Dreams of traveling the world

I was talking to a friend on twitter a few weeks ago about traveling the world. It’s weird how many plans we have us housebound people. If I could, I’d leave tomorrow and see everything I had planned to before the illness took my body.

I have a little list over places I want to go, there are probably a lot more but these are for starters:

  • Angkor – It fascinated me from an early age, we had a book about the hidden wonders of the world. The archaeological work being done there now is truly amazing. The temple and palace complex and the city and surrounding canals and waterways are feats of engineering not surpassed many places.
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Angkor Wat, photo : Andy / Thousandwonders.net 

 

  • Mali – Mali has an fascinating history that we learn next to nothing about in history classes in the west.  That goes for all the African cultures and empires. Did you know that the Mali empire was  two times bigger than France and a hub of mathematics, astronomy and literature? The preservation of ancient manuscripts has followed family lines and is still an unexplored avenue for academics.
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Photo: bbc.com

  • Alps – French, Italian, Swiss side, I don’t care much. Just want some really tall mountains and stunning landscapes. Maybe I could take my mom and go see Le Tour de France going up Alpe d’Huez.
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Photo: wikimedia commons

  • Alhambra – I found the history of muslim ruled Spain interesting taking history at university but what really got me inspired was reading Guy Gavriel Kays The Lions of Al-Rassan.

 

  • Japan – I want to see the countryside. Nature aside, the craftsman side of Japan is fascinating. I think we can argue that Japan has been very good at keeping traditional skills going, much better than we have in the west.
  • The European mini states: San Marino, Liechtenstein, Andorra, Malta, Monaco and the Vatican State.
  • Kilimanjaro – My knees will probably never be up to proper climbing again but I believe the walk up to the crater is relatively easy if long.
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Photo: wikimedia commons

 

  • Machu Picchu – It’s on everyone’s list, but I have a genuine interest in Inca culture and I want to see it.
  • Knossos – I’ve been once before but was in my early teens on the worst trip ever so I don’t remember much. Also, Crete is delightful and well worth a trip anyway.
  • Visiting everyone who wants to see me wherever you are

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Christmas 2016

Christmas is upon us and here in Norway we start the celebration on Christmas Eve. Actually most of us start on December 23rd which is the day the last details are supposed to be put in place. I can’t manage three days in a row now so my Lille Julaften (Little Christmas Eve) was spent resting, taking a shower and making the Norwegian version of sauerkraut.


Our sauerkraut is not fermented like the german version is. It’s delicious tho and is perfect with the pork based feast we traditionally eat on Christmas Eve. To make it you need:

  • 1 cabbage
  • 1 apple
  • 1/2 tablespoon caraway seeds
  • 1/2 cup white wine vinegar/apple cider vinegar (maybe a little more if it needs it)
  • 2-3 tablespoons of sugar
  • 1/2 l Stock (I use chicken)
  • Salt and pepper to taste

I cut the cabbage into wedges and then into strips in the food processor. Cut the apple into smallish cubes (it will dissolve when cooked). Put all the ingredients in a large pot and bring to a boil, simmer for about two hours until it looks like this:

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Surkål – directly translates to sour cabbage

Heat before eating.

My mom and I have spent a couple of hours tonight with me in my new Christmas PJs. That is a new tradition that we started after I got worse again. She left me while I still had some energy left and has gone up to my uncle to spend the rest of the night there with some more of our family. She’s picking me up tomorrow to go to hers for christmas breakfast (traditionally it lasts all day here but I probably only have about two hours in me).

We’ve eaten our pork belly, pork meatballs and pork roast and had cloudberry cream for dessert. We’ve opened a few presents and toasted in non alcoholic beverages. I do miss having a little Aquavit to drink but that seems like an incredibly bad idea right now when just a little alcohol makes me very hung over and this particular drink has a lot.

I wish you all a very merry holiday and hope to come back with more in Romjula (day 1-5 of Christmas).

 

GOD JUL!

 

Planning a “Party”

Two of my oldest and dearest friends are coming to see me before christmas for as long as I can manage that day. I’m trying my hardest to curb the impulse to clean all the things and cook up a storm like I normally would. Yes, I tended to go all out when people came over. I haven’t seen them face to face for a long long time, and I would love to be the bestest hostess ever when I do (I do know they are coming to see me and not to judge my hostess skills. Really.).

