Wednesday, 30 November 2011

November Summary

Several times on my blog, I have gone on about how I feel about the beginning of a new month, but I think a summary at the end of a month can also be good.

During November, I worked mostly from home, as usual; went to the office for a day, took a business trip to Austria, read a few books, worked out at the gym, had lunch at my parents' place three or four times, walked across the Christmas market on the opening night, shed some tears around the 2nd anniversary of my husband's death, learnt quite a lot from what I was reading in my weekly paper, on the blogs I am following and also from the comments some of you are kind enough to leave here, enjoyed the mostly mild and sunny weather, went on a family outing, came 2nd with my team at the pub quiz, made a Hefezopf and generally had a good time.
(Most of what I have summarized here can be found in the posts I have written this month)

A "classic" for November in this part of the globe, but such foggy, mysterious mornings like this view from my kitchen window were quite rare this year.

The clear, frosty mornings were more frequent, looking just as beautiful in their own different way.
A close-up of my neighbour's frost-covered roses.

And then there were quinces!
We have a tree in the back garden; it has grown quite out of hand, really, not letting any sunshine through to the ground around it. And every year, it produces an abundance of this delicious looking fruit - trouble is, they can not be eaten just like that; they are rock-hard and need boiling for hours and hours and hours before they turn into anything edible, such as jam, and not many people are willing to go to such lenghts.
Still, because yellow is my favourite colour and these quinces were just so beautiful, I took one and am using it now as one of the very few decorative items in my flat.

These pictures show quite well what the colour of this year's November is in my mind - certainly not the grey typically associated with the month!


  1. Oh Dear Librarian,
    Beautiful post, as always!
    You need to look at this blog, The Quince Tree.
    I think she will have some ideas for those Quinces, quite!

  2. Oh, I read your blog post and I thought, "hm, must remember to pack some warm clothes for Germany" I don't know what to expect in Munich, because last time I went in early December it wasn't as cold as I'd expected, just a bit of frost. I don't want to freeze, or trail around with suitcases full of snow boots!

    The quinces look lovely, and before you abandon thoughts of cooking them I do suggest pre-boiling them and THEN baking them in with some apples in a pie or a crumble. I did this and it was really, really lovely. I didn't have to pre-boil them that long, about 10 mins, and actually they were then nice to eat cold,as a snack, but somehow not to serve at table, so they need more cooking.

    I do have a pressure cooker somewhere but I haven't used it for years, I'd be frightened to, but that of course is wonderful for the kind of things that sually need long cooking. You can mash the quinces into a paste and it would be a lovely cake filling instead of jam.

  3. Well now. I used to have two quince trees and I miss them awfully, you know why? Because
    1. I would bring in big boquets of pink quince flowers in the spring. and
    1. I would bring in big fat quinces and they made my house smell so wonderful.
    my neighbor made quince jelly. So tartly perfect on toast. Have you tried it?
    Now its almost December! Hope its as wonderful as your November was

  4. Kay, thank you! Too late now for any quincey ideas - they are all gone; the owner of the ground floor flat has harvested the lot. No idea what he does with them.

    Jenny, why not check the weather forecast for Munich on before you travel? It really can be anything from spring-like mild to biting cold.
    Regarding the quinces - see above... too late, all gone. 10 mins boiling sounds really short!

    Julie, these quinces are a different kind, they do not give off that lovely scent. And I don't think I have ever tried quince jelly - I have a quince lemonade with my sister in the summer every now and then, though, and that is very refreshing.

  5. Librarian, I know I've told you before, but it bears repeating...the view from your kitchen is such a delight in all seasons. Thank you for sharing with us.

  6. Thank you, Jill, I am glad you like it as much as I do - I need not worry then to bore everyone out of their wits by posting pictures of the same view over and over again :-)

    Frances, thank you!

  7. You are so blessed to have such a beautiful view from your kitchen window! The colors in your photos are spectacular. I really enjoy your blog, I stumbled across you over at Letters From a Hill Farm

  8. I do love the shape of the houses on the left. I've not seen anything like them. And those roses make such a beautiful picture.

  9. Hello Peggy, welcome to my blog and thank you for saying such kind things! I am glad you like what you found when you stumbled across from Nan's :-)

    Nan, these are typical "town houses", built in the very early 1900s by rich fabricants and merchants, and while they used to be lived in by just one family and their staff, now each of them is divided into two or three flats. I like walking past them, their road face is more beautiful than the garden side, and especially in winter when they have their windows decorated for Christmas.

  10. It's Sunday morning here in NZ and I'm catching up. I enjoy seeing the view from your kitchen in different moods and lights. I was delighted to by your use of the term 'fabricant' in the last comment. I haven't heard that word for years. I think I shall start using it again. It has a much more pleasing sound than 'manufacturer'.

    Quince jelly is the perfect complement to blue cheese as well.

  11. GB, I had no idea fabricant is not used that often anymore - I like using it, because it is almost exactly the same word in German, Fabrikant.
    Oh, blue cheese and quince jelly sounds delicious!

  12. In the US people would have some difficulty in understanding what you mean by the word "fabricant". It would be "manufacturer".
    Language is so interesting!

  13. Hello Kristi, just goes to show how un-American my English is :-) And I agree with you - language is very, very interesting indeed!