Time Is Fleeting

An old friend posted a video of clouds passing overhead on his IG yesterday, asking ‚when was the last time you just watched clouds passing by?‘ in the hashtag. Funnily enough, this was precisely what I had been doing myself before I took my phone to check my IG. He lives on the East Coast in the States, I’m in Europe – and there we were, doing the exact same thing, and even the skies looked similar – partly cloudy ;-).IMG_E6670Not having enough time for xyz is a common pet peeve. We all complain about not getting around to accomplishing this or that, or about days being too short, or about having too little quality time with our loved ones. Our days are organized in ways that leave little room for improvisation – work, school, afternoon activities, exercise, chores, appointments … all these Regular Must Dos sometimes make it hard to find room for just about anything that doesn’t have a timeline.

As a person who works from home, my life is blessed in terms of my not having to run somewhere everyday for work. I love that, even if it sometimes means I have to hop when a client says frog, no matter if I’m on vacation or not. It just sort of fell into place this way over the years, and it works out well for everyone – even though my teenager would appreciate more alone time sometimes. On the other hand, he also appreciates me proofing his school assignments, a handy thing if you’re as dyslexic as he is.

And now I have, like, a dog, to quote Detective Rosa Diaz from Brooklyn 99. Regular bathroom breaks, even if they’re not scheduled, do need to happen, and one long walk per day is a must to keep him (and myself) happy and balanced. What this inevitably cuts into is my crafts time. My husband who is both a smart dude and a planner pointed this out in advance, not that I was paying a lot of attention. Before Charlie moved in, I was concerned with things like ‚will he even be happy with us‘, ‚will he be able to cope with city life‘, and ‚how the heck will he and our old kitty get along‘.

Having a cat as a pet, you can pretty much pick up your crafts project whenever you’re done with work and have no other, child-related obligations. With a dog, this is obviously not the case. Walking the pup takes up 2 hours, every day. I do try to get my friends to go with me, so I get to see them even if I don’t go out at night much, and Charlie thankfully doesn’t mind my chatting to someone while he’s off the leash doing his thing. But time for crafts has become scarce, and this is why I only have a measly half of a sock to show – which I made when watching movies at night when the dog was tired enough to simply sleep, without needing me to play, or cuddle.img_1174.jpgThis was yesterday morning when I thought it would be a good time to continue knitting sweet A.’s pair of birthday socks. It wasn’t really happening until later at night when watching a few episodes of Elementary. This is how far I’ve gotten over 1 week:img_1182.jpgSo not a lot of crafts, more walking, less watching the clouds – but all in all, life isn’t so bad.

And since dog or not, we do need to eat, here’s my version of hummus. It’s a mix of my lovely princess N.’s tahini recipe and the hummus tahini I got to know and love in Greece, in another lifetime.

Hummus My Way

1 can chickpeas

2–3 TBSP tahin paste

1/2 clove garlic

Salt to taste

1/2 tsp cumin

Generous squeeze of lemon

6 TBSP olive oil

2 TBSP water

Yogurt to taste

Puree the chickpeas with the garlic and the olive oil to a consistency of your liking – mine turned out a bit on the chunkier side, because ancient stick blender, sigh. Add tahin, salt, lemon juice and cumin to taste. Stir thoroughly to make a smooth paste. If you’d like the mixture to be creamier, add a bit of water and/or yogurt. You could put some chili or pepper, but I actually prefer hummus to have its natural, nutty flavor rather than being spicy.

Enjoy with bread, veggie sticks, crackers or on a sandwich.

Thank you for reading, and have a productive day :-).

Ten Foods for Growing-ups at Our House

img_3438.jpgMy children are – among other things – the light of my life, the apple of my eye, my heart of hearts … and I know few things better than seeing them tuck into something I made, and knowing they think I’m a master chef or at the very least the best cook they know. As sweet as that is, it’s of course not true. But I try, and I’d say I am a decent cook, and I also know that I can whip up meals for children in my sleep, no problem.

