Biodiversity & Endangered German Cattle Breeds

A list of endangered German cattle breeds.

A list of endangered German cattle breeds.

Historically, there has been a great deal of biodiversity in German cattle.  The greatest movement of cattle occurred with trade and migration.  Each valley and mountain settlement would have their own bloodlines, specifically chosen to thrive in the climate and forage in their regions.  As well, farmers developed beef, dairy and dual-purpose breeds; Germany has very high standards for record-keeping and production. Unfortunately, many of these breeds are endangered or are extinct. There has been an effort to preserve these breeds; the Heck breed was a Nazi effort to restore the extinct aurochs (the last of which died out in Poland in 1627).

When looking at the breed names of cattle (or rinder), they are referred to as rind or vieh.  As far as I can understand, the rind would be more specifically a beef breed, where cattle in general are referred to as vieh.  Many breeds refer to color–so a red cow is Rotvieh, a brown cow is Braunvieh (specifically the Brown Swiss), and a yellow cow is a Gelbvieh (also common in the U.S.).  Fleckvieh are spotted cows. There are also Neider- and Hohen- breeds, or lowland and highland cattle.

These were cows that we saw in the Landwassereck area of the Black Forest in Germany.  The pasture was temporary, as the fencing was electric hot wire.  The cattle must be frequently handled as they were pretty mellow and didn’t mind my picture-taking.  But who could blame them–the view is stunning!

Cattle at Hohengasthaus Landwasssereck, 2007.

Cattle at Hohengasthaus Landwasssereck, 2007.

Cattle resting.

Cattle resting.

Cattle outside the gasthaus.

Cattle outside the gasthaus.

Cattle in the Black Forest, 2007.

Cattle in the Black Forest, 2007.

 

Frukt Soppa (Fruit Soup)

I inherited my grandmother’s cookbook and found this recipe tucked inside. This fruit soup is good served hot or cold, as a course in a meal or for dessert. Try topping it with whipped cream to make it extra delectable!

Green Apples, 2012.

Green Apples, 2012.

Frukt Soppa

Prunes – 1/2 pound

Raisins – 1 cup

Apricots, dried – 1/4 pound

Orange, fresh – 1 peeled & sliced

Lemon, fresh – 1 peeled & sliced

Tapioca – 4 tablespoons

Sugar – 1 cup

Cinnamon – 1 stick

Apples, fresh – 3 peeled & diced

Cherries, canned – 1

 

In cooking pan, add prunes, raisins, apricots, orange, lemon, tapioca, sugar & cinnamon.  Add enough water to cover and soak overnight.  In the morning, add diced apples to the soup; add enough water to cover again.  Cook on medium until fruit is soft.  Add canned cherries last and heat through.

Kansas Quilt

"Kansas": the 2001 BOTM quilt by Olathe Quilter's Guild

“Kansas”: the 2001 BOTM quilt by Olathe Quilter’s Guild

Once upon a time, I belonged to the Olathe Quilter’s Guild in Olathe, Kansas. Every year they had a “Block of the Month” quilt. In 2001, the theme was “Kansas” and featured quilt blocks that related to the history of this state. Most of these blocks were part of the Kansas City Star patterns.

The sunflower in the center is appliqued. The patterns starting in the upper left-hand corner and going clockwise are: Indian Star, Santa Fe Trail, Temperance Tree, Oregon Trail, Kansas Dugout, Prairie Queen, Rocky Road to Kansas, and Weathervane. The quilt is edged by a 4-Rail Fence pattern and appliqued cottonwood leaves in the corners.

I loved this quilt design; I loved the variety of fabrics that could be incorporated into the quilt. This quilt belongs to my parents who celebrated their 40th anniversary in 2002. I pieced the entire quilt; however, my aunt and a dear friend (both of whom are marvelous quilters) helped to finish it.

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Stones of Burg Nanstein

Decorative stonework at Burg Nanstein, Landstuhl. 2007.

Decorative stonework at Burg Nanstein, Landstuhl. 2007.

Burg Nanstein, a castle located in Landstuhl, Germany, was built by Holy Roman Emperor Frederick Barbarossa in 1162. This castle was built to protect the western approach to Kaiserslautern, a very old settlement at the edge of the Pfälzerwald (Palatinate forest).

Nanstein castle was also home to the famous German knight Franz von Sickingen. One of the early supporters of the Reformation, Sickingen offered this castle as a shelter for Martin Luther and other reformers after the Diet of Worms. 

We visited Burg Nanstein during out 2007 visit to Germany and the Kaiserslautern area. It is a wonderful old castle with an amazing view of Landstuhl. You can see the different eras of building by the varying stones. The growth of ivy and small trees in the walls lends a feeling of ancient decay. This is a great place to visit if you are visiting the Rhineland.

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Burg Nanstein, Landstuhl. 2007.

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Burg Nanstein, Landstuhl. 2007.

 

Katholische Hofkirche in Dresden, Germany

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Balustrades of the Dresden Katholische Hofkirche and tower of the Residenzschloss

One of the places we visited on our 2014 trip to Germany with LutherTours was the city of Dresden.  There are many remarkable things to see, especially considering that most of Dresden was heavily damaged during World War II by incindiary bombs.  The Katholische Hofkirche, or the Dresden Catholic Cathedral, was very impressive.  I marveled at the statues perched atop the balustrades–Biblical and historical figures, 78 in all, measuring 10 feet tall.  To the left of the cathedral is the Residenzschloss.  One of the oldest buildings in Dresden, Saxon rulers lived in the castle from the early 16th century.  It houses several museums, including a coin museum, armory, and the Green vault (home to the largest collection of European treasures).

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Statues of Biblical and historical figures. Katholische Hofkirche, Dresden.