Weekend Coffee Share – Como

If we were having coffee we’d be looking at the departure board, a tinge of excitement and a modicum of apprehension in case we miss the gate.

I really struggle with the airport scene.  I’ve done it enough to know the drill but not enough that it’s become 2nd nature.  The leaving enough time to get through security, the lure of duty free as your forced to walk through it to get to the lounge.  The spotting of an empty seat not too far away from the board, but close enough to keep a nervous eye and away from anyone who might invade the reading space.

Today we are straight through security, a minor blip as one of the boys pencil cases needs to be searched…..but aside from that I’d almost say it was pleasurable.  We headed straight for coffee, we’d brought some homemade Banana and Chocolate loaf to accompany (a great recipe from Nigel Slaters Kitchen Diaries II)

Destination Lake Como flying via Milan……

The flight came in a little early enabling us to catch an earlier train from T2.  Unfortunately the connection we needed in order to claim a score  at the change over station didn’t run on Saturday….so were we’d gained time, we lost waiting for our original connection.  Hitting Como at 6pm local time.

We are in an small apartment in the centre of the town and can’t believe our luck.  Bakery and ice cream shop on our doorstep.  The lake 5-10 mins away…this is going to be a lovely break from the norm.

This is my post for the weekend coffee share, thank you for popping by, if you like my ramblings and want to hear first hand how I’m getting on in the kitchen as a cook or my latest adventure then please subscribe at the top right, to either my WordPress account or my picture diary (instagram feed).

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Weekend Coffee Share – Printworks

If we were having coffee I’d tell you we were in the same place last weekend except this weekend the boy is here for a 13-18 year old print workshop rather than the Edinburgh Open doors weekend where we came to look at the repurposed North British Rubber Company building at Castle Mills

Now thanks to a bunch of funding initiatives (The Heritage Lottery Fund, Creative Scotland, Historic Environment Scotland and a number of trusts and foundations) the building has been re-purposed and a new lease of life given by the Edinburgh Printmakers. An organisation dedicated to the practice of fine art printmaking, high quality, low cost printmaking facilities for artists.

Last weekend we were early and the Lemon Polenta cake with an americano hit the spot and reminds me that I need to find a recipe.

Today, late afternoon not so lucky, I’ve opted for a date slice and a pot of tea. I‘ve carved out a couple of hours by being a chaperone, in case he needs me was the excuse. I know he’ll be fine and so to sit somewhere without interruption is a long overdue decadence.

I’m listening to the playlist that goes alongside the release of the new autobiography by Jean Michelle Jarre. An eclectic mix of music and genres.

Since my last post my Monday night Persian cookery course has kicked off. Forcing me to stick with recipes, think up front about the weekly shop. A simple chicken thigh dish with red opnions was a definite family hit for tea the night after.

Theres been no sign of the boy so far and we are 30 mins in, the clock is ticking and I’m torn by time….I’ve brought in several journals to pick up and move on. I like to keep the professional side of my life separate to the creative hobbyist side. As consequence the reflective side takes a back burner time and time again.

I’m going to leave you there an pick up one of those books. Thankyou for joining me on another of my sporadic coffee stops!

This is my post for the weekend coffee share, thank you for popping by, if you like my ramblings and want to hear first hand how I’m getting on in the kitchen as a cook or my latest adventure then please subscribe at the top right, to either my WordPress account or my picture diary (instagram feed).

Weekend Coffeeshare

The weekend coffee share, is a great place, gives me something to aim for, thank you for popping by. Hosted by Eclectic Alli

Weekend Coffee Share – Use a bigger bowl!

If we were having I’d welcome you in with a kink in my back. I’ve been nursing it all week with Ibuprofen.  I can’t even attribute it to anything other than a vicious sneeze and perhaps too much time in the hot seat at work.

Since we last had coffee the weekend’s have either been taken up with work or the back garden.   Work, a major project delivery with a few overnights involved.  There’s light at the end of the tunnel for now until the next phase.  

Then the garden which is really taking shape, the stump was finally removed, allowing me to finally get some shrubs in that have been in posts for too long, crying out for space being in pots for a couple of years whilst we get ourselves sorted.