When I first began to cook, I learned from my dad, and after I lost him way too early at 15, I taught myself. I ate my way through many European countries, North America,  Egypt, Brazil and Thailand (don’t even want to do the math of how much money I spent in restaurants in my life). I read cookbooks, studied them, really, and I have absorbed information on technique, methods, food stuffs and recipes for 4 decades, putting theory into practice every day since I moved out at 17.

It has been a gradual process for me that got me to the point of refusing to put up with bad food. It’s such an unnecessary waste of calories, and seeing how most of us could stand to lose a few, shouldn’t eating actually be pleasurable, and healthy too? I’m not even talking about (very occasional) cravings for a Big Mac, or a Falafel sandwich, or a Terrible Taco. It’s the convenience junk many people eat at their house when they think they’re cooking I’m more concerned about. You may believe you’re preparing a meal when instead all you do is re-heat the flavor-enhancer-laden gunk Monsanto or Kraft Foods want consumers to believe is actually nutritious. It’s bad, it makes us fat and it doesn’t even keep us happy.

Forgive my rant, this is actually not what I wanted to write about  :-). Got sidetracked. What I did want to do is enumerate a few recipes I love but my brood do not. Yes, there most certainly are foods like that. And on occasion, I cook them, too. Let me show you.

First and foremost: polenta! I grew up on it in the Balkans, and I’ve never stopped loving it. In this picture, I topped it with baby artichokes dressed with a bit of garlic, lemon and arugula. IMG_1630Second of all: Risotto! For whatever reason the kids don’t like it (probably good for husband’s and my waistline), because we both do, a lot. Below, as you can see, it’s topped with green asparagus.IMG_3546Third, oddly, ratatouille. They will eat tomato sauce, they will eat peppers (zucchini not so much), but for some reason they will not touch this wonderful celebration of summery vegetables.IMG_2411Fourth, sadly, they won’t have anything to do with pumpkins. This was a dish I threw together for my son’s veggie ex girlfriend – a ginger and rosemary flavored cream sauce with cubed hokkaido and its summery cousin, courgettes. S. loved it, as did I, but my kids did not :-/.IMG_0265The next one, fifth, is a fifty-fifty miss. Son detests it, daughter enjoys it – lemon and garlic chicken thighs and vegetables baked in the oven. IMG_0508.JPGThe sixth again unites the disdain of the youngsters: Leeks Quiche – husband and I think it’s wonderful, kids won’t even look at it. Leeks, ew! Quiche, how could you!IMG_1838The seventh is for me only, because there’s no love from the others at our house for the Tortilla Española.IMG_1481Eighth, Arabic fish in cumin flavored tomato sauce, with a handful of capers and bay leaf. It’s heavy on the garlic and absolutely yummy – thank you, habibati N., for sharing.

Okay, ninth is a broccoli or cauliflower casserole, gratinéed with a Bèchamel sauce and strong cheese. Lovely, but hated with a passion by the next generation.IMG_9368Tenth, astonishingly enough, is home made apple sauce. It’s what I have when the kiddos eat rice pudding ;-). The plate you see below contains both, but that’s just for show.IMG_0724.JPGTastes change over the years – this is a status quo of a 17 year old’s and a ten years old’s least favorites. It may not be valid in the future.

Should anybody be interested in recipes for any of the above, please ask. This week is a good one for writing just for fun, so best take advantage of that.

And enjoy your food, whatever it is you will be cooking today. Of course, I’m also interested to know what that is. Let me know!


Is Being Right Stupid?

Hi stitch readers, this is your wayward host who, unlike last year, had a Very Busy Summer. There were things I wanted to write about, but I just couldn’t find the time. My days were tightly packed, what with caring and catering for the vacationing brood, my City Dog who had great difficulties finding his footing out in the country, and managing a substantial workload. It was what it was, and I’m happy I was asked to translate this book. The timeframe could have used some work, but translators can’t be choosers, I guess. Anyway, a busy few weeks, with way too brief daily windows by the lakeshore (still, better than just a park in the city, no contest).IMG_0541So, I may have written about this network I’ve been a member of for more than a decade before. It’s a women only organization, and the members are professional writers, journalists, copywriters, authors, translators, proofreaders or editors. I joined when I was still in advertising, and it’s been an off and on relationship for me. Most of my jobs don’t come from there, but I appreciate being a member nonetheless. If nothing else, I’m learning things I would never have known otherwise, my professional life being sort of narrow. I’ve come to like a number of the ladies, even though I can count the ones I’ve actually met in RL on one hand. There are regular meet-ups and workshop weekends. I usually don’t go, but many of the ladies do, and some have been friends for years. That said, this is not true for all of them. It stands to reason, the network having about 600 members.

