When I was a teenager, I played a lot of cards. We played a lot with my family, but also with friends – someone always had a deck of cards in their backpack. Somehere along the way, I learned to shuffle cards in a ‘fancy’ way. After that, it really did not matter if I won or lost – I was always considered a great card player.
I am a huge fan of bright colours. Our house, for example, has a lot of dark red, including our couch. In fact, I was very excited to finally get a chance to paint a wall in our bedroom rich, brownish red. Luckily Stuart shares my taste – or is indifferent enough to tolerate it.
I have mentioned before how both Stuart and myself are partial to Asian food. We have a very good Korean grocery store in the neighbourhood, so we have a possibility to often cook Korean. There is a lot of variety in Korean kitchen, but we are specifically fond of street food. It is simple, tasty and quick. Bibimbab – a rice pot with vegetables, beef and chili sauce – is one of our every-day favourites. Some months ago we even invested in the ‘proper’ Dolsot Bibimbab bowls. Layering the meal in these hot clay pots makes rice nice and crunchy. Our kind of food.
Merlin – our little schnauzer – loves vegetables and fruit. I use cucumber as his training treat, but he is also a huge fan of snap peas, apple and broccoli. Once, when he was a smaller puppy he was (accidentally) left alone with some braaied ribs and corn cobs. He chose the corn and left the ribs untouched.
Maybe I should not have been surprised when he took a big liking to strawberry. However, he gets it without the sugar.
Due to a number of late evenings at work, my recent photography has been limited to small, home-bound photos of everyday objects. And what could more every-day than eggs and a whisk? However, it turns out you can do some pretty interesting stuff even with such simple items.
Proteas is one of the most interesting looking flowers I have ever had in my vase. They are a bit of an acquired taste, and not everyone appreciates them. In South Afrika they are now in season, and every flowershop and supermarket is full of different varieties. Also – being native to dry areas – they last for weeks. My kind of flower.
I have done several jobs in my life that required long hours. I am no stranger to 80-100 h weeks, and for many years that was just “the way it was”. Someone once told me, that “if you enjoy your regular Tuesday, you are living a good life”.
This Tuesday, we braaied.
Stuart has always found it funny how obsessed Finns are about berries. Initially he thought it was only me – but he has met enough Finns since then to know it’s a national obsession. I think it is a result of such a short season for berries in Finland. Being able to buy fresh, good berries practically 10 months a year is not something you can do in Finland.
It is a more a general observation as well. People in Norther Europe live and cook (even today) much more based on what is in season. Even though you can get asparagus from Finnish supermarket around the year, the price during the spring season is so much cheaper (and taste so much better), that most people only eat it during those few weeks. Most South Africans could not even say when the asparagus season is.
There is no denying. Summer is coming. Some days are too warm to wear a long-sleeve sweater, the pool is sparkling and our garden is full of bird-song. And Merlin hunted down and ate his first fly of the season. Definitely summer!
Except at night. At night it is still winter.
Today was a public holiday – Women’s Day – in South Africa. I planned to sleep in late to make up for the busy week with a lot of early wake-ups. Well, that didn’t happen. Merlin and Jozi (who is visiting for a week) decided at 5:30 am that it is time to get up. And so, I had a little nose poking into my hand every few minutes, just to check whether I was already awake. Unable to sleep, I did the only thing I could at that situation. I baked muffins.
In our house, dogs don’t eat human food.