Wednesday, December 7, 2011

November Recap

Hello Everybody,

November was a good, so-so and sad month. 

Sad stuff first, During the second week in November I received a message from my sister about how Grandma was in hospital and things didn’t look so good and that she would call me with updates.  Then one late afternoon I received another call from my sister telling me Grandma had requested to speak to me, well all her nephews and I was next in line for a call. Still I was quite surprised, I didn’t expect to talk to my Grandma again and when I did speak to her, she was alert and even made a joke when I said,  “it would be hard to visit since my private jet had run out of gas” and she responded by saying, “Well, put it on my tab.”  We both shared a last laugh and then I wished her to get well soon - the following day grandma was gone. 

I heard all my cousins attended the funeral, which meant all 52 showed up minus one, me, and that they made a collage of all of us, I did regret not be able to see all my cousins...oh well life goes on.  Though I was sad I could not attend the service, I was happy to have shared a final laugh and goodbye with Grandma Castillo.

Below are the pictures used of us for Grandma’s farewell collage . (l-r: me, Barb and Cindy) New Folder5

Now for the so-so stuff.

L was away for most of November – off to China she was and well, what could I do…well I went to France with a friend. One, was to get my mind from thinking to much of my Grandma, well more my dad since it was his mother. Secondly, to go taste wine in the northern region of France know as the Côte d'Or and I wasn’t driving - so all the better.

Taste wine, eat good food and forget the troubles of the day, you’d think that great…but it was so-so.  Plus I would be away for three days and that meant L would be home sooner when I returned.

Below is the town of one of my favorite Burgundy wines - Mercurey.


Many people prefer the wines from the northern region of the Côte d'Or and do have to agree that the wines in the north are good, Côte d'Beaune, Côte d'Nuit, Pommard, Romanee and Volnay.  But for my taste and wallet, nothing compares to the Mercurey region and L’s favorite the Givry region, not to be confused with Geverey. 

I hope these regions stay the way they are – small and quiet, because their northern counterparts are way to big and built for money.



Heading back to Germany. 

I had some great wines from the 2009 vintage, I’d say it’s great all around, but the 2010 may be more to my liking, in the Mercurey region that is. I can’t wait for the Wine Festival in Strasbourg.



Back home a day before Thanksgiving.  I made Challah for our local friends. Several of the expats got together and we had Thanksgiving dinner Friday night.  It was so-so, I had fun but I think I was really missing L, family and friends this year.  Well that may be changing soon, like in six months or so…hint hint. 






And time for the good.

L returned the 2 of December and I was quite happy.  We had an abbreviated version of Thanksgiving dinner. I made quail wrapped in bacon, green beans and leek – sage butternut risotto.  Below is some of the pictures of my prep work.

Cubing the butternut and chopping the leeks

Risotto Night  Butternut

Prepping for cooking – all ingredients at the ready

chicken stock, olive oil, a cup and some of risotto, chopped sage, chopped leeks, white wine, parmesan cheese, pepper and a bit of heavy cream or butter

Risotto Night  Butternut1



mix – rest – serve

Risotto Night  Butternut3


That was November