Just a few weeks ago, there was an incident I’ve been wanting to write about. One of the authors, who evidently used to suffer from a severe, chronic intestinal condition, posted a recommendation for a person offering alternative medicine who was able to help her with her ailment. So far, so good. Next thing that happened, another author heavily criticized the alternative medicine offering doctor for using medically unsound practices. An astonishingly violent kerfuffle ensued, the ladies had WORDS, and what could have been amicably discussed with a final „agree to disagree“ ended with personal insults, fat-shaming and the original poster leaving the network in a huff, after having been called out by a few members for unacceptable netiquette. She did not apologize.

My personal opinion on alternative medicine notwithstanding, I could see where both parties were coming from. One gleefully sang the praises of what, to her, must have felt like a miracle healing. The other was pointing out the dangers of these types of non-scientifically evidenced methods, having been subjected to terrible and irresponsible treatment for autism as a child. Both posters‘ educational backgrounds are in science.

Both insisted on being right, and since the first poster came from an emotional rather than science-based point of view, her arguments were not factual from the get-go. She was the one who dropped the slurs. The other poster, an expert on suspicious treatment methods, has been on the warpath against quacks who promise healing anything from cancer through autism to homosexuality (yes, this is still considered a treatable condition in some places!) for years. Her personal experience has been a bad one, unlike the first poster’s, who by all appearances, actually got better after getting the treatment.

Forgive this lengthy introduction. I need to give a bit of context, even though it has nothing to do with what actually gave me pause about this. This network is remarkable for the professionalism, the diversity (even if there are no men), and most of all, the overall kind tone of voice. There’s a serious zero bitching policy, and that makes it quite unique, in my opinion, for this is not true for a lot of other platforms! As my new favorite TV character, David Rose from Schitt’s Creek, so eloquently put it „The Internet is a breeding ground for freaks!“

So, long story short, both these ladies were so intent on being right that what could have been an interesting debate resulted in a heap of broken glass. It was the one who resorted to personal insult who chose to leave, btw. She was not even shown the door, that’s how kind this network is.

The question I’ve been asking myself is: What the hell is it that makes being right so important in the first place? Why do people risk friendships, or jobs, or even their lives for being right? Greater minds than mine have probably written Very Smart Things about this, I haven’t done any research. I know people have died for their convictions, Jesus Christ, Galileo Galilei, tons of political activists whose names are long forgotten … this is not the same, though, right. It’s just a simple difference of opinion, for f…’s sake, and frankly, the whole thing left me bewildered.

I’m no stranger to disagreement in my own relationship, Lord knows. But ultimately, there always comes a point where I say: You know what? We’ll just remember it your way, or, let’s just leave it at that, or, let’s agree to disagree. Why some people would rather be alone in their knowledge of being right than co-exist with others who see things differently, is beyond me. Is it really so hard to tolerate a view other than our own?

If you have any insight, I’d appreciate your explanation/s. And thank you for reading this far, if you did :-).

What else is there to tell? I stumbled upon a few days off the very last week of the summer break, as my client whom I’m translating the cookbook for up and went on vacation. He would have saved me some anxiety had he mentioned this before, and if I ever get hired by this publishing house again, I’ll be sure to discuss both the time-frame and the actual amount of work up front. As it was, I was simply happy to not touch the computer for a few days, and hang out with my husband and kids instead.IMG_1083


IMG_1071IMG_1079 My birthday came and went, and there were no guests other than my sweet niece M. and her boyfriend – which was actually a good thing because I was forced to put up my feet, as I’d pulled a muscle in my calf a few days before and could neither walk nor drive or even stand for longer than a few minutes. F—ing painful, these injuries. IMG_0956.JPGMy gift this year (received a few weeks early) was the pup, and I’m so happy with him being in our lives that it makes him the Best Birthday Gift Ever, hands down.

