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.

Health, Human Nature, Simplify

Calligraphy, Math & Python

I am one of those people who will never get tired (nor too old) of learning and improving my skills.

This morning, I practiced calligraphy on unwanted paper. This way, I may reduce and recycle the paper mountain ever so slowly and also improve my brush strokes. Writing Chinese characters has always been a challenge to me since my primary school days. In my younger days, I could never find the time nor patience to achieve a decent standard in calligraphy. Maybe now…

In the afternoon, I did some online mathematics quizzes. Damn, it felt like playing an intriguing computer game. After that quick hour of math, I went on to the next challenge I set up for myself. I began to look into and try to learn a programming language called Python. I already know six human languages, why not learn a non-human one and see how far that goes?

It is never too late to learn something.

Food & Drinks, Health, Simplify

No Breakfast

I grew up believing that breakfasts are the most important meals of the day. That one’s life will be unhealthy and duly shortened if one skips this very important meal.

One of my unpleasant childhood memories would be the mornings when I had to force myself to eat before school. There was also that disgusting feeling of having to puke afterwards because I ate hastily and under pressure…

According to this article, my responses toward breakfasts were not entirely abnormal. I have always believe that my body knows itself well. That I do not eat breakfast because I just simply do not need that meal so early in the day!

So from now on, I shall not feel bad for not having a meal in the morning. It is okay if lunch becomes the first meal of my day.

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.

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.

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.