#1839| Film roll #2

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imagesLondon / Stuttgart / Bavaria

Recently developed my second roll of Kodaks since coming to Europe – this roll spans london, stuttgart and bavaria, which really is a bit indicative of my calming down a bit in real life re: kodaks, i excitedly used up all 27 shots of my first kodak in Paris. Still, the relatively more sporadic use of the second kodak roll produced quite a few pleasant surprises upon collecting the roll at the photo shop – i’d forgotten i took half of them, and it was a pretty nice moment sitting there reliving borrowed moments in silence. I could go over the wonders of film photography once again – the nostalgic grainy quality one usually associates with home made videos from childhood, the magic element of surprise with not knowing how each photo’ll turn out.. but they’ve been said a million times already by almost every one who’s come into contact with a film camera. Still, they call them cliches for a reason, and if every reason is as pretty as this one, im not complaining surely.

x
♥jem

#1838| Mason Jar Stories: Overnight Cold Tuna Pasta Salad

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Homemade Greek yoghurt museli with fruit and honey

I’ve recently developed a new addiction to mason jars – basically pretty molded glass jars commonly used in canning to preserve food. Admittedly, I first hopped on the mason jar bandwagon for instagram/pinterest related reasons – have you seen how gorgeous these things are?? Belatedly though, I started realizing that these things have the rare advantage of being both pretty and useful, which sadly applies to very few people things nowadays. Combined with my propensity for waking up too late to do anything more than throw on whatever’s on top of my wardrobe and hop out of the door mumbling shit shit shit shit and making for school most days, I’ve also taken to making food the night before to bring along to wherever I’m headed the next day, school or road trip. Because they’re so hardy, you can bake or freeze stuff in your mason jars, which is fantastic for making single serve brownies or salads or whatever suits your fancy, really. They’re also airtight, which means you can even fill it with a smoothie, screw on the lid and toss it in your bag without fear of it making a mess as even the best tumblers are prone to do.

But this isn’t a mason jar advertisement, and I’m getting carried away as i so often do. I just wanted to pop in here today to post up the recipe for an overnight cold tuna pasta salad, which is the easiest thing to do in the world, really. I made this in half an hour the night before my road trip to Switzerland so I could grab it from the fridge at 6am the next day (the worst part about road trips is undeniably the awful hours you have to get up at) and have it for brunch on the road. Super easy and one of my favorite dishes – i think sometimes i forget how much i love tuna.

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Ingredients:
- Pasta
- Salad leaves (I use rocket)
- 1 can of tuna
- Some mayo
- A squeeze of lemon juice (optional)
- Whatever else you like in your salad

Steps:

1. Cook pasta according to box instructions until al dente. I used penne, but I think pasta shells would do nicely as well.

2. Drain pasta and run under cold water till room temperature.

3. Meanwhile, mix your can of tuna with some mayo (how much you want to add depends on how creamy you like your pasta) in a separate bowl.

4. Add tuna mix to large mixing bowl with pasta, throw in salad leaves and whatever else you’d like. I used cut tomatoes, sliced boiled eggs and rocket salad. Toss. Sprinkle some salt and pepper to taste. I also squeezed a bit of lemon juice over it.

5. Serve immediately, refrigerate for a couple of hours before serving, or do as i do and leave it overnight in a mason jar ready to be eaten first thing the next day.

Voila! Isn’t that the easiest thing. You could do it with one eye closed – you dont even have to keep a particularly keen eye on the stove. I love this recipe so much – and it’s perfect for hot summer days because it’s both savory and refreshingly cold. Not that it’s fully summer season here in Germany, or maybe i’m in denial, but either way, so much love for this mason jar of wonders. Hurray for effortless mornings is what i am saying.

x
♥jem

#1837| Wanderlust: Berlin Wall Brilliance

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imagesBerlin Wall, Germany

My first day in Berlin was spent wandering around the city in a haze of confusion – surely this can’t be it. After all the hype I’d been hearing about Berlin, center for the arts, city of quirks and character, the city in real life reeked undeniably of the morning after a party. Strangely quiet on a weekend even for a German city, we scoured the main streets, shopping districts, famous landmarks.. nothing. By three in the afternoon we’d resigned ourselves to bitter disappointment – the highlight of the day was definitely visiting the Berlin Wall if only because it resonated with my four years of reading History in Anglican High and Meridian JC. The people clustered at the wall walked around in a relatively subdued manner, emanating gloom in general – surely this can’t be it. If nothing, it does go to show that you can make anything look amazing with a good enough camera – all the photos you see above were taken with my Canon 500D on a 50f1.8 prime lens or my Nikon 1 J2 on a pancake lens. There, that one’s for all of you who’ve been asking me what camera I use to take my Europe photos.

Thankfully things started to pick up a bit at night – if nothing, at least the student city’s nightlife was relatively vibrant, if a little dodgy, and the next day saw a nearly 180degree turnaround because the sun came out and with it the entire city’s population. Mystery solved: Berliners are secretly Morning Glory flowers – they only bloom with sunlight. Day two in Berlin was absolutely lovely, with all the fabled buzz and spirit coming to life, which honestly proves that no matter where you are, all cities are ultimately weather-dependent.. except London, of course, where the rain is more like a caress and you’re expected to just smile and nod and take it as part of the entire London experience, whatever that means.

Part two of a happier Berlin story to come.

x
♥jem

#1836| Wanderlust: Sleeping Beauty’s Castle

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imagesNeuschwanstein Castle, Bavaria

Sorry for the long absence guys, but I’ve been busy popping in and out of the state and also preparing for my end of Spring semester examinations.. but hey, lets not pretend you guys missed me and we’ll save ourselves a lot of awkward feet shuffling all around. First ever road trip and it seemed only apt to make it what was essentially a long drive down memory lane – a weekend at Neuschwanstein Castle in Bavaria, which went on to inspire Sleeping Beauty’s Castle.. I know, I know. Everyone’s favorite Disney Princess as a kid was Ariel, what with the flaming red hair and independent lady / misunderstood teenager act going on. As one grows up, however, one’s values change – and it occurred to me that Sleeping Beauty’s story had two of the qualities I treasured most. All she does is sleep and look pretty, and all i want to do is sleep and look pretty. It was meant to be.

Anyway, we rented a couple of cars and drove a long way for what was basically an instagram photo. But oh- how worth it. We also passed through Austria for about five minutes and got all excited about our cross border experience.. you’d expect behavior a bit more dignified from a bunch of 21 year olds, but no. The castle itself was overpriced and beautiful but all the same, I’d skip the entry fee / compulsory tour if I could do it again and just hang around the courtyard. That’s 11 Euros and a very uninteresting half an hour of my life I’ll never get back.

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I think we have at least seven different nationalities here..

Truth be told, despite our original intentions, I have about one photo of the actual castle and about five million of the surrounding scenery. I live currently in the land-locked Stuttgart, and going to the gorgeously scenic borders of Bavaria and Austria was a fantastic change. So very breathtaking. I’ve always maintained that I’m more of a city over scenic person, but this was truly one of the more memorable moments in my past couple of months.

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We caught the sunset by Lake Bodensee on the Rhine on our way back, and it occurred to me how very beauty around us we take for granted. Sitting by the lake, completely relaxed, with friends and craving a beer.. sorry if this was more of a narrative post over a chirpy one, but there are some things you just dont fluff over, you know?

Dreamy sort of weekend. Now that I’ve discovered the wonders of road trips (and unearthed a couple of European friends with appropriate driving licenses), these road trips are going to become a thing.

Hope you guys had a good sort of week too x

x
♥jem