I had absolutely zero time for crafts this time around, and all I did was whip up a tiny sock, as a voucher for my daughter’s friend’s birthday gift in the car back home.

I took the last pic the night before we came home – and to me it’s the most perfect memory of all the six weeks past. May you have a peaceful start into the new school year, and those of you lucky enough to still have vacations to look forward to, have a beautiful late summer.IMG_1081

Food for Very Hot Days

Hi stitch readers, nice of you to drop in despite the infrequent installments over the last few weeks. Sorry but sometimes RL gets in the way of the online business, I’m sure you can relate. I was busy with work, the typical last weeks of school madness and the slings and arrows of getting into the groove of life with a dog (who is adored by everyone except our old lady cat :-(().IMG_0465.jpg

IMG_5985All in all, taking care of the pup has been much less of an adjustment than I would have thought, and I’ve adapted to my new routine with ease. Walking a dog is as good a purpose for leaving the house as I can think of, and probably really healthy for me to boot, because we all know how most types of exercise bore me. I’ve found out that both pup and I prefer walking in the forest rather than at the park, so most mornings that’s where we go after the kids leave the house at 8.IMG_6629So, summer break. Some years this means nothing to do for a couple weeks other than catering to the youngsters and driving them to this beach or that. Other years it simply means working in a different place (as of last week, the country cottage). This year being one of the latter, I never really stop working unless it’s the weekend, and sometimes not even then. But what with the heatwave we’re experiencing, it sure is pleasant to be out here, with the lake a mere 5 minutes away.IMG_0547Eating when it’s well in the 30s (Celsius) is a challenge because unlike some, I’m unable to survive on ice-cream alone. You can’t really not eat, because despite the heat you get hungry. And even though for some odd reason watermelon makes me really full, that is also not exactly satisfying when what your body really wants is something savory.

So today, my son requested a chilled tomato soup. That was, as it turns out, a genius idea, for this awesomeness is how it turned out:IMG_E0692It would probably have benefited from a handful of croutons, but really who can be bothered when it’s 37 °C?! Not me. You want to make this? Here’s how.

Tremendous Tomato and Basil Soup, Chilled

1 shallot

1 green onion, the white bulb portion

1 fat clove of garlic

1 handful of parsley

2 handfuls of basil

5 sprigs of thyme

1 vegetable broth cube

2 cans tomatoes

1/2 l tomato juice

1 large carrot, sliced

4 TBSP olive oil

1 slice of lemon

salt, pepper and sugar to taste

1/2 tsp chili flakes

1 bay leaf

1 small jar capers in brine

Peel and chop the vegetables and herbs, stalks and all. Heat the olive oil and sauté your chopped vegetables and herbs. Pour in some water and add the broth. Add sugar, salt and pepper, as well as the slice of lemon. Bring to a boil. Add the canned tomatoes and cook for 30 minutes with a closed lid so the flavors can combine.

Take off the heat and remove the bay leaf and the lemon slice. Puree with a stick blender. Then (sorry, but you’ll have to, or it won’t have the elegant, silky quality we’re aiming for) pass through a sieve. You may have to do this in batches. Discard the coarse stuff. Add to the strained soup the tomato juice, chili flakes and capers, along with their brine – it adds to the tartness of the soup. Check your seasoning.

Chill the soup thoroughly. If you’re impatient and/or very hungry like we were today, you might as well freeze it – the flavor won’t suffer, I promise.

Garnish with a basil leaf or two. Add to your heart’s desire: mozzarella, Parmesan shavings, feta cheese, goat cream cheese, a dollop of crème fraîche, or croutons. And enjoy :-).

