Saturday, 31 October 2009

OMG Soup

It dawned on me, about two days ago, that I am two people away from Alan Ball. Holy MOSES!

I was laying awake at night wishing that Mr. Ball was my mentor, my slave-driver, my God. But how is a little girl like me ever going to come into contact with a Mighty Important Person like that? He is practically living in another galaxy than I am. There is always away, my pal Frida said. But I didn't believe her. In my world, I never get a chance. In my world, there is no way I will ever get anywhere. In my world, unless I am drunk or under hypnosis, I just don't stand a chance.

It was then I remembered that I actually know I guy, who knows Alexander SkarsgÄrd (who plays in True Blood), who therefore knows...... ALAN BALL! I mean! OMG!

I seriously could not sleep the entire night. Just the thought that I was just TWO people away (I love that x people away theory) from A BALL (funny) made me high with rushes of ecstatic energy. Still now, I am under a sort of OMG spell.

So, after working up quite some courage, I wrote the guy, and asked him if there is any chance that he could and so on... and he replied YES, HE WOULD DO HIS BEST! How lovely is that? In my world the chance is about 98% I won't hear another word about it, but you know, it COULD be 50% or even 85% that I will.

OMG Soup

2 parsnips
1 onion
2 cm piece of ginger
2 tomatoes
vegan stock

a pinch of...
...turmeric
...galgant root
...yellow mustard seeds (freshly ground)
...star anise

Peeled and cut the obvious things.

heat up some olive oil in a pan, let the onion and ginger fry for a few minutes. Add the parsnips. Add the spices (except for the star anise) and the stock (about a table spoon) and let the oil and veggies soak it all up. Add the tomatoes. Add a little less that a liter of boiling water. Taste the soup and if needed, add another spoon of vegan stock. If you like it hot, add some harissa paste or sambal oelek. Add two whole star anise to the soup and let cook about ten minutes. Mix with hand mixer.

It has sort of a warm, christmasy feeling to it. Not bad.

Wednesday, 28 October 2009

Spiritual Spinach

One, my back is fucked. Two, we have to stop eating meat.

There is quite some discourse here in England about the topic of climate change and cows gases, all thanks to this dude Lord Stern (Is that his real name? Why could I not have been called Lady Stern? Which is star, obviously, in german. Life is so unfair.) According to some article in The Guardian: A kilo of beef is responsible for more greenhouse gases than a three-hour car journey while leaving all the lights on in your home.

That is fucked up.

There are two things that come to my mind reading this. One, wow - I hardly eat any meat or milk products or processed food. Does this mean I can take my long showers in the mornings with a clear conscience from now on? Finally.

Two, maybe my body, which hates wheat, sugar, meat and diary products, is in fact A HIGHLY EVOLVED SPIRITUAL THING. Maybe aliens or god or someone, or our collective unconscious, is evolving our bodies to NOT being able to eat that stuff any more - as a solution to climate change?

Spiritual Spinach Red Rice Salmon Salad with Walnut Dressing

some smoked salmon
a bag of young spinach
two small cups of red rice
alfalfa sprouts

half a cup of walnuts
a handful of basil leaves
some olive oil
lemon juice
2 cloves of garlic
salt and pepper

Cook the red rice with double water for about 2o minutes. Put spinach in salad bowl. Cut the salmon in nice long stripes. Add the sprouts and the walnut dressing. Mix in the rice when ready.

Dressing: Place the walnuts, basil, garlic in a bowl with salt and pepper. Pour over 4 tablespoons with olive oil and squeeze over some lemon juice. Mix with hand mixer.

Sooooooo good.

Bad Back Stir Fry


Sport is dangerous, booze is healthy.

I always knew this, but sometimes you forget what you know, and it has to be proved again. I have been trying to motivate myself to do some sport recently, at which I have failed completely. Getting out of bed is enough activity for me on most days. But my back has felt tense and the bad conscience has been weighing heavy. So, yesterday, I finally fought through resistance, carried my violet natural rubber yoga-mad (!) mat into the living room, and lowered the curtains for some privacy. My plan was to start doing the 'Five Tibetans' again, and continue doing them every morning for the rest of my life.

And so I started stretching out the left side of my body and the right... and the left and the... SHIT. What was that? A ball of intense pain shot out from my lower spine. Oh well, I thought, I'll just carry on. You can't give up on the first threshold, not if you have read story theory by Joseph Campbell. So I continued with the First Rite.

Stand erect with arms outstretched, horizontal with the shoulders. Now spin around until you become slightly dizzy. There is only one caution: you must turn from left to right.

