Laboriously getting through my docotrate included a fab-o part-time position cultivating community liufe programs among graduate students. These residents’ traveled from their homes in South Korea, Kenya, Cameroon, Madascar, the Netherlands, China…all over to study, to live, to grow. this position taught me more about being human and communicating, and living life authentically with an active daily spirituality than any class.
It also embedded a passion for potlucks.
Thus, on the first night occupying my home, I hosted a “no Dish” potluck. My household goods were not in yet, and the 3 bedroom 3 bathroom German mansion (to me anyway) stood practially threadbard as acquaintances filled the rooms with good cheer and well wishes to offer my time there with wishes of light and love.
One thing about life in Europe: dishes and drinks fundamentally requires the presence of near strangers, growing into friends. This was the lesson of my position from years ago. And one thing is for sure: yes, I miss the deep connections of friends and family Stateside, as communicating is laborious due to the time difference. But I am not alone. Patiently, things grow in this fall time.
My wonderful landlords, Matthias and Marion, built the home over a decade ago, and we’ve shared wine on several occassions since signing the lease. They will be my friends, for sure, and guardians here as well. Of course, they brought champagne to toast the occassion!
As part of the spread, I whipped up a concoction I called “Veggie Pate,” & “Stuffed Pops” served with Dr. Krackers, and antipasti like olives, marinated artichokes, garlic, gourmet olive oil.
Roast 1 Cup of Almonds with 1 tablespoon of flax seeds and 1 tsp of olive poil and red pepper flakes in 425 degree oven for 15
Blend this cup with a can of white beans, 2 tablespoons oil, and some seasoning….SO Good!
Core out a dozen red peppers
Fill them up with flavored quark (or part sour cream and part cream cheese)
Pour a little olive oil over them
Roast at 425 for 10, turn heat down to 350, roast some more!
For the kids, we made Fruity Sushi together. The recipe is really simple and makes an excellent activity. Take a banana and some toppings (sprinkles, cut up candy bars, I used caramel balls here). Wrap an entire fruit by the foot around the nanner, slice up and have the kids put their topping on. It was a SMASH! Literally!
Of course, with nothing in the house except laughter, I went to bed feeling a little lost…so much echoing space. I am resisting the urge to “fill it up” with basically things I don’t cherish or love. Don’t RUSH! that’s always been my battle.
Here are some pictures of my downstairs…the windows are a set of 4, spanning the living room through the dining roomThe wood in there is all dark and black (my picnic table!) with deep reds, warm browns and goldens. These windows look out to the woods with a back yard and a little fence leading to a path to the castle. I love the kitchen! The sink looks out to the drive-way cobblestone streets. the color is bright blues and yellows. I need a small table to go in there and am hunting around for chalkboards to put up ont the wall (have you seen any?)
Have any decorating ideas? Loads of space for visitors. One room will be converted into a “yoga” room. I have a lady willing to come and teach, but need more students to commit to it…cross your fingers!
Now if I can just find some ALMOND milk around here!