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About Al

Born and bred in Germany, growing up in the years following WW II was not easy for most families. People had to rely on their resourcefulness to make ends meet. So, naturally, everyone who was lucky enough to have the tiniest bit of bare ground or the luxury of a balcony, kept a few chickens and rabbits! At the same time vegetables of all descriptions were raised for home consumption.
Likewise, it was not easy to just go to a store to buy clothes and other home essentials, not only for financial reasons but because things were not available!

So from a very young age I watched my grandmother and mother knitting socks and stockings, sweaters and cardigans. They darned and patched holes, used only needle and thread to create new garments from worn-out bed sheets. Using hammer and screwdriver, axe and saw was child's play for them.

As soon as my grandmother deemed me old enough I was taught the needle arts, including embroidery and darning and everything else in between. At that time I had attained the mature age of five years. When I was eight years old crochet work and knitting were everyday activities!.

But I was only 4 when my love for growing things developed. Watching mum or grandma putting in seeds for rows of carrots or cabbage I wanted to have my very own little seedbed, so I was given some flower seeds to do with as I pleased.  I raked my little plot, made rows in it, put in my seeds and covered them and finished by watering. Then I squatted in front of my flowerbed . After a long while my grandma called me from the kitchen window and asked what I was doing. "Waiting for my flowers to grow!" I answered. I am still like that!

Over the years I became interested in various crafts like collage, macramee, machine sewing, string art and many more. Painting was taught at school but everything else I taught myself. That was the time before computers. Books were the learning tools then and I think I must be the original bookworm, having read more than 1500 books at the age of 15.

Apart from that I was also taught cooking and baking by my grandmother. I still have some of her cookbooks which by now are well over a 100 years old.

All this knowledge came in very handy when I got married and followed my husband to his country, Nigeria. My husband, being the jealous type, didn't fancy my going out to work, not even at the university. So I became a stay-at-home mum, raising the children and developing my business at the same time. For years I created fashion for children and adults, eventually only making wedding gowns. That brought another challenge! Often brides wanted special jewellery to match their gowns.. So naturally I taught myself how to! You see, that way learning never stops.


So in my blog I have put together the things I am most passionate about and which I hope my readers will enjoy!

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Happy Healthy New Year!

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You will need:
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1 small onion
1 egg
1 heaped tbsp wholemeal flour ( wholewheat )
a pinch of salt
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about 1/2 cup water
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Method:
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Not to keep you in suspense what these potatoes could possibly be, here is the recipe:

200 g shelled walnuts (or mixed nuts)
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Recipes go back to the Middle Ages down to the 12th century when the spice trade was flourishing. Guilds were formed and no one not belonging was allowed to bake any Pfefferkuchen! Luckily we do not have these restrictions anymore and we have the choice of hundreds of well tested recipes!

My recipe today is not that ancient but just over a hundred years old. It is also fairly easy to prepare, considering that we now have blenders and mixers and food processors, items our grandmothers had to substitute with elbow grease!

What you need:
2 baking sheets, buttered and dusted with flour
Cooling racks, 2
Hand mixer with whisks and kneading hooks
Cookie cutters

Ingredients for the dough:
250 g granulated sugar (or a little less if you …