Author: jmerhar

Bad Gastein: The Revival of Sleeping Beauty

Bad Gastein: The Revival of Sleeping Beauty

Female pedestrians prefer to shield their delicate torsos from her winter chill under soft mink coats linedwith silk, but like her pastel Belle Époque surroundings, Bad Gastein carries herself with grace andgrandeur. Her winter attire is a thick blanket of glistening snow. Lights flicker along 

The Ant Who Loved Zelda

The Ant Who Loved Zelda

The Ant who loved Zelda  Was eager to win her heart,  So each day he brought her a flower It was a start. Each blossom held meaning Symbolizing: love, hope and dreaming, Along with the wish Zelda might one day Open the door to see 

A Polished Life

A Polished Life

(Fiction) Our mother always liked to say, “Sarah and Maurine, only a true southern lady can wear red nail polish and not look like a tramp”.  My sister Maurine and I longed for the day when we would turn 18.  This was the designated age 

Spelt Strawberry Muffins

Spelt Strawberry Muffins

Makes 12-15  ¾ c. granulated sugar ½ c. almond milk ½ c. applesauce (I used unsweetened) 1 lg. egg 1 tsp. vanilla extract ¼ tsp. almond extract 2 c. spelt flour  1 tsp. baking powder ½ tsp baking soda ¼ tsp salt 2 c. diced 

M.F.K. Fisher: Ghosts of Dijon

M.F.K. Fisher: Ghosts of Dijon

In 1929, a bright-eyed 21-year-old American woman stepped off a transatlantic ocean liner and found herself in Dijon. Mary Frances Kennedy Fisher, now better known by her initials, was unaware of the culinary and literary sojourn that awaited her on rue du Petit-Potet. Yet those 

M.F.K. Fisher’s Shrimp Cucumber Soup

M.F.K. Fisher’s Shrimp Cucumber Soup

“She would make it the night before and then just pour it from a chilled pitcher in the fridge when it was time to eat.  She loved the fact that it was made with buttermilk, which she knew many turned their noses up to, but 

Maredret Monastery: Where Nuns Spin Gold

Maredret Monastery: Where Nuns Spin Gold

I’m not Catholic, but my love of Belgian beer often ushers my footsteps to monasteries and abbeys. As you likely know, many monks in Belgium make and peddle beer, but if you look in the shadows, you will discover the nuns at Maredret Monastery creating 

Empress Earl Grey Chocolate Tea Cake

Empress Earl Grey Chocolate Tea Cake

 ½ cup unsalted butter, at room temperature  1 cup spelt flour (*see note)  ½ cup unbleached white flour  1 tablespoon Earl Grey tea⁣ (*see note)  1 teaspoon baking powder⁣  ¼ teaspoon salt⁣  1 cup granulated sugar⁣  2 teaspoons grated orange zest   ¼ teaspoon vanilla  2 

Schlosshotel Kronberg: Where Luxury and Love Coexist

Schlosshotel Kronberg: Where Luxury and Love Coexist

Sleeping under the slate roof of Schlosshotel Kronberg will leave those who appreciate history, design and luxury happy. It’s a castle, but staying within the art lined halls feels like overnighting at the wealthy aunt’s home you dreamt you’d had. The estate was completed in 

Verona: Where Streets are Paved Pink

Verona: Where Streets are Paved Pink

In Verona leave your rose colored glasses at home. This Italian city is steeped in romance and passion, even the pedestrian alleyways are paved in pink limestone. Scribbled hearts with names and poems are written on walls, telephone poles and public letter boxes. You can’t