20140626

focus on things

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Since yesterday i’m on vacation: at home. I’ve been too unsettled to decide on any destination for a trip. May i find some quiet in my own four walls!

So yesterday was the first day of my summer holidays – and almost the first thing i did in the morning was going to bed again, putting my pillow over my face and sleeping for another one or two hours. All because some kind of vacation stress had hit me.

As i told you several times my job isn’t very demanding. It’s a job i’m not trained for. It doesn’t hardly need any trainig. My business trips may lead me to the next post office and also all my other tasks, including the delegated responsibilities like having an eye on money and the kids, or staff, closing the doors at night and making some phone calls could manage any housewife. So the only really stressful aspects of this employment are that it’s time consuming and leaves that vague idea of missing my real life, missing somthing i’m more likely supposed to do.

I guess that’s an illness caused by the flood of possibilities our generation has, some kind of faked freedom. The result is that i’m somehow stressed out now that my vacation started, analyzing that one million possibilities i have to do in my days off and in my life instead of simply putting my feet up, those feet that day by day do their job ten hours long mostly for somebody else, for little money, instead of holding my smiling holiday face into the sun like our father’s generation still did. Yet, these aren’t times i wish to come back...



Today then an article was posted on one of my frequently red blogs. It deals with my issue. It’s about focusing on one thing. Here’s the video published along with it.



James Hamblin/The Atlantic


It’s funny because while reading that post (actually while i was randomly web surfing) i had in mind:

  1. Doing the dishes (or rather procrastinating doing them)
  2. Cutting back the greens on the balcony
  3. Pondering if those little animals in the planter are useful or should better go – how?
  4. Taking photos of (quite unnecessary) things
  5. Considering to revise this weblog
  6. Sending an email to a friend who asked for help with a translation
  7. Thinking about getting a better human (e.g. visiting my parents more often)
  8. (Thinking of) planning a daytrip for tomorrow (– not to my parent’s house)
  9. Giving attention to my husband’s thoughts on life
  10. Thinking about our future and the things we have (to think) to do



It’s exactly this! It’s exactly this that yesterday made me go to bed again right after getting up.



PS —I was surprised (or i actually wasn’t after observing the recent trend) that the last word the guy in the video is saying is ”buddhism”. I’m no buddhist and far from missionizing. Like most of us i’m a child of the mentioned flood of possibilities and not so much into religion of any kind. But, as you may have recognized, many of my interests trace back to Zen, a branch of buddhism. The idea seems to be a welcome retreat from our reality that has become difficult to focus. If it only was so easy.

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20140406

toumorokoshi potage

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The day of my last post and also exactly three years before i cooked corn potage. Since March 11th isn't Soup Memorial Day or something like that and corn soup, as far as i see, luckily doesn't have anything in common with earthquakes and nuclear energy... it's coincidence.

But i noted that i never uploaded any corn potage or とうもろこしポタージュ recipe. So, if that simple and easy to cook soup isn't a basic meal in your household yet, feel free to try my recipe. It's one of a million. But maybe you like it or you use it as inspiration for your very own version. Itadakimasu!

 




Zum Zeitpunkt des letzten Eintrags hier gab es Maiscremsuppe. Bemerkenswerterweise gab es diese auch ziemlich genau drei Jahre früher. Jetzt ist der 11. März kein Suppengedenktag und glücklicherweise hat dieses einfache Gericht primär auch nichts mit verheerenden Erdbeben und Atomkraft zu tun. Nennen wir es also Zufall.

Allerdings ist mir aufgefallen, dass ich damals kein Rezept dazu verbloggt habe. Nicht allein nur deshalb, weil die Welt mit anderem beschäftigt war als übers Essen zu schreiben, sondern auch weil es bestimmt Tausende Varianten von corn potage oder とうもろこしポタージュ gibt und meine Version davon nicht einmal eine besonders ausgeklügelte ist. Dennoch seien alle, bei denen das Süppchen nicht ohnehin schon ein Standard in der Küche ist, herzlich dazu eingeladen es nachzukochen oder das Rezept als Anstoß zu eigenen Kreationen zu verwenden. Es lohnt sich allemal und schiefgehen kann dabei kaum etwas. In diesem Sinne: bon appétit.




