Cabin Fever (Soup's On!)
Did I mention cabin fever? We are still dragging our feet before jumping straight into 2016. Sometimes it's hard to let go, you know? The weather is not making it easier - gray skies, rain and snow, deep bone-chilling cold temperatures. Yuck. Our challenge this weekend was to stay warm and active.
We don't have to be outside to be active. Wednesday's journey inside a silver mine was quite a hit. The girls haven't stopped talking about it! In keeping active this weekend, Saturday morning we went to the AUDIOVERSUM Science Center - Innsbruck's Interactive Museum of Hearing.
It's a pretty cool place where we learned about the effects of hearing loss, the vibrations of things as they emit sound, the inner anatomy of the ear, and how animals hear, to name a few. There was only another couple there at the time (yay! The museum all to ourselves!).
|Credit: 1 - 2 - 3 - 4|
If you're looking for something to do indoors (and have kids), this is definitely a fun and educational visit. There's a small room, inside of which you can scream to your heart's content, to see which animal you would match in volume to if you were ever in the wild. The exhibits are very nicely done... quite high tech, too!
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On Sunday, we went to the Planetarium in Schwaz (Right next to the silver mine from Wednesday, Silbergwerk.) I found a good, age appropriate presentation called der kleine Mondbär (The Little Moon Bear).
We arrived a bit early and had a few snacks. It was pretty empty - I think about four families in total. Where was everyone??
This was El & Lil's first time in a darkened theater... so, we weren't sure what they would make of it. But, once the little bear appeared and the stars came out, it was all good. I think this was a lovely, first taste of a planetarium. The husband and I love planetariums and this brought back memories of a few date nights we had at the American Museum of Natural History's Planetarium.
Seriously, the planetarium is RIGHT ACROSS from the silver mine entrance! (See above left pic)
I'm beginning to think this must make a great full-afternoon excursion, if you want it to be. Both places are full of things to learn. I think we all enjoyed our visit today. I'm already looking forward to our next visit!
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So, I think we nailed the staying active bit this weekend. But, the objective was also to stay warm. And, what better way than to make some soup!
Friday, I made Pasta e Fagioli. I've never made it before (I know!? Why has it taken me this long?) I was inspired by this recipe from Damn Delicious. I didn't have any Italian sausage. I used a ground beef-pork mix and a little speck (bacon or pancetta will work well, too) and things turned out just fine! Seriously, what a fine soup. I even had to share some with our neighbor downstairs! The girls ate it happily (A plus, in my book!)
|Pasta e Fagioli|
Then, on Saturday, I attempted Malaysian Laksa. We found this recipe over at Feasting at Home. The photos looked so good! I should start out by saying that I was missing a few ingredients... not surprising over in my neck of the woods.
I was able to make the laksa paste minus the galangal (which the shop keeper did not have) and minus the shrimp paste (to which I am allergic).
I didn't have the fish balls or tofu... but, no matter... I carried on with my chicken and shrimp.
I'm quite flexible in the kitchen... I'm not the follow-the-instructions-to-a-T, kind of person. I'm sure that could come back to bite me in the arse... but, for now, I like adapting as I go... and quite honestly, I had to adapt quite quickly when I realized I didn't have any chicken stock. Oops. But, as a quick save, I added two tablespoons of yellow curry paste and no one was the wiser! Flavor pick me up's to the rescue!
|Malaysian Curry Laksa|
Ahh, what a delicious soup... Maybe it evolved into more of a regular ole Curry Noodle Soup in the end... but, I was quite happy with my first attempt at Malaysian Laksa (the dried shrimp reminded me so much of my mom's cooking. I'm enjoying making pots of soup this winter... A bowl of soup is like a warm hug... and the Universe knows I need plenty of those to get me through January!