On the 3rd of March every year is the World Wildlife Day. It is an adoption of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) and is meant to raise awareness for the fragility of both, flora and fauna. The proposal came from Thailand in 2013 and since 2015 it is celebrated with events around the globe. Every year there is a main theme. In 2021 it is: Forests and Livelihoods, sustaining people and planet.
As this year any public celebration and events are forbidden, it is an entirely virtual event. There will be a lot of discussions, movies and more online from the headquarters in New York but any other member country will held their own ones. Here you can find the events of your country, the website to it and the time when it will be held.
On their website they ask everyone of us to do one thing to support forest communities and conserve forest wildlife.
With the theme there comes into my mind all the horror that is happening to the indigenous people in South America loosing their forests homes, or the Orang-Utan families in Borneo loosing their homeland and therefor dying. There is much more and it’s incredible when you read there are plastic islands in the oceans as big as Europe all together.
I try to do in my own little world most of the things in an environment-friendly way. For the health of this planet, but also for my own health. This day I will plant a tree (one of many others). What will you do to help and/or support forest communities or the forest and its life within?
The Valle Piomba, the Piomba Valley, is located in the province of Teramo. The whole valley is 40 km long and the river Piomba flows slowly through it.
The source of the river Piomba is near Cermignano in the mountains and end in the Adriatic Sea. The Romans called the river Comarno and in the river mouth there was once the port of Hatri (Porto di Atri), which in ancient times was a very important one.
The valley has only two little industrial centres (Villa Bozza and Silvi) but is in part located in the Natural Park of Badlands of Atri.
I visited several times now the part between Villa Bozza and Città Sant’Angelo, near Atri. I like the quietness, lots of birds everywhere, some sheep herds with their white guardians, the Maremmano-Abruzzese dogs, the water flows of the river and a lot of trees and meadows. In one part there are the famous badlands, the Calanchi, and you can see on the top of a hill crest the little town of art, Atri. It is a magical place, I like it very much and enjoy my time in the nature.
I have never been a cookie monster but there are one type I always liked very much for breakfast. You know, that kind of cookie you dip in your hot coffee, Cappuccino or hot chocolate. Even in tea, if you don’t drink caffeine. My cookie is called Gran Cereali. It’s from an Italian brand and I always enjoyed those cookies in the morning. But then: I like dipping as well 😀
I researched the recipe for a homemade version which will never be the exact same than the bought one, but it will be clean, and in my case, gluten-free. I found a very easy recipe on Giallo Zafferano. Perfect to try. And of course I loved them! I made them several times and my breakfast is even more joyful now.
What I like very much is, that they are not sweet at all, they have that crunchy-ness of the cereals, they don’t have eggs and they can be done with olive oil. And they are really easy to prepare.
I use to prepare the cookies the day before I want to have them. This way I am sure they are ready. Then it is always good to make a double batch as they are great also just for a snack or in case it happens and a friend appears on the door unexpected and you have an Espresso together – with a cookie!
In an air-tight container you can store them pretty long, I don’t know how long as mine always finish faster than I think.
Add one by one the wet ingredients and mix all well until it forms a nice humid ball. Transfer the dough into a glass bowl with a lit, close and let it stay for at least one hour in the fridge.
Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F.
Now take the cookie dough out of the fridge and roll it out until it is around 1 inch thick. Now with a cutter cut out as many rounds you get (I had 20) and put them on a parchment paper on the baking tray.
Bake in the oven for 15 to 20 minutes. They should be lightly golden, not dark.
Let them cool a few minutes on the baking tray and then on a cooling rack. They will harden by cooling.
Enjoy for breakfast or any other time!
If you like some chocolate just sprinkle some melted chocolate on the cookies when they are half cool.
With all these lock-downs, or shutdowns which would be more accurate to say, I feel not only physically put apart but also mentally in a certain way. Mentally because my input has to come from what I read in Internet and books. Social distancing is more a social avoiding for me. Not to drive wherever I want, not museum, no shops, no events, it all is a restriction of input. And it has nothing to do with having or not having hobbies, though having helps tremendously. Especially having a blog that is mainly about travels, right now it is more empty. I hardly leave the house and garden, go just for shopping once a week and the rest I read, and read, and read… good old paper books. A few times I visit a friend of mine nearby and her garden is always an inspiration. So it happens that I bring my camera and I click a little around. The result is what follows.
They bring a little brightness in the daily emptiness waiting to have one day far far away again the possibility of some travel input, just nearby, the own region is already enough.
Cooking or baking could be an option, but I can’t overload my friend with my cookery and baking goods all the time. And I don’t feel to do it just for me.
Stay healthy and don’t forget: the virus is something you have to fight, with good health and strong immune-system, don’t run away! You will never win otherwise.
A couple of years ago I lived in a place with a walnut tree. Small but every year the tree gave me a lot of walnuts. So the last year I lived there I made walnut paste. It’s a good way of conservation for nuts. You can’t always eat everything your garden produces in a season and then it is good to can fruits, veggies or nuts. I have this walnut paste now two years, it has seen three different houses. It’s time to use it.
I opened a jar and thought what can I do with it. A cake. Walnut pound sounds interesting. I had a look thru my own recipes, nothing looked appealing. New recipes on the Internet? Neither. I decided to start and then see what comes out.
I peeled apples I had to use as well thinking of how good are apples and nuts together. I always liked the combination of fruit and nuts. In the apple bowl I added the nut paste, vanilla, Rum, thinking an apple walnut crumble is an idea. Then I saw the many eggs, I divided the eggs, added the egg yolks to the apple nut mixture and so slowly I came up with more. In the end I put the mixture in the oven for 40 minutes. 40 minutes of waiting what will that be, will it be a cake? Surprise!
It came out such a tasty and moisture cake. It again showed me how good it is sometimes just to start something without thinking long about. Just do it! See where it goes. Most of the time the out-coming is just hilarious. Trust the world, the universe, the destiny, God, and most of all: trust YOURSELF! You can do it, you are capable. Just don’t think about it too much. Get in action! Not only with a cake!
I think the cake was a great life lesson to me and a good start into the new year. This will be my goal this year: just do it, not thinking long. Go with the flow.
Divide the eggs and beat the egg whites to stiff. Set aside.
Now peel the apples, take out the inner part and cut in medium-small cubes. Put the ghee to melt.
Add to the apples cubes the walnut paste and mix. Add the vanilla, Rum and lemon zest, mix well.
Add the butter, the egg yolks and sugar, mix well.
Weight the flour, add the backing powder and mix. Add the flour mix to the apple mix and stir until all is well combined. Should be a little dry and heavy.
Now add the stiff egg whites and fold them in. In the beginning it is a little difficult and you may think that will never work. But it will incorporate well, don't worry.
Now put the whole mixture into a round cake form, previously greased with some ghee and maybe some flour. Put into the oven and let it bake for around 40 minutes, It should not change color on the top.
The cake is ready when the stick-proof is relative clean. It should be still wet inside, the apples don't have to dry out.
Take out of the oven, let the cake cool on a cooling rack.
When the cake is still a little warm, take it out of the baking form and put the melted chocolate on the top, let it run down on the sides. If you have some decoration put it on the top when the chocolate is still runny.
The the chocolate harden and serve.
The cake is great without anything, but also with homemade ice-cream or some whipped cream (from coconut cream).
I stored the cake on room temperature for 4 days (after that it was finished). In case you prefer a fridge storage, cover the cake, otherwise it will dry out.
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