Chambord, forest mushroom soup and Japanese cards.

Chambord raspberry liqueur

I haven’t even noticed how it happened, but November has just ended, and soon the whole year will end too. Time is passing by so fast, the new week has just began and before you know it, it’s already Friday, then the weekend and you are back to Monday again. I feel like I have been recently running on a treadmill in a constant loop – my own Groundhog Day marathon.

I mean at the end we finally get to our long awaited weekend, which really doesn’t make a difference as you are either too tired to do anything or too busy trying to catch up on all the matters you didn’t finish during the week that you barely feel any relief at all.

The promise of the information age, the internet, the machines, the computers, the AI… it was all meant to give us more time…I guess the old saying is still valid…the more things change, the more they stay the same.

I had plans for this autumn, for this year… I wanted to take a walk in the park and see the autumn in its full glory with all its leaves and chestnuts, I wanted to make a pumpkin to show you my magnificent pumpkin recipe, I was also investing in precious metals mainly silver and stockpiling for the worst economic collapse in our millennial generation history but…but I guess I will have to postpone it for the next year suffering the losses now as markets are rigged by central banks of the world and their traders in white gloves and black suits.

Do you ever feel my dear reader like you are in control of your own life? I sure don’t. Like a leaf carried away by an autumn wind, I feel…so lost…powerless and pushed around trying to find my own tree to live on. Brexit didn’t happen although it was meant to happen. Recession was meant to happen although it did not happen yet… China trade deal is so great that in fact it doesn’t even exist…Thomas Cook went bankrupt and countless companies in UK fired thousands of people…and we all we saw the riots in London (due to Brexit and poor economy), Barcelona (separation from state), Chile (wealth inequality), Hong Kong (young Chinese people fighting for freedom and lack of economic opportunities), France (the yellow vests movement). The global wealth inequality (forget the income inequality) is so large our societies are beginning to collapse – clear for anyone to see. With the billions of worthless paper printed by the Fed for the repo markets…we are still suffering in this system to this day ”…like leaves carried away by the wind…and all we are is dust in the wind.”

Every day I find myself dreaming about living a simpler life without a never-ending to-do-list, having enough time to decorate a pumpkin at home and to enjoy little things that I have but as always the constant fear of not having enough money takes over…I guess that’s the main characteristic of my generation…never ever having enough money to do anything meaningful like settling down and buying a house or starting a family.

So as I am waiting for the system to change or the economy to restart I try to enrich my life with a simple treats that I am going to share with you. I recently had the pleasure to try the Raspberry Chambord and I am really positively surprised. It may sound strange but in this bottle I have identified the flavors of my childhood. I remember my grandmother processing whole baskets of raspberries into raspberry syrup. She used for this special strange pot, in this pot it was possible to filter raspberry seeds and reduce juice.

The quantity produced wasn’t as much as I have expected, but it was very thick, sweet and intensely raspberry. My grandmother’s syrup tasted like the 100% pure spiritus essence of raspberry and that was the taste I found in Chambord. I would recommend it to anyone who likes juicy sweet liqueurs especially for the upcoming cold winter nights.

Btw, just to clarify my grandmother’s syrup did not contain alcohol.

 

Chambord raspberry liqueur

 

Dried forest mushrooms, Ikea bag

 

Dried forest mushrooms soup

This month I was able to recreate one more taste from the past. It was the taste of an incredibly aromatic mushroom soup made from dried mushrooms. I also associate this taste with my grandmother, who always had a lot of dried mushrooms. My grandfather always brought mushrooms from the forest, and then it was our responsibility to dry them in the sun and during the winter grandma prepared delicious mushroom soups. Returning to the present, however, I was recently lucky enough to get a huge packet of dried mushrooms from the Polish forest. Thank you Beata, they were delicious. And there is something else that I would like to share with you. It’s hard for me to believe it because travel is not part of my life, but in a few days I am flying for one week holidays to Mexico.

