Goodbye March


Goodbye March, with all your spirited showers & your scattered sunlight. How beautiful you have been; throwing towering clouds & bright, sunlit days around, like one does confetti on a party. You found extra hours in a day, you chased darkness from the mornings, then the evenings. And although, at times, the world grew cold & dark, you were kind for me & for those I love most.

Goodbye Dear March, thanks for taking me outside all those lovely hours. I put my hiking boots on, stood in an awakening forest, where everything was proudly brimming with beginnings. I closed my eyes, turned my face towards the sun & felt the winter melt from within me. It always seems to take so long, those last days of winter slumber. But there was evidence of life everywhere & it made my heart sing out with joy.
Cards were send, unexpected packages arrived, letters were written & send. I tried to read, I found myself listening instead. Some days I felt more lost than others, but most days I was merely grateful for always being so safely bound. I looked for inspiration, tried to strive for more & less every day. I created, tested the water, felt proud, felt fearful, satisfied & disappointed. The future was taking shape around me, I could see it, I loved it, but as always it frightened me all the same. And so, I was reminded that some things never change at all.

Goodbye March, with your painful lessons to be learned. It felt like bombs went off everywhere & all the time, ending the lives of men and women, young and old. And no matter who they were or where they came from, they were all lost to us. And I saw it all, I read it all, I felt it all. I read & read, until I understood nothing & felt less than I felt before. At times, at the end of the day, I feel my soul will burst with all the sorrow of this world. But at the same time, these troubled times make me feel stronger & less alone than I might have felt before. Because the darker it gets, the more I am drawn towards the light. The harder it is, the kinder I become. And even though it might not make much sense, I embrace it all the same.

Goodbye good old March, another month gone. I let you go & make room for your kind friend April. Thanks you so much for being your unpredictable self, I loved the surprises that came my way.Thank you for all the walks, the flowers, the clouds & more than anything, thank you for the sun. Thank you for the comfort of weighty words, small talk & familiar silliness. Thank you for new directions, quiet moments of clarity & important hours of uncertainty. I will step away from you with a renewed sense of curiosity, eagerly looking forward to the days to come.

Love, Naomi

Book: Ashamed to say, I haven’t finished a new book yet. There goes my first new year’s resolution:( I did start in ‘The Rosie Project’- Graeme Simsion, but haven’t finished it.
Series: Downton Abbey, Once upon a Time (again:)
Songs of the month:
Us against the world – Coldplay
After the storm – Mumford & Sons
The Other side – David Gray
Fix You – Coldplay

Advertisements

Speaking out…

Goodmorning,

I’ve just watched the interview below & I felt I needed to share it here. It takes 15 minutes, which might be quite a long time out of your busy schedules, but I feel it might be well worth it; here is a reasonable, intelligent & worried fellow human, sharing his concerns about Donald Trump’s victory march in a way that really resonates with how I feel about the whole matter. Unfortunately, so far, I have been unable to voice my concerns the way he does. I’m not one to stand up & put my political & personal opinion out there for the world to hear. But as Brandon Stanton so accurately states in this interview & in his open letter to Mr Trump, it is time to start asking ourselves the question whether opposing this man & his disturbing ideas hasn’t become a moral decision, far more than a political one.
I, much like Mr Stanton, don’t want to tell anybody what he or she should feel or what it right & what is wrong. But I too have seen Donald trump gaining ground in the last couple of months & I understand the real possibility of this man taking the world greatest seat of power. And it concerns me, it frightens me & quite frankly, it disturbs me see that so many apparently think they agree with someone who preaches violence & racism. And I’ve come to the conclusion that not speaking up, not speaking my mind right now, is almost the same as agreeing with what I so full-heartily disagree with.

Brandon Stanton is the photographer & blogger behind the incredible & inspiring Human’s of New York website and Facebook page. For years, he’s been portraying ordinary people on the streets of New York & allowing us a glimpse into their colourful & diverse lives. He’s travelled to countries like Iran, Iraq & Pakistan and last year he posted a heart-breaking series of stories about refugees who had just arrived in Europe.
Human’s of New York is an inspiration to me, it has the ability to make me cry for strangers, roll with laughter & the one page on Facebook that seems able to bring about real change. It’s a beautiful storytellers paradise, which often seems to bring out the very best in people. It’s a place where I actually take the time to read other people’s comments & come away feeling I learned something. And as long as there are pages like this & people like Brandon Stanton, who refuse to give into a climate of hate & fear, I believe I can hold on to the hope of better things to come.

