365 days project -week 33 & 34

After two weeks, our little friends are back, ready to tell you their stories once again.
The holiday was over before they knew it, filled with rainy days, long bike rides, muddy walks & the usual work in the wilderness that is their kitchen garden. How great to stay up a little longer to watch their favorite program, how lovely to postpone cooking to sometime later & how heavenly to sleep in longer than 5.30 a.m.

Some may feel this holiday should last forever, not quite ready to get back to the reality of writing reports, filling the cupboards & unblocking the occasional sink. Then there are those who effortlessly juggle between what is real & what’s not; discovering magic in the ordinary, while making imagination part of their everyday lives. And last, but not least, there are one or two who’re keen on getting back in the saddle, eager to lend a helping hand to all weary holiday makers on their way back to work…

And we….we are just happy to share this colorful update with you & of course hope to see you again next week!

 

and….

Advertisements

To write or not to write

starting something new & this is what it looks like

starting something new & this is what it looks like

‘Each chapter is like an island & I’m stuck on every single one of them’

A long time ago, after publishing two books of poems, I decided it was time to write my first novel. I worked on my fictional story for months.  Maybe years even. Feeling confident and free, I wrote & wrote. I matched one chapter to the next, carved out storylines & saw some completely new characters come to life. Until, one day inspiration decided to abandon  me. My brain got stuck, the words stopped coming & the whole thing came to an absolute standstill.

Ever since that day, time has been ticking away. I’ve read book after book, trying to find the solution to the problem my novel & I have run into. I have searched the internet, wrote a November-novel in between & never stopped hoping for that spark of inspiration which would get us back on track again. But it hasn’t hit so far…

new beginning on old paper

A while ago, I started to think of writing poems again. I’ve always loved the art of finding the right things to say within the abundance of available words. Love to challenge myself to try and capture simplicity on paper.

But thinking of a new project, felt like betraying my good-old-never-to- be- finished novel. Like I was about to give up on her/him (who’s to say:) for once and for all. And I don’t want to, because I love my book & all the heart and soul I poured into it. But this writer’s block isn’t going anywhere anytime soon & I need to do something.

the past & the present

So, today I decided it was time to start working on a new book-project. And this is what that looks like ; a collection of notebooks, all filled with readable & less readable poems, thoughts, stories & everything in between.  I’ve started gathering all the half decent things I have been writing in the last two years & I’m curious to see where it will take me. So far, the idea is to write a book about loss, about letting go & about finding comfort. It might be a book of poems, but it could also become a selection of poems, photos, single lines & drawings. I guess everything is possible at this moment….

As for my lovely ‘old’ book; here is my plead for help ……We are at a loss, my book & I. We are a pile of about a hundred and sixty pages, held together by a single story & a blue paper binder. So, if there is anyone out there with any great ideas, tips or suggestions, please let us know. We’ll be ever so happy to hear from you……

365 days project -week 32

A busy week, but somehow our friends still managed to go outside & enjoy this Sunny/rainy summer best they could. James worked hard, but got rewarded with delicious homegrown veggies, the Hat hurried up the stairs time & time again, while the Three T’s did what they do best; they seized the moment in a day. Norton got a little bored, Sami ran into an unexpected treasure & Wendy almost lost her patience, but of course she didn’t:)! And last but not least, Danny & Adam’s walk in the forest was a welcome silent getaway at the end of week 32!

‘til next week!

Vegetarian Thai Green Curry

Thai Green curry

As some of you might know, I’ve been planning to write a food blog for quite a while now, but it hasn’t happened yet. Feeling insecure & being unable to decide with which recipe to start my hopefully- multiple food blogs, I once send a friend a list of recipes I was planning to post , asking her to chose the first one for me. Now I’m ashamed to admit that this poor friend has been waiting for this particular recipe for ages…I can only hope that she’ll forgive me now:)

Because, here it is at last;

‘My humble version of Vegetarian Thai Green Curry’

My sister & I adore this curry and it has become a stable around our house. We love it so much that, when we made plans for our kitchen-garden last spring, we reserved a large piece of our garden for the sole purpose of growing enough coriander for our favorite curry-paste. By now the freezer is packed with enough curry paste to get us through a long winter without fresh coriander.

I once found a version of this recipe on the internet, tried it & haven’t stopped making it since. As it goes with recipes, I have modified it slightly & started making it my own more and more. Most of the changes I made have been pointed at making the recipe/ the ingredients more day-to-day, so that I could make it anytime, anyplace. But none of these changes have influenced the delicious flavor of this lovely Thai curry.

Is it hard or complicated? No, not at all. It basically consist of two steps; making the paste & making the actual curry, using your curry paste as a base. I often make the paste in advance. I have even found that the flavors in the curry become deeper & richer when the paste has been in the fridge or freezer for a while.

