yarny bookworm

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Samstag, 24. Oktober 2015


Hey guys,
It's getting a little more quiet around here. As some of you might know, my company is organising the Vienna Book Fair. It's taking place in three weeks so of course there's an awful lot of work to do. Which means loooong hours and short evenings. I haven't finished my third Kira. I'm not even close as I didn't do any crochet for the last three weeks. There just isn't time. I know it will get better once the fair is over so I'm looking forward to that. 

In the meantime I'm packing my bags for a quick weekend trip with my big brother. My brother started the love for music in me. When we lived together, about four years ago, he introduced me to Dave Matthews Band and I've been addicted ever since. 

So for his thiertieth birthday in May his girlfriend and I gifted him not one but two concert tickets. As his girlfriend has to work I sacrificed myself to accompany him. So in about half an hour we'll start driving to Germany. Tonight we will visit the Dave Matthews Band concert in Munich, tomorrow we will drive up to Frankfurt to watch them again and on Monday we will drive back home. It will be an amazing weekend and I can't wait to finally start! A detailled post on the concert will follow! 

I'll leave you with some snippets from my appartment today. As I told you in my last post I wasn't really happy with my appartment and decided to clean it out a little. So here are some improved corner. But we plan to move next year to a nicer and bigger (and maybe even suitable for a baby - who knows?) and newer appartment. So there won't be much use for a lot of decoration and work. 

The sun is shining through the window and I'll finish my second coffee before I'll finish packing and make my way to Germany. 
I hope you all have a lovely weekend too. Take that, Autumn blues. You won't grt me down! 

the postcards are handpainted from my best friend. She let our wedding guest write something on every one of them and once a month she sends one of the postcards to us. I love getting them. They are such a beautiful memory!

nothing makes rooms more cosy than candles. Well, books, but they wouldn't look that good on the stairs!

on of our many cactus. The only plants that survive in this household. Which doesn't mean that we weren't also able to kill a few of them...

I love that pillow. Yes, I know, I could have easily made it myself, but let's be honest - that will never happen. The sewing machine and me will never be friends.

again - candles.

my ever growing mug collection. Each mug comes from a different country or has a special story behind it. 

Mittwoch, 14. Oktober 2015

Autumn Blues

Hello guys!

Autumn is here. Definitely. Right now, the rain is tapping on my window, I hear the wind howling and our radiators make that little clicking sound when they try to battle the cold. I'm drinking cups of tea and I'm wearing the Alpaca poncho, that I bought on our trip to Peru.

And I feel miserable. It's dark, when I get out of bed and walk to the train station. It's dark when I walk back home. I don't feel cosy in our tiny appartment. It's cramped and full. There's stuff everywhere, there's no place to decorate and I don't really like our furniture. I can hear our neighbour. I hear him coughing, I hear his TV, I hear him snore at night (!), I hear him screaming at his children. And he screams to his children a lot. And they scream back. Constant noise.

I'm always cranky. I can't find my peace in reading. I don't have the calm to sit down and crochet. I don't like watching TV, I stop every movie in the middle and go to bed. But I don't sleep well. I am cranky in the office. I can't wait for it to be evening so I can get back home. But I don't like being at home. I don't feel comfortable in our appartment.

I started to go running again and to be more active. I run three times a week. I see and feel the progress. When I started running about a month ago, I barely made 2 kms. Yesterday I ran for 5.4 kms. It's my first time EVER that I ran more than 5 kilometers. That made me very proud. I felt good, happy and alive. The feeling didn't last.

So I'm trying to find a way to get out of this constant bad mood and negative feelings. I try to appreciate the little things in live. I want to sort out or appartment, to get rid of some of the mess, to make it more comfortable. I try to spend more time in the kitchen, cooking food that keeps us warm. Cuddling up in my crocheted blankets. Planning to crochet a new one. I'm going to buy a load of candles to place around our rooms. I love candles.
I'm trying to embrace autumn and winter as parts of the circle of life.

But it's not easy. The old habits keep creeping back on me. So I ask you:

Do you have any advice for me to lift up my mood? Do you have books that you can recommend? What do you do, when life gets you down and you are tired of everything?

I'm glad for every tip that you have for me!