My back felt a little better. So I started the Second Rite.

Lie full length on rug or bed. Place the hands flat down alongside of the hips. Fingers should be kept close together with the finger-tips of each hand turned slightly toward one another. Raise the feet until the legs are straight up. If possible, let the feet extend back a bit over the body toward the head, but do not let the knees bend. Hold this position for a moment or two and then slowly lower the feet to the floor, and for the next several moments allow all of the muscles in the entire body to relax completely. Then perform the Rite all over again.

As I got through all five of them, I was laying of the floor feeling quite pleased with myself, thinking I might really get into this yoga stuff again. That lasted for about five seconds, until I tried to stand up. Aouch! Shit! My back!

I had to walk bend over with one hand on my lower back like a witch for the rest of the day. But luckily there was a free bar after the masterclass yesterday evening. And, of course, after a glass of wine, I could stand straight as a lamppost again. Nope, no more yoga for moi. Ever. It is far too dangerous.



Bad Back Stir Fry

2 chicken filets
1 zucchini
1 red onion
half a eggplant
half long pointed red pepper
1 big tomato
piece of ginger
2 cloves of garlic
little finely chopped lemon grass
rose harissa (or any chili paste)
handful of young spinach
fresh basil and coriander
half a lime
tamari sauce
vegan stock without added yeast

ground whole coriander, fennel and cumin in a coffee grinder (or with a pestle and mortar).

Saute (new word!) the finely chopped garlic, onion, lemongrass and ginger for a few minutes. Add the ground spices. Add the veggies and fry for a few minutes. Make space for the chicken filets and place them in the pan too.

Pour over a spoon of the stock. Add a knifes edge of harissa on each piece of chicken and some on the veggies. After a few minutes, when the whole thing looks a bit dry, add half a cup of water and some lime. Turn the chicken. Sprinkle some tamari sauce (wheat free soy sauce) over all of it. At this point the veggies should be soon ready, so I usually take out the chicken and slice it in one or two smaller bits to make the whole thing faster. So put the thinner slices back in the pan, and you might want to add another half cup of water.

Tear over the spinach, basil and coriander and some more lime. This is truly the yummiest.

video

Thursday, 22 October 2009

For the inner Glutton


You present somewhat of a challenge, said Dr. PJ in his wonderful french accent. Tell me about it, I thought. I have to deal with myself EVERY day.

He ripped the paper off a needle, rolled up my leggings a little higher and stuck it in my leg. You don't have candida. You don't have irritable bowel syndrome. I don't know what you have.

I have been trying to figure myself out for thirty something years. I have payed hundreds of people to help me in my quest. Doctors, hand-readers, healers, shamans, therapists, gurus and masseuses. To name but a few. So what is WRONG with me? I am getting pretty tired of having to fix myself.

But on the other hand, maybe nothing is wrong with me right now because I can't eat baguettes and chocolate muffins and creme brulee. Maybe, I am thinking, something is Right with me. Maybe, maybe maybe, my body is a pretty clever thing. Cleverer and wiser than my inner demon Glutton. This inner Glutton of mine is insatiable. It will eat bad stuff till it just can't take it anymore. This bad bad Glutton stares at candy with red bloodshot eyed and an evil whizzing sort of breathing, ready to eat anything it can till its gone. I am always amazed when I am with people who sit in front of a bag of crisps, have one or two, then stop. What? How? How is that possible? I will keep on going until the seams of the bag are licked clean of salt. Maybe my body is just plain simply saying: Dude, just don't eat that crap, ok? It's not GOOD for you.

And all those years suffering from fibromyalgia, maybe my body was saying something similar. Maybe my body had a message. Dude, I am not moving until you quit that shit job of yours! Duuuuhude, I am not moving until you learn to love me. Girl, don't you try to force me to do stuff I don't want to do!

An Easy Meal For the Inner Glutton:

1 pack of organic smoked salmon
a few potatoes
1 onion
2 cloves of garlic
some fresh parsley
salt and pepper
half avocado

Peel the potatoes and grate them. Place in bowl with chopped onion, garlic and parsley. Add some salt and a tiny wee bit of olive oil. Stir. Fry in pan with a little vegetable oil. If you want round cakes, just pour in a soupspoon of the taters and flatten carefully. Change side after a few minutes, flatten some more.

Serve with some salmon and mashed avocado. Lovely.




