bite, chew, chew, swallow

People used to say, (and they probably still do) “don’t bite off more than you can chew.” My genuine response to that for six years was, “don’t worry, I have a really big mouth.”

My mom had a way of teaching me to chew with my mouth closed: she’d tell me in a singsong way to “chew, chew; swallow, swallow.” I tried to sing the song while I ate. The food went everywhere and it was gross.

In high school, I wanted to take French and biology as extra subjects. They’d cost quite a bit of money to do outside of school, and my grade tutor warned me not to overwhelm myself. I wanted to tell her about this gif:

So far, this post has been full of stories of me trying to do the absolute most, and forgetting about the tiny human defect I have: being a human being. I forget that I am a person who is more than the number of things she couldn’t get done that day. I forget that forgetting to eat for two days isn’t really a good start to a semester. I forget that I get to take a step back and chew, then step down and swallow before I get back up again.

If I’m talking to you when I say what I’m about to say – and I am talking to you- listen. Take time to chew. If you’ve bitten off too much, chew slowly. Sing a song and let the food fall out of your mouth. Take care of yourself.

Keep eating. Drink some water.

I’m proud of you so far! (Spoiler alert: I always will be proud of you.)

Love and light,
shalom xo


Gingerbread Cookies Recipe | Blogmas Day 16

Today has been trying to tire myself out so that I’ll manage to get some rest. Apart from an hour’s long economics course, I didn’t succeed.

That aside, the lovely Miki from jumpingintothefog asked me ever so kindly for the recipe I used for yesterday’s gingerbread cookies. Does this make me a food blogger? Baking makes me obnoxiously happy, even though I’m usually such rubbish at it.  Hence, this my post for this week’s The Happiness Project, created by the lovely Sydney from Love, Sydney.

image courtesy of roseandlea.com

Gingerbread Cookies

What you’ll need:

  • 3 cups of flour
  • 3/4 tsp baking powder
  • pinch of salt
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup golden syrup/ maple syrup / honey/ molasses (we never have molasses, so I used syrup)
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 2 tsp ginger
  • 1/2 tsp cloves
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg

NB: the measures of the spices can be altered to your taste. You can also just as easily use, say a tablespoon and a bit of allspice?

  • 3/4 cup of softened butter or margarine
  • 3 tablespoons of milk (of your choice, just for binding etc)

How to do it:

  • Preheat oven to 180°C or 350°F.
  • Sieve flour, spices, baking powder and salt together in a large mixing bowl.
  • In a separate bowl, cream butter, milk, and sugar.
  • Mix molasses/syrup into the butter-sugar mix.
  • Gradually combine the flour mix into the butter mix until a dough is formed.

NB: If the dough is still hard at this time, add a little more milk until your desired consistency is reached. If the dough is too soft, consider adding a little bit of flour to the dough and then letting it chill in the fridge for 15-30 minutes.

  • Roll out dough onto baking paper / parchment sheet (or onto a flour dusted surface) , and cut shapes. Make sure not to roll the dough out too thinly, or the cookies will be quite hard.
  • Place cookies onto baking trays and bake at 180°C or 350°F for anywhere between 8 and 15 minutes, or until the cookies are browned to your liking. Keep an eye on these as the edges can burn quite quickly!
  • Once done, allow cookies to cool on a wire rack.

Now, the thing about these cookies is that they can be lacto-vegetarian or  vegan (for my sake). They don’t have any egg, which may contribute to their snappy-ness: the longer these are left out, the become progressively more snappy and less soft on the inside. If you want to try to avoid this, I’d suggest adding an egg to the butter mix before mixing in the flour.

The number of cookies that this recipe makes really depends on the size of your cutters.

