Palm Beach – Our favorite salmon recipe

Many years ago we passed through Palm Beach and had dinner at an amazing restaurant with this amazing dish. We enjoyed it so much that I have been preparing it quite often. It is so quick and easy to make so that you might want to try it.

Added to that, salmon is one of the very best kinds of health food with its omega acids and non-saturated fats. These elements are also good to build up a good, optimistic mood. So, go with the bears and enjoy more fish!

For 2 servings:

  • 2 generous slices of salmon, with the skin
  • 2 portions of spaghetti
  • 1 packet of chunky tomato sauce
  • 1 jar of capers
  • lemon juice

Rip off a large square of aluminum foil for each slice of salmon. In the middle I always place a bit of sulfurized paper so the fish won’t stick. Roll up the sides of the foil to make little packets and place them on a baking sheet. Cook on the middle rack of your oven at 200° C/ 390° F. for about 12 – 15 minutes depending on the thickness of the fish.

Meanwhile bring a pot of salted water to a boil and cook the spaghetti at middle temperature for about 9-11 minutes, depending on how al dente or cooked you like them.

Whenn the spaghetti are finished, drain them and heat the chunky tomato sauce with the warm pot. Salt and pepper according to gusto.

Serve the salmon with lemon juice drizzles over it and a sprinkling of lemon pepper. Serve the tomato spaghetti dotted with capers.

Enjoy! Bon appétit! Que aproveches!

El Anatsui in the Haus der Kunst – “Triumphant Scale”

El Anatsui (*1944) is a Ghanaian artist who has worked for most of his life in Nigeria. The youngest of 32 children, he lost his mother early on and was forever searching for something that had “more relationship to me”.

By pure coincidence, he once found a bag full of bottle tops and took them home, where they were forgotten for a while. When he found them again, he cut the caps into different pieces, formed them and joined the pieces with copper wire. Why expensive copper wire? According to El Anatsui, copper has been part of man’s culture for all times, used to make bronze, weapons, pots and pans, and so forth, making copper mine owners rather rich.

The hangings made of metal and plastic caps weigh very much. They are held up by steel wires and beams, nails and in the case of “waves”, the hanging is buoyed up by rabbit wire which the artist went off to buy himself in a hardware shop.

The “curtains” of Liligo Logorithm form a kind of labyrinth, some overlap and form an opaque layer, some have ornamental insets, some are open and airy.

The black and white prints titled “Cassava” are the 3D prints of the cassava fruit graters. Oil canisters are cut into pieces, holes are punched into the metal and then enlarged to make a grater for the fleshy part of this seed fruit, also known as manioc. Manioc is a staple food in Ghana. The whiter print is a photo of the cuts and grooves of the working table.

The hangings in black-red-gold are an hommage to Germany. The big red one is called the “Red Block” and the black one the “Black Box”. Most caps are from alcohol bottles and it is quite intentional that the large red caps are “The Lords” and farther up the caps are tinier.

On one photo (9) you can see the “Tiled Garden”, a series of square white “tiles” surrounded by round floral designs in green and red and the stump of a “tree”. The golden hill (bottom row right) is titled “Yams’ hill” to imitate the real hills that yams are grown in, a staple food in Ghana.

His works in wood symbolize traditional plates or indicated the need to save the trees and not waste wood.

Meanwhile El Anatsui employs many people to help him prepare his works of art, some of which take half a dozen years to finish. Each and every exhibition is unique since the buildings, the wall paint, the hanging and the “waves” are always different. Should you have the opportunity, do go to see the originals, photos are not half as good!

The Cake Fairy in Alling

The Tortenfee is the name of the pagoda-like structure in Alling not far from the B2 on the way out towards Augsburg from Munich. The owner formerly had a restaurant, but revised and renovated the building into a café -only that specializes in wedding cakes. All the cakes look scrumptious, you can choose from passion fruit, raspberry, strawberry, chocolate truffle, champagne cake and many more. A special deal is the combination of three half slices on one plate, garnished with fresh berries and dusted with powdered sugar. There is a large selection of beverages.

The tables outdoors offer sun and shade, loads of bushes and bamboo, a large playground and a big bus converted into a coffee kiosk. Unfortunately, quite a lot of through traffic nearby make for a noisy background

The Tombs of the Ming Emperors near Beijing

From the third Yongle Emperor on, the one who chose feng shui principles for the tombs, thirteen emperors of the Ming dynasty in China have been laid to rest. The valley enclosed by mountains was chosen so as to guard the spirits from bad demons. A seven-kilometer “Spirit Way” leads into the complex, guarded by animals and a large “Red Gate” with three arches. The tombs are part of a UNESCO World Heritage Site (since 2003) including yet other tombs of the Ming and Xing dynasties. The eighteen pairs of mythical animals carved of stone lead the souls of the dead Emperors to the nether world.

The steps are made of marble and carved with snakes and dragons. The all-pervading royal colors are red and gold. Large metal pots filled with water symbolize longevity. The pointed ends of the rooftops shall ward off evil spirits. Bells and prayer drums are for the use of the devotees.

Within the buildings many objects like headdresses and silk robes are on display.

Longmen grottoes in Luoyang, province Henan, China

The limestone caves or Longmen grottoes are about 12 km to the south of Luoyang. They are the finest examples of Buddha statues carved in the soft rock and formerly painted. At times steep steps lead up to the statues, other are farther down, sometimes an entire rock face has been transformed into miniature and large niches for different sized statues. The Yi river flows through this area, the Yique or “gate of the river Yi”.

About 1/3 of the caves are from the Northern Wei and about 2/3 from the Tang dynasty, with some caves from other periods of time. The grottoes have been included in the World Heritage list as ‘outstanding manifestation of human artistic creativity’ by the UNESCO in 2000 showing such an amount of Tang art. The surrounding area is home to almost 2,500 stelae and inscriptions, as well as 60 Buddhist pagodas.

The Olympic Park in Beijing (2008) and the train CRH2 at 300 kmh

On the last day of our visit to Beijing we rode out to the Olympic Park with the famous “Bird’s Nest”, the stadium finished in 2008 by Herzog & Meuron. Altogether there are not many people walking around out there, a school class or some families passing the colorful mascots in costumes at the entrance. In some areas you can see 8 lanes on either side of the road leading around, but no traffic. On the periphery skyscrapers rise high, however it seems that the Olympic buildings are not used very much.

On our way to the train station we saw many highrisers, fashionable office space as well as appartment buildings. The apartments almost all sported air conditioners. Inside the fast train station CRH2 you must wait in the proper spot printed on your ticket.

On the inside of the train the seats are new and comfortable. Up front you can watch a screen showing exactly how fast the train is going. You don’t really notice how fast it is, but the number of km per hour on the screen is truly fascinating! Much faster than German and French TGVs at any rate.

The Lama Temple in Beijing, China

Before we left Beijing, we visited the Lama Temple. One walks through several courtyards and through several large buildings, most often in red and gold, the sacred colors. In the first courtyard there is a small corner window where a helper passes out free boxes of incense sticks for the devotees.

You can see gorgeous paintings, statues, nasty monsters being crushed, banners and parasols. In the courtyards people stand in front of a kind of low iron oven in which they poke their incense sticks after lighting them. They bow low in all four wind directions pronouncing holy phrases. It gives you a sense of peace just watching them. Most Chinese follow Daoism. As far as I have understood, it makes most of them friendly, peace-loving citizens.

The temple figures in the Guiness Book of Records, since one of the longest and largest trees ever was used to build one of the buildings.