Wednesday, 21 October 2009

True Addiction

I can't decide if I am for the vampire cause or not. I might have to call Sam. No. Wait. I can't. He is just a fictional character. Damn. He is a shapeshifter though, too. What is worse? Being a fictional character or being a shapeshifter? Hm. Tough one. What animal would I be if I was a shapeshifter? Is it immoral to have fantasies about sexy vampire men? Hahahahaha! My t-shirt has vampire blood on it. Oh wait! It's just beetroot juice, I forgot. The juicer broke and showered me with the red fluid. Quite like a scene from True Blood. Alan Ball. You are true fab.

Lazy Hungry Short Cut Meal For True Blood Addicts

2 chorizo sausages
1 pack of M&S 'Super Whole food'
1 pack of M&S 'Edamame Soy Bean Salad'
fresh coriander

Chop up the sausages and fry them in a tiny wee bit of oil. Add the M&S stuff, stir, add the coriander. Eat.

Tuesday, 20 October 2009

Shut the fuck up


After having heroin watched True Blood for hours, I really needed some sleep. I cuddled down under the duvet and snuggled my nose deep into my new super smooth pillow. Ahhhhh. Sleep. That most divine healer of everything. I could feel the ecstasy of drowsiness decent upon me when...

Shut up! Shuuuuuuuut up! Shuuuut the FUCK up!

It was the crazy lady from opposite sticking her head out the window, shouting at the top of her lungs. Again. She does this a few times a week. This week she had done it twice already, so I was mighty frustrated that another nights sleep was gonna be interrupted by her hysteric fits. Usually she is set of by someone having a little party. A drift of a giggle. A bit of music. Some clinking of glasses. Nothing much, sounds belonging to the life in a city. I can sleep to that, I can sleep to some girls giggling. I can sleep to some people dancing to music. It is constant sound, you get used to it. And then the bitch starts to howl. Her voice is high-pitched and witch-like. It scares the shit out of me every time she starts.

I have told you to shuuuuut up! Show some respect!

I tip-toed up to the window and lifted the curtain slightly. There she was. A shadow figure leaning half out the window. She moved as if she could see me. I let the curtain fall back, afraid that she'd see me and turn her hate on me. Back in bed, all quiet. Ahhhh. Sleep. That divine...

Shut up! Shuuuuut the fuck up! I will call the police!

Her mad loudness echoed between the brick walls of the courtyard. I started to bang my fists against the mattress. You shut the fuck up lady! You shuuuuuuuut the fuck up! My imaginary self went up to my window, opened it and leaned out. YOU are the one keeping everyone awake! You are the one that disturbs everyones peace! YOU are CRAZY! But not only am I to coward to to this, my window doesn't actually open.

I hope you are happy shouting like that!

A man's voice. Chinese accent. Ohhhhhh! Someone finally shows some courage around here! How exciting.

Oh, why don't you shut up.

She spits it out with disgust.

-

Chicken filets with figs.

Fry the chicken with cherry tomatoes and quite a lot of garlic. Put a handful of fresh basil leaves on there for the last minute and a dash of lemon. Serve with rocket salad and ginger yoghurt (put chopped up rocket and ginger in a bowl with some salt and stir) and two figs, each cut into four pieces. Yum.

Thursday, 15 October 2009

Double Up


I have a new doctor. His name is: Dr. PJ.

Hahahahaha! Isn't that great? I had to love him before even meeting him. Doctor Pajamas! That just cracks me up. Anyway, the acupuncturist Dr. Pajamas told me I most likely do not have candida. That's good news, I thought, still not understanding the magnitude of the information and what that would mean.

I don't think you have candida, Dr. PJ said. You look far too healthy. Tongue.
I stretched out my tongue.
Uhu, I said.
So I don't want you to be on that strict diet, Dr PJ said.
Ok, I said, so what do you want me to do?
He stuck another needle in my stomach.
I want you to just avoid dairy and grain products for six weeks, he said.
I can do that, I said. Could you please take the heavy towel off the needle on my hand, it hurts, I said then.

And then it dawned on me. Scheisse. Coffee.

Sooooooo... I started, is coffee a possibility on this diet of yours?
I had to hold my breath in anticipation.
How's your breathing? he asked then, noticing my lack of oxygen intake. Is it always this bad?
Very shallow, I said, finally taking a breath. Not a sporty person.
Coffee? He said. Sure, a cup a day. Without milk, obviously.

You know when something really really good happens to you, something so good you never thought it would happen to you, but it does, and you are left speechless, in a sort of silent reverie, a humble appreciation of the magic of life and all its gifts. That's how I felt.

