A Good Man Gone


Things I remember about my brother: He was very tall, good looking and lanky, bordering on skinny as a young man, despite his impressive appetite. He liked his coffee black, and he liked to quietly have a few rather than party. He was an enthusiastic and unapologetic smoker. He was shy, but whenever he liked somebody, that was for life. He worked a job that probably bored him most of the time. But he loved movies and music, he loved scuba diving, he sure loved his big fat cars, and the job paid for all of that. He was – very deep down – a romantic. I know no other couple who, even after more than 30 years, are quite that much in love as he and his wife D. were. As far as I can tell, they were always disgustingly happy.

Last week he dropped dead, just like that. He wasn’t sick, there was no history of coronary disease, there were no warning signs. His heart simply stopped, and now he’s gone.

His name was Martin, and he may never have had his 15 minutes of fame. But he was a sweet and gentle soul, and those who knew to look beyond the gruff will be missing him sorely. I know I will. May he be happy wherever he is now.

Quick & Easy Polenta


Lunch again…? you say.

I know. But I promise, this one is worth reading (and making). It’s a wonderfully simple, not to mention 10-minutes-preparation- only meal, wholesome and filling, but not too rich. Can you tell? I love polenta – it brings back fond childhood memories. Even my scientist, head in her books mom could make Polenta ;-)!

What you will need is

Polenta, 1 cup
1 cup milk and water each
Salt and pepper to taste
A generous slosh of very good olive oil
1/2 handful of parmesan cheese (or any other gratable cheese you may have in the fridge
2 handfuls of arugula, coarsely chopped
Artichokes / sun-dried tomatoes / mushrooms / eggplant preserved in oil… even good olives will do the trick

Bring the water/milk mixture to a boil. Add polenta and let simmer for a few minutes, until it thickens. Then season to taste and add Parmesan cheese and olive oil. Stirring occasionally, let the mixture thicken some more for a few minutes. When done, the texture should resemble creamy mashed potatoes.

Serve on a plate and top with the preserve of your choice, as well as the chopped arugula.
Enjoy the Balkans!