Toumorokoshi Potage


Ein Zwiebelchen klein schneiden und in
etwas Butter glasig dünsten. Kleine Würfel
einer mittleren Kartoffel ebenfalls dazu geben und
ein Glas/eine Dose (abgetropft!) oder die entsprechende Menge an frischem Mais (– je zarter, desto besser).

Mit Flüssigkeit aufgießen. Diese besteht hälftig aus
Vollmilch und
Hühnerbrühe, insgesamt ungefähr einem Liter. Hiervon spart man sich am besten einen Rest auf, den man gegen Ende zugeben kann um die Konsistenz je nach Geschmack anzupassen.

Die Suppe mit
einem Lorbeerblatt köcheln lassen, bis die Zutaten gar und ausreichend weich sind. Dann das Lorbeerblatt wieder herausnehmen und alles fein pürieren. Wenn nötig mit
Salz und
weißem Pfeffer abschmecken.

Wer vorher ein paar Maiskörner vorm Pürierstab gerettet hat, kann diese zum Anrichten über die Suppe geben. Sahne, gehackte Kräuter oder Croutons eignen sich natürlich ebenso. Wobei, das muss man vielleicht dazu sagen, ein gewisser Reiz von Toumorokoshi Potage auch in seiner berechenbaren Einfachheit liegt. Das verhält sich ähnlich wie bei Vanillepudding.


20140311

2011-03-11

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It's three years now...
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20140309

Strawberry Fields

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---- Oh,...

---- it's a strawberry!



Can you see the tiny leaves in the upper picture turning into their typical shape?

I'm planning to grow more plants on our balcony this summer. It must be nice having around a plenty of these fresh green fellows, growing them, soil your hands, harvesting what you've grown, enjoying fresh fruits without rotten compromises.

Yet, i guess it won't end with having a green balcony. It will still remain a metaphor.



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20140225

spring is in the air

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It's February and spring is in the air. A bit early this year. Even better.

Lately i'm into Tillandsia, airplants. You can "plant" them almost everywhere: on your cupboard, on the sill, on an old saucer, in a jar. Put it in a basket and hang it on the hinge,... No messy soil and – maybe most important, for me at least – they're very undemanding and asking for a little water only once or twice a month.

Long time i've seen Bromeliads only in the windows of old auntie houses, seemingly still surviving in their chalky, crusty plant pots since the time when auntie was still a bit younger and more fashionable... like i am today?

Indeed, it looks like these plants are in vouge again. On the other hand the Tillandsia appear so... i would be exaggerating if i'd say "wabi-sabi".


*
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20140224

High Speed

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Stainless - Shinjuku by Adam Magyar
via Spoon & Tamago
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20131115

Glass

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Like ceramics. Glass is showing so beautifully it's soul when it is made by hand.




Glas. 1958 by Bert Haanstra.

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20131104

gloomy days

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As much as i love that diffused light on the wall of our flat, - the opposite is darkness. And there's way too much of it.


It was years ago that i fell in love with Japan. But it was only recently that i've become aware that this love is not only about culture, food or architecture, it's also about light. Daylight is much more intense than it is here and i guess, there are more sunshine hours. My impression is that at the places where i was living here in Germany days are usually cloudy and only "special days" are sunny. Everytime i was in Japan instead there was sunshine. And cloudy or rainy days occasionally came and went. I literally was feeling delighted. The glass half full or empty... My point of view may be subjective. But eversince it feels hard to me to get through the darker months, even through short instable summers.
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20131030

fancy

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I liked these cups and got them as a present, a souvenir while visiting a friend in Japan. Thank you so much! The person who usually gets one of this pair when having tea, thinks they are a bit too modern or "designy". Yes his sense is very adult, - most of the time. I think instead : why not!? They are perfect for a girly afernoon tea break. I love the combination of waves and the fishnet pattern and look at the foam or fog over the sea! Pretty. Thanks!

Bought there:

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20131008

... and the sky is grey

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The leaves are changing their colours. Here they mostly turn yellow. I have some bright childhood memories of fallen leaves, although these days actually don't last very long. It's almost like cherry blossom season, huh.
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