raspberry Galette recipe

It is definitely Berry Season. I have been picking lot's of Strawberries, baking lot of Strawberry cakes. Then as soon the Strawberries started slowing down-which will be only temporary then I have mostly Everbearing Strawberries which right now just have a rest period- I had to pick my Red Currants. This year I did not get as many Currants because I had a bad infestation with Currant Fruit Fly, which also resulted in a lot of work having to pick through the berries. In the end it was all worth it, because I made a wonderful cake with them. Because the Currants are so small it takes a long time to remove them from the stems, so I usually make this cake only once a year.
Now the Currants are done I am getting a flood of Raspberries which I need to use quickly because they have a small shelf life and spoil quickly. Also my freezer broke so I can't freeze any right now until my new Freezer arrives, which should be next week.

So I made a quick Raspberry Galette which is a Free Form Fruit tart.

Rosemary flavored Raspberry Galette

Recipe By : Isabell Norman
Serving Size : 10 Preparation Time: 0:35

For Pâte Brisée
300 g Flour/Mehl
75 g Sugar/Zucker
120 g Butter
2 Egg/Ei
2 Tblsp/EL Ice-Water/Eis-Wasser

For Filling:
300 g Raspberries/frische Himbeeren-fresh or more if you
3 Tbs Sugar/Zucker
2 Tbs Rosemary, chopped/Rosmarin, gehackt
2 tsp lemon peel, freshly grated/Zitronenschale, gerieben
1/2 tsp cardamom, ground/Kardamom, gemahlen

1. Put Flour, Sugar, and Butter-cut up in very small pieces, in mixer bowl,
process until the Butter resembles pea sized crumbles, now add the Eggs and
Ice-Water and mix until the dough just starts sticking together.

2. Mix das Mehl, Zucker und Butter, die in sehr kleine Stücke geschnitten
ist in einem Stand Mixer bis die Butter wie Erbsen grosse Krümmel aussieht.
Nun die Eier und Eis-Wasser zugeben und alles schnell zu einem Mürbteig

3. Remove the dough and knead it quickly into a ball. You don't want to over
mix it, because then instead of becoming crusty and flaky it will become

4. Den Teig der Schüssel entnehmen und schnell zu einem Ball zusammenkneten.
Den Teig nicht zu viel kneten weil er dann statt krustig und krisp eher
ledrig wird.

5. Wrap in plastic or put in bowl with lid and let rest for 30 minutes in
the refrigerator.

6. Den Teig in Plastik einwickeln oder in eine Schüssel mit Deckel tun und
im Kühlschrank für 30 minuten sitzen lassen.

For the filling:

8. In the meantime pick through your Raspberries, it is best to not wash
them and mix all the ingredients for the filling. Set aside.

9. In der Zwischenzeit die Himbeeren verlesen. Es ist besser die Himbeeren
nicht zu waschen. Alle Zutaten für die Fülle mischen. Beiseite stellen

10. To finish, cut the dough into 8 to 10 same sized pieces and roll out
each piece into a round. The round does not have to be perfect because these
are Free form tarts. Add a nice amount of filling in the middle of the
rolled out dough, leaving about 1-1/2" to 2' space to the edge. Fold the
edges toward the middle, over the mix making sure the folds stick together.

11. Zum fertigstellen, den Teil in 8-10 gleichgrosse Stücke teilen und jedes
Teil in einen runden Boden ausrollen. Sie müssen nicht perfekt rund sein
weil diese Freie Form Tarten sind. Tue einen gute Menge Fülle in die Mitte
des ausgerollten Teiges dabei etwa 4-5 cm an der äusseren Seite
freilassen. Die Seiten zur Mitte, über die Fülle hinfalten, dabei sicher gehn
dass die Falten zusammenhalten.

12. Bake in Oven at 350 ° F for 15 to 20 minutes or until they are lightly

13. Im Oven bei 180 ° C für 15 bis 20 minuten backen oder bis die Tarts
leicht braun sind.

Nutrition (calculated from recipe ingredients)
Calories: 270
Calories From Fat: 99
Total Fat: 11.2g
Cholesterol: 68.1mg
Sodium: 16.4mg
Potassium: 98mg
Carbohydrates: 38g
Fiber: 2.9g
Sugar: 12.8g
Protein: 4.9g

Cooking Tip: You can brush the Galette before baking with some eggyolk mixed
with a tablespoon milk or water and sprinkle with brown sugar crystals

Man kann die Galette vor dem Backen mit Eigelb aufgerührt mit
einem Esslöffel Milch oder Wasser bestreichen und mit Braunen Zucker
Kristallen bestreuen

You could also top it with some Sliced almonds

Kann ebenso mit gehobelten Mandeln bestreut werden

Or before Serving, powder with Powdered Sugar

Oder vor Servieren mit Puderzucker pudern.

Comments: Made with Isabell's less Butter Pâte
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This recipe is my own recipe and is there fore copyrighted. You are free to use it for your personal use but to use in any publication of any form you need to get permission from the original Owner of this recipe.
disclaimer: Not to be shared with the Dervaes Family of Path to Freedom Website. Thank You