Sunday, March 22, 2009

Walk to Rivendell - Week 12 Report

The Weather Report

Temperatures are slowly rising, up to +4 TWICE!!! this week and the snow is mostly gone. I’m beginning to believe I might survive. This weeks 'Big Picture' is across what is in summer a marshy bog. That sliver of silver in the far distance is the sea.

I promised a better look at the Ladies. .. and, in as much as Friday was the Equinox or Ostara, and today in Europe is Mother’s Day this seemed like a good week to make good on the promise.

First the sign and a little translation.

Murueide Tütred

Old Estonian folk tales have many stories about Forest Faeries and their kin. The old crone with her daughters normally chose a place near the edges or in clearings within the forest for their dances. These days, however there are no longer places in Estonia set aside for their forest games. Which is why we have created here the first dancing courtyard for the Faerie Mother and her girls.

Just so you don't feel too sorry for me tromping around in the snow, I stopped for a 'refresher' in the airport bar before returning home.

Weekly STATS

Days walked: 4

Miles: 16.9

Kms.: 27.3

Avg. per day: 4.3 / 6.8

Total to date: 172 / 277

Total to go: 286 / 460

Location in Relation to Frodo & C.

Ground becoming damp, nearing the marshes

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Walk to Rivendell - Week 11 Report

The weather continues to be despicable, so I’m opening with this photo of the June Roomasaare Regatta to remind myself and you that summer and good weather does come.

I earlier posted the photograph of this in a forum on Live Journal – Food Watch and a watcher requested the recipe. So, as I have almost noting else of interest to write about, here, forthwith, what to do with a kilo of fresh wild boar meat (metsasika in Estonian) if you should be fortunate enough to find yourself with such an item.

Recipe for Wild Boar Braised in Red Wine

Cut the meat into largish chunks, maybe 3 cm’s square-ish.

Marinate at least overnight. I used a mixture of half a bottle of Sangiovese, a good glug (as Jamie Oliver says) of olive oil and a mixture of the herbs and spices in the photograph.

Garlic, sea salt, whole peppercorns, dried sage, 2-3 whole cloves and 3 juniper berries.

These grow prominently on Saaremaa.

The next day remove the meat from the marinade and wipe dry. Roll in flour and brown in some olive oil and remove.

Add more oil and gently sweat 1 medium onion julienned, 1 large carrot julienned and a good cup full of quartered mushrooms.

Add the meat to the pot. Strain the marinade and add this along with enough good red wine to cover and 3 tablespoons of tomato paste.

Cover tightly and simmer 3 hours or until the meat is soft.

As you can see I served this with pureed potatoes to soak up the sauce.

I know I swore I wasn’t going to post any more winter pictures… but…

I think these women in the forest are doing a ritual to encourage spring to hurry up and get here. I don’t think it’s working as it’s snowing – AGAIN – today.

Weekly STATS

4 days walked

Miles = 14.7

Kms. = 23.7

Totals walked: 153 / 239

Still to go 319 / 479

In relation to Frodo &Co: Heading east from Chetwood. Ground dropping slowly. Quiet and peaceful.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Walk to Rivendell - Bonus Post from Bree!!!


The first milestone I set for myself when I began this walk was Bree. At 135 miles, I figured that if I got even THAT far I would have achieved something.

Today I crossed the bridge and entered the town. I had elaborate plans to photograph our castle etc...etc...etc.... for this milestone but the egregious weather has put paid to those. Not one to be outdone by a few giant snow flakes, I have used photographs of the a local manor house and its grounds . So, here ladies and gentlemen and friends: the 19th century Randvere Mõis standing in for the entrance and bridge to Bree.

Now, onward to the Top of Weathertop at 240 miles. Although where I'm going to find a hill on Saaremaa is a question I'll deal with when I get there.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Walk to Rivendell - Week 10 Report

This interminable Winter persists in hanging on, while Spring, doing it’s harlots dance tantalises and taunts with brief days and fleeting hours of sunshine followed by days of driving snow. You all must be as sick of reading me complaining about the weather as I am living with it. So, this week I am providing you with a little report on one of our local harbinger’s of hope for the future – the Kuressaare Regional Training Centre’s spring Service Department’s Student Competitions.

This is the first round of competitions that will see successful students from all over Estonia travelling to competitions all over Europe and even further. One important event is the World Skills event, this year in Vancouver, Canada. My friend Marge is the Estonian expert in the area of Culinaria.

Cooking is one of the more important disciplines in the KRTC. This jury includes 2 chefs who earlier graduated from the school as well as the head chef of the Saaremaa Spa Hotels.

Baking and patisserie is also important. Here the competitors are offering their creations to the guests at the awards ceremony.

Naturally in a school like ours restaurant service and contacts with students from other countries are also
important. Here my friend Jorma, the school’s restaurant service trainer is meeting with a group from Antalya, Turkey who will be spending a month studying in KRTC.

The key judge for the service competition was another graduate of our school. Tõnis is now the Maitre d’ in the new Arensburg Hotel & Spa restaurants.

Finally in a locale with so many up-market spa hotels, that one local paper has
knamed us ‘Spa-remaa’, finding people to clean and prepare all those rooms is of critical importance.

‘How do you like them swans?’

Weekly STATS

5 days walked

Miles = 15.2

Kms. = 24.7

Totals walked: 133.3 / 215.3

Still to go 324 / 522

In relation to Frodo &Co:

Strider sees them, walking along the Great East Road, but hides.

And just to remind you what I am up against, still another snow scene.