from Beijing to the Baltic Sea

Hey there! This is a personal update to let you guys know that we have completed our international move from Beijing in China to near the coast of the Baltic Sea in Northeastern Germany. After 20 years in Asia, we have decided to move back with our boys to our native Germany, now living in the province of Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania.

This in itself has been a huge step. Moreover, we have moved from a 20-million metropolis to a historic building in the countryside. We love the nature, quiet, fantastic air and our regular dips in the sea. Meanwhile, we are tackling longer distances to school and the first summer harvest in the orchard. Fruits don’t wait for us people to have settled in.

Green summer apples in simple wooden baskets
Boxes and buckets full of green summer apples stored in our pantry

So this is why there were exactly zero recipe posts since late May.

moving and covid-19

Moving in the midst of a pandemic created a number of extra challenges. Covid-19 had reduced outbound flights from China to a trickle. Only one pet was allowed on each of the few planes taking off. Having a cat and a dog meant we have to split up and book two flights before other pet-owners do.

A new local outbreak at a wholesale market in Beijing in June right before our scheduled flight out delayed our departure, as we suddenly could not leave without a covid-19 test – for which we couldn’t get the results within the short time frame required. So we had a few more weeks in Beijing. This created some stress, but also gave us additional time to declutter and take some walks around town.

Northwest corner tower of Forbidden City in Beijing, China

Eventually, all of us were able to board a plane and land here safely, including dog Otto and cat Alex.

Christiane Kuehl with her dog Otto
our sleeping cat on a chair

We are still waiting for our container to arrive. But, since we have stayed in our house every summer and winter for several years, we do not need much and did not ship much furniture. During our last days in Beijing, we gave lots of things away.

the red table

One of the pieces I had to part with, somewhat reluctantly, was our red verandah table, which we had for many years. I loved using it for taking recipe pictures – as a beautiful red background or base for smaller wooden trays and tables.

A small wooden table placed on top of a red table, set up for food photography

The red table went to a neighbour who had it picked up by a guy with his tricycle. It was strange to see it go, but I was happy that somebody gave it a new home!

A red table, upside down, being transported away on a tricycle

On this table, I photographed most of the Chinese dishes I learned to cook and adapted to our low carb diet during our last couple weeks in Beijing. As I will post these delicious meals over the next couple of months, the red table will still feature on the blog in the future.

A selection of vegetarian Chinese dishes on white plates, served on a red table

I will resume posting regularly soon, as we are slowly adjusting to a new pace and to all the new things we are now doing every day. Harvesting delicious apples, pears and sour cherries has been great. The old varieties growing in our orchard are of the more sour kind, so I have no qualms eating them under my low carb diet. I made my low carb apple crumble with them more than once, and it was intensely satisfying to be able to use my own apples for it!

The minced beef bell pepper bake that I will post next is a dish I made here for the first time last summer, so I feel it is the ideal recipe to share as my first recipe from here.

Enjoy your late summer days, and stay healthy, wherever you are.


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