The scent of lilac can be owerpowering when there is too much of it in a room, but out in people's gardens, it is wonderful. One of the most beautiful lilac trees around here is the one I can see from my kitchen window:
Last year, I talked to the elderly lady whose garden it is, and she said that she never planned it that way - the three colours all came out of the same stem without her doing.
The pictures were actually taken at the end of April, but it still looked like that for the first week of May. By now, nearly everywhere around the lilac has gone "rusty", except for a few cooler and shadier places where it is still glorious.
A typical spring/early summer meal for me is Kartoffeln mit Kräuterquark - spuds (potatoes) with curd cheese. The curd is spiced with salt, pepper and whatever else you may like (such as garlic or spring onions). Fresh herbs are the best addition, but if you - like me - haven't got any handy at the time, dried ones will do. For more smoothness, I stirred in a little bit of olive oil.
The spuds don't need any special treatment; simply boil and peel them (or peel them first and boil them in a pan to make it quicker, like I did).
A very filling and healthy meal is the result.
By the way, I happened to come across those spuds quite by chance: My hairdresser gave them to me! How many times have you gone to have your roots done and come home with a bag of spuds?
A farmer from our area comes into town regularly. He offers his produce directly from his van; spuds, eggs, carrots, lettuce, strawberries etc., according to season. I never see him because I usually am at work when he is here, but my hairdresser nearly always buys something from him. The other day, she bought too much - she and her boyfriend are on a diet, and so they did not cook and eat as much as usual. Because she did not want to throw away anything, she distributed the spuds between me and two other customers that morning at her salon.
One of the best and most useful presents I ever got is this coffee machine. My Mum got it years ago through a bonus point system at an online cooking forum where she moderates, and gave it to me as she already had one. I've loved this machine ever since, for its easy use and because it does not take up much room. Something else I like about it is that I don't have to buy the original coffee pads that are of the same brand, but can go for the much cheaper (but equally tasty) ones from Aldi, without having to go to two different shops. Also, the amount of waste it creates is minimal - the pads are compostable, as opposed to the shiny aluminium tablets and cups that are needed for such fancy coffee machines as the Nespresso ones and others.
A few weeks ago, my Mum was offered the successor of the first model, this time in red, as part of a product testing program (= for free). She took it and gave it to me. I have a red toaster with white polka dots (as can be seen here), so a red coffee machine seemed like a good idea. It is just as easy to use as the first one, which I handed down to RJ, who has been saying for years that he likes my coffee better than the one he has at home. So, everyone is happy now - the product tester program got a good review, and RJ and I can both have tasty coffee effortlessly even when he is not here.
This was a bit of a disjunct post, I know; but writing about the coffee machine gave me the idea for another post: the best and most useful presents I ever got.