i have been a studious, busy little bee lately now that my brain is fully embracing autumn and has already gone back to school! i’ve decided to take a less crazy schedule than i had last year because, you should’ve seen me last year – i was running around like a mad person! there is this cycle that happens to english teachers here (and maybe other places, i don’t know) where you want to get more and more lessons to fill up your schedule. you keep gathering more and more until finally, you have so many that you are starting to go crazy. you are running in and out of the house, no time to stop anywhere. i even willingly worked until six o’ clock on fridays because i wanted to be a yes gal and fit everyone in. for me, it is really hard to say no when it comes to fitting in a student you know!
however, there is a delicate balance of also saying no, which i’ve finally mastered this year. sometimes, a bit of extra money is just not worth your sanity. now i’m happily finished teaching before five o’clock on fridays and i have most of my monday morning free. ahhhh. that’s the stuff.
i’ve just been hard at work being an even better teacher than i was last year; coming up with better activities and ideas. i am also really proud that i got my absentee ballot in the mail last week! democracy! voting! it feels so nice to do something, but now that that’s done, i’m looking forward incredibly so to november 9th – let it all be done with, please.
in my free time, besides cracking my language study text books, i’ve really just been in the kitchen. a little too much, i have to say! even though i’m not participating in bake off this year really, the fall is my food-spirit season. i’m still holding true that summer is really my spirit season where the warm temperatures and light days really have me at my best, but nothing is better after a nice long summer than to turn inwards and be inspired by the changes of the season and letting go.
i am regularly cranking like three or four things out of the kitchen on a typical sunday. a couple weeks ago, i was scrolling through my bloglovin feed and saw this beautiful pumpkin and brown sugar russian-style babka and new it was just the thing! it is a bit like a cinnamon roll, in long form! not to mention beautiful.
this week i tried my hand at baking kaiserschmarrn (an eggy, royal austrian pancake), as edna recently mentioned it on twitter which in turn, made me crave it! (below, with homemade applesauce)
the recipe i used to make it was, for my GBBO people, basically like a baker reading a technical challenge recipe on the show – the vaguest thing i’ve ever read. i thought it came out quite well though and made a large quantity (husband is pleased by this). didn’t have any rum around so i used almond medovina (mead). yes, we just have bottles of mead kicking around in our kitchen. welcome to central europe, i guess!
then, there is my epic (ohh yes) pumpkin pie oatmeal. the mother of all autumn breakfasts! i make this about twice a week and oh, does it impart my mornings with just the perfect dose of autumnal heaven. i’d recommend giving it a go!
pumpkin pie oatmeal
serves two. you’ll need…
1 ½ cup oats
½ to 1 tsp cinnamon (as you like)
¼ tsp nutmeg
1 tb chia seeds
3 cups, milk of choice
1/3 cup pumpkin purée
¼ cup raisins
whole pecans, about 15
¼ tsp vanilla extract
maple syrup (to drizzle liberally)
1. set the oven to 150ºC and set the pecans in there on a tray. they will toast while you make everything else!
2. place the oats, spices, chia seeds, raisins, and milk in a sauce pan on the stove and turn the heat on low. mix in the purée and stir everything together well so there are no pumpkin chunks in the oatmeal.
3. stir often until oatmeal thickens (but not too thick) and is hot (but not tooooo hot). this will probably be about five to eight minutes or so.
4. when desirable heat and consistency is reached, stir in the vanilla, then remove oatmeal from heat and spoon into two bowls (or save the extra portion for another day). remove the pecans from oven. drizzle with maple syrup, then arrange the pecans in whatever design you like. serve immediately. feel the autumn vibes.
also, we’ve just decorated our house a bit for halloween– pumpkins, large skeleton hanging on the door, candles….. it’s not a lot, but it’s something! the other day we were coming home from all the farmer’s markets with our pumpkins and wool sweaters, looking the very picture of fall, but i didn’t bring my camera. i am the kind of blogger that leaves her camera at home when doing fall things, i guess. (facepalm)
i’m so excited to celebrate this holiday, even if we’re not really dressing up this year. i’ll have a post for you soon with this year’s edition of the spooky movie series!
on a different note, october always brings so much nostalgia, like every day is bittersweet. being reminded every day that this was the day i sang with a choir in the rosslyn chapel, halloweens of years past, the festival of lights in berlin is on, or staying in a cozy cabin in a village in brandenburg with a wonderful group of people, almost four years since i took the TEFL… this is my season of memories. the season when we were vagabonds, then moved to the czech republic. it’s hard to know what to make of those wonderful memories sometimes when you see them floating so far in the past, year after year.
of course, the best thing we can do is enjoy the now and make it the best and happiest now possible. it’s all we’ve got.
speaking of ‘the now’, tell me – what is your favorite autumn breakfast?