Wednesday, September 10, 2008

a barefoot birthday with butter

My good friend Denise turned 28 today and invited a few friends to spend the afternoon with her for a picnic and a barefoot hike to celebrate!

This is what my bicycle basket looked liked this morning after buying flowers for the birthday girl, some rustic bread for the picnic, and some fresh mint for the butter recipes I wanted to try out to go with the bread:

The group of us drove outside a town near Pforzheim where we ate our yummy picnic in a grassy field and my mint butter turned out pretty good! I made some walnut butter, too, and that was also rather tasty! I got the recipes from a German magazine so I'll share them (translated to English) with you...

Walnut Butter
1 small shallot, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1/2 bundle of fresh parsley, finely chopped
250 g butter (about 1 cup), room temperature
150 g crushed walnuts (about 1/2 cup)
salt & pepper
Add about 1/3 of the butter to a pan with the shallot and garlic cook til the butter's melted. Then add the parsley and walnuts and cook for about 5 minutes. Add salt and pepper to taste. Take the pan off the heat and let cool a little. Mix with the rest of the butter then let cool completely in the fridge.

Mint Butter
250 g butter (about 1 cup), room temperature
3 tablespoons of finely chopped fresh mint
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 tablespoon lemon juice
salt & pepper
Mix it all together then put in the fridge!

After our picnic we took a barefoot hike! There was a trail through a forest that was designed to be walked barefoot! We took off our shoes and walked along a soft forest trail where there were opportunities for all kinds of textures for our feet to walk on: sticks, leaves, moss, cork, pebbles. And there was a tree house and log balance beams and mud and water and every kind of natural texture your feet could possible want to explore! I've never seen a hiking trail like this and it was so much fun!

Walking on pebbles then sand...

Your humble narrator...

Knee deep and giggling in muddy water...

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