Experimenting with glutenfree bread again

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100 g coconut flour

50 g flaxseed flour

50 g pumpkin seeds

20 g sesame seeds

30 g dried currants (only because I had some leftover that needed to be used)

2 tblsp of the best cocoa powder money can buy (I use Aduna’s)

1 heaped tsp cinnamon (Ceylon/Sri Lanka – not cassia)

1 tblsp chili flakes

1 tsp salt

A healthy dose of freshly ground black pepper

A heaped tblsp baking powder


Mix all of the above together


2 eggs and 2 egg whites – whisked

2 tblsp coconot oil

3 heaped tblsp almond butter


Mix together, then add to the dry ingredients, mix well and add water till you have a thick porridge.

Put in two small to medium-sized, greased baking tins and bake at 170 C for 30 minutes.

Temporary post

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Programme for the InterNations visit to Dokumenta 14, Kassel, June 2017

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Here are some quick facts I have gleaned from the various material now available (their own website, which is one of the most unprofessional I have ever come across for a large-scale, international event such as this one: http://www.documenta14.de/en/; the articles on frieze.com: https://frieze.com/article/documenta-14-kassel-overview (scroll down and find one or two more); and the magazines already mentioned elsewhere):

The three main venues are: Dokumenta Halle, Neue Galerie, and Neue Hauptpost aka Neue Neue Galerie. (Fredericianum, an imposing and characteristic building centrally located by the Karlsaue (large park) which used to be the main venue, this time around houses works from the Museum of Contemporary Art in Athens).

Of the three, Neue Hauptpost (a disused post office) contains the majority of newly commissioned works and Neue Galerie exhibits historical works and research, while Dokumenta Halle shows installation art and documents performances.

Of all the “off-site” venues, Hessisches Landesmuseum is considered to be the most important to visit. Another option could be the old Hauptbahnhof, now used partly for art, and partly as a station for regional trains. Many other “other venues” show film and video art.

Based on the above, I have tried to further elaborate the programme (entirely optional of course). Feel free to let me know if you have stumbled on insights that I have not, and have special wishes and must-sees (also concerning where to have lunch and dinner …..). The programme is still a work in progress and can be changed according to wishes.


Thursday 22 June

Midday arrival of two people, as far as I know, so it should be easy to agree a meeting point either for lunch or dinner.

One of the leaflets I have found lists an area with several commercial galleries representing emerging artists (so not directly linked to Dokumenta 14), and I am planning on visiting those on this afternoon. Here is a map that shows – apart from my hotel 🙂 – the alledged “Galerienmeile” as well a three other recommended galleries a bit further away.

19.00 or later if it suits better: Dinner for those who are already in Kassel.

Friday 23 June

10.00 Two venues off the beaten track: Gottschalk-Halle and Kulturzentrum Schlachthof, perhaps followed by the Fredericianum if there is time. Meeting place Kulturzentrum Schlachthof or a more central place in order to walk or take public transport together.

13.00 (approx) Lunch

14.30 Karlsaue (which apparently is not showing as many works as traditionally, Neue Galerie and Bellevue (located so as to offer nice views).

19.00 (or later if it suits better) Dinner

Saturday 24 June

10.00 Dokumenta Halle; followed by Hessisches Landesmuseum if there is time.

13.00 (approx) Lunch

14.30 Neue Hauptpost; and the pavillions in Kurt Schumacher Straße (each featuring one artist)

19.00 Dinner

Sunday 25 June

10.00 Hauptbahnhof and/or anything we have not yet managed and/or only found out about while there. People returning to Berlin by train can take a regional train from here to the main station.

13.00 Lunch (if anybody is still there), and departures.



The legendary Tempelhof Airport

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Photos from a guided tour of what Norman Forster called “the mother of all modern airports”.

“First Friday of Every Month”

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Information added 6 May 2017: “First Friday ……” is (temporarily?) suspended. The concept is not working. This is Berlin. Too many other things get in the way :-).