Samstag, 10. Oktober 2015

Soulfood Saturday

Hey guys,so today I got up in the morning and immediately thought: I want to bake! Now you might or might not know, baked goods are an extremely important part in the Austrian culinary culture. As I told you in my wedding post this can take a turn into the extreme.When I think back to my childhood I remember that my mother and grandmother always used to bake on the weekends - because then they had enough time to spend in the kitchen. When we visited my grandmother on sunday my mother always asked: What did you cook and bake today? And then they talked about food - cause food is important!Autumn has finally arrived here in Austria. After a glory, sunny and very hot summer, the weather is now cold, misty and wet. And I hate it, I really do. So to make myself feel less miserable I decided to bake (for the first time, might I add) an Austrian classic: Buchteln.Strange word, I know, so I consulted Wikipedia to help me explain them to you:

Buchteln (pl., sing. Buchtel; also Ofennudel(n), Rohrnudel(n)), are sweet rolls made of yeast dough, filled with jam, ground poppy seeds or curd and baked in a large pan so that they stick together. The traditional Buchtel is filled with plum Powidl jam. Buchteln are topped with vanilla sauce, powdered sugar or eaten plain and warm. Buchteln are served mostly as a dessert but can also be used as a main dish.The origin of the Buchteln is the region of Bohemia, but they play a major part in the AustrianSlovakSlovenian, andHungarian cuisine too. (source: Wikipedia)

So now that I made you smarter, let's get started:

Ingredients: 800 gramms flour1 package yeast150 gramms caster sugar120 gramms butter2 egg yolks, 1 whole eggca 500 ml milks

First, put the flour into a large bowl. Create a little crate in the middle where you crumble your yeast into.

Warm the milk in a small pot and put the sugar into the milk. The milk should be lukewarm, just test it with your finger. If it feels warm and not too hot for you, it's perfect. Put a little bit of the milk on to the yeast to dissolve it. Now leave it for about 15 minutes. 

milk and dissolving yeast

The yeast should rise and look something like this:

it has risen (Please read that in a deep masculine voice!)

While you let the yeast rise, melt the butter in the rest of the milk. When the yeast has risen, put the rest of the milk and the eggs into the bowl with your flour-yeast mixture. Keep a little bit of the whole egg and mix it with a splash of milk, this will later be lathered on your buchteln.Now let the dough rise for at least one hour. After that it should look something like this:

the dough

and the dough after it has risen. It should at leaste double up its sice. Put it in a warm place and put a dish towel on top of the bowel. That way your dough will rise easily!

Preheat the oven to 175 degrees.

Now take the dough out on a surface where you put some flour. Cut the dough into four parts. Take on part and roll it out. It should be about 5-10 mms thick. 

whoops, should have turned that picture. sorry.

Cut the rolled out though into squares - they can be small oder big - just how you like it.

Now you can fill these squares. You can practically fill them with whatever you want. My mother always mixed cocoa powder and caster sugar (about 50:50) and filled them with it. I tried to fill them with strawberry jam and Nutella. A mixture of Cinnamon and Sugar will also taste lovely (if you like cinnamon - I HATE the taste of it, so no cinnamon for me!) Don't fill too much of it into them or it will run out again. 

that's the cocoa - sugar mix. the cocoa will melt and the sugar will make it a little crunchy. My favorite filling!

Now knead the four corners of the dough together, so you have a nice tight roll. No jam or nutella or cocoa should be able to run out of it. 

Dunk the sides of the roll into oil - this will help prevent them from sticking together, and place them in a buttered pan. 

should have taken a bigger pan...

If you filled all the Buchteln, take a kitchen brush and put the egg-milk mixture on top of them. This will give them a nice, brown color.

Put the pan into the oven and bake the Buchteln for about 20 minutes. If the tops get brown too fast, just cover them up with a piece of baking parchment. The Buchteln are ready when they begin to smell delicious. Alternatively, you can take a toothpick and pick it into the Buchteln. No dough should stay on the pick. 


Enjoy your Buchteln while they are still hot, with a cup of coffee or tea - whichever you fancy. If you visit an Austrian café, they will drown the Buchteln in a Vanilla sauce! But my mother always made them plain, so that's what I'm used to!

Please let me know if you tried this recipe at home - I'd love to hear if you liked it! Now if you'll excuse me - I have a delicious treat to devour! Have a lovely weekend, everyone!