Miss Bruckner? Miss Bruckner! he shouted.
Oh, what? Yes? I said drunkenly.
You will have to do some sport. Your body produces too much adrenalin at the moment. Very important. Sport.

Shit.

***

My first real coffee in four weeks:
A double espresso from Monmouth Coffee.

Quinoa Cleanse

The incredible amount of time it involves cooking healthily, not eating processed food and sugar, practically leaves time for nothing else. Thank God I am a writer. Cooking itself involves three other categories: 1. shopping 2. eating 3. cleaning the mess up afterwards. I can do the shopping alright, and I am a master of eating, but the cleaning... Cleaning never was my thing. My dad nicknamed me Boheme (his worst of nightmares) as a teenager, because he found my vacuum cleaning skills intolerable. I would clean the family restaurant to earn pocket money, but more times than not, he used to push me aside and demonstratively stand on his knees getting the really dangerous corners and cracks of floors, shelves and sofas.

This disgust of mine for cleaning has not changed. I am great at picking up things and putting them in cupboards, leaving my flat looking quite perfect, but if someone would have a closer peek at my bathroom floor... I just don't lower my gaze and whistle funny tunes instead.

Now today I have reached a new peak in my non-cleaning. My slipper actually got stuck on my kitchen floor, that's how dirty and sticky it is. And I have a friend coming tonight to stay for a few days, so on number one on my to-do list is, obviously, cleaning. Shit. What to do? Keep on cookin'.

Quinoa Fennel Cleanse with Sesame Yoghurt Dip (for 2)

2 dl quinoa
1 teaspoon vegan stock

1 fennel
1 red onion
1 red pointed sweet pepper
handful spinach
bunch of coriander leaves
rocket salad

2 dl sesame seeds
2 table spoons vegetable oil
sea salt (or fancy pink himalayan salt)
yoghurt
lime
coriander

Cook the quinoa in double amount of water with the stock for 10 min. Chop the vegetables. Fry the onion, fennel and red paprika in a little olive oil. Drain the quinoa when ready and pop into a non-stick pan, fry for a few minutes, then throw it to the veggies. Tear over spinach leaves and the coriander. let fry for a minute.

Ground the sesame seeds in a coffee grinder. Place in bowl and mix with the oil and salt. Add a few spoons of greek or turkish yoghurt, some lime juice and fresh coriander. Stir.

Put the fried veggies on a bed of rocket salad, add the sesame yoghurt and some seeds on top.

Wednesday, 14 October 2009

Zucchini Noodles With Curry Veggies & Yogurt Dip


One thing I expect when suffering the pain it causes not being allowed to drink coffee and eat baguettes with silly amounts of truffle brie, is having an un-bloated stomach. My stomach today is humongous. Preggie size seven, approximately. I am wondering if this is due to the cheese intake of the last week (once I start with the parmesan I just can't stop) or with the amazing coconut water that I have discovered? In any case, it is tremendously vexing. I mean, who eats zucchini noodles for lunch? Who is this healthy person living in my house?

1 zucchini
1 red onion
1 fennel
2 tomatoes
a few asparagus
a handful spinach leaves
fresh coriander leaves
2 cloves of garlic
2 cm piece of ginger

garam masala
curry powder
turmeric

organic greek yoghurt
rocket salad
ginger
salt

To reinvent the same old stir fry: grate the zucchini into little noodles. If it looks different, it tastes different.
Chop up the garlic, onion and ginger and fry them in olive oil for a few minutes. Chop the rest of the veggies and put in the frying pan with the onion. Add the spices, about a small half teaspoon of all three. Fry until almost ready, then add the zucchini noodles. Fry for another minute, then put in the chopped spinach leaves and the coriander. Pour over some water and let simmer for another few minutes.

Yogurt Dip: put as much yogurt as you want to eat in a bowl with a handful of rocket salad and some finely chopped ginger and a hint of salt. Mix by hand or hand mixer. Pour over the zucchini noodles.

Throw a pinch of seeds on the top of it all (black and white sesame seeds, poppy seeds...). This is really good. I was surprised myself. Zucchini Noodles. Hmm.