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Weeks in advance and I’m already stressed out, mostly because I’ve missed them a lot and want to show that by giving them everything I can. I’m trying to think of something really simple to serve them that won’t take much prep and I can do the day before. My mom is coming in to clean for me. I’ll shower the day before, and then someone should really sit on me so I don’t get up to do “stuff”.

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Now you stay in there and I’m out here. Much better!

Movie Rants – where I rant about movies I’ve seen

Now that I’m watching movies again (thank you mommy for my functioning beautiful iPad) I’m thinking I need to start a series of rants on movies on this blog. I am of course watching them alone so I feel the need to complain about the stupid shit I see in films to someone. That someone is going to have to be you I’m afraid.

I have a deep, unabiding love for monster movies. The stupider the better. Usually these things are low budget but sometimes Hollywood makes an effort to make high budget ones and make them serious which usually ends up with something like this:

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Aaaaaaaaaaargh!

 Godzilla 2014

OMG this movie. Can I point out that the only reason Aaron Taylor-Johnson is still alive by the end of it is because he is incredibly slow? As in stopping and staring every time something happens slow? For minutes on end? It might be a good survival strategy in real life but in a movie being the total opposite of Quicksilver makes him just seem – well – not quite as heroic as he is supposed to be.

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Everyone can see what’s coming Aaron. You are sloooooooow!

Elizabeth Olsen (hey there second Maximoff twin) plays his wife and is a nurse i think, but I’m just gonna pretend she is a doctor to counteract some of the tropes. The kid that plays Sam, their kid is – I believe – supposed to be charming and cute, but like almost every other human in this story is – well – not (except the lost japanese kid. He was cute). Aaron spends most of the movie trying to reach them in San Francisco after meeting one of the Motos in Japan, seeing Bryan Cranston die, meeting Godzilla on Hawaii, getting almost stomped on by Mrs. Moto in Nevada and getting almost stomped on by all three in San Francisco.

The “experts” Ken Watanabe and Sally Hawkins are just way too overly emotional and dramatic to take seriously. In a movie that takes itself very seriously. Why can’t Sally be the competent one? It’s just so annoying. You root for the military guys and that’s just wrong in a monster movie. They are never right. The only human hero in this freaking film is the bus driver that saves the kids on the bridge (including Sam, not that anyone cares) by driving them of it when everyone else is standing around staring at Godzilla and the Motos.

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The wife and I are starting a familyyyyyy!

The tone of the thing is VERY serious all the way through. There isn’t a single joke or fun person in the entire two hours. Not even Bryan Cranston. Which is in the movie. The 1998 Godzilla was cheesy as hell but I love that movie with all my heart just because Jean Reno is in it. I love Jean Reno. There were jokes in that movie. lots of jokes. And Jean Reno. I miss that movie.

The monsters are great though. I wish they were on screen more. And stomped a bit more on the slooooooow one.

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This is a better Godzilla.

Rest – The Bane of My Existence

When I was better I managed to take rest periods on the days I worked from home, and I’d take a break or two to regroup when I was at the office, and when I came home. This meant I had absolutely no social life at all and I had no energy to do anything else than basic stuff. After I my big crash last year my baseline has been difficult to find. I still do way too much on the days I feel a bit better. I’m semi mobile and manage to feed myself and keep myself and my place in ok shape but I just want to do everything. I’ve finally accepted that I need help and my mom comes in and does the heavy stuff, but still…

Resting is very hard for me. My brain starts working on high gear almost immediately after laying down, and before you know it I have analyzed Jurassic World and worked myself into a little bit of a furious state. Yes she is their aunt, but for fucks sake she is running a multi million dollar business that requires her attention and is not a convenient babysitter service for sisters who are getting divorced without telling their kids first.

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See! I can run in from dinosaurs in stiletto heels while you stand there being a completely charmless know it all Chris Pratt!

(How did this movie happen btw? You must have a pretty bad script and a really bad director to manage to get this calibre of actors to be this bland. Omar Sy is in this mess for fucks sake, and Pratt should manage to be funny if you just let him do his thing. Bryce Dallas Howard has nothing to work with here, you can see the struggle if you look.)

