Biting love


Hello, here is Oskar again. Do you remember? I’ve already told you some time ago how I feel about my family. And today I want to talk to you about my attempt to show my love to them – which is not very easy.

It is not always that simple in my family, you already know. Since we are a patchwork family and each one has his own way of communicating his affection to the rest of the family, I have to make a double effort as I am the smallest member.

When I was still a duckling, I was always allowed to sit on ‘daddy’s’ chest and pluck at his designer stubble. By the time I got bigger, sometimes it got a little bit bloody for him and I was not allowed to do that anymore. Since then, I have had to spend my time outside in the garden and at night in my stable.

But now it feels like I’m always alone in the garden, especially when it’s bad weather, and for a ‘gregarious animal’ like me that is not really what I want. So I’m always happy when someone comes out and I can run after him. Especially someone like my favorite dog! For us ducks, it’s just that we want to clean the plumage of the other one, right away, to say, “Hey, I like you!” But in my family it’s only me to have a plumage and I can’t arrange the feathers for anybody else. So I have to try to clean the coat or directly the bare skin of them!
As everyone is so incredibly tall and I’m just very small, I try very often to jump up to do so. For example, I run next to the big dog and then jump. Mostly I reach with the beak in his mouth, sometimes I catch his fast paws, the belly or I pull on his tail. But that bothers him often, gets him very angry and he snaps at me, takes me in his snout, pressing me flat on the ground, but never ever hurting me.

And I’m smart! And run under his belly and bite his hind paws. Then he has to dance around himself to get me. And I run…. But sometimes it doesn’t work out that way and we get some sores on snout and beak. Mine looks pretty damaged anyway, because his teeth are not the most delicate and my beak is soft!

About my humans, things are different. They do not have feathers or fur, and when I ‘nibble’ a little on their bare skin, I often get a slap. Sometimes it’s a little bit too much and I better go along! And other times I hang on their pants and they walk with me hanging on their legs. That’s fun but most times I have to let them go and stay behind.

From time to time, however, I have the feeling that they misunderstand me and think I’m attacking them. Well, it happens they are right, in some moments they really get on my nerves! But most of the times I just want to say, “I’m glad you’re here, stay with me, I’ll clean your feathers!” … but I’ll be pushed away. No one understands me! Please, let me show you my love.. my way.

Somehow my humans are more used to the big dog and the crawling for me is like completely ruffled feathers. Some moments my human gets it right and crawls me gently under my wings. I appreciate that a lot, close my eyes, enjoying and look up to her. Or it happens that the giant dog and I are lying or sitting peacefully next to each other and we both watch the creeping cat in the neighboring garden. Those are very nice, loving moments!

A quak-quak from a sometimes lonely male duck!

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Hi, my Name is Oskar!


Hello! My name is Oskar and I am a male duck. I just want to tell you about my stressful Life!

My name is Oskar, but I’m called Catarina. That’s because my foster parents (2 crazy humans) did not know if I was going to be a male or a female and my foster mother hoped to finally have some more female support in the family with me. And since we chicks in the box on the market are all pretty much alike, for the beginning I was baptized Catarina. But my foster father has – just for safety – made it into Catarina Oskar and saved this way my male honor!

I grew up in a large vacuum cleaner carton, which has been regularly cleaned. Fortunately, I had to eat all day and night long and that has certainly helped me to be as big and strong as I am today. To my pleasure, my foster mother had the genius idea that ducks need water, and so I was allowed to play every day in the bath tub. Oh man, I can’t tell you how much fun that was! At first, I was a bit scared, everything was so wet and somehow so deep, but when I was really into it, there was no more out of it! I danced and cleaned myself properly. What fun! The best part was the spraying around. Everything was wet and I would have liked to put the entire bathroom under water. Later I also dived, just tried it out. Guys, that was really exciting! But the tub unfortunately was soon much too small. I touched everywhere. But anyway better than nothing. I also repelled my feet properly, but whenever I came out, there was less water in the tub. Everything spread just outside the tub … After my bath I was wrapped in a towel by my foster mother and rubbed dry. But I did not like that at all! This totally messed up my coat and it took me ages to reorganize everything and being beautiful again.

