Friday, August 29, 2008

And now I just made soup

Spicy Peanut Eggplant Soup

It's in Isa&Terry's Veganomicon, but I got it from their website.

You all remember how to crimp, right?

What I think about while ironing

Lord, it's only 3 days into month of blogging and I'm running out of shit to share.

I used to listen to This American Life while doing my weekly ironing, but I don't have access to that in the laundry room right now (I should work on those "free podcast" things, though) so I think a lot to myself and here are just a few things I think about:

1) People I would like to meet and the clever things I'd say to them. I think about this entirely too often, actually, and it's sort-of an embarassing statement. I love planning the day that I'll be on Late Night with Conan O'Brien, for instance.

2) What I'll make for breakfast/lunch/dinner.

3) Funny things that Simon (the 5 yr old I care for) says. Like the other day when we were going to a friend's house and they weren't answering the door, so he says, "Well, they're either not there or they're dead." It was totally matter of fact and I was in stitches. I really like re-thinking the funny things that everyone says, which leaves me laughing out loud all alone and if people come by, they probably think I'm crazy. They may not be wrong.

4) How and Why I need to loose weight. (#2 seems to negate this...)

5) What I'm going to spend my next pay check on. Namely a large trip.

Does anyone else share my feels on any of this?

I leave you with a beautiful photo of some Jerk Seitan from Vegan with a Vengance. Except it's TVP; just as good.

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Thursday, August 28, 2008

Green Thai Curry

I can never seem to follow a recipe precisely. Maybe it's just more fun to deviate a little from the rules. Below is the version of Green Thai Curry from VwaV that I made last night. My host father really enjoyed it. My host mother didn't try it because it was nose-runningly spicy. I guess not everyone digs clear nasal passages.

The proper veggies for this recipe are red onion and red pepper. That doesn't feel very thai to me, though, but nor does canned corn seem very thai so who am I kidding? I made the curry photographed below a couple months ago (with snap peas, orange pepper and fresh basil). I actually liked it a lot better. I really wasn't missing out without the onion, tofu or peanut oil. I think next time there'll be rice noodles, eggplant and yellow pepper (yellow purely for asthetic reasons).

food porn

Moral! Everyone can make a curry! And everyone could use a little nose run. I buy my green curry paste from the local aisian grocer. There's also red and yellow, but they've sometimes got fish in 'em. Just sauté some veggies and throw them in with some coconut milk (I like to buy mine in small packages of 5-8oz, which the Americans probably cannot do) and a spoonful of curry paste. Just be careful how much curry paste you add. A little can go a long way.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

The day I climbed an Alp!

Me and Dad were staying in Zurich, about an hour away from the legendary Alps. On Saturday, when Zurich was having a huge street parade, we decided to check it to Chur (pronounced like you're making a loogie with "ooher" on the end), nestled in an alpen valley and the oldest city in Switzerland. We got there and decided to take this ski lift kinda thing 3/4 of the way up, walk around up there, then walk back down.

Dad taking on that mtn like a rockstar.

Well, when we got there and saw all the restaurants and old people and paved roads we were kinda like, "Damn! What a tourist trap!" Then we saw signs that indicated something that looked like, "Mountain Summit 30min walk." We decided that we'd go have a look.

The walk started out so magically. The paved roads and tourists ended and forest type changed from pine and aspen to fur. We walked through quiet choruses of cow bells and fields of low brush filled with flowers. Then we got above the tree line and were like, "woah this is cool!" then more like, "woah I'm tired" and then words didn't work anymore and we could only think to ourselves, "just keep on truckin. keep on truckin."

me not feeling well at 2,200m (about 7,200ft)

I know that this is the internet and anyone can read this and I shouldn't say what I'm about to say BUT I will anyway. I have consumed certain substances entirely legally in the Netherlands (A tiny hint for American friends: the capital of this nation is Amsterdam.), where it is legal to obtain and consume certain substances in designated coffee shops. With all that rigorous work and the thin air, I must say that it felt just like I'd consumed a bit too much of a certain substance. No joke.

When me and Dad tried to get to the tip top summit (where the photos are, we're surrounded by three small hills), the wind hit us hard and we got really cold and realized "we're really high!" (literally and figuratively), so we went right back down, had a banana and some water, took victory shots, and headed back down for an elevation that would help clear our heads. When we got back to the ski lift thing, 3hours after we started (yup. 30min hike. sure.), we met this older couple in their late sixties or so that had just completed the same hike. Go them!, but now we're lame.

30 days of blogging

Yes, I am out of the habit of blogging, but I still like to blog! I'm always thinking, "oh, I could blog about that!", but then I don't because I've got so much stuff that happened before that to blog about. There's been a blog backup!! But as am whittling the hours away (my German course doesn't begin until the 8th of Sept), I'm finding myself kinda lacking in the entertainment realm. So, back to the blog I come and boy have I got things to share!

I promise to blog every day for 30days, so basically a month. Except week-ends. Let's say that I can stop the last day of September, then, shall we?

Here's something to share: I stubbed my toe the other day and this is what happened!

complete with toe jam!

Here are some other things that I need to inform y'all about:

Dad's visit. We saw Heidelberg, Strasbourg, Freiburg, Zurich, Düsseldorf and Aachen together. He went to Cologne alone, lost my cell phone and drove around Neuss (where I live), lost, for an hour despite having directions and a map.

I've been working on making friends in Düsseldorf and organized a couchsurfing meeting there last Saturday.

I met with an old couchsurfing friend from Hamburg in Cologne. It was lovely. We had breakfast in a vegan-friendly café and a had a Soyamilchkaffee (I'm not sure if that's all one word, but knowing the Germans.... Anyway, it's a soy milk coffee.) and it kicked asparagus. Yes, these kinds of things will make my week-end.

I read this book called "Tales of a Female Nomad" that's inspiring me to move to a developing country; perhaps as an aid worker? I was thinking a French-speaking african country.

I'm going to Lille, France Sept 5-7th for a couchsurfing meeting. I should be looking for a couch to surf, but I'm not!

I did 45 push-ups yesterday! so what if they were on my knees?

I'll leave you with this beautiful italian marinated tofu that me and Dad picnicked with on the Rhein in Düsseldorf. The marinade is absolutely perfect and comes from Vegan with a Vengance. If you don't use any other recipe in the book (which would be silly), this recipe alone is worth the price of the book. So simple and great!

Friday, August 1, 2008

Maastricht CS Summer Meeting '08

I went to Maastricht, Netherlands on whim last week-end for a CouchSurfing meeting. It was a very good decision.

crossing a bridge on the Saturday city tour

At CS meetings, I always meet a huge variety of people, most all of them big travellers. Some have been on the road for months, some (like me) enjoy attending CS meetings in the area, some travel for work, others travel because they don't know what else to do with their money, some stay in one place and let the travellers come to them. By the end of it, I always make a bunch of great friends and have to say goodbye, hoping that we may cross paths again.

Couchsurfers surfing and airmattress.

On Sunday we went and played in a lake in Maastricht. It was stupendous.

Chaotic group photo.

On Saturday we had a party at a CSer's house in Belgium. It rained, but we danced and sang all night, and look what the morning brought us!