Tuesday, 13 October 2009

Artishock


It is weird coming back to London. Especially if one comes from a tiny, practically empty village like Vienna. The sheer mass of people that hit you like a wall when you get out of the train at Victoria. It is mad! It is absolutely crazy. A part of me just wants to turn and go right back, thinking I just won't survive among all these people. But another part is super inspired. Look at that huge woman with a turban and the bag covered with at least thirty small fluffy animals! Look at that punk with tattoos all over! Look at those gorgeous giant twin brothers in identical striped suits and crazy patterned ties! Here I feel like anything might happen. In Vienna I want to go to sleep the whole time. There is something weird in Vienna though, and all foreigners that have lived there know this. Vienna makes you tired. You just want to have a nap all the time. Or a break drinking a coffee and reading the newspaper without talking to anyone. Or just a little sit down on a bench somewhere to rest for a while. I remember reading in the National Geographic many years ago, that there is a spot in the north of Vienna where there is the strongest pull of gravity on earth. This, of course, explains everything. I have since reading this enthusiastically told everyone I know. I had quite the success with the theory until someone told me that gravity is just one thing. It can't pull more or less. This really burst my bubble. And to tell the truth, I just can't believe it. I mean, I read it in the National Geographic! Who else can you trust in this world but them?

Memorable Meal Nr. 2 from the ten days in Wien:

1 artichoke
five garlic cloves
parmesan
olive oil

Preheat the oven, 200°. Cut the artichoke in half and take out the pubic hair. Cook the two halves in lemon and salt water, about 15 min. Make a little sauce with the olive oil and the crushed garlic. Place the artichoke in an oven safe dish and drip over the garlic oil. Shower the artichoke with parmesan and place in oven for another 15 min. Voila. All you need is maybe a tad more fresh parmesan. Amazing.


video

Monday, 12 October 2009

Pumpkin Soup Theory

video


1 pumpkin
2 shallots
half a leek
fennel
lemongrass
sambal oelek
vegan stock
lime
black cumin
handful of parsley

Peel the pumpkin and chop it up. Fry with the shallots and the leek. Add a teaspoon of dry lemongrass and fennel, a table spoon of stock and the tip of a spoon with sambal. Add a liter of water and let simmer for about ten min, until the pumpkin is soft. Add the lime juice. Mix it up with a hand mixer. Serve with a lot of parsley and black cumin.

Thursday, 8 October 2009

Disaster or Miracle?


Cooking without knowing what the hell one is doing can be wonderful. You just let your hands lead you. Oh, a tomato... oh, a bit of coriander... oh, a bit of spinach, are you sure hands? Yes, yes... And then you can be surprised at how good it actually tastes. I surprise myself every day. Caroline, I didn't know you were such a good cook, my nice self tells me, and I blush delighted. Now, the problem starts when you have guests. If it is only you, it doesn't matter if it happens to taste like turd. But with guests, you obviously don't want them to vomit or force them to smile in that frozen way. No, no, it's great. And you just know they are being nice. You just know they'd rather stab themselves with a razor than eat anymore of your food, but since they are your guests...

So, I was having a lunch guest coming, and I had gotten into my head that I had to do an eggplant dip and something with artichokes. I just didn't know what. That usually doesn't bother me. And it didn't today either, until I realized it was ten to one, and I only had ten more minutes to go. Suddenly I was stressed. And stress blocks creativity. And suddenly I had no idea what I was doing. The artichokes tasted horrid in the pan. The eggplant that had been grilled in the oven and then put in a mixer with grilled garlic and lemon juice and ground nuts and seeds, tasted absolutely horrific. Typical, the moment you try to actually cook (ie put things in the oven, or anything that takes more than 20 min.), everything goes to hell.

The bell rang. In the speed of lightning I ground some fennel and whole coriander and threw in the pan. I opened the door, and told my friend (My dear dear friend. Just kidding. Some fucker I know) to just go and by some feta cheese. No questions. Which he did. In my stress I managed to do an emergency avocado dip (works to everything) and poured the quinoa into the pan with the artichokes. When he came back, I threw some feta in the eggplant dip while conversing politely, one hand on the mixer.

The result?


video


Almost Disaster Artichoke, Quinoa, Eggplant, Avocado Thing

1 can of artichoke hearts
2 dl quinoa
2 tomatoes
small onion
a piece of leek
1 spoon of veggie stock
coriander, fennel, chili
himalayan salt
a little parmesan

2 eggplants
half a grilled garlic
ground nuts (pine nuts, walnuts, sesame seeds)
olive oil
a lemon
feta cheese
salt, pepper

avocado, lemon, 2 cloves of garlic, salt, pepper

Grill the eggplant in the oven (200°, make sure you punch holes in the skin with a fork, brush them lightly with olive oil) for 30 min, with a whole garlic bulb. Cook the quinoa, about 20 min, let stand for 5 to soak. Fry the chopped garlic and onion, then add the leek, the artichokes and the tomatoes. Let fry for a while, then pour over freshly ground coriander and fennel, the vegan stock and a little turn with the chili mill. Add half a cup of water and let simmer for a few minutes. Add the quinoa and stir in some more stock if needed.

