Thursday, December 27, 2007

I'm goin' tah Frayance!

Today I decided to go to France... tomorrow. I'll be gone from the 28th 'till the 2nd. Maybe I'll finally have something exciting to share with you because the trip will involve:
  • A 9 hour drive with four other people that I've never met before.
  • Staying with a good friend and Rennes native.
  • House party on the Brittany coast.
  • Tons of simple German words confused with my French. I speak so much more French than German, but the wires in my mind keep getting criss-crossed.
  • A long, hungover drive back to Aachen with a crazy Frenchman and a lovely Japanese girl.
I'm going to go downstairs now and make food for the road. A toute à l'heure!
ps- I really like lists. Can you tell?

pps- I also just decided that purple is an excellent colour.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Salt n' Pepper Tofu

This stuff is like crack. Know why it's so good?

1) I thought I couldn't fry anything properly before, but now I have this recipe.

2) Would make a tofu hater into a tofu lover.

3) Pretty simple ingredients.

4) It tastes spectacular with my least favorite vegetable: cucumbers. It's also one of the few vegetables that my host Dad thinks to buy and, of course, they can never finish one. What better way?

image stolen from Terry
recipe link

As long as we're talking about spectacular tofu, there's also lolo's sweet and sour tofu that I tried the other day. That was swell.

recipe link

Now please, go be healthy and eat your tofu.

What was that day yesterday?

I didn't celebrate it, but I did go over to a friend's apartment and we drank yummy wine and her flatmate made us Italnian-style foods.

I got mocha soy ice cream at the Super GB on Monday. The ruling: tastes like straight up coffee! No nice ice creamyness, no chocolate flavour, just coffee in frozen soymilk form, whipped up and put in it's pretty little Belgian package for the next dumb ass to spend €4 on. I think I'll try the vanilla next time....

Since the soya ice needed more choco flavour, I searched for a solution: homemade chocolate syrup! It was easy.
Step 1!) boil a small about of soy milk in a pot on the stove
Step 2!) while you wait for it to boil, whisk together a teaspoon of cornstarch with a tablespoon of cold water
Step 3!) add an even smaller amount of sugar
Step 4!) add a very slight amount of cocoa powder
Step 5!) add the cornstarch to the boiling mixture and turn down the heat. whisk contstantly until it gets a thicker consistency.
Step 6!) pour all over ice cream for your coffee-ish hot fudge sunday.
This is actually a photo of some home-made soy ice cream from a few months ago. I'll upload a properly fudgy one in due time.

Monday, December 24, 2007

Expect nothing and you shall recieve

Seriously, y'all. I didn't think I'd get anything for Weihnachten and I got: house slippers, fleace gloves, a sci fi book, and a learning Deutsch book from the Dad, a pretty necklace from Susanna, and then from my mom I got vanilla extract and about €25 worth of Advil, which is of course about $2.50 and vanilla extract? Unheard of in Euroland. For myself I got a 4 pack of Belgian beers which I've been enjoying whilst I watched Coffee and Cigarettes; this fantastic artsy-ass film that everyone and their mom should see.

Oh! I forgot that from the Putzfrau I received some mascara and perfume. And I'm talking Lancome and Givinche. I don't believe that Lancome tests on animals either, so that's really quite the plus.

Ein Shönes Weihnachten am alles!

Sunday, December 23, 2007


How on earth do you city-people live? I much prefer the small-town life where you can just take a stroll "downtown" and BOOM you meet someone and who knows, you might go climbing on rocks or in caves the rest of the afternoon. But in the city, what can you do? Go for a coffee and get your kicks from flirting with the bartender? Go for a walk 'round the park? And for all of this you have to get dressed. It's far too much formula for me. I'd rather run around the woods and spend the rest of the evening with my DVDs and soy ice cream, please.

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Subtle Humour

I'm not entirely sure what kind of person it makes you when you find some lines such as this amusing: "Stephen shook his head and smiled in his rival's flushed and mobile face, beaked like a bird's. He had often thought it strange that Vincent Heron had a bird's face as well as a bird's name." (Joyce, A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man, 1916). I'll be reading on the bus and, straight-faced, in between rushed stops and bumps on the road, carefully write a little note in the margine: "Ha."

How far has your sense of humour flown out window when you laugh aloud at a close up of a Dalmatian mouse on the floor of the Tenenbaum household? It's hilarious because Chas Tenenbaum invented them when he was a kid and they're still around! Get it? Ho ho ho! It's funny, right?

Save for the French. I don't really take to their love of puns.

I do respect their efforts, however, to make us take pause before the punch. Too often are we fed our humour. I'm sick of laugh tracks on the latest ABC citcom, the amazed gaffaw at the perverse stand-up commedian. No, I've got too much class. Let's all have a good chuckle now at one of my favorite kings of comedy....
Hamlet: Lady, shall I lie in your lap?
Ophelia: No, my lord.
Hamlet: I mean, my head upon your lap?
Ophelia: Ay, my lord.
Hamlet: Do you think I meant country matters?
(Shakespeare, Hamlet, III, ii)

Friday, December 21, 2007


The word for Christmas in German is "Weihnachten." It is a much easier to celebrate this holiday in Germany, where they are all unabashedly Catholic or Protestant. Not to say I don't miss the drama back home with what-to-dos once you get an atheist or converted Jew in the family, but it's nice to pretend that everyone is the same and settle down for a merry Christmas without the fluster.

The kid and me made cookies today. Okay, I made them and she decorated a couple with raisins. She said, "We can also decorate them with sprinkles or powdered sugar," and before I knew it, I snapped, "But it must be with raisins!" (Snapping gets much more intense in German, I promise you.) At home, we've always decorated our gingerbread cookies with raisins and I'll be damned if that's going to change now.

Here are the cookies:

We also have a fantastic Weihnachts Markt (Christmas Market) in Aachen. Me, the Dad and the Kid were there this evening. I had two and a half glasses of Glühwein (mulled wine) and was quite the giddy one for a while. I think these markets are such a superb addition to the Christmas time because it gets everyone out the house and into the street to eat, drink and be good captalistists when they would otherwise stay home and watch Quiz Taxi on the tele. Now that I'm home, I think I'll go see if it's on.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

This kid ain't doin' too much.

So, I'm starting a blog. Go ahead and start placing your bets as to how long it may last. I've got €5 on me keeping it through January. The money pool will be collecting in my various student loan accounts. Money back not guaranteed.

I'm thinking that this whole thing is going to be about the various minuscule things that I do; such as: bake vegan cupcakes, successfully fry tofu, dream, learn German, travel Europe, vacuum, take pictures and play with the kid that I aupair for. This is not going to be a place where I express my opinions on politics, literature, theatre or your ex-boyfriend because I'm a little lazy, pretty apathetic and, like any pimp, I don't want no trouble.

I'll start with what I did yesterday because today I'm tired from having danced all night in a disco and am waiting for the unfailingly late cleaning woman to come. She talks to me very loudly in German and terrible French, but she means well. Really.

The lake behind our house is frozen because it's been bitingly cold. On the upside, we have a freaking lake behind house (!) and I haven't seen clouds for an all-time record of 3 days. It was a good occasion for photo making.

I put some other ones on my flickr. Now, if you're anything like me, I'd like to caution you before you start going through all my flickr photos. CAUTION.