In terms of icing, it’s just coloured royal icing which can be made in several ways, but the easiest being the following:

  • Combine a cup of icing sugar (powdered sugar? confectioner’s sugar? ring a bell?) with 1/3 cup of water.
  • Mix until the consistency is smooth, then use your own judgement to decide whether more water, or icing sugar is needed.
  • Separate the icing into [as many different colours as you want] parts, and add the required food colouring.
  • Pipe the icing onto the gingerbread cookies once they are cool!

Other recipes call for an egg, lemon juice, milk and confectioners sugar.

You should be left with some delicious cookies that probably won’t last longer than a day. I ate six today. I have no shame.

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Good luck with these! Be sure to let me know if you try them, and how they turn out!

Merry almost Christmas! 9 days left!

This is one of my favourite creepy-Christmasesque songs. It sounds a little like something out of a Tim Burton movie and I LOVE IT. Props to The Bird and The Bee!

Love and light,
shalom x

TV Break | Blogmas Day 14

To be quite honest, I don’t know what it is. I’m not sure in the slightest why I find myself watching Nigella Lawson after midnight. I don’t know why she tells people to whisk ferociously or calls mayo “gorgeously voluminous” or olive oil “rounded”. I have no clue what any of this means. I don’t know why she wants to excommunicate people over green peppers. I have no clue why she calls leeks “slave workers”.

What I do know is that I haven’t yet been back to the doctor to get my meds for December, so I haven’t managed to get much sleep or be in the best mental state. Also that the Food Network is the only quality thing on TV.

Why does she keep peppering in bad jokes and Italian words? (Possibly because the show is called Nigellissima. Idk.) What is the difference between Extra Virgin Olive Oil and regular olive oil? Why do “the purists hate garlic oil”? Maybe it’s a cooking thing, but either way, I don’t get it.

I also don’t know why I turned to the TV for a Christmas recipe that I will never make as opposed to the internet. Why is Nigella making an hour’s cake in a 40 minute episode? WHY DID SHE JUST CALL THE CHICKEN A BIRDISH BIRD AND WHY DID SHE JUST SAY I WILL HACK THIS TO PIECES? My poor vegetarian heart.

I have found no recipes I can make, but I have sat through a terrible, terrible lot of shows on MTV. Geordie Shore, Ex On The Beach and Are You The One – I’m looking at you.

I JUST SAW AN ADVERT FOR THE DOCTOR WHO CHRISTMAS SPECIAL OH MY DJAKLDKFJSBHDFJGBSJFBG. Engie LOOK. So that’s why people still watch telly.

How do TV Chefs have net worths of £32 million? I suppose it’s a job like any other job, and people work just as hard to become five star chefs as they do to become Doctors? Perhaps that’s an insult – to the doctors or the Chefs? Ooh, Eastenders is coming back!

I have only been awake for 14 hours today, so getting to sleep now won’t be easy. But I do have an interview, and as they say in the land of capitalism, cash is king.

To better days, and better TV!

Love and light,
shalom x

Christmas Party | Blogmas Day 13

This post is a day late because there was a party and I woke up at 1:13 PM.


Today, we had people over. A lot of them. My sister is a med student, and we had the pleasure of hosting her entire crew from her hospital elective.  All 25-ish of them plus our seven person family made for an interesting night.

We started the day off by relaxing at the Rosebank Sunday Market. I managed to find more presents and got our tree to look significantly less miserable by taking some time off to wrap gifts.

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Then, the cooking began. I was in charge of the braai (barbecue for you non-South Africans) and the bruschetta. Both turned out really well, and the bruschetta was SUCH a hit. I felt a lot like Nigella the entire time I was making it. In any case, it was a great start to a night that could have gone entirely worse than it did.

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The atmosphere was super relaxed and vibey, and I couldn’t have asked for a nicer day out. The sun, thankfully, was not trying to roast us all (for the first time this summer) and everyone was really kind to each other! Until we started playing 30 Seconds. Then…we were just kind. Or, at least, tried to be.

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The view from our roof is probably my favourite thing about our house, and the super cute but also KICK ASS AND SAVE LIVES med students made it all the more beautiful.