Sometimes I design my dream house in what is supposed to be rest, and end up in trouble when I eventually have to look up if whatever it is I want is possible. I don’t want a large house just a fantastic one.  I’m thinking I need a view like this and a house with large windows facing the right way.

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I’m trying the guided meditations on youtube and I think I need to try to stick to a set schedule so I’m being a bit more proactive here with my rest. I’m so bored these days I’m doing the boom and bust thing and as a result spending even more time in bed and that is not good.

So this was all rambly and possibly a bit incoherent but hopefully you get the gist?

 

It’s my birthday!

I’m 42 years old today. Though my body feels like it’s a hundred and ten I feel like I’m still 27 1/2 inside. I would like a puppy, a puppy, a puppy and everything in the Apple store for my birthday please. And a puppy

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Puppies!

PS. My mommy got me a new iPad so I don’t need that from the Apple Store any more. I cried. My old iPad might have been the oldest one still in a semblance of working order but the new one is the bestest thing ever. I love my mommy.

Soup IV -The Revenge of the (Hot) Sauce

Welcome back to more of my series on cooking for people that can’t stand around forever and cook gourmet meals cause we’ll faint and not be able to eat anything while unconscious. The Saga of Soupengrim Bedrider continues on of course in what we all agree is a portal in to Hell (no really, you can take the train from Oslo Central Station):

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Hell is frozen over!

As promised in my tomato soup post last week I’m making a meatier soup today. I’ve used chicken in mine but you can use any kind of meat or fish you like in this one, just remember to swap out the chicken stock/fond if you use fish. You can also make it with no meat at all, just vegetables if you want it to be vegetarian. This is a bit of a quicky version of a thai inspired soup and I’ve probably left out some of the things that belongs in a real one. It takes about four minutes to cook and makes a pretty large portion and is plenty for two people. I’m also using frozen vegetables in this one – no need to defrost them first.

Coconut Lime Noodle Soup

  • 1 tin of coconut milk (400 ml)
  • 1 lime
  • 2 table spoons of Chicken fond or a stock cube
  • Water (about half a coconut milk tin)
  • Coconut oil (or any other oil that tolerates heat well)
  • A handful of fresh coriander (you can absolutely use dried, but watch how much you use if you’re a bit sensitive to it)
  • 1 Chicken breast cut into strips
  • 1 portion Rice noodles
  • 2 cups Frozen vegetable mix (wok mixes work well here)
  • 2 cloves of Garlic
  • 1 Chili (I use the ordinary milder red chili)
  • 1 piece of Ginger (about half a thumb, more if you want it hotter)
  • A splash of Hot sauce (if you want it even hotter)
  • Two table spoons of Soy sauce
  • A couple of spring onions cut into slices

Start by boiling water in your kettle if you have one, if not on the stove. Pour the boiling water on your noodles (in a pot please, not directly on the kitchen counter) and set them aside to cook through. Finely chop the chili and garlic (use a garlic press if you want) and grate the ginger. If you want less heat, remove the seeds from the chili before chopping it. Add some oil to a tall sided frying pan or wok (you can use a big pot if your frying pan is too low sided) and quickly stir fry the frozen vegetables. Add the garlic, chili and ginger, and then the chicken strips and cook for a minute or two.

Pro tip: Look for old kitchen equipment you need in charity shops like my excellent grater that works better than many a modern one. I have also found high quality cast iron pans that needed minimal attention to be useful again.

Pour in the tin of coconut milk and rinse the tin with cold water and add the rinse water as well. Bring it to a boil. Add the soy sauce, chicken fond and hot sauce (if you want it). Remember to taste before adding too much stuff, it’s better to add stuff gradually than end up with inedible food. You might need some salt but wait until you have added the soy sauce and stock to decide. Add the chopped coriander (if you don’t like coriander you can leave it out) and let the soup simmer for a minute or so.

Your noodles should be finished by now, so drain and rinse in cold water. Add them to your soup and let them get heated through. Squeeze your lime into the soup just before before serving and add the spring onions for crunch. Eat!

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This soup is great by itself and you probably don’t need anything on the side to go with it but you should do what you like best. I usually eat it from a soup cup with chopsticks and drink the rest but feel free to be a person with actual table manners and use a spoon 🙂