Freitag, 9. Oktober 2015

The year in books. September

Another month has passed (how can it be October already???) and as I always I'm a little late with my list of books to link up with Laura. I've gotten through a lot of books again. I'm currently reading the 47th book this year, so I'm definitely going to make my goodreads reading challenge of 50 books in 2015. I'm pretty certain that I will top it and read more than 50 books. I really need more money and more shelf space for my ever growing reading habit, it's getting slightly out of hand.
Anyway: Here are my books.

Dolores Schmidinger - Im Bett mit dem Teufel
An Austrian comedian who wrote her first crime novel. I'm always falling for crime fiction as it's perfect reading material for train journeys to and from work. I was positively surprised. The book has two timelines: one in the 80s and one in the present. It tells the love story of a woman who falls in love with a man who is a member of a catholic cult group and the second timeline tells the story of her daughter who, after 20 years, gets in contact with said man. It was funny and thrilling and although you knew, who the murderer was, right from the beginning, it was interesting to read until the last page.

picture from google

T.C. Boyle - Wassermusik (Water Music)
I bought this book on a flea market when I was still back at university. I totally fell for it (as I fall for all books of T.C. Boyle) and then I forgot it on the train went I went to visit my parents. On the next flea market, I bought it again and this time I finished it. Boyle tells the story of an 18th century explorer who travels to Africa to explore the Niger. He fails on the first exploration but it never lets him go and so he travels again. I love the style of T.C. Boyle. As I read the first half of the book now three times but the end just twice, I forgot some things that happened at the second half of the book so it was still fresh and interesting. If you love looong books and perfectly detailed drawn characters - Boyle is the perfect author for you.

picture from google

Davig Lagercrantz - Verschwörung (The girl in the spiders web)
Did you read the Millenium trilogy from Stieg Larsson? I absolutely adored it. Even my husband, who barely ever reads, didn't stop reading those books until he finished them in absolutely short time. Unfortunately, Stieg Larsson died after the third book and wasn't able to finish the fourth. After a long struggle with Larssons wife and his family, David Lagercrantz published the girl in the spiders web, which is kind of a continuation of the Millenium trilogy. Of course I was very curios and couldn't wait for that book to come out. I made the mistake to read a lot of article and reviews before I read the book myself. Not a good idea, as my mind was heavy with a lot of different opinions which of course, affected my own. Let's just say this: If you loved Stieg Larsson, you will like David Lagercrantz. Just try to ignore the fact that someone else is writing the book and you won't really notice a difference.

T.C. Boyle - San Miguel
I think I made it clear, how much I love T.C. Boyle. I already read San Miguel, but as I forbade myself to buy new books until the Christmas Holidays, I have to read books again. San Miguel tells the life of two different families who try to live on San Miguel Island, a little Island off the West Coast of North America. When the book first came out, critics said, that nothing happened, that the book is boring, that it only tells of the ordinary, everyday life that people lived on the island. Duh. Of course it only tells that. There are four people, living on an island, away from the main land, in the 19th century. What did they think will happen there? But things happen. And as always, Boyle describes the protagonists so well, that you feel, that you really know the people in the books. You know about their past, you get inside their head to know what they think, feel, smell, talk, you know, what they dream of and if they're disappointed or happy or sad. And that's what I love about Boyles books - his characters.

Robert Schneider - Schlafes Bruder (Brother of sleep)
An Austrian classic. Again a book that I've read before, though it's been some years since I first had a go at it. It's about a boy, who grows up in a little village in the Austrian alps. He's a little strange, doesn't look normal and has an enormous musical talent! He falls in love with his neighbour and thinks, that no one can really love, when he's sleeping. True love never sleeps because when you sleep, you don't think about the woman you love, you can't spend time with her, you can't make her happy. Thus, he stops sleeping.
Rather creepy and disturbing story but it left me thinking about it for some days after finishing it and that's what a good book should do to you - stay in your mind, even if it's back on the shelf!

picture from google

Jo Nesbo - Kakerlaken (Cockroaches)
I've written about my love for Jo Nesbo and his Harry Hole series a few times now. Again a gripping thriller, the definition of a pageturner. The Swedish embassador is found dead in a Motel Room in Bangkok and Harry Hole is send to Thailand to investigate in the case. I won't tell more, Nesbos thrillers are awesome and everyone should read them.

picture from google

Now that Autumn has definitely arrived, I tend to read even more as I love to curl up under a warm blanket, with a cup of hot chocolate in one and a good book in the other hand. We'll see what October has to offer, book-wise.

Happy reading, everyone!