Well, here it goes; the actual recipe…


Vegetarian Green Thai Curry, Naomi Style

Serves 3 or 4 persons

 Ingredients for the Curry paste

  • 1 large onion, peeled & quatered
  • 2 cloves of garlic, peeled & halved
  • 3 cm fresh ginger (or just a nice, large piece), peeled & halved
  • 1 or 2 fresh red peppers (depending on how hot you’d like your curry to be)
  • 1 teaspoon coriander seeds or 1 teaspoon coriander powder (katoembar)
  • 5 tablespoons of Soy sauce
  • A gulp of vegetable oil (peanut oil, sesame oil or even olive oil will do)
  • 1 tablespoon of(fresh) lemon juice
  • Zest from 1 lime
  • A large bunch of fresh coriander

Utensils:

  • Chopping board
  • Sharp knife
  • Food Processor
  • Spoon

Preparing the Curry paste:

  •  Place all the ingredients, except for the fresh coriander, in a food processor & process it until everything is finely chopped.
  • Now add the fresh coriander. Since I always use quite a bit of coriander, it is best to cut the bundle of coriander in a few smaller pieces or add it bit by bit. Otherwise the food processor tends to get a little stuck.
  • Using a spoon, push the paste down a couple of times, while whizzing the coriander through the other ingredients.
  • The paste is done, when it is smooth & quite moist. If the paste seems a bit dry, you may add some extra oil or soy sauce.

So, that’s your paste done! You can place it in the fridge while preparing the rest of the curry or freeze to use some other day. When freezing the paste, I usually scoop it into a small plastic bag or bowl. When using a plastic bag, it’s best to use an extra bag, to preserve maximum flavor.

Alright, and then onto the actual making of the Green Thai Curry…

Ingredients for the curry:

  • 3 or 4 stalks of celery, cut into chunks
  • A small eggplant, cleaned & cut into chunks
  • A red bell pepper, cleaned & cut into chunks
  • Approximately 500 grams of Broccoli, cleaned & cut into small florets
  • 2 tablespoons of peanut oil/olive oil
  • 200 ml of coconut milk
  • 200 ml vegetable stock
  • 1 lime

Utensils:

  • Baking tray
  • Large pan or wok
  • Chopping board
  • Sharp knife
  • Silicone Spatula

Preparing the curry:

  • Preheat your oven on 200°C/400°F/gas 6
  • Place all the vegetables , except for the broccoli, in a large bowl & sprinkle with approximately 1 tablespoon of oil. Add some salt & hustle well.
  • Place the vegetables on a lined baking tray & place in the over for approximately 25 minutes or until the vegetables are golden & staring to char. (I often make sure the vegetables are in the oven, while I make the curry paste.)
  • Place a large pan or wok on the stove on a high heat
  • When the pan is hot, add the remaining oil & lower the temperature to medium heat.
  • Now add the paste (careful, it will splatter!) & stir-fry for about 1 minute.
  • Add the broccoli & keep stirring for about a minute, to avoid the paste from burning.
  • Now add the coconut milk, the stock & give it a good stir.
  • Bring it back to the boil, reduce the heat to low & place a lid on the pan. Let it cook for about 5 to 7 minutes, or until the broccoli is tender.
  • Take the roasted vegetables out of the oven & add them to your curry.
  • Season the curry with either some soy sauce or salt.
  • Press down the lime on the kitchen counter and roll it around a couple of time, while putting pressure on it. This way a lot of juice will be released from the lime, which will all end up in your curry & will make it extra tasty.
  • Now cut the lime in two above the pan & squeeze out the juice.
  • Top your curry with some coriander & serve it with either Basmati rice or noodles.
  • Enjoy!

Note 1: when it comes to the vegetables you want to put into your curry, just go with what you like. I personally love broccoli & eggplant in this particular curry, because they tend to soak up a lot of flavor. But feel free to experiment. Be careful when you add things like zucchinis or mushrooms, they can make the curry a little watery

Note 2: I often boil the noodles together with the broccoli in the stock & coconut milk. It’s a bit tricky, because the pan tends to get quite full, which makes stirring complicated….but it’s well worth the trouble. The noodles pick up the curry flavor really well. If you want to give this a try, make sure to precook your noodles for about a minute. I use block noodles, which normally have a 2 minute cooking time. Add the noodles before adding the roasted veggies. When the noodles & the broccoli are almost done, add the roasted vegetables & follow the rest of the recipe.


Well, that was it:) Not so hard after all..

If you have any questions, comments or tips on writing my next recipe, feel free to leave a message & I’ll get back to you as soon as possible.

Hope you enjoy your curry & until next time!

Print friendly version of the recipe

 

365 days project – week 31

Mischievous cats, lazy Cowboys & long lost relatives; just another week in our friends’ colorful lives. While The Three T’s took a moment to remember, Alice & Norton thought of yet another way to save the environment. And Sami went for a lovely, long walk & made the best of a beautiful summer’s day.

And we?

We’ll  kick our shoes off & will call it a night! Hope to see you again next week…