When I was too big to stay in the house, I finally could stay outside. That was really great … only downer: I was always alone now. My foster mother and also the giant dog the dog were most of the time inside the house and I had to stay outside. Because I poop every few steps. I just can’t stop that. I’m a bird and birds always do that everywhere! I’ve tried many times to let them know that ducks are social animals and need to stay together, otherwise nothing is really fun. But it was just impossible to make them stay with me. the dog and mother always disappeared in the house and only when I screamed loudly, someone came out. But in the long run that’s exhausting and I am used to my loneliness by now. Even in the evening, I can no longer lie on the belly of my foster father and pull on his hair or bite his nose and ears, I sadly must accept it. But to be locked up in the strange provisional stable at night does not suit me at all! And what is worse: my dog and my foster father are incredibly cheeky to me and believe they can do anything with me! Pah! I’ll show them!

The dog wanted to play with me in the beginning as if I were a dog, too. But I didn’t even weighed half a kilo and he has about 60 kg. Guys, is the dog stupid? Does he not see that he crushes me when he starts running? Well, I have strong legs and I’m pretty fast. But the dribbling mouth is still uneasy to me!
Meanwhile, however, I’m no longer afraid of the dog and to be honest, he gives me also much security. If there’s something going on, I usually escape under his belly. In an emergency, he can bite forward and I run behind him ….

What a problem is now: my foster father. He thinks I have to fly. Easier said than done. First, I weigh a lot and my wings can not get me more than a few inches from the ground. But I can do it sometimes over the water basin. Only the landing is a disaster. I always crash. My foster father – this duck torturer! – takes me in his arms, lifts me up and throws me in the air towards the pool. OK, not that I like that, not at all, and I complain accordingly, but in the end it’s not bad for practice and landing in the water does not hurt at all.

What really annoys me: my foster father sometimes fights with me. But if he does not know what to do, he grabs my beak and holds it! What an impertinence! He has 2 hands to fight, I have only one beak for defense. It is true that sometimes I bite quite a bit and blood has already flowed, but taking away my only weapon really goes too far! I protest! That’s why I attack him so often when he least expects it. Outrageous person! And I’ve also bitten the dog many times in his tail! But he barks at me if I get too close and since I still do not trust him completely, I keep myself at a safe distance to his mouth.

So, now that I have told you about my suffering, I feel a bit relieved. Everyone has to know what’s going on here! Although I have a large garden to run around, my own pool for splashing and diving, enough yummy and various food and a dry shelter to sleep during nighttime… this dignified deal with me just goes too far.

I will now focus on re-educating my family and if it works – I’ll cross my duck paddlings – then I’ll call again here. Because I will definitely get a Duck Nobel Prize, though!

A quak-quak to all, see you!


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Paleo in Morocco – Almond Orange Cake Meskouta


Lately I bought so nice oranges from Sicily that I couldn’t resist and use them also for some baking. My orange cookies are a hit and so great, I am sure I will make them many times and especially when I am invited somewhere.

But the other day I ‘stumbled’ over a Moroccan Orange Almond cake that is naturally gluten-free (like many original dishes and treats are, I found out). I looked at the original recipe that was actually a video and I was immediately intrigued by the fact that the whole oranges are cooked previously and then just blended.. with the peel. That is genius!


Basically the recipe has just three ingredients, the rest is for taste. Two oranges, two cups of almond flour and 6 eggs. Sweetener, vanilla and salt are for taste and it depends also by the oranges, you can omit all of it. The baking powder gives more fluffiness which I think is important.

I used instead of the conventional sugar raw honey and 4 eggs instead of 6. The honey has already a lot of moisture. I didn’t want to use coconut sugar as it has a strong taste. But I think next time I will try with coconut sugar and cinnamon as well. I found recipes that have also a little bit of cardamom which is used very often in the Arabic cuisine and gives a great taste (did you ever tried it in coffee? Sooo good!).

The almond orange cake is called Meskouta and seems to be done everywhere a little bit different. I found it also under name Persian Orange Cake.

It’s a perfect winter coffee cake, because winter is the season of oranges. Use only organic ones and maybe try the cake with lemons instead sometimes. As decoration: very thin orange slices are perfect. But also chocolate sprinkled on the top, icing sugar or simply ‘nude’ for breakfast coffee. Yummy