Take the eggplant out of the oven, peel it, and cut it into chunks. Place in mixer with a few cloves of the grilled garlic. Add half a lemon, salt, pepper, a little olive oil, half a pack of feta and the ground nuts.

Avocado dip as below.

Serve with some parmesan on top, a little black cumin and some black and white sesame seeds.

Wednesday, 7 October 2009

Emergency Veggie Bolognese


Bolognese. Is there anything as comforting, nurturing or exciting as a Spaghetti Bolognese?

I woke up this morning with one single image in my head. It made me feel giddy and a little nauseous. I felt pulled, tugged and forced towards that one powerful craving. The room was only a grey misty fog, blurry compared to the clarity of the image in my head. Ohhhhh Bolognese! I will not survive if I can't merge with you and become one with you! Ohhh lovely, potent Bolognese! I will surly die if I have to spend a second longer separate from you! I will scream and go mad if you keep teasing me with that promise of lust-filled satisfaction only you can provide me with, to then escape my claw-like fingers reaching for you in vain! Ohhh Bolognese! You great seducer of souls!

Now, the problem is, one, obviously, that I can't eat wheat or sugar or cheese. Or olives. Or tomato paste. And better not meat either, if I want to stick to my violent diet, to kill kill kill those fungi in the stomach (if this is indeed the condition, I am starting to wonder...). Two, I'm lazy. I don't want to go to the shop.

So, what to do?

SOS Vegetarian Rice Bolognese
(not long ago I would have killed someone for suggesting such a thing, much like I would have despised anyone ordering a decaf soy latte... and now look at me... oh well...)

1 dl black piemont rice
6 tomatoes
1 stalk of celery
1 green pepper
1 shallot
2 cloves of garlic
a few turns with the chili mill
vegan stock

fresh rosemary
rosemary powder

a tiny naughty bit of parmesan

(2 small portions) cook the piemont rice for about 35 min. fry in olive oil the chopped shallots and garlic. get a few turns with the chili mill in there - ohhhhh that insane scent of frying garlic and shallots... then add the chopped tomatoes and green pepper. Stir in a spoon of vegan stock, then ad a hint of rosemary powder and later the chopped up fresh rosemary. Pour in half a dl with water and let simmer for a few minutes before throwing in the rice.

serve with some parmesan shavings.

Tuesday, 6 October 2009

The Rat Whisperer


When I go to the park at night, I usually stay clear of the rats. Recently though, I feel as if I have gotten a new understanding and appreciation for the creatures. I used to be really scared of them, feeling that they might gather together in hundreds and decide to crawl up on my legs and attack me for some reason of their own. But since the night a few months ago when I dreamt about a white, dirty rat dancing quite crazily to Frank Sinatra, my life has gotten steadily better.

Maybe because of that, I decided that I wanted to loose my fear once and for all. So I have gotten closer to them step by step by sitting on a bench by the puddle in the park at night, watching them scurry around my feet. My heart jumped up in my throat every time one stopped and looked at me. But then I thought, if the ducks are not scared of them, and my dog doesn't care at all, why am I so stupidly terrified? I see nothing in their eyes that I don't see in my dogs, so why all the fuss?

Just yesterday I was walking the dog at night with a friend, and we stopped watching the rats. My friend was shocked that there were so many of them (thanks to the Bird-Lady, who basically throws the ducks two IKEA bags a day with bread, even the ducks are annoyed with her, and the Bird-man, who feeds the birds with whole chapatti breads...). It happens a lot that they bump into each other and the crash, which makes them fly to the side like figures in a cartoon. It's funny.

Anyway, this morning , I see one of my new friends laying in the middle of the road, panting. A crow was jumping around it, wanting to take a bite. I threatened the crow in some very bad language, so he flew away. And then one of those little carts came, with two round gardeners in it, with the rakes on top of it like antennas, and I managed to make them steer away from the dying rat too. I wanted to grab it and place it under the bushes, hidden from evil crows and feet and wheels, but I had nothing to grab it with. And, let's face it, touching it is my limit at the moment (thinking it would bite me and give me rabies). But I wanted for the little one to just die in peace. So I sat down and talked to it, telling it all sorts of things, mostly linked to it being a very good rat. It blinked slowly, and, I swear, got calmer. My dog then started pulling the leash, and so I noticed a group of people walking past me, with that look in their eye. Look at that madwoman. So, now my status as a Stadtpark mad person is indeed cemented. But what a better group could I belong to?