I hope I haven’t kept you too long & I hope I will not offend anyone by claiming my right to say how I feel. I suppose I just needed to get this off my chest to keep an open mind, a clear view & a healthy conscience.
If you have time & you feel like it, have a look at the Human’s of New York page, read the letter below & listen to what this man has to say. Thank for bearing with me & hope to see you soon.

Naomi

Brandon Stanton’s open letter to Donald Trump:

An Open Letter to Donald Trump:Mr. Trump,I try my hardest not to be political. I’ve refused to interview several of…

Geplaatst door Humans of New York op Click here

The interview:  https://www.yahoo.com/news/video/humans-yorks-brandon-stanton-trump-194000204.html 

Human’s of New York website: http://www.humansofnewyork.com/

Human’s of New York Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/humansofnewyork/?fref=nf

 

 

Indian Spiced Rice

Just the other day, I came to the concerning conclusion that I didn’t post anything on my blog this month yet. How that happened, I don’t know. Maybe time just goes a little faster every year & it becomes harder to keep up. Or I just get a little slower as time goes by;) Maybe I got distracted by life’s little things or it was life itself, who got preoccupied by all the greater things.
All I really know, is that it is high time I’d share this month’s food blogpost with you. And what a recipe it is, one of my personal favourites; it’s easy, it’s versatile & most importantly, it’s super tasty….. It’s Indian spiced rice!

The taste & smell of this rice takes me right back to my sunny childhood, when we would eat tasty curries & perfectly seasoned pilaf to accompany them. Sometimes, I will go as far as preparing this rice for the mere smell of it, for it fills the house with an unmistakable fragrance of memories. My parent’s pilaf once made me fall in love with good food & this recipe made me fall in love with cooking itself. I make it often & always eat too much of it:)

I found a similar Indian spiced rice recipe on the internet years ago, altered it along the way & ended up with this wonderful & easy way to prepare rice. I always used to boil rice in quite a bit of water & add flavours later. But ever since I first tried this absorption method, I’ve continued to prepare any rice I need in a similar manner. The recipe below is for spiced rice, but you can easy prepare white rice the same way. Just omit the spices & replace the stock with plain water. You might want to add some salt to the rice at the end. I usually use basmati rice, but I’ve prepared the recipe using Jasmine rice as well & it worked perfectly. Just make sure to use a long grain rice, to avoid your rice becoming too sticky.
It’s always a good idea to prepare this rice dish (and any other rice) a couple of hours or even a day in advance, so that the rice get the chance to dry out little. And, as an added bonus, it makes the rice even more flavoursome!
The initial idea was to post this recipe together with my favourite Egg-curry recipe. But since I couldn’t wait to tuck into that curry last time I made it & forgot to take pictures, that recipe will have to wait. Maybe later this month…..but,first, have fun with this delicious recipe! I’m curious to hear how it worked out…

Indian spiced rice

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print
Ingredients
• 2 cups (basmati) rice
• 4 cups vegetable stock
• 4 tablespoons gheeˣ/liquid butter
• 2 cinnamon sticks
• 6 cloves
• 1 onion, finely chopped
• ¼ teaspoon ground cardamom ˣˣ
• Salt to taste

ˣ Ghee is a type of clarified butter, which is commonly used in the Asian Cuisine. However, I usually use common liquid butter.

ˣˣ I use dried cardamom pods, which I panfry, peel and grind. Depending on the size of the pods, it should take you about half a tablespoon of cardamom pods to get ¼ ground cardamom. But using store-bought ground cardamom saves you time and will taste practically the same.

Utensils
• Large non-stick pan
• Cutting board
• Sharp knife
• Silicone spatula
• Mortar and pestle (optional)
• Serving dish

Preparation
• Heat the ghee/butter on medium heat. Add the cinnamon sticks and the cloves.
• Fry the spices until they become fragrant, then add the onion and the rice.
• Fry the onion and rice for about 5 minutes, stirring frequently. Don’t allow the onion and rice to brown.
• In the meantime, boil water for the stock and make the stock. When using ready-made stock, make sure the stock is boiling hot when you add it to the rice.
• Add the stock and the ground cardamom to the rice and stir well.
• Now quickly place the lid on the pan and reduce the heat to the minimum.
• Cook the rice for about 25 minutes. Don’t remove the lid while the rice is cooking.
• When the rice is cooked, transfer rice to a serving dish and gently fluff the rice with a fork.
Add salt, to taste. Note: The rice is probably quite salty from the stock already, so be careful when using any additional salt
• Don’t forget to remove the cinnamon sticks and the cloves before serving the rice.

Enjoy!