Food & Drinks, Health, Simplify

Real Food

D and I went out to buy food this afternoon. We did not go to a grocery store but to three different places to get meat, potatoes, fruit juice, butter, mushroom, and some fruits. All the running around made us both very thirsty so we sat down to have a drink at the Lokaal in Deerlijk after we were done with our grocery.

I spent about €90 for this afternoon’s food purchases. It was not an expensive trade off because my fridge and pantry are now loaded with real food which will last me for weeks. The objective is to cook and eat decent healthy meals so that we do not have to spend our old days paying the doctors’ salaries!

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Food & Drinks, Health

Parboiled Rice

A few weeks ago, I bought a bag of parboiled rice. I do not know what it was then but was eager to try it out because of the price. A kilogram of jasmine rice from the Asian grocery store costs two times more.

As I always do with unfamiliar subjects, I did some on-line research to gather necessary information. To my surprise, parboiled rice are actually more nutritious than the usual white rice I consume.

Yesterday, I cooked this atypical rice in my steamer. At the end of the cooking process, I found that the water was not entirely absorbed by the rice kennels. Despite the harder texture, the rice actually tasted sort of familiar to me. Maybe I have eaten this at the university cafeteria a long time ago?!

Next time, I shall cook this rice in a pot on the stove-top. And I will probably cook it a bit longer than the typical 20 minutes. I might even pre-soak the rice as suggested by some websites. Cooking experiments, I never get tired of them…

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Belgium, Food & Drinks

Sprouts & Endives

I made soup using one potato, some second-generation endives I harvested from the utility room, and a handful of week-old Brussels sprouts from the farmers market.

To the boiling soup, I added two slices of bacon. These were then chopped up and added back to the soup before serving.

What a delicious soup this turned out to be. Perfect for the cold and rainy weekend we are experiencing now. And what can be more Belgian than a spruitenwitloofsoep?

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Events, Food & Drinks

Easter Barbecue

Yesterday on Easter Sunday, the family gathered at D’s parents, just like we did on new year’s day.

After the two boys did their egg hunting, we all sat down on the terrace to have our meal. The weather was perfect. Lunch was barbecued côte à l’os, a variety of grilled sausages, hand-cut fries and salad of home-grown vegetables. The red wine I drank during the wonderful meal was a Bordeaux from 1996!

For dessert, we had an option of fruit salad, tiramisu, or a jam tart I made.

A lovely Easter Sunday spent with the family…

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Food & Drinks

Endive Spring Rolls

This afternoon, I embarked on a mini food experiment and made five endive spring rolls. The main purpose was to use up some old and wrinkled spring roll wraps, the rest of the leek greens, some shallot and to reduce my endive inventory.

The filling, which consisted of 90% chopped up endives, turned a bit too soggy during the frying process. Since deep fried anything is palatable, the end product was promptly eaten up. Another similar attempt will not be repeated in the near future.

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Food & Drinks, Simplify

Strata

Not too long ago, D came home with lots of stale bread and fresh eggs from his sister. The old bread were meant for my parents-in-law’s friends who will use the bread as animal feed. Since some of the bread were still quite good, I cubed them up after removing the crusts, and stored them in the freezer for later use. The eggs, I just cleaned and store in the fridge.

Today after lunch, I used eight cups of frozen bread cubes, and nine eggs to make a casserole dish known as strata. After putting this together in less than 30 minutes, I placed the dish in the fridge so that the bread will soak up the custard properly. I may decide to bake it this evening or tomorrow morning.

I think I shall never run out of ways to use up a lot of eggs.

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Food & Drinks, Simplify

Quince Liqueur

The quince liqueur concoction has been marinating in a glass container in the utility room since last October. Today, D and I decided that it is time to bottle it up.

First, I separated the quince peels and spices from the liqueur with a metal sieve. I then poured the liqueur into two glass bottles and store these away in our booze shelf.

Then, I went to my vegetable patch to bury the filtered peels and spices along with the accumulated kitchen scraps.

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Food & Drinks, Simplify

Onion Soup

This morning, D and I went to the farmer to buy potatoes, onions and chicory roots to grow our own endives. This will be our third time planting and harvesting before the warmer days arrive. D and I had been so successful in endive planting that I am actually eating second generation endives!

While D was away this afternoon, I decided to make some onion soup based on a French bistro recipe. I did not have french bread nor cheese, so I ended up with a simplified version of this well-known classic. Next time, I shall use butter, instead of olive oil, to caramelize the onions to a golden brown. Despite missing two ingredients and looking a bit paler than the photo, the simple soup is delicious and satisfying.

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Belgium, Food & Drinks, Health

March Ahead

The month of February has come and gone in a wink of an eye. And I have successfully participated and lived through a campaign known as Tournée Minérale. This being my second time participating in the movement, I know beforehand that a month of not drinking alcohol is really not difficult. Just like in 2017, I was determined enough to say no to the temptations that crossed my path. Alcohol is not such a big deal in my life. The alcohol-less month will actually make me drink less in the long run. Win-win!

Since today is the first day of March, I may normally allow myself an alcoholic drink. However, I am not because I need to make up for that one day at the Bruges Beer Festival.

I might drink tomorrow. Or maybe a week from now. Since the days are still grey and gloomy, that refreshing glass of alcoholic drink is not necessarily and may wait…

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