Belgium, Events, Food & Drinks

Bicycles, Beers & Wontons

Yesterday was the first day of the International Beer Festival at Zwevegem. Despite the fact that I was having a dizzy spell, D had managed to convince me that we should cycle there. Having done it once before, and not wanting anyone of us to drink and drive, I agreed. Now that I am better at cycling, the 6-kilometre bike ride was not as daunting and was quite enjoyable. And holy crap, a glass of well-chilled beer can be so ridiculously good when one had to huff and puff to get to the location of the festival.

This afternoon, most of the neighbours will get together for the last speelstraat. I made some wontons in the early afternoon, to be fried up and served when D and I join the drinking later in the day. It is a small gesture on our part. We are not kids haters and definitely can be friendly and generous in our own ways.

Summer is almost over and I suspect that my tenting nights are rather numbered…

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Food & Drinks, Simplify

Hot & Cold Tomatoes

The abundance of tomatoes this summer has become a fun challenge to me.

When the days are cloudy and cooler, I make tomato onion chutney. When it is hot and dry, it is time for sun-dried tomatoes. The jars of chutney may be stored in the fridge and will keep for a month. According to what I read on the internet, sun-dried tomatoes have a significant shelf life of years! I doubt mine will last the next months because I just cannot stop myself from eating them.

If I ever get tired of the tomato soups, the sun-drying and the chutneys, I will chop up fresh raw tomatoes and freeze them in my muffin form. This way, I will have portioned tomatoes pieces in the freezer. Cooking with home grown tomatoes during the winter months is a wonderful thing.

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Belgium, Food & Drinks, Jibber Jabber

Adapt Or Die

This morning, I ate a self-made tomato shallot chutney for breakfast. The jammy tomato concoction which I spread generously on pieces of bread is utterly yummy. I had to stop myself from finishing the whole jar at one sitting. Fortunately, I do not have any cheese at home!

As a result of yesterday’s cooling wind, today’s temperature hovered around the comfortable mid-20s. Enjoy it while it last, people. Tomorrow we are going to hit the 30s again.

My latest batch of sun-dried tomatoes are stored in jars marked as ‘heat-wave tomatoes’. Since I only have one fresh tomato in the fruit basket, I shall think of another menu-experiment-project for the following days.

Adapt or die, baby…

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Food & Drinks

No Water Added

This morning, I made tomato soup according to a French bistro recipe. At first, I was a bit doubtful of a soup recipe which does not have water as one of its ingredients. But with one glass of white wine and some very succulent tomatoes, the soup turned out really good. There… my first waterless soup!

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Food & Drinks, Simplify

Stir-Fried Lettuce

Chinese do not usually eat raw vegetables. So being from Chinese ancestry, I have been eating stir-fried lettuce when growing up in Malaysia.

Now living in a land of abundance, I realised that this happens to be the easiest and fastest way to get rid of a whole lot of lettuce. All you need to do is to cook the lettuce leaves in a little bit of vegetable oil, add some garlic and a dash of oyster sauce. This method allows you to reduce a whole head of lettuce into just a bowl of green veggie goodness. You may eat this with rice, noodles, or heck I put it in between my bread.

I might be the inventor of the stir-fried lettuce sandwich?!

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Food & Drinks

Asparagus Risotto

I have a box of frozen asparagus peels and ends that I saved since March. In order to make room in the freezer, I made an asparagus broth which I then used in a risotto. The recipe I found on-line calls for a bit of white wine but I did not care to open up a new bottle for that. So my version, this time, is halal.

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Food & Drinks, Travels

Artichoke

Yesterday, D and I crossed the border to do some grocery in France. The distance is not an issue to me because the French border is just a few minutes drive away. Nonetheless, the fact that it is a different country and economy prevents me from making this a habit. Cross-border grocery shopping is only done a handful of times a year.

For dinner tonight, I shall cook and eat my 99 cents artichoke. It has been a while…

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Food & Drinks

Strawberry Clafoutis

I have been harvesting strawberries for the past few days. Since I do not consume them fast enough, they are piling up in the fridge. So, this afternoon, I decided to turn my harvested strawberries into a sauce which I may pour onto ice creams and baked goods. Five minutes before I start, I changed my mind and made a strawberry clafoutis instead.

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Belgium, Food & Drinks

Meat Direct

With all the road works and re-routing, it took D and I a while to reach a particular cattle farm in Wakken. Our purpose was to purchase meat directly from the breeder and butcher. No additives, no hormones, no middle-man, and only cash.

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