geekery, drawing and then some
I recently went on a trip to the UK and made a few drawings. This first one I made while we waited for the ferry to cross over with. As a kid I got sea-sick a lot so this trip gave me the opportunity to see if I'd still get sea-sick. See how I try to give it a positive twist?
Yeah, it didn't go so well...
We had some afternoon tea and some food at Tiny Tim's Tearoom where I made a drawing of a chair and a birth-bath. Halfway through my drawing things got moved.
Another time we had tea and food at Cafe 22. I loved the little teapot/cup set and we searched around for them at the shops, but couldn't find them. I ended up ordering a set over the internet, ah well.
We went to London for a bit too and I tried drawing St. Paul's Cathedral from Tate Modern. Lots of wind, so my pens rolled of the table and my pages flipped over. That, and I misguessed the amount of space I needed. Ah, well :)
I made ice-lollies. I quit sugar last sunday (meaning, refined sugar, not the kind found naturally in fruit, veg, honey and such). The heat wave decided to test me or something.
I used my fancy ladybug shaped vegetable peeler to peel two pears, and added a banana. I blended until somewhat smooth -- ooh chunks of fruit in ice-cream! -- and then poured the mixture in the ice-lollie-shapes I had. With one left, I added some lemonade, because that always works.
And I made drawings of it.
I stepped out of my comfort zone for this, quite literally. I stood in my kitchen drawing this and found that I prefer sitting down for my drawing. Standing cramps up my other arm, the one holding the book.
But still, here you have it. Instructions on how to make fruity ice-lollies. I did add a bit of maple-syrup though I wonder if I really needed too.
And I love my new vegetable peeler! It slips right onto my fingers and I can use my whole hand to peel.
I made two more salads from the lettuce on balcony. The mini lettuces grew a bit bigger than expected but do deliver 'one head per person', which works out great for me.
The first salad I made with one head of mini oak leaf lettuce (weighing in at 74 grams) and some loose leaves (24 grams)[^fn1], and a bunch of rucola flowers. They seem to grow well and the flowers taste sweet. I chopped up some tomatoes and orange bell pepper from the store, and added some chunks of marinated artichoke-hearts. To give it some more protein, I added salad cheese (like feta, but lighter).
The second salad I made with another head of oak leaf lettuce (69 grams) and some loose leaves (20 grams)[^fn2] . I also added rucola flowers, and some red leaves(HG) to give it more colour. I used mostly water pepper which tastes a bit spicy, very nice, and added the rest of the orange pepper. For protein I grilled some shrimp for ten minutes or so in a mixture of olive oil, garlic, chopped scallion(HG) and some parsley(HG).
I try to add more protein to my salads currently. As far as animal protein goes, I can only stomach(pun very much intended) seafood, cheese, eggs and sometimes a bit of yoghurt, which I'll use for the dressing mostly. Luckily for me they don't cause any allergic reaction, so yaay for that :)
I seem to do much better with a mostly vegs and fruit base, which brings on some interesting challenges. On the very good side, it doesn't fill me up very much.
Maybe next time I'll draw the shrimp before grilling them. Or after, since they have to cool down anyway...
Total harvest: 187 grams of lettuce, woohoo!
[fn1]: a total of 98 grams of lettuce
[fn2]: a total of 89 grams of lettuce
Today I made another salad, a great way to let of some steam creativity wise. I read somewhere salads look (and taste) better if they have more colours, so I added some yellow and red and brown to my greens.
I've grown some lettuce (cut-and-come-again variety), and today I started eating it. I cut off about 15 grams of it, and added some arugula and garden cress for flavour. I also tossed in a sprout mixture of fenugreek, mustard, daikon and horseradish (last three all fairly spicy). I found some leftover sweet bell pepper (yellow) in the fridge, along with a few cherry tomatoes. After I added those I still felt it needed some more. I chopped up some shiitake mushrooms and grilled them with a sauce of soy sauce, rice vinegar and sesame oil (very tasty by itself btw).
When the mushrooms cooled down a bit, I plopped them on the salad and used the small oven-dish to mix up some more soy sauce, sesame oil and rice vinegar. I used this as a dressing over the salad, preparing it in the used oven-dish gave it a bit more of a grilled taste, very nice!