After taking an evening walk with the pup, we were all sweaty and exhausted (it was still 36 °C), and after a shower, I had both a craving and an idea. Peach milkshakes, I thought. We did have a bunch of fresh peaches, and an orange, as well as some frozen pieces of mango, and some vanilla ice cream. The stick blender did its job. It was really, really yummy, and just what I needed after the insane heat of the day.img_0696.jpgThis is how we made our concoction:

Peachy Milkshakes

4 peaches or nectarines (or more to taste)

1 orange, squeezed

4 TBSP frozen mango

4 scoops vanilla ice cream

1/2 lemon, squeezed

1 TBSP brown sugar

1 cup milk

Puree all ingredients with a blender, add some water if the shake is too thick for your taste, and drink up!

And finally, since it was the weekend, and my wayward son came back after 2 days of partying in the city, I also made these, feeling way more like a stay-at-home-mom than I would like:IMG_0679I’m well aware I’ve written up cinnamon buns before, but it’s only recently that I thought of making them look like a bunch of roses from the top – all you really need to do it set them in a round baking dish, next to each other, and voilà, you have this very pretty piece of baking on your hands. The recipe is the same as here. Only they look a lot prettier like this, aaand they don’t dry out as they might do if baked as individual rolls. If they even last long enough to, teehee. This batch was gone after a day :-), and there was only three of us!

So, have a most excellent summer, everyone. I may or may not be back soon with more food stuff. Translating really good recipes is always an inspiration ;-).IMG_0550

Crochet Flowers, Again & Life Choices

IMG_0154These will be a bunch of embellished hair ties once I’m done with them – and I hope they will sell well at the Summer Fayre in June. In case you like the idea and wonder how to make them, can I direct you to this post where I’ve tried to explain how to go about it?

To make the embellished hairties, IIMG_0171– darned in the two threads from the yarn I used for the petals (turquoise) …

IMG_0174– tied the other two securely around a hairtie that seems to fit, made three knots, and then darned in the two leftover threads (navy blue).

IMG_0175Tadah, a nice, summery little flower hairtie made. If you want to go all in, you can additionally put a small blob of hot glue in the back, to further secure the darned in threads and increase the general longevity of the item. As a mom of a notorious hairtie losin‘ li’l lassie, however, I can tell you now you best be Zen about the thing not being around for long anyway, so it may not even be worth the trouble.

When I began making the flowers last Saturday at the school crafternoon, I had a number of enthusiastic helpers, some very young and some my age. Watching excited and inquisitive Charlie while showing the helpers the moves _and_ trying to get some crocheting done myself was challenging to say the least, and I confess I was WIPED afterwards.

It always takes a pound of flesh out of me to deal with groups of people (I’ve said more as to why already). It helped that I didn’t have more than 3 people at my table at a time. But suffice it to say that I am just not cut out to be a teacher, even though people always say I have a knack for explaining. Ultimately, I’m just a very polite person, I guess :-).

Crafts stuff aside, taking in young Charlie has required me to make a few changes. Life has taken a different turn in ways I hadn’t anticipated, and accommodating the pup’s needs has forced me to prioritize, much like I had to when I had my son in the early aughts.

Despite all the endorphins (the dog makes me sooo happy), my resilience is far from infinite. In fact, one night last week, I completely lost it. I was having a bit of a day. I drove my daughter to hockey practice only to learn I wasn’t supposed to bring Charlie to the grounds at all. So we took a long walk around the neighborhood until it started raining and we ended up waiting in the car. I had forgotten to eat, so I was hangry when we came home, and I yelled at the kids for not helping with chores. I felt a surge of guilt because I had literally no time for the kitty anymore because, possessive dog, hello! And then of course I was feeling guilty for snapping at the kids for being lazy sumbitches, because I felt it was me who made them inconsiderate because I spoil them, doing stuff for them all the time. The dog was whining and scratching my bedroom door to get out to where the action was (kitty and my son’s friends watching GoT in the family room). Finally, I was really tired, but not allowed to go to sleep yet because nighttime walk, duh. So, I had a quiet and tearful meltdown. After a while, I called my husband who was a sweetheart and talked me down, and when my sobs had ebbed away, the pup came and licked my face, which made me smile again. But it was clear that something would have to give…