Spending so much time outside in the garden I’ve really noticed the change in temperature and the garden coming to the end of season, which is sad in one way, in another though it’s harvest time.  I’ve got some really nice apples ready to be picked and entering into my favourite month of the year in terms of fresh produce. 

A new shed arrived this week which I’ll be painting later on, and I’ve been given the steer to cook a meal for two given the nephews are over. So I’m now racking my brain now……thinking which cook book to go to.

So a week into September, what you going to cook?   I’m still on with my bread journey, working through the recipes from my Danish book.   Lesson from last night.  Use a bigger bowl! And using the same dough for two loaves you definitely get a better result using the dutch oven.

This is my post for the weekend coffee share, thank you for popping by, if you like my ramblings and want to hear first hand how I’m getting on in the kitchen as a cook or my latest adventure then please subscribe at the top right, to either my WordPress account or my picture diary (instagram feed).

Weekend Coffeeshare

The weekend coffee share, is a great place, gives me something to aim for, thank you for popping by.  Hosted by Eclectic Alli

Weekend Coffee Share – End of the Box

Good morning, we are up and at them this Sunday meeting for coffee…..nice and breakfast early.  Half the house is up an early football match with a 9.30 kick off.  

A fortnight of rainy days here in Edinburgh that’s seen a scary amount of water drop from the sky, the temperature has plummeted as a result and I’ve been choked full of cold since mid week with a bit of a crescendo head fug Friday, Saturday which is finally lifting.  It came out of nowhere and I can only put it down to the change in temperature that has coincided with the boys going back to school.

The sun in the garden yesterday was a welcome relief and despite my head I got out and pottered with some pointing.  I have some very old walls where the mortar has seen better days.   I’ve also come across further remains of an old pine tree stump.  I’m finally at the sorting out of a corner at the bottom of the garden, and disappointed to find out that a stump I’d paid to be ground down was only taken so far.  Just going to start digging it out myself.  Otherwise my plans aren’t going to work!

Kitchen wise we took a bold decision to kill the weekly veg box.  The boss had asked for the potatoes to be swapped out a few months ago (I missed them).  Then something just snapped in us, I think it was the arrival of some strange squash, a kholabi and pullet eggs.  Nothing against pullet eggs, but they don’t stretch far on egg night with two teenage boys appetites.  I’m sure the box guys would have put things right if we called but we are the not the sort of folk to complain.   So we are calling time on an end of an era.  

Strangely it’s given me a sense of excitement that has surprised me.  On one hand seeing what came each week was good fun and I loved the field to fork ethic….on the other I hadn’t realised that it was constraining my cooking and I’d got into the habit of having to clear the fridge of left overs and I was cooking them all the same way usually in a stew or soup because of time constraints.  So feeling both liberated and sad.   The plan though is to hit the farmers market every over week or when I do the butcher run.

Bread…my new sourdough starter is fighting fit and almost feeling stronger than the previous one. The Rye experiment from Denmark still not going to plan….another case of a mouldy result. It’s feeling like it’s not meant to be and I might resort to cross breading and performing some kind of experiment with my healthy starter.

This is my post for the weekend coffee share, thank you for popping by, if you like my ramblings and want to hear first hand how I’m getting on in the kitchen as a cook or my latest adventure then please subscribe at the top right, to either my WordPress account or my picture diary (instagram feed).

Weekend Coffeeshare

The weekend coffee share, is a great place, gives me something to aim for, thank you for popping by.  Hosted by Eclectic Alli

Weekend Coffee Share – Post Denmark

The coffee is strong this morning, I wasn’t in charge of the number of scoops…..I’ve taken a few gulps and gone back for some more hot water…….that’s better.

Back into the swing of things now although the schools haven’t gone back. I’ve been trying to hold onto that holiday vibe whilst trying to jump back onto the project express at work…..and it is fast.

Writing up my notes from our Danish Adventure, has been happening and a nice way to review and reflect on the journey. I always think I’ll blog about the holiday. It never happens but this time with a little determination and the fact I took a few notes as I went has helped.

For those that popped by for coffee last weekend, apologies for repeating myself…updated links are here:

Before we got away for the holiday we’d managed to get the patio done and replaced. After 3 years of being here the garden is finally taking shape. I’d been worried that the new lawn wouldn’t have had any rain. I’d needn’t have worried I came back to a mini jungle. I’ve started to dream about pots, planting and sorting out all the other niggles. I’ve got a big re-pointing exercise around the wall. Having pulled out a few wall hugging plants.

Had to re-start my sourdough project, one of the casualties of the Fridge giving up the ghost whilst we were away. Thankfully the warmth and the fact I had some good organic wholemeal…it looks like I have a new starter in the wings. Had a disaster with a new recipe for Rye bread (taken from Copenhagen book) a ferocious mould within a few days. Might give it one more go…..if at first you don’t succeed, try try again.

The Edinburgh Festival has kicked off and in full swing. I was fortunate to attend the opening classical concert with my favourites being the John Williams Star Wars, ET and Superman sections.

Edinburgh Internation Festival – LA Philharmonic

Hope you are doing well and thanks for sharing coffee, I know the weather front is crazy for some folk. Yo-yoing extremes, the sun is blazing at the moment at the same time I can hear the sky rumbling, I hope all is well.

This is my post for the weekend coffee share, thank you for popping by, if you like my ramblings and want to hear first hand how I’m getting on in the kitchen as a cook or my latest adventure then please subscribe at the top right, to either my WordPress account or my picture diary (instagram feed).

Weekend Coffeeshare

The weekend coffee share, is a great place, gives me something to aim for, thank you for popping by.  Hosted by Eclectic Alli

Billund to Skagen

Day 5…….

Cowboy, Toilet Door
Cowboy, Toilet Door

The whole place awash with western Lego images, country music playing through the toilet block.  It’s been a pleasant short sharp stay in Legoland campsite.  The plan always to stay one night and move on.  As part of the package we were given or opted for the two day ticket.  

The youngest wants to milk the deal for what it’s worth, the 15 year old non commital and the adults ready to move onto the next adventure.

Sensing an opportunity to get a morning of adult time we strike a deal of the boys getting to the park for opening time whilst we wrap up and get a coffee in Billund.

Dropped the boys by bike off at the entrance to  Lego land, checked they got in ok and arranged to meet them back at the bikes for 12:30.  Finished packing up the van which was practically done and moved it off the pitch to the check-in car park, reception gave us a free voucher for the parking and we headed into town with our bikes.

The centre of Billund feels very much under re-development around the heart of the newly built Lego house…more a museum come homage to Lego without the amusement rides. Very strong design and Apple feeling, shop felt special compared to Lego land. Large open space and could easily have whiled a day away here. Does feel very much aimed at the younger Lego enthusiast though. It was just nice to enjoy the vibe. The tree in the middle is awesome, the Lilly pond, the dog at the lamp post and the ice cream stall just great to see. If I lived locally I’d get myself an annual pass for sure.

The bakery in town was just what you could hope for, way too much choice, seats and great coffee. Alongside that came across a great kitchen shop Imerco….which we’ll speak of some more later in the holiday.

Back to the van, our bikes on, then picked the boys up at there bikes and good as gold they arrived at 12:30. Rolls were had and we were on the road…..good nice summer vibe through the fields, Meny supermarket and ice creams, another hour.

Drive went fine until we hit the tunnel, at Aalborg, this added on a hour and then the roads were fine again.  Stressful awning pitch up as everyone wanted to muck in and be helpful which just made it harder.  Determined not to crack, I relented, got into direction mode and took a few deep breaths.

Simple pasta and Ragu tea from the freezer that we brought….which was just perfect, with a glass of red in the sunshine.  Up until this point just felt like we’d been waiting for this moment a real taste of being on holiday.  Finished the day of with a cycle around the campsite and a beach walk as the sun went down. Idyllic.

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Beach memories #beach

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Day 6, Skagen is coming…..as part of the Danish Adventure

Ribe to Billund, Legoland

Day 4….

When ever I mentioned Denmark in conversation as our summer destination I was either met with chat about Copenhagen or Lego.   Denmark being the home of Lego how could we not visit with two boys in tow (that was my excuse!)…..and the good news we could camp right next door.

Legoland Billund

Camping in Ribe we woke at 7 to the alarm and the sun blaring through the canvas vents.  The boys in a tent beside us, we were packed up for 8:40

Popped into føtex for sandwich and breakfast number 2.  Huge disappointment as the sandwiches we spotted yesterday weren’t ready so it was mad dash picnic gather.  Bread rolls, ham and pre-sliced port salut.

The drive fairly easy 55 mins, through fields of wheat, barley and flowering potatoes.  Driving through the arable land on traffic free roads calming.

As we approached Billund the traffic was fairly light and as we approached Legoland a small traffic queue was forming for the Legoland carpark which we cut short by taking the campsite turning.  Our pitch was ready, so no temporary parking issues. Into the park for 10:30 looking for coffee.   We could see someone had one but couldn’t find an open station, we ended up in pirates cove on a boat waiting for the pirates café to open at 11 which seemed like the standard opening time for eateries.

Coffee and pastry fuelled we were  good to go.

It’s a theme park, and food wise the usual was on offer.  Did walk by a Mexican place and passed someone who had a bowl of appetising  bean stew that made me look twice.

We’d opted for freshly baked rolls from the supermarket as per above and left the teenage boys which left myself and the boys wanting more, the wind was taking its tole on our appetites.   In comparison to our small rucksack, which did get searched people were taking in small trolleys and cool boxes.

We bailed out at 4, getting our hands stamped for a re-entry later for the rides that are just that much more quieter.    The boys got onto a few things a couple of times this way without queuing at all.

The campsite as you can imagine is busy, reception was busy, they have pitches and sleeping options of all shapes and sizes.  With differently themed areas.  I don’t think I’ve ever listened to as much country music in my life and couldn’t help singing along to the Gambler whilst brushing my teeth.  Public areas are good, communal cooking area and seating area all good.  Camping at Legoland is a short distance from the site, but definitely recommended.

Legoland for my eldest, a 15 year old at time of writing…..probably on the verge of being a bit too old, that said he went back in for the morning the day after on our 2 days for 1 deal as part of the camping package.

All time favourite hero

Day 5, Billund to Skagen is next…..as part of the Danish Adventure

Hook of Holland to Ribe, Denmark

Ribe Cathedral

Day 2…..

A long long drive lengthened by a key junction being completely shut near Bremen.  The diversion sign missed or invisible to the naked eye sending us in the complete opposite direction.  The Garmin and I had a serious falling out as it insisted on taking us straight back into what seemed like miles and miles of a tailback.  In the end I cut through some of rural Germany using my internal compass and a battle of will against the tech.

We arrived at the Ribe campsite, at 7pm almost 11 hours of being on the road. 

The wind a howling we were in no mood for cooking anything let alone the chicken drumsticks from yesterday.  The site café minimal in its offering did have pizza on the menu and a pint of draught beer.   Slowly things were put right in the world.  Cheese, bread and beer…what’s not to like.

Day 3…..

We eased into the day with an excitement of being in a new place and nothing dictating our attention, a coffee, some muesli and then a small cycle into one of Denmark’s oldest towns.

Ribe, quaint and beautiful we realised fairly quickly it was closed except for a few random shops and eateries.  It was a Sunday and a country known for its work life balance was sticking to its traditions!  We were happy meandering and cycling through the streets letting the new location soak into us where every doorway had amazing flowers.  Came across a house I just couldn’t cycle by captured by the Rose bush. A cream and a pink almost…..edible.  My name for it is marshmallow and candy floss.  I’m trying to find the real name of it now.

The wind was a blowing with a cut through the cloth kind of chill.  We were not really prepared for the first day of the holiday.   Holidays in the summer are supposed to be warm right?  There was some discussion before we left about Denmark being level with Scotland geographically which didn’t translate into packing wind proofs.

Rather than a mad hunt we took refuge in a place that just looked so appealing from the outside, a mixture of an épicerie come coffee shop.  A couple of things were off the menu for it being a Sunday, so we ended up digging into the platter options and a cup of coffee that didn’t disappoint.

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Great Coffee and Epicerie, Ribe #epicerie

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Some more cycling around town, supermarket drop, back to the pitch for a little R and R.  Got ourselves organised for tomorrow’s move on, a bit of tea prep and then a bit of another cycle through the countryside.

The day seemed to brighten and although the wind stayed we warmed up….we were on holiday.  The wheat fields rolled by, the crops of peas and corn a mix of colour that just soothed the soul.  As part of the cycle we came across Kammerslusen at Ribe.  A canal lock that joined up with the sea barrier,  a great view with this part of the world being very flat.

We closed the day with tea in the communal cooking area, a luxury kitchen…..what a way to camp!  

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Communal #cooking #denmark🇩🇰 camping style!

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The journey continues……Ribe to Billund is coming soon, and the previous day can be found here

Notes:

Ribe Camping is part of the Elite Camping group.  From the Ribe campsite I’d definitely consider the others in the chain.

Terpager & Co,  https://www.terpagerogco.dk, Great little coffee and french speciality shop.

Weekend Coffee Share – The start of a Danish Adventure

Did you sleep?  It was the first question I was asked after turning the alarm function off, we’d both woken before the buzzer kicked in.  I had, but I don’t think my brain had rested was my response.  I felt hung over with no drink involved.  The start of our holiday.

Destination Denmark…… a big travel day, Scotland to Harwich to take a ferry overnight to Holland and a small job to do via the auction house.

The coffee is strong and I’m sat at the computer doing some final admin, playlist adjustments and a few thoughts on waking.  The bikes need to be loaded onto the back of the van along with the last odds and sods that seem to be spread round the house in various piles.  The joy of a camping holiday allowing you to take all the silly creature comforts that you need.

I write four sentences before I have to flip to my work email, realising that I’ve not checked since going to bed….the project I’ve been working on is flagged red by testing for the mere fact we are running to time and taking an environment away and he’s probably got tests to run…..I really need to get away.

We get two miles down the road before a voice pipes up from the back, ‘I’ve forgotten my pillow’.   Needless to say I didn’t consider it an essential item.  When I was a boy I didn’t get a sleeping mat, so I’m pretty sure I didn’t get a pillow….We didn’t turn back.

We’re away for two weeks so the van is packed within an inch of its life alongside this we have some temporary cargo.  The drive down includes a trip to an auction house.  Both bitter and sweet, the toys of my childhood have been valued quite highly so worth a slight detour.  I try not to think about the sentimental value as I handed over the boxes, the Snow-speeder, the Ewok Tree village and my prized Millennium Falcon. 

It’s a new ferry crossing for us so new roads, new timings and we’ve just recently come across the book ‘The Extra Mile’.  A guide to the foodie places that are just a few miles off the motorway.  I’m up for supporting local businesses that provide great food at a reasonable price rather than motorway fodder at day light robbery prices.

Lister Farm:  Butchery with a huge selection of bbq wares, it was surreal.  Opted for a herby drumsticks….I’m always amazed by the number of chicken breasts on sale compared to the other bits and pieces so although I like a chicken breast as much as the next guy sometimes I can’t face thinking they’ve been massed produced in a battery barns whereas I hope the leg cuts are left over from some form of butchery, a more reliable source.  I know the butchers around the corner from home they come from a blue plastic container pre prepared.  The shop had a nice small café and picnic benches.  A little field where kids could let off some steam if needed.

We’d made good time and a late night crossing allowed for a further stop which we made at the Anchor Inn, beside the River Stour at Nayland.  I don’t know how the Inn had made it into the book as the Garmin took us some back route roads for more than a few miles.  We had the time though and I enjoyed the break from the dual carriageway.  Food was good, it was warm, sunny and 40 or so minutes from the ferry….the holiday and our Danish adventure was starting.

Thanks for reading so far….the weekend coffee share is my friend in helping me to write. It’s been a while, life just keeps happening and 1 weekend missed turns into 4 maybe 5. The coffee hook gives me a mental switch to be able to start again…..so I intend to write more about my Danish adventure and what I learned along the way. I’ve just described day 1, the UK leg in red and there is more to come …..The Danish Adventure!

Danish Adventure

This is my post for the weekend coffee share, thank you for popping by, if you like my ramblings and want to hear first hand how I’m getting on in the kitchen as a cook then please subscribe at the top right, to either my WordPress account or my picture diary (instagram feed).

Weekend Coffeeshare

The weekend coffee share, is a great place, gives me something to aim for, thank you for popping by.  Hosted by Eclectic Alli