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Most of the med students were so lovely! Apart from the fact that they kept talking about med student stuff, the conversation was good, and the laughs under the starry sky were 100% all I could ask for. After most people left, we had a fat chat with The Internationals about sex ed, giraffes, clubbing, the price of parking in Sydney and the Aurora Borealis. We watched lightning crack and managed to catch the Geminids meteor shower at its peak, and I saw so many shooting stars and made so many wishes and IT WAS JUST SO GREAT. 

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imagine that you can see the stars. just imagine.

I’ve had a good day. I’m happy with the beers in the fridge and the chipping nail polish and the mess that is my room. I’m skyping with my person soon and I’m all round happy with Blue Neighbourhood blasting in the background.

To shooting stars – die sternschnuppen – and the wishes we made on them. To more nights like the last.

Love and light,
Shalom

 

Scoot on ~ the joy of 3am snacks

I eat a lot. And I’m not saying that as one of those tall skinny minnies who eat four biscuits and mourn for themselves, in the form of, “Ohmigaad, I ate, like, 4 biscuits. Like four! Oh my gosh, I’m like, gonna get like, super fat!” No, I’m not like that. Best believe that when I say I eat or ate a lot, I ate an awful lot. And I guess I can just be like a normal kid and eat a lot when there’s food available, i.e. dinner. No, not me- you see I just have to be that kid who goes and has 3am snacks.

You read right, not midnight snacks. 3 AM SNACKS. As in 3 in the morning. According to Troye Sivan,Midnight snacks are reserved for people who make an actual contribution to society, whereas 3am snacks are reserved to those of us who make NO social contribution at all.”  The link to the video is here ->  www.youtube.com/watch?v=fMwJdx6QRxk

So the point that I’ve been beating around is that I eat a hell of a lot. Being a ballet dancer, I guess im not supposed to eat a bowl of ice-cream with cookies and syrup in it (I know it sounds gross, but it is heavenly). I probably eat 143 times a day, and I’m not talking little snacks. I mean I eat everything. Except meat, being vegetarian and all.

On that subject, apparently once you become a vegetarian, you’re said to lose a hell of a lot of weight due to cutting out this huge part of your diet (read about that here, on my friend’s blog: http://nerdlymusings.wordpress.com/2013/06/12/oh-to-be-a-vegetarian/). I never had any of that, any “Oh I’m getting so thin my collar bones have become keyhooks” Or “Look how much weight I’ve lost, my ribs are poking out”–NEVER.

And I don’t know why, maybe it had to do with the fact that im already relatively thin, or that I have a super fast metabolism. Egh, really it’s a mystery I’d rather not care about, to be honest. I think 3am snacks are valuable to human life,and everyone should have them once in a while. I mean, if you’re like me, it’ll result in a sleepy mother running down the stairs telling you how if she ever sees you in that kitchen after 10 pm, there’ll be dire consequences (in which case you continue eating at 3 am) Or maybe your stepmom will be in the kitchen drinking cough syrup when she see’s you chowing on the crackers in the pantry and asks “What the hell are you doing?” (in which case you reply with “couldn’t sleep” and carry all food to your bedroom). I don’t know, to each their own.

If you’ve never had a 3am snack, I think you’re missing out. Because the joy of such a snack is simply found in the fact that everyone is asleep. Except you, and you can just eat, and eat, and eat, and eat…

I guess that an upside is that if anyone ever asks you “what do you do at 3am” you have an answer, while everyone’s  will be something super lame, like “Um, sleeping?”

In the case that my confessions of being an avid early morning snacker have scared you, I think it’s because you’ve never tried it. I mean, after that first 3am snack, you’ll never be the same. I guess once you go snack, you never go back!

You all are all so lovely, I’d love it if you’d drop a comment and make my day 😀 thanks beautiful peeplos! 😀

All my love all the time,

-Scoot xx