You may not be surprised that the something ended up being the hockey club. It’s no secret I’ve always had mixed feelings towards it – we became members at our daughter’s request, even though it was a bit cumbersome what with shuttling her to practice twice a week. There were jerseys and equipment to be bought, which we did, and parents meets to be attended, which we failed to do. When after a while it became clear that while she enjoyed practice, she didn’t really like the games, I was beginning to feel like a hypocrite trying to get her to be in the weekend tournaments. So after my little episode, we had a heart to heart with her and decided that this membership needed to come to an end. Writing the resignation letters felt like such an enormous relief, I can not even tell you.

Meanwhile, I’ve written to a dog trainer who seems nice, and hope she can pencil us in before the summer break. Leaving here today with a few pics that show I’m not the only person who loves this little dog :-).

A Dog Post

IMG_9960Here’s a survey for you: Are you a cat or a dog person? And do you feel liking one or the other is mutually exclusive? Apparently, that’s a thing, and I’m asking for science.

As you can see, we’ve gone and done it – as of Friday last week, Charlie has officially moved in. I’m completely smitten, as is my daughter, my son loves him despite himself (he was adamant his loyalties were always going to be with Her Majesty Fritzchen the Kitty, but even he has succumbed to those eyes). My husband is not quite as invested in Charlie yet, but I’m sure he’ll win him over, eventually. Not sure whether the kitty will ever really like him, but so far they haven’t killed each other yet, which I call a win, and I’m hoping the vet is right and they will reach a sort of an armistice at some point.

I had many thoughts and feelings before we went to get the pup. Mostly, I was afraid he wasn’t going to be happy with us, that he’d miss his folks and the other dogs he lived with, that he’d hate living in the city. Interestingly, none of those things have come to pass.

Instead of crying for his old family, he immediately latched on to me like a touch-starved little baby sloth. I was reminded of Armie Hammer’s impersonation of a lovesick puppy in ‚Mirror, Mirror‘, after Julia Roberts (aka Evil Queen) accidentally feeds him the wrong kind of love potion (puppy love, duh) instead of the one that was supposed to make him fall madly in love with her, as his own true self. Check it out, it’s on YouTube, it’s hilarious, and eerily accurate. It feels a bit like that (and yes, I realize Armie Hammer’s prob 20 times the size of my mini Wiener dog). My point is, Charlie looks at me like I hung the moon, he insists on coming with me everywhere I go (bathroom included) and he’s basically happiest when he can lie, or sit, on some part of me. I must confess we let him sleep in our bed the first night because we felt sorry for him, and that kind of was that. Smart dog burrowed under my husband’s covers first (flattery will get you everywhere, right?) before moving under mine, and staying there.

Taking walks 5 times a day is nice, even though I have to say that the late night pee trip to that one apparently enchanted tree on the street corner is not much fun when I’m already exhausted by ten p.m. – but the alternative is a smelly mess early in the morning, can’t have that. So, instead of my usual routine of working until I get tired and then going to bed, I’ve started watching ‚Brooklyn 99‘ in the evenings to pass the time – thank God for Netflix!

So, conclusion after the first week: I have a dog now, and I couldn’t be happier :-).

Those of you who live in town – come take walks with us :-).

Calling Buckwheat

IMG_9845I first ate these in France – la belle Bretagne to be exact – where this type of really thin Crêpe-type pancakes go by the name of galettes. I loved the nutty flavor the buckwheat gives them but never really tried to make them myself. However, since having forgone wheat, I’m always intrigued to find substitute grains, and one day I just felt like experimenting.

Now the downside of buckwheat is that it doesn’t contain gluten (duh, you say) and therefore, you need other ingredients to make the batter hold its desired shape in the frying pan. To accommodate that, I use both buckwheat and spelt, and I use more eggs than I normally would, which works really nicely.

This impressive stack up there was made over the Easter break, for 4 children and 4 adults who returned from an afternoon of canoeing. I went a little over the top with the measurements, but the leftover 10 or so were just as good the next day, so no complaints.

