You are currently browsing the category archive for the ‘English posts’ category.

Although autumn weather has been really kind to us so far, the past two days have been really cold (east wind brrrrr) and anyway: Sinterklaas dinner has to be a hearty, wintery meal no matter what the temperature. Comford food! As I mentioned on Monday we’re having company, so we decided on a three course meal which I’ll post below. But first our plan for the rest of the week. I hope you’ll find some inspiration in our meal planning?!

Menu plan 4 – 9 December

  • Thursday: spaghetti with tomato-veggie sauce.
  • Friday (Sinterklaas): see below.
  • Saturday: purple kale-potato mash with homemade seitan sausages from Isa Does It (p.237).
  • Sunday: Indonesian style meal with nasi goreng, sambal goreng kool (cabbage) and a tempeh dish that has to be decided. Also plan on making atjar tjampoer with the rest of the cabbage plus carrots.
  • Monday: vegetable stirfry with tofu
  • Tuesday: [leftovers]

Sinterklaas Menu

  • Starters: ‘Pumpkin Duo’ = pumpkin-sunchoke soup and a pumpkin-potato pierogi with garlic-herb sauce on a bed of two kinds of mustard leaves.
  • Entrée: beer-braised seitan with carrots and sunchokes (Vegan Eats World), oven-baked french fries and large-leaf chicory salad with apple, clementine and walnuts.
  • Dessert: kukicha tea poached pears with candied ginger (Vegan Eats World).
  • After dinner: tea with liqueur bonbon and Inca berries to compensate ;)

Leftover in our fridge are carrots and 4 or five sunchokes. Plenty of options with those!

Turkish meal by Mr Gnoe

Last time we did some menu planning was halfway June, when Mr Gnoe started a new job. We were full of resolutions, but didn’t manage to keep it up. Trying again – just a few weeks before the end of CSA season O_O

Menu plan 29 November – 2 December

  • Saturday: Pumpkin mash with endive and oven baked lemon tofu
  • Sunday: Turkish Feast by Mr Gnoe: millet with sun-dried tomatoes and olives, eggplant casserole, fasulye (beans) and spicedcabbage salad (pictured above)
  • Monday: Isa Chandra’s Braised Cabbage with Seitan (p.97 Appetite for Reduction), potato mash and mushroom gravy (either this recipe or this one)
  • Tuesday: Lisette Kreischer’s easy pumpkin-sunchoke soup (substituting large‐leaved chicory for pak choy and adding a little leftover coconut milk) with bread and salad

I love that I no longer have to think about what to eat the next few days! And looking forward to the meals to come :D Will be planning more after our next CSA arrives on Wednesday. Luckily I’ll have a sneakpeek of the contents on Monday as I have to write the accompanying leaflet this week. Need to think about Friday’s Sinterklaas dinner! We’re not really celebrating but there’s a guest coming and I want to make something special.

Button 24 Hour Read-a-ThonWhile the weather is turning rather nasty as if to mourn, the fall edition of Dewey’s 24 hour readathon has ended. And I’m SO glad I participated! It remembered me of ‘old times’… making me all warm and glowy inside. ;)

What I read

Cover The Bone ClocksAs planned I immersed myself in The Bone Clocks by David Mitchell and got some 20% down. Love it! I’m glad it’s a tome and I still have the majority to go. :) I’m sorry I can’t give you a short summary of this magical realist novel yet – I’ll have to see where it’s going first! The birthday party that broke up this RaT was of family I hadn’t seen in a long time. Of course I was very eager to see and speak to everyone, but it didn’t take long or I longed to be back in ‘Mitchell-verse‘.

During some housework I also listened to a short story on audio by Esther Verhoef, called Nouveau Riche. I hadn’t read anything from her yet and I now don’t think I will again. The account of expats in France reluctantly receiving friends from the past was largely predictable and not at all exciting. It was… just okay I guess.

The numbers

To help me keep track of time I used the Timelytics Time Log app on my phone. Handy!

  • Total of time read: 6:55
  • Of which the audiobook took: 0.55

This surprised me as it feels like I read for more than a scant seven hours. I could have gotten in another one at the end but I was hungry and got distracted by making lunch. Before I knew the readathon was over! :( But I’m not going to let that spoil my mood: it was fun and I haven’t read this much in twenty-four hours for a long time!

Lentil salad for lunch

Already planning next time!

In my start-up post I didn’t know yet where I’d pop up in cyberspace. It happened to be on twitter (where I hadn’t been for a long time either; it’s becoming a theme! ;) Twitter is quick and dirty easy, which makes it perfect if you want to feel connected but spend not too much time at your computer or mobile device. And socializing, I realized, is something I really love about Dewey’s readathon and missed some of the previous times I participated. A big thank you to Cautious‘ Katja B. (@eeyorenyk) whom made me aware of it (ánd was a faithful cheerleader).

Jotting down my plans for next time here so that I’ll know where to find them in six months time.

  • I’ll try to completely clear my schedule so I can devote the full 24 hours to the readathon.
  • I’ll reserve some time for socializing — and to keep me to it I may even sign up as a cheerleader!
  • I’ll return to pre-readathon planning:
  1. think about food & snacks; prepare some meals in advance (including a lentil-, pasta – or couscous salad and possibly lasagne or casserole),
  2. line up some audio books for when I can’t read a physical copy and make an actual schedule for when to use these,
  3. revive my ‘readathon update post’ template,
  4. get some drafts set up.