Neueste Nachrichten zuerst/Latest news first.

Der nächste “First Friday ….” ist  Freitag 2. Juni/The next “First Friday ….. is Friday 2 June.

Die Rezepte aus dem ersten “First Friday ….” (3. Februar) sind hier/The recipes from the first “First Friday ….” (3 February) are here:





Please scroll down for the English version. First, here is a really bad German version:


Ich versuche ein Experiment: “Erster Freitag jeden Monats”.

Ich genieße, von Zeit zu Zeit zu kochen, und Freunde und Bekannte um ein hausgemachtes Essen einzuladen. Allerdings bin ich von der Formalität und den Beschränkungen von „Sit-down-Dinners“ müde, und es ist mein Eindruck, dass es sowieso nicht so ein großes “Berlin-Ding” ist (besonders Bescheid geben ob man kommt odernicht, und das pünktliche Auftauchen scheinen hier fast unmöglich.

Deshalb sind die von meinen hart arbeitenden Freunden und die wenigen mit-Rentner(innen), die ich kenne, und die Lust haben vorbeizukommen um was zu Essen und Wein trinken, leichte Schwätzchen und ernste Gespräche führen, ihre Füße hochlegen und sogar fernsehen, wenn das so ist, wie sie sich fühlen (besonders wenn jemand herausfinden kann, wie es funktioniert ….) hier jeden ersten Freitag des Monats willkommen, ohne mir vorher im Voraus mitzuteilen, ob sie kommen.

Habe ich schon erwähnt, dass es ein Experiment ist und dass Informalität entscheidend ist? Falls es plötzlich nichts mehr zu essen gibt, werden wir einfach Pizza oder Sushi oder was auch immer bestellen. Sollte jemand Lust haben, Essen/Getränke mitzubringen, ist das natürlich auch OK aber keine Voraussetzung.

Wenn du über eventuelle Änderungen informiert werden möchtest, dann bitte deine E-Mail-Adresse mitteilen, wenn ich sie noch nicht habe. Alternativ kannst du auch der Facebook-Gruppe “First Friday of Every Month” anschließen, aber das ist nur in Englisch.

Das erste Mal ist Freitag 3. Februar, ab 18.00 Uhr, aber bereits im März wird es Freitag 10. März.


PS: Wenn du Bier und oder viel Coca Cola oder Fanta oder was auch immer trinkst, muss ich dich für 3. Februar beten, es selbst mitzubringen. Wegen neuliche Graue Star Operationen darf ich bis Ende Februar nichts lüften.


Hopefully, the English version is better J:


I am trying out an experiment: “First Friday of Every Month”.

I enjoy cooking from time to time, and to invite friends and acquaintances around for a home-cooked meal. However, I am tired of the formality and restrictions of sit-down dinners, and it is my impression that those are not such a great “Berlin thing” anyway (especially the part about turning up fairly punctually …. not to mention the whole R.S.V.P. thing).

Therefore, those of my hard-working friends, and the few fellow retirees I know, who feel like coming round for some food and wine, idle chats and serious conversations, putting their feet up and even watching TV if that is what they feel like doing (especially if somebody can figure out how to make it work ….) are welcome here every first Friday of the month without having to tell me in advance whether they are coming.

Did I mention it is an experiment and that informality is key? If we run out of food, we just have to order pizza or sushi or whatever. Should anyone feel like bringing food/drinks that is of course also OK but not a requirement.

If you would like to be kept informed of any changes that may arise, please let me have your e-mail address if I do not have it already. Alternatively, please join the Facebook group called “First Friday of Every Month”.

The first time will be Friday 3 February, as from 18.00 hrs, but note that there is a change already in March where the date is Friday 10 March.

PS: If you drink beer and/or coke or fanta or whatever, I need to ask you to bring it yourself for 3 February. Due to recent cataract surgery I am not supposed to lift anything heavier than a glass of redwine till the end of February.