It still sounds like a distant dream to me. For now, the universe is throwing logs at my feet in the form of a double shift flight schedule so I am not sure if I will manage to go on the journey after all 😉

If someone from Mexico reads me, or someone who has already visited the place, could you please let me know what I should take with me, what to buy on site and what to visit? My destination is the  Cancun.

Recently, I also started my adventure with buying Christmas cards and one of them delighted me so much. It was a card with a Japanese theme,
made of traditional Japanese paper by a lovely Japanese woman
Yuri McAlen.
I had the opportunity to exchange a few words with her on the Christmas market in Milton and I have no doubt that making these cards is her great passion.
If you want to support her talent and buy someone a unique card I will put her business card under the text.
I bought my card for a friend who is an enthusiast of Japanese culture, but I think everyone would enjoy it. If you want to support her talent and buy someone a unique card I will put her business card under the text.

 

Japanese Christmas and birthday cards

 

Japanese Christmas and birthday cards

I would like my blog to be more interactive with a two-way communication dialog. Kindly I welcome all of you to a discussion in the comments section below. Here are some helpful questions that I would like to know your opinion about:

 

What do you think about today’s economy and what are you trying to achieve in it?

How is your time going by?

What are your favourite childhood flavors that you would like to share?

What do you recommend to take to Mexico trip?

How do you like Yuri McAlen cards?

 

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Your guide to golden healthy Brexit

The land of the rising sun…where the sun shines bright and the mood is light…well you certainly can’t say that about the UK. To be honest I wonder if you ever could. Perhaps the land of the darkest star, where the moon falls down and the rains keeps raining and raining and raining would be more adequate don’t you think? In fact, it does seem that the mood and the sky are set…rather dark.

Perhaps you have heard a famous Chinese expression: “May you live in interesting timesand while I try to keep my blog about the positive aspect of a healthy lifestyle and diet it is so hard to ignore the upcoming hardships that we will all have to face in the upcoming years to come. The autumn is coming my dear readers and with it: the negative interest rates, political turmoil, lack of respect for Brexit voters, uncertainty, unemployment and of course a poor rainy weather.

Forgive me for dragging you into economics. It’s just that…I need to confess. I want to confess. I am but a simple girl trying to live a simple life and while I try to do things right and live my life responsibly…I do fear about our future my dear readers and for what there is yet to come. My only hope is that every now and then you find some salvation and comfort in your soul as I share with you my small simple recipes, that unlike the modern world, they are not saturated with corruption and greed but with my own experiences, kindness, love, and respect for mother nature and while I know my blog is but a small and unknown oasis…I do welcome you here very warmly. After all every little helps right :)?

That is to say…I don’t know what to do about the inflation, the corruption and all that madness caused by the selfish elite all over the world but if the history can teach us a lesson then it would seem that the gold is always the answer. From time immemorial it has maintained its purchasing value and it always will …long after we are gone which is why I have decided to protect my wealth and health with this shiny philosophy and I hope you shall do the same.

Thus my dear readers, today I present you with the recipe for liquid gold! A philosopher stone of natural medicine, an inflation-inflammatory superhero, the golden smoothie of all the smoothies also known in its milder version as golden milk, which origin comes to us all the way directly from India’s Ayurveda – natural science of health and life. In fact, the term is derived from the Sanskrit – ancient Indian notes estimated to be over 3000 years old where the words ayur, meaning „life” or „longevity,” and veda, meaning „knowledge” derived from.

My dear reader, your health is your greatest asset and it is always better to prevent than to cure, even if the cure tastes a bit bitter… am I right or am I right 🙂 ?

Thus If you ever drank or will ever drink the golden milk then you certainly will know what I mean.  It is really worth giving it a try if you want to hedge your health against the test of time.

The key ingredient of our liquid gold is turmeric plant which is one of nature’s most powerful anti-inflammation fibers and a source of a shiny golden dye. The substance within it known as curcumin works the same as NSAIDs  (Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs ) or hydrocortisone, but without the unwanted side effects like stomach bleeding and ulcers. As a natural ingredient it is widely used to relieve pain, reduce inflammation, and bring down a high temperature thus golden elixir is also recommended when one is expecting a cold as well as in the prevention of anemia, allergy and rheumatism.