Edited to add after listening to other participants’ experiences:

  • read successive books from a (familiar) series – for example the Parasol Protectorate series by Gail Carriger (I’m up to #3 Blameless);
  • go read in a library for a while.

Last but never least

I really enjoyed seeing familiar faces names in my time-line – old times relived! My IRL readathon buddies were Mr Gnoe and da kittehs Nina and Kuki, one on each lap (from me and hubs that is). A fun fact is that Mr Gnoe and I are both reading the same book; he’s got the paper -limited edition- copy and I have my Kobo e-book. Can you imagine anything more cosy? :D

Kuki on our limited edition of The Bone Clocks

I’d like to thank all cheerleaders, hosts and participants whom made this readathon a success. And I salute the memory of Dewey, without whom we never would’ve had this marvellous event. I wonder if it’s a (perfect) coincidence that there was a cameo of Professor Dewey in The Bone Clocks today???

Quote from The Bone Clocks by David Mitchell

Button 24 Hour Read-a-Thon Wow, two blogposts in one week? Sure, why not! It will probably be even more because tomorrow I’m participating in the biannual 24 hour readathon. I’m playing by my own rules and adjusted the time element because my cousin is hosting a “Just sixty” birthday party and I don”t want to miss that (either)!

My plan

The official times for my region are 2PM Saturday – 2PM Sunday. As I have to leave for the party around 3:30 ánd need to get dressed for the occasion -you all watch Downton Abbey and know how it works, right?- that doesn’t leave much room for reading. So I’ll be brave and set my alarm clock at 7:30 PM to start RaT-ing early!

We’ll get to the party venue by bus on which I hope to be able to do some unofficial cheerleading. If I don’t get carsick that is… >.< Once home again I’ll probably go to bed and get up indecently early next day.

Book(s)

I plan on immersing myself in just the one book: The Bone Clocks, by David Mitchell. *happy dance* Mitchell is my favourite author and I’ve been looking forward to this novel SO much! I wonder which old acquaintances will I meet?

The book is 600+ pages and I want to finish it before a book club meetup on November 15th. That won’t be an easy feat in my current reading pace. So I have started already and am currently on page 15. My progress can be followed on Goodreads and I may occasionally post here too.

In case I really need a change of palate I will be reading short stories from Haruki Murakami’s The Elephant Vanishes. Can’t wait to get comfy and read-read-read!

The rest

I probably won’t be participating in (m)any mini challenges because I know they just distract me from reading. The same goes for blogging and spending time on social media. But you never know where you’ll meet me in cyberspace during the RaT! Where can I find you?

Meatless Monday Mihun Bento (13-10-2014)

Yesterday I had my first bento lunch in a long time. That makes me happy. :)

Meatless Monday Bihun Bento

Curious about the contents of this bento?

Right tier
Mihoen (bihun) goreng with faux chick’n leftovers from Soy, my local Chinese vegetarian restaurant, topped with fried courgette and parsley.

Left tier
Red Batavia lettuce, tomato, creamy borlotti-balsamic bean spread (recipe from Think! Eat! Act! A Sea Shepard’s Chef Vegan Recipes by Raffaella Tolicetti), pickles, kalamata olives, and a spoonful of capers.

On the side
Rosemary crackers.

Where from?

I won the Sea Shepard’s vegan cookbook I few months ago on Lisa’s Project Vegan blog and the recipes I’ve tried so far are all thumbs up! I hope to spend a post on the book sometime soon so I can link it up to Trish’s Cook It Up — but let’s not get ahead of myself. I used local borlotti beans out of our organic CSA haul for the bean spread this past weekend. Other local and organic ingredients in this lunch are zucchini, lettuce, tomato and parsley.

 I hope I’ll be presenting my next bento again soon… See you then?

Bout of Books

This week I’m playing BoBRaT again: participating in the Bout of Books readathon. Unofficially, because I was too late to sign up. But I so desperately need some pressure to tackle the books on my Mt TBR that I’m just ignoring that fact. Don’t need to win any prizes anyway, as long as I’ll achieve my goal. Which is..?

Readathon Goal

I want to read every day this week for at least 30 minutes, preferably in one sitting. It can be anything: from the pile of magazine clippings and leaflets that’s been bugging me to one of the three books I should be reading right now…

Cover Kleuroze Tsukuru TazakiJLT8 button (2014)De kleurloze Tsukuru Tazaki en zijn pelgrimsjaren / The Colourless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage. I’ve joined the August 12th – September 12th readalong of Master Murakami’s most recent book, which is part of Dolce Bellezza’s Japanese Literature Challenge #8

Cover RayuelaRayuela: een hinkelspel / Hopscotch by Julio Cortázar. This notorious Latin American literary experiment of 500+ pages was picked by my IRL bookgroup to be read before September 7th. Oomph.

Cover Op de vleugels van de draakOp de vleugels van de draak (‘On the dragon’s wings’) was chosen as one of two books to be read in August by the Boekgrrls, a Dutch mailing list and on-line book group. And though reading along is always voluntary, I was the one to nominate Lieve Joris’ newest nonfiction. So I can’t drop out now, can I?!

It’s not that I don’t WANT to read these books, I just can’t get myself to do it :( Can you help?

Reading woman

Books & Kisses’ BKReadAThon seamlessly follows up last weekend’s 24 Hour Read-a-Thon, from Monday April 28th – Sunday May 4th. Though I will be mostly updating in my native language this week because it is a Dutch event, today’s post is in English due to another announcement.

They say it takes three weeks to form a new habit. Kicking one is much more difficult, but ‘da brains’ are good in acquiring something new. Hell, then re-establishing a familiