Human Nature, Simplify

Digital Minimalism

I have just read an article about digital minimalism entitled Cal Newport on Why We’ll Look Back at Our Smartphones Like Cigarettes. The following excerpt was taken from the last paragraph:

Yes, it’s scary not to be distracted, but I think it’s even more scary to avoid all of the deep good that comes from having to just be there with yourself, and confront all of those difficulties and opportunities that entails.

Creative Business

Broken Demand Supply

A week ago, I watched a short documentary about global food waste. In Salinas California, trucks after trucks lined up to dump tons of food away. We see bags of pre-washed salad leaves being dumped into landfills by the thousands. These were removed from grocery store shelves not too long ago. My heart ached for the waste of still edible food, for the labourers, for the waste of resources such as water and electricity, for the many millions whom are starving or in need of a decent meal.

Yesterday, D and I went to the shopping mall. Despite the many stores and the dizzying amount of products, we were unable to find what we were looking for. Unable to find the right size of the desired piece of fashion which is the current trend. Ah yeah, said D, we were too late. All the good stuff are gone.

What will happen to the not so good stuff then, if they are not sold within the year? What will happen to the no-longer-desired items? Do they get dump into landfills, like those thousands of bags of pre-washed salad in Salinas?

Demand has shrunk. Even though I am rather sure that the economic well-being of the masses is the main factor, I shall not write off the possibility of environmental awareness as one of the many influencing factors.

Time for the suppliers to slim-line their productions. The current supply-demand system is broken. It is blind, dumb, and simply unsustainable.

Food & Drinks, Simplify

Pumpkin Endive Soup

I wrote about pumpkin and endives not too long ago. Babbling about the abundance, the steps I took in order not to waste food, the storage and preservation methods I learned from the internet, and declaring how much I love my freezer.

It was thanks to one of D’s friends at the computer club that we are growing our own endives in the utility room. While this friend still has not harvested his crop, ours was so successful that we have been eating endives since middle December. As of today, we still have five fully grown giants in the fridge. And I am about to harvest the second growth!

At the same time, I have eight boxes of pumpkin purée, weighing 400g each, stored in the freezer.

And now, thanks to another of D’s computer club friend, I learned about the existence of witloofpompoensoep. I made the soup the next day after acquiring the information. Boy… was it good. Good as in yummy and good as in: now I can use up endives and pumpkin at the same time!

I will make another pot of pumpkin endive soup tomorrow, using the outer leaves of the five matured endives, some second generation endives, and one box of frozen pumpkin purée.

Belgium, Jibber Jabber

Summing Up

The snow carpet has completely melted away this morning. Temperature is currently at 8°C. Not much of a winter anymore, just rainy and gloomy. This allows me to quickly empty out the kitchen scraps bin. Dumping and burying the contents of a full bin into my back-of-the-shed compost area felt good.

One of Belgium’s most influential philosophers has passed away last week, but the sad news was only made public this week. A man with a stubborn logic but gentle manner, he had advocated laws concerning abortion and euthanasia in a very Catholic Belgium. He was a strong believer that overpopulation is the source of human miseries. We are on the same side here, Mr. Vermeersch. Rest in eternal peace…

I have borrowed my in-law’s sewing machine. With all the sewing projects planned, I shall be an industrious squirrel next week. Next week, D and I would need to go on our shopping and grocery errands for we are low on sparkling water, beers, drinks, and so forth. And because it is still January, I shall probably have to tolerate a visit to the shopping mall to look for some fancy pants. Ha!

Soon, I shall be implementing the Swedish Death Cleaning into my life. Cleaning out my crap so that those surviving me will not have to dump my stuff away heartlessly. The Marie Kondo ways are too mild for me. Because of all the moving around since my twenties, I find my organizing habits very similar to a lot of the KonMari applications. Yep, Death Cleaning is the next level for me.


Belgium, Jibber Jabber

Snowfall 2019

Today, we woke up to the first snowfall of the year. Yeah!

A pretty snow carpet laid in our backyard before the morning was over. In the mean time, I managed to conjure up an excuse to go to the shed. I just wanted to walk in a snowfall, leave some footprints in the fresh snow and revoke my strange liking for white winters.

Belgium, Food & Drinks

Stay Home Sunday

Yesterday evening, D and I went to have dinner at our friends’ home in Kortrijk. Main dish was Moambe Chicken, the national dish of Congo, served on a bed of rice with a side of cassava (manioc). Dessert was a home-made blueberry cheesecake. Food was interesting and satisfying. Our friends were hospitable and chatty. All sorts of drinks were flowing generously while we talked and laughed. D and I only stopped drinking, shortly before we put on our jackets to leave!

After such an evening, we are making today a stay-home Sunday.

Human Nature, Simplify

Unbearable Clutter

Just read an article from The New York Times entitled The Unbearable Heaviness of Clutter.

The last paragraph sums up what I have been clamouring about all these years:

Dr. Saxbe agreed that a good way to declutter is to keep items out of the house in the first place. She urged shoppers to consider whether they truly need an item or if it will add to their home’s sense of dysfunction. “Once it’s in the house, it’s really hard to deal with. You get attached to the things you own,” she said.

Food & Drinks, Simplify

Pumpkin & Endives

I spent most of yesterday wrestling a humongous pumpkin, turning it into purée, cubes and storing these up for future culinary uses.

This morning, I harvested some of the Belgian endives from the utility room. I made endive soup again. For dinner, I shall try to make witloof met ham en kaas. This is a classic Belgian casserole dish where ham wrapped Belgian endives are cooked in a cheese sauce. I never need to make this dish because D and I get this prepared for us by his mother several times a year. However in our current situation, extraordinary time (endive overload) calls for extraordinary cooking efforts. Let us hope that tonight’s dinner will not be a dissapointment.

Jibber Jabber

New Plates

After 10 years of white square plates, D and I decided that it is time for an update to our dinnerware. So with the gift certificate we got from the parents, we bought ourselves a set of rounded, non-white plates and bowls.

Dinner does look fancier on these plates, even if I am serving the normal fare.