Most amazing beluga lentil stir fry:

1 1/2 dl of beluga lentils
half a leek, plus some green
1 spinach stalk, puls some green
red pepper
1 celery stalk

fresh basil
ginger
whole coriander (crush it in a mortar)
vegan stock
white and black sesame seeds for serving
sambal oelek

Cook the beluga lentils about 30 mins. Fry the veggies with the ginger and the coriander. When the veggies have the consistency you like, pour over a spoon of stock and stir. Then throw in the lentils and add a little water to make it juicy. Let it cook together with a tiny knifes edge of sambal.

Make a dip, or sauce: put a few spoonful of goats yoghurt, two cloves of garlic, fresh basil and 1 cm piece of chopped ginger in a bowl and stir with a hand mixer. Pour on top of with sesame seeds.


Monday, 5 October 2009

Crazy Love


I love mad things. So what place could be more exciting than Vienna? Oh, Vienna, my love. You beautiful mad old spinster of a woman. And what could be more appropriate, logical even, than that my flat is just opposite the biggest madhouse of them all? The Vienna Stadtpark.

It is with anticipation that I take my first stroll towards the park this morning. My heart is beating a little faster. I am smiling to strangers. I am saying Hello to the introverted gardener that I have met every day (except for when I am in London) for over thirteen years. Of course, true to his nature, he doesn't even acknowledge my presence with a blink. I enter the gates, between the two flower stalls, and my eyes eagerly dart over the benches and across the lawns. Where are my friends? Where are the regulars? We all know each other, but no one ever looks the other in the eye. Oooohhhh! There she is! The crazy old witch! I see her round, whale-like body laying on a bench reading the newspaper. Her lipstick is drawn all over her cheeks, as usual. Her bright blue eyeshadow is painted even over her eyebrows. Her scarf is dramatically draped around head and shoulder. There is an explosion right in the middle of my gut. A bubble breaks and a wave of ecstatic joy reverberates through every single cell in my body. How I love her! How I have missed her! Her gravity pulls me to her, I want to shower her with kisses. But I stop, remembering the time she almost killed me as I dared to smile at her and look her in the eyes. I lower my gaze and continue, practicing the art of letting go. Ahhh! There is the mad drug addict! He is laying in the grass, his long hair glimmering in the sun, practicing yoga. With a burning cigarette dangling in the corner of his mouth and a can of beer within easy reach, mind you. I could get into that, I think, what an amazing solution to the sport-problem. Then I pass the man with the inhaling machine, the bird-woman and the accordion player who plays playback with an old CD player right there at his feet...

Crazy Good Wild Rice Risotto (this is insanely good, I swear! And so healthy too...)

1 1/2 dl wild rice
half a leek, plus some of the green stuff on top
1 red pepper
1 stalk of spinach beet, plus some of the leave

ginger
a hint of chili
lemon
vegan stock
sambal oelek

Cook the rice for around 30-40 minutes. Cut the leek, ginger, red pepper and the spinach beet into chunky bits. Fry the veggies for about 5 minutes in olive oil. Sprinkle over a small spoon-full of stock, stir and let the veggies and the oil soak up the stock. Pour over half a coffee cup of water. When the veggies are soft enough, get the rice in there and stir. Squeeze half a lemon on top of that and half a teaspoon of sambal oelek. Pour over another half cup of water, to make it creamy and juicy (I despise anything that is not juicy, it's a philosophy).

Avocado Dip: Just mix together one avocado and a two or three garlic cloves with a pinch of salt.

Place a nice, big chunk of dip on the rice. I had some parsley and some black cumin on there as well.

Saturday, 3 October 2009

Lucky Lemon Chicken


After one hour in line to check in at Gatwick, and another half to get through security (thank God I am a neurotic and always go to the airport basically five hours before departure), I was finally in the shopping mall hell that airports have become these days. Knowing that I would not get any candida apropriate food on the plane (can't give up now), I went to Pret and got a salad with crayfish and salmon. At least I think that's what is was. The size and shape vaguley resembled that which is normally refered to as crayfish, but the colour and taste... I don't know. It was scary. The little papery, pink wobbly bits tasted... they tasted... I can't say what they tasted like, because I have never felt an equally disturbing taste on my tounge in my entire life. And I have tasted some strange things.