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A gluten-free orange almond cake
Moroccan Almond Orange Cake
Print Recipe
Servings Prep Time
8 pieces 10 minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
1 hour 2 hours
Servings Prep Time
8 pieces 10 minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
1 hour 2 hours
A gluten-free orange almond cake
Moroccan Almond Orange Cake
Print Recipe
Servings Prep Time
8 pieces 10 minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
1 hour 2 hours
Servings Prep Time
8 pieces 10 minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
1 hour 2 hours
Ingredients
Servings: pieces
Instructions
  1. The evening before you want to bake the cake put the two whole oranges it a pot with water and boil them for two hours. Take away from the heat and let them cool overnight out of the remaining water.
  2. Preheat the oven on 180°C/375°F.
  3. Next day cut the two oranges in halves and take out the pips (if they have any). Then put the whole oranges into the blender and blend until they are a smooth cream. Add the eggs, the honey and the vanilla, pulse again until all combined. Add now the dry ingredients and blend until it forms a smooth and even cream.
  4. Line a cake pan of 8" with parchment paper and transfer the cake dough into the pan. Bake for around one hour or a toothpick in the middle of the cake come out clean.
  5. Take the cake out of the oven, let it cool a little in the cake pan and then transfer the cake on a cooling rack.
  6. Garnish with icing-sugar and/or thin orange slices.
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… and suddenly there was Spring!


After a not too bad winter, just a couple of weeks ago the winter decided to remind what we missed. And in one night there came more than 30 cm/12 inches of snow. And a very cold wind from east brought Siberia to Europe. The winter frost stayed for a week before in almost only two days everything melted away.

I was pretty afraid that the flowers I saw before showing up right a little bit out of the ground, would have gone and lost for this spring.

Instead, it happened just the opposite: the flowers start to grow under the thick and apparently warm snow blanket. Being this way protected by the heavy frost of those days.

Now it’s a few days the sun is out, the warmth on my face is so beautiful, the birds singing the whole day and the fish in the pond has now 3 big frogs for company. Until summer there will be again at least a dozen of the ‘croakers’ and they will have their daily evening concert then.

I was out today doing my first garden work of this year and found a lot of colors, flowers that show their beauty to the sun. I love the lawn full of daisies, when I walk on it I can smell the sweet scent of them. Soon there will be a burst of colors, birds nesting in the cracks of the house and starlings coming to built their homes under the roof. I wake up in the early morning and hear them rolling stones and talking to each other. Spring is maybe the most beautiful season of the year.

Here are some of the beauties I found in the garden today, enjoy!

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Italian Orange Cookies on Blu


As I am a little bit in a ‘baking mood’, I wanted to try out some orange cookies. I decided to try a very simple Italian recipe for lemon cookies and prepare them just with oranges. Almost the same, isn’t it?

I played around a little bit with the flours. Instead of the only almond flour, I mixed in some amaranth flour. Both flours are not really holding the liquids so I also add some coconut flour to dry the cookie dough a little bit, give it a more firm texture.

The baking itself was a little tricky. It should be around 8 to 10 minutes. But my oven is a little ‘slow’ so I left them in for 15 minutes. Always checking that they don’t get any color.

When taking them out, they are still super soft. The outside is a little harder but they seem more raw than baked. When they cool out, they are perfectly light crunchy outside and inside soft and fluffy.

These cookies are definitely a huge success and perfect for any occasion!

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Italian Orange Cookies
Orange Cookies
Print Recipe
Servings
22 cookies
Servings
22 cookies
Italian Orange Cookies
Orange Cookies
Print Recipe
Servings
22 cookies
Servings
22 cookies
Instructions
  1. I a bowl mix the ghee and the sugar that it forms a cream.
  2. Add the egg and mix well again.
  3. Add the orange zest and the orange juice and stir well until all is well combined and smooth.
  4. Add the three flours and the baking powder and stir with a wooden spoon until it forms a cookie dough. It should be all well combined and smooth.
  5. Cover the bowl with a plastic wrap and let it sit for an hour in the fridge.
  6. Preheat the oven to 180°C/380°F, prepare the granulated sugar and the icing sugar each in a small bowl. Prepare a cookie tray with parchment paper. Take the cookie dough out of the fridge.
  7. Now form 22 little balls and pass them first in the granulated sugar, then in the icing sugar and place them on the cookie tray. Transfer the tray into the oven.
  8. Bake the cookies 10 to 15 minutes. Take them out before they are getting a gold color.
  9. Let them cool out before you serve.
Recipe Notes

The cookie dough seems to be very smooth, but that's fine. After being in a cool place for an hour the balls form very easy and hold well, even in the oven.

To see if the cookies are baked, touch one and see if the outside seem to be hard, inside still very soft. They will harden when they cool out. They are soft inside and firm outside.

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