An interesting fact, according to Chinese medicine, turmeric root dries the body of mucilage – thus removing bacterial fauna from your organism which is why you can experience a slight tickling sensation down your throat while you drink it – a bacteria cleansing effect.
Let me assure you, if you indeed experience such a sensation you should not worry about it – it simply means that it is working. Be sure to try this drink, and let me know the effects on your health and body.

Here are the ingredients for the Golden Smoothy Recipe:

  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • 3 slices of pineapple
  • glass of water
  • pinch of black pepper
  • piece of ginger
  • few leaves of baby spinach ( optional )

Preparation:

Just put everything in the blender cup and mix together.  Simple right?

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Jam for Dummies

Hello my dear readers, if you’ve never been doing jam it would be best if you start with this pro recipe. This jam is very easy to make unlike rhubarb which is not…because you know… it takes time for nature to make its progress. But why am I mentioning rhubarb? Because as you are about to find out, this plant is the secret to our geletation process! That’s right! It will be the key ingredient for our jam. Trust me the whole matter gets significantly more complex as “P-E-C-T-I-N-S” get involved…

But what are pectins, gelation process and why is it good for you?

Pectins are natural plant components contained in water-soluble fiber. These „components” live within the cell wall of the plant and have gelling properties – thus the name gelation process. As you might have guessed the rhubarb plant is one of the easiest plants to extract the pectins from. Without pectins, there will be no jellies, marmalades and fruit jams. It’s like visiting the chocolate factory without cocoa. Pectins also have a health-promoting effect – above all, they support the regulation of cholesterol and carbohydrate metabolism within your body.

To sum up: making a rhubarb jam is the perfect plan and I encourage you to do it! Trust me, try it, true or dare, upload a picture of your cooking feast or it never happened, best friend as a tasting subject may be required; feel free to challenge me in the comments section; comments undermining my authority may be removed 🙂

So let’s get started. You can make classic rhubarb jam or add some extra spices for the spice to flow. Gonna make that jam taste good as sharing is caring. I suggest you add some fresh or dried ginger, orange peel or Madagascar vanilla, or remember to just go wild once in a while with some experimentation. However do note, lone rhubarb tastes great just as well.

Ingredients :

1-kilogram rhubarb

300 gr sugar

Optional, some fresh or dried ginger, orange peel or Madagascar vanilla. Remember you only have to choose one or skip all if you prefer.

Equipment:

Jars, jars and one more time jars! For example 4 x 160 ml or 2 x 330ml. This recipe will give you roughly about 660 ml of jam so you better hope you have some empty jars at home. Moreover, you will need a kitchen with a frying pan, hob, spoon and a blanket.

The jars need to be thoroughly washed and then baked in an oven preheated to 180 degrees for about half an hour. The lids need to be boiled, they cannot be baked because they have a rubber lining.

Preparation:

Put the peeled and chopped rhubarb and sugar into a saucepan with a thick bottom. Wait for about 1h for the sugar and rhubarb to combine. Let the juices come out, rhubarb needs to soften up – its a little shy but the sugar will help. Patience is key.

Next, use small to medium fire and boil it for half an hour and remember to keep stirring from time to time. Throw away the foam created on the top and… that’s it!

Put the ready jam into jars and remember to turn off the fire.

In order for the jam to last long idealy, you want to pasteurize it. There are 2 ways this can be achieved:

Short version: Place the jars upside down and cover with a blanket for 12 hours.

Long version: Cover the bottom of the pot (such a size that the jars fit) with paper towels. Insert the jars and pour hot water to approximately ¾ of the jars. (Hot jars are filled with hot water. The temperature of water and jars must be similar so that they do not break.) Boil 15 minutes undercooking. Take the jars out of the water, place them on a cloth and allow to cool.

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Get minty this summer

Hydration. Detoxification. Mintation. These are key benefits of a simple drink that I am going to teach you today. Get prepared to be hydro-deto-min-tated. The potion recipe is simple and will fit the wallet of every household income. To put it bluntly It’s an opportunity that you can’t afford to miss out on.