Perfect Buckwheat Pancakes

750 ml milk

3 eggs

200 g buckwheat flour

200 g spelt flour

1 TSP salt

4 TBSP sugar

Vegetable oil for frying

Mix the eggs and milk, add sugar and salt, then whisk in the flours. I find that the buckwheat soaks up a lot more fluids than regular flour, so it could be that you may have to add more – I use tap water, spoonful by careful spoonful. You use too much, you need to add more flour, and that can ultimately lead to way too much batter (see above). Anyway. The consistency you’re aiming for is quite thin, somewhere between Crêpe batter and regular good old German Pfannkuchen batter. If that means nothing to you, you want it to be the consistency of a slightly thawed, intensely slurpable milkshake ;-).

A flexible spatula is an asset for these – and a decent, not too heavy, flat frying pan is key. As you can see, I used two different pans so the whole process wouldn’t take me all afternoon. One of them was a proper Crêpes pan (top right), unfortunately, not mine, but I can definitely see the appeal. (Not a fan of buying each and every kitchen gadget I see, normally I’m all for down-scaling rather than amassing clutter, unlike others in this house, naming no names. But that pan I like.)

So you pour a very small dash of oil into the pan, heat it (but not to smoking point), ladle in your batter and swivel the pan so your batter forms a thin, even layer on the bottom of the pan. Once the batter starts to curl away from the edges (I think this takes about 1 minute, but you’ll just have to see what your batter and your stove and the frying pan you’re using are doing). Turn the pancake over and fry from the other side, half the time. Repeat until you’ve used up all the batter.

Eat with: Jam, Nutella, grated Parmesan, smoked salmon and cream cheese, salad, stir-fried vegetables, tomato sauce, mozzarella Caprese, pesto sauce and cheese, asparagus, ham, cream of spinach and Gorgonzola, lemon juice and sugar or apple sauce … there’s literally nothing these don’t taste absolutely awesome with, as the batter is neither overly sweet nor too salty.

The last few weeks were more eventful than you’d expect from a sleepy two weeks of no school in the country. We had astonishingly gorgeous weather and enjoyed the magic early spring light, bees buzzing and orchard trees blooming. There were lazy afternoons in the hammock, walks through the millions of shades of green in the forest, cooking, baking and playing board games, grilling and toenail painting. I finished up a book on craft beer brewing, and started on another cookbook – Italian cuisine by a prestigious London restaurant owner. We had a wonderful couple days over Easter, hosting my girl J. and her husband who are about to become new parents – effectively making me and my husband great-aunt and great-uncle :-))). We’re very happy for them, and they seem in a really good place, the right mixture of chill and excitement, and humor – the most important quality of all when it comes to parenthood, in my opinion.

Welp, and finally, from the looks of it, I’m about to become a dog owner – meet my new buddy Charlie, who’ll be moving in end of the week:

IMG_9771He’s the little fellow I wrote about in one of my last posts. It took his current owners a while to make up their minds, but in the end we met up after Easter, and that was that. I’m alternating between freaking the f… out and being over the moon :-). IMG_9870Here’s an old picture that may be an indication for the origin of my love for Dachshunds. These were my parents in 1967, my mom beaming, proud of her new baby, and my dad grinning and holding their dog. Teehee. Early childhood conditioning all the way …

I hope he’ll be happy with us. I hope my kitty won’t lose her shit. I hope I’ll be patient and chill enough even if things go a little sideways. I hope for so many things – please help and send good vibes, my friends.

There was not a lot of time for stitches these past two weeks, but there was some. This is part of my contribution to the upcoming summer fayre at my son’s Waldorf school: Potholders in nice, summery colors :-). img_9872.jpgI’m feeling a bit nostalgic this time around, as it’ll be one of the last events I’ll be responsible for, probably. My daughter may not go to the same school, probably. Also, I have a dog to think of now. Won’t be able to put in the time like I used to, probably.

So, from this mental place of being unsure about just about everything, I’m wishing you all a pleasant start into the week, and some of that serenity we can see in this picture:IMG_9742