I have absolutely no idea what I put in my mouth. It could have been anything disguising as a crayfish butt. Inspite the bad taste I kept on going, sure that it must be good (it says natural on the package!). That's when I had this brilliant idea. What if one had sort of a thermometer device that one could stick in the food and test what the hell is actually in it? Steroid content, mercury content, antibiotika, you know, all that stuff that one keeps hearing about. Wouldn't that be great? Maybe not always fun, but at leas one would know! 40% poison, 20% shit, 20% crayfish extract, 20% shrimp flu...

Lucky Lemon Chicken with Avocado dipp:

2 pieces of chicken filet
1 whole fennel
2 young onions
ginger

half a lemon
black cumin - seriously important
dried lemongrass
vegan stock
tamari sauce
a bunch of fresh basil leaves

avocado dip:
1 avocado
half a lemon
2 cloves of garlic
tiny spray of olive oil
salt + pepper

Peel, cut and fry the young onions, ginger and fennel. Put in the chicken filets with the frying veggies and squeeze over the lemon (and maybe a hint of dried chili and garlic salt). Add a generous pinch of black cumin and lemon grass). After a few minutes I usually cut the filets in two or three, depending on how thick they are, beacause I am hungry and impatient. Also I like my veggies to not be too cooked, so it's gotta go fast. Then pour half a small glass of water over the food and some soup stock (to make a creamier consintency), and a hint of tamari sause. Then tear over a bunch of basil leaves. When the chicken is ready, serve with the avocado dipp.

Dipp: Just mash the avocado, the garlic, the oil and the lemon together... season with salt and pepper.

Friday, 2 October 2009

Flirty Yummy Soup


Flirting makes men feel good.

Flirting with a beautiful woman makes a man feel temporarily good about himself, scientists have discovered. Being in the presence of an attractive female can boost a man's testosterone and cortisol, both hormones associated with wellbeing. Socializing with other men, however, reduces levels of both hormones.

All this according to London Lite. Hmmmmm... Interesting. I didn't know that.

I mean, HONESTLY, one starts to wonder. Scientists have discovered... Don't scientists have better things to do than researching the most obvious of behaviors? Are they not supposed to come up with cures for things like diseases and stuff? Are they not supposed to find solutions for global warming and extinct species and, you know, how to be able to drink two liters of coffee without any side effects?

Humans wouldn't survive without flirting. Nobody would go to work. No one would get out of bed without that most precious spice of life.

Very Flirty Soup

1 red pepper
1 yellow pepper
1 zucchini
1 red onion
pinch of crushed lime leaves
rose harissa paste
half a lime
fennel
ginger

vegan stock
fresh coriander on top

Same procedure as last year James.

Thursday, 1 October 2009

Walk On Water


My notebook has committed suicide. One second it was there, helpful and alert as ever, and the next, literary the next second, it died. In my arms though, thank God.

The thing seemed to have died out of confusion, as there was a big question mark blinking slowly and thoughtfully on the screen. Why. A last message. Why. Why. The big question of life. Why. Maybe it had started loosing faith in the meaning of life a long time ago and I had failed to notice, preoccupied, I am ashamed to say, as I usually am with my own stuff. And then when one notices, ahhh... it is too late. I pray you will rest in Eternal Freedom, dear One, from pixels forever. Freedom to soar in the Eternal... you know... in the Eternal Thingie...

The thing is though, that the damned computer took my life with it. Goodbye photos, little stories, ideas and notes. Goodbye emails and.... goodbye music. The fucker took my music with it! The rest I can let go of (breathe in... breathe ouuuuut...), but my MUSIC! I had music worth hundreds of friggin pounds on there! Music collected when in strange moods, when inspired, when sad. Music recommended by friends. Music that seemed to have come from nowhere and just fitting right into my life. Isn't that a tad selfish? Isn't that just a little mean? Honestly, who would do such a thing?

Luckily I am becoming Jesus, so forgiveness is my thing now. I forgive You, little computer. It was just your time to depart, and who am I to say that you should go without the music you had carried within you for so long? This will be my last song for you (HALLELUJA SPOTIFY!): Katie Luekens – A Ceremony Of Carols, Op. 28 : No. 6. This Little Babe: http://open.spotify.com/track/7akiP0TVEm9PPn7is93Znb

So, the Jesus-thing, it's true. If you want to become Jesus too, here is what you have to do:

The Walk On Water Juice

4 cooked beetroots
1 thingie of celery
2-3 tomatoes
half a cucumber
2 baby salad leaves
large handful of spinach leaves
big piece of ginger
1 stalk of fresh mint
half a lemon

Put all in juicer, sandwich the leaves between bigger things such as beetroots or cucumber. Pour in large glass filled with ice. Walk on water.