I have sown plenty of salad-greens and decided I could use a challenge (oh yes, another challenge!). I want to try my best at not buying any salad greens in the store until at leas way into autumn. This excludes eating out, but includes all salads at home :D
I should get my box of shiitake mushrooms started soon too. It will take a while before I can use my own tomatoes and peppers in my salads, however, I have a lot of greens already. I like salads, I should manage to pull this one off :)
--p.s. recipes for salads and dressing very welcome--
I haven't drawn in a while, even though I want to. I can't seem to muster up the will or the courage, or whatever. I have also spent more time gardening, the season started again after all. I've sown plenty of plants and herbs, some didn't work and some I killed. Others seem to do fine and I'll put them out as soon as possibly.
I've channeled my few creative juices towards making myself salads, yesterday and today. I even went as far as buying a plate for the purpose. Salads look so much better on a white plate than on a blue-grey one.
Although the balcony has yet to produce a complete salads, I have used bits of balcony-plants to make my salads. I've sown a lot of salad-related plants, so guess what I'll eat a lot of ;)
The first one I made today, with mixed lettuce, arugula, cherry tomatoes, pickled onions and an egg from the store, drizzled with a blendered tofu dressing mixed up with some olive oil, vinegar, lemon juice and herbs from the balcony (chives, spring onion, garlic greens and leaf celery). It got a bit chunky, like mayonnaise, so I blopped it on. I then sprinkled some salt, pepper and spicy paprika over the dish. Tasted great.
The second one I made yesterday, with the same mixed lettuce, arugula, pickled onions, and cucumber. I threw a few pieces of quorn filet on it and drizzled it with a mixture of yo-fresh (mayonnaise made with yoghurt), mustard, honey and balsamic vinegar. The lighter and small green leaves on the edge of the plate came from the balcony, and I added a few tiny sprigs of balcony-arugula.
Still working on those salad skills...
For some time now I wanted to try sprouting seeds in a (hemp) bag and when I found some on Ebay, I ordered them. I soaked some seeds (quinoa, lentils, sunflower and broccoli) and put them in the bags today. They should sprout soon.
I like the idea of sprouting bags. You soak the seeds for a few hours or overnight, and you soak the bag. Then you place the seeds into the wet bag and let that drip for a bit. After a few minutes or so it'll stop and you can hang it wherever you like. I kept mine over the sink, to make sure it doesn't drip all over the floor. Will make more photos in a few days. :)
I've tried a few gluten-free options this week, including a pre-made gluten-free bread. It doesn't taste much like wheat-bread and it crumbs easily without having that spongey texture -- somewhat like a loaf cake -- but it works as a base to spread something (peanutbutter, creame cheese) on and it gave me no issues. Success!
Today I also tried some quinoa with grilled shiitakes and that didn't go so well. I thought the quinoa did not work for me, however, on testing, it turns out the shiitake caused the problems. When I checked the date it had passed its sell by date for some time already, oops. The rest of the quinoa went well, so I'll call it success too, hurray!
I found out it helps a lot if I keep on snacking / eating all day long. It prevents those moments I feel blown up because I ate too much. This makes it clear to me I have to stick to eating small meals, because my body can't handle the bigger once -- unlike some other people in my family.
Some time after surgery I went to see a dietician and she told me to eat at least 150 gram potatoes, 200 grams of veggies and a good chunk of meat (100-150 gram) for dinner1. This qualifies as a normal meal, for people with a stomach. This will never ever fit into me during a normal dinnertime. Apart from the amount, the time I need to eat has changed too. It takes longer. I could technically eat the above meal in around 2 hours or so. I don't like that, I don't want to spend more than 30 minutes on each meal, unless I go out to eat with friends. I want to have time away from food too :)
- This, by the way, despite me telling her at the beginning that I don't eat meat and she still thought she had to suggest the 100-150 gram portion, and suggest it several times. Stoopid. And tiring. ↩
[gallery link="file"] I got a pretty good harvest today, thanks to the sweet pepper-plant I bought. I harvested two of those small peppers, one small cucumber and three little tomatoes (I grow mostly small varieties because the plants usually also stay smaller). What started out as a way to keep the sun out in the summer has turned into this contest with myself, seeing how much of my own food I can grow on my own balcony. No need to blame the recession here, I enjoy doing this ;) I have watched tons of movies on Youtube and read websites about growing your own food and the more I watch the more I realise I could still grow more!
I have this feeling people start to look at me oddly, as if I've gone crazy... I haven't, really ;)