 

I recalled the original recipe by accident. It was hot…I was thirsty…and visiting a popular shopping destination known as Marks & Spencer.  There I saw a drink being sold which reminded me of my own potions that I used to make during long hot sunny summers. Filled with this inspiration I have decided to write this post and help you my dear reader to stay cool as we are going to face the hottest day of this summer. Armed with this knowledge you and your friends will keep their head cool and their bodies fresh, I promise.

Let’s get down to alchemy. We are going to make infused water with fruits, vegetables and herbs. The most basic recipe contains:

  • Water basic ingredient known to humanity for ages, essential for your survival.
  • Your choice of favorite fruit. I chose orange by default to battle summer with summer, the best are the ecological ones riping under the sun of Sicily. (If you are from Sicily, or Orange Country;) then please let me know if this is true, because I usually buy my own oranges in a regular store and they taste great, but who knows maybe they can taste even better.)
  • Herbs (mint, sage or rosemary).

Preparation:

Once you have chosen your favorite fruit or vegetable and herb, put it in the water and wait until the flavors mix together.
If you have no idea what to throw in the water, just follow my recipe.
Sometimes a multitude of possibilities can overwhelm you, so trust me and choose a combination of sweet and juicy orange with a refreshing mint. It’s an excellent choice for hot weather.

Key points to note:

  • Wash the orange well with warm water and a sponge, because you do not want any bacteria to get into your water from the skin. Of course, you can just squeeze the orange juice and forget about the proper washing of the fruit.
    For me, however, beautiful juicy slices of orange and a glass jug is the basis of this recipe and simply I cannot deny myself such a tasty view.
  • The mint is also good to wash (just to be on a safe side) and according to your taste you can use whole mint sprigs or just leaves.
  • Prepared mint and orange pour over water and patiently wait for the infusion process in your fridge to finish. Usually it takes an hour, it depends how fresh the mint is and how juicy was the orange.
    If you do not have the time, just chop the mint, squeeze the orange juice, add water and drink immediately.

I usually make this drink in the evening, to have it ready for the next day morning. Best thing, just put it in a fridge overnight, add a few ice cubes and wake up to it in the hot summer morning.  Mint will do an amazing job to cleanse your body and wake your senses, the effect should stack up with the coffee and keep you refreshed throughout the day. Just make sure you don’t work in a toxic environment as no amount of mint will save you from the office politics  🙂

 

 

 

 

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Dandelion honey and bees secret

I like a meadow covered with golden flowers and golden wreaths on my head. I like to blow my dandelions sometimes and  I love when wishes come true. What about locking some of this magic in a jar ?

It’s a bit enigmatic: wishes coming true, the gold and the jar, but I promise that everything will be explained – just keep reading.

I wish I could say that this is a secret recipe for the gummiberry juice, because as you know ”Magic and Mystery,
Are part of their history,
Along with the secret,
Of gummiberry juice. ”

Undoubtedly,  the recipe for gummiberry juice would be something big and I promise you that one day I will share this secret with you -work in progress.

In the meantime, I would like to tell you about another, equally wonderful, secret recipe. It’s the most carefully guarded by the bees recipe for honey from dandelions.

This is a real magic potion with lots of benefits for your health :

  • Lots of vitamins A, C and D, which boost our immunity, help to fight cough and support our bones
  • Vitamins B – necessary for nervous system and supporting the liver in removing toxins from our bodies
  • Potassium, magnesium, iron and silicon – supporting your immunity and digestive system
  • Multiple tannin with their anti-inflamatory antipruritic and  germicidal properties which are particularly useful in fighting throat infections
  • Flavonoids slowing ageing processs and decreasing the risk of cancer and circulatory system illnesses
  • Triterpene – helping to lower cholesterol levels and showing painkilling, antiviral, antimycotic and detoxificating properties
  • Aspargine – supporting our thinking processes
  • Inulin – protecting intestines from infections, lowering sugar levels in your blood, supporting your immune system
  • Silisic acid – accelerating wound healing and improving the look of the skin
  • Polifenol – antiarteriosclerotic agent, improving the metabolism, fighting the fever and rheumatism

No wonder it’s called a liquid gold !