Support group for new Berliners with refugee background

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I am starting to host regular meetings for women with refugee background for exchange of experience and advice, for stress counselling, for networking and empowering, for getting together and organising mutual help and support, understanding letters from authorities, accompaniment to medical appointments, going for walks, visiting exhibitions – the wishes and needs of the members of the group will set the agenda. I will provide the space and the coffee, and sometimes a cake or lunch, for the meetings which will take place in my home in Kreuzberg/Mitte (within walking distance from Spittelmarkt and Kochstraße U-Bahn stations as well as bus M29 and 248 (the latter stops almost at the door), and for a large part be conducted in English. Spoken English is therefore a big advantage but not an absolute requirement.

If you are interested in joining, then please join this Facebook group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/302539376812965/.

At the moment, there are more non-refugee members in the group (for want of a better term I currently call them resource persons) ready to help if and when needed, than there are women with refugee background. This could mean that the interest is not there, but from what I hear, this is hard to believe. Therefore, if you do not want to register in the facebook group, please e-mail me a line or two about yourself and I will include you in a separate e-mail or whatsapp mailing list.

Convertible roast leg of lamb

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NOTE: you need to start the day before you want to serve it.

The meat becomes very tender when marinaded and cooked this way.

If there are leftovers, blend the marinade and juices assembled in the pan, dice the meat and add , to make a lamb curry. When reheated the meat becomes even more tender.

A 3-3.5 kg leg of lamb (in Berlin easiest found in Turkish supermarkets or butchers).

2 tsp cumin seeds

1 heaped tblsp coriander seeds

1 heaped tsp black pepper corns

Seeds from 6 cardamom pods

3 cinnamon sticks (Ceylon or Sri Lanka – NOT cassia)

3 dl yoghurt

8-10 garlic cloves

8-10 cm fresh ginger

150 g ground almonds

Juice of 1 lemon

Chili – any way, shape or form, whatever you have in the house, and to taste

2 tsp salt


The day before you want to serve the dish, cut deep slashes in the meat on all sides.

Grind the spices. Blitz the ginger and garlic in a small food processor with a bit of water.

Mix all ingredients together and rub all over the meat and into every cut and cranny. Put in a solid plastic bag suitable for storing food, or a snugly fitting bowl and cover. Refrigerate over night.

Preheat oven to 180 Celcius. Place lamb in a deep baking tray. Add about 1.5 dl water to the bottom of the pan. Bake for 2.5 to 3 hours.

Homemade body cream

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This is less oily than a lot of other homemade creams and lotions:

One quarter cup grated beeswax

One quarter cup carrier oil (I prefer argan, sweet almond, apricot, avocado or jojoba)

One quarter cup shea butter

One half cup coconut oil

One cup distilled water

1 tsp vitamin E oil

10 drops Frankinsense oil

10 drops Cedarwood oil

Heat carrier oil and beeswax in a bowl placed over a pot of gently boiling water till the beeswax has just melted. Add shea butter and moments later coconut oil and melt. Remove from heat.

When cooled some, but still soft, whisk while adding the distilled water little by little. Keep whisking till light and fluffy. This can take a while.

Add essential oils and stir in.

Keep in small, clean jars and refrigerate what will not be used within 2-3 weeks.

Homemade facial serum for problem areas

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Mix the following and use on trouble areas (eyes, mouth, neck, …..)

5 drops Frankincense eo

5 drops Myrrh eo

5 drops Lavender eo

1-2 drops Rose eo

2 drops Helichrysum or Geranium eo

5 ml argan oil (other good carrier oils are almond, jojoba and rosehip.

Südwestkirchhof Stahnsdorf

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Impressions from a guided walk on Südwestkirchhof Stahnsdorf

(Click photos to expand and for slideshow)

Stress counselling. Proofreading. Photography. Cooking.