I have to admit, I’ve adjusted this recipe a bit to make it easier. Bees have hundreds of years of tradition and all infrastructure created only for honey production. We are not able to compete with them.

We can make our “honey” of dandelion flowers in an easier way, though.

 

                                        Recipe for dandelion honey

 Ingredients:   

500 gr of flower petals
1 liter of water
Juice of 2 lemons
800 gr of sugar

Recipe:

Making honey this way is really not difficult.
You only need flower petals, water, lemons and sugar.

Remember to leave the petals spread on some paper for a while. This will give the ants and meadow spiders a chance to escape and avoid bathing.
When every living creature is safely out, put flower petals in a pot, add water and cook for 20 minutes.                        Leave it for the night.
Strain the dandelion petals.
Pour into the pot dandelion brew along with sugar and 2 lemon juice
Cook it slowly on a low fire for an hour or until the syrup becomes thick.

To check if the syrup is thick enough, take a little of it on a teaspoon and pour it onto a flat plate. It should get thick in a few minutes.

Enjoy your sweet honey from golden flowers ☺

 

 

 

 

Let me know if in your country you also have a dandelion and blowing them away makes wishes come true.

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Birch juice

 

Long time ago, when our Sun was God, people also worshipped the common birch. The white tree was celebrated as a symbol of life, wisdom, and fertility.

Nowadays, thanks to advanced laboratory methods, we know that the magical properties of birch undeniably exist and we were right about its healing power.
Village healers and shamans never needed such evidence. Their knowledge of plants, potions, and ointments was based on experience of many generations.
The properties of birch tree can help with numerous diseases, heal the damages of the internal organs, deal with general weakness and tiredness of the body as well as grievous, difficult to heal wounds and eczema. Birch was used as a remedy for ailments of the soul such as anxiety or melancholy. During the Second World War, the Russian orphans had a chance to experience the life-giving powers of the tree; they were given the rich in nutritious glucose and fructose juice as a substitute for mother’s milk. The main property of birch juice is a general boost of body’s immunity by stimulation of its immune system. Juice, in addition to the groundwater collected by roots, also contains valuable nutrients such as simple sugars, high energy compounds, organic acids, alcohols, mineral salts, vitamins, and probiotics. Thanks to the content of all these ingredients the juice purifies the blood, immunizes, improves metabolism, it has beneficial effects on the kidneys and liver as well as the complexion and hair.

The easiest way to get juice at any time of the year is to buy it in the store. If we want to get the juice by ourselves, we can do it only in the early spring. For this purpose, you can cut the birch twig and drill a hole in the tree. Then insert the tube to the hole and put its end to a bottle hanged below.
One litre of juice can be taken from one tree, and the hole made in it must be then secured with a wooden bung and a garden ointment.
The fresh juice needs to be consumed pretty quickly, usually fermentation starts within 2 or 3 days. This can be prevented by preserving the juice with sugar, pasteurizing, mixing with alcohol, or freezing. However, birch leaves are easy to store, and can be simply collected and consumed in the form of teas. The leaves show a diuretic and saluretic effect and can help in diseases with metabolic disorders, young acne or rheumatism. Externally, they are used for hair loss and psoriasis. Often picked in spring and summer, birch whisks have long been used in Russian banya and Finnish saunas.

Nowadays, it is known that methyl salicylate, which protects against colds and skin diseases, is released during the burning process of birch twigs. Knowing this fact, can you, Dear reader, make a connection between a birch twigs and our all too familiar subconscious image of a witch flying on a broom? Perhaps now, with a proof provided by modern science, it is clear that the hidden messages in old children stories hide in plain sight the secret, magical ingredient of health and beauty power, used by witches and alchemists all over the world to pro-long their life and beauty. After all what makes a witch’s broom fly?

 

 

 

Cheers

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Tour of Edinburgh

This was not my first visit to Edinburgh, but only this time I found a moment to explore the city
If you like mountains and sea there you can find both. And here are some of my pictures from my last visit, two weeks ago.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Are you a sea or mountain person ?

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Peace, love and the Wonder Woman

I do not know how it is possible that I did not know this lady before. Of course I knew she existed, but I never checked who she is and what her story is. My mistake, because it’s really a beautiful story about a very brave woman.
The inspiration for creating this character was the wife and lover of the author, psychology professor William Moulton Marston. Allegedly they were very strong, liberated and independent women. Interesting that he needed them both since each was so great.
But who was the Wonder Woman and why she was so naive, brave and uncompromising ? Maybe because of her mother made her from clay and prayed to Zeus to bring her alive. Cute, crazy but not original.
Diana, her mother – the queen and the entire Amazon tribe they had a seemingly happy and carefree life on a mysterious island – Temiscira created for them by Zeus. Here the days filled the martial arts training, because they were created for that purpose and enjoying the beauty of paradise island. But nothing lasts forever and one day a man appeared on the island and he told them about the ongoing war in the world. Of course it has destroyed the harmony of the island. The Amazons did not want to interfere in the affairs of human wars, only Diana eagerly expressed her desire to save the world; arm in arm with a stranger.
Steve was not quite the type of hero, but he was trying to do something, because as his father told him ‘’If something bad happens in the world, you can do nothing or do something’’
For her, it was enough to save the world and fall in love with him, by the way he was the first man she had ever seen. Also the senseless cruelty of the First World War was the first cruelty she had ever seen. While living on a paradise island she believed that people are naturally good and she should always help them. World of war showed her, that everyone is both good and evil and people have to make choices. Wonder Woman accepts it and fights for their defense even though she still hears that they do not deserve it.
When she sees that her man leaves her on the battlefield she starts to lose strengths, but then words that were lost in the explosion come to her and she sees his sacrifice. Then her power returns and it allows her to overcome all the evil of the world. The banal and beautiful summary of the film are words, which Wonder Woman declares in the decisive battle with Ares ” It’s about what you believe in and I believe in love. Only love can save world. ”

 

 

What do you believe in ?
Did you like the movie ?

 

 

 

 

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Homemade body scrub

Maybe it’s weird but I do not like to buy cosmetics. Buying shampoo or shower gel is just a necessity for me, I do not find this a nice pleasure 😉 I usually do online shopping here or here.

Sometimes, however  I like to make my own soap, shampoo, or very simple body scrub.
I like to invent new recipes, but I usually use what i currently have in the kitchen.

 

I take some :

brewed coffee grounds

cinnamon

oil

grated ginger and citrus peel

salt

I put everything in a bowl and mix.
You do not need proportions and recipes. Be creative. If you want to have more creamy and consistent texture you have to add teaspoon of shower gel.

Have a nice bath 🙂
I am curious what cosmetic brands are you using ?

Are you doing your own products?

 

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Grilled vegetables with coca-cola

I am not an expert on BBQ. In fact, I do not even know how to light a fire under the grill, or more precisely I just did not try. Luckily I know a lot of people who like to play with fire. Meanwhile I hide in the kitchen and prepare something for the grate. Seasonal vegetables and good company is always a great recipe for a summer evening.
Soy sausages and vegeburgers are also okey.

 

 

Ingredients :
1/2 cans of classic Coca-Cola
6 tablespoons ketchup or tomato concentrate
2 teaspoons maple syrup
1-2 teaspoons smoked paprika
1 teaspoon of hot pepper
1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
1 teaspoon soy sauce
1 teaspoon of pepper
3 cloves of garlic
courgette
20 mushrooms
3 peppers
1 onion
And whatever you like
Recipe :
First you have to do marinade. For that, put coca-cola and spices into a large lockable food box.
Chop the vegetables, except mushrooms and put everything in a container with prepared marinade.
Shake the vegetable container and leave everything for 2-3 hours.

 

Bon Appetit and have fun 🙂
Do you like barbecue ?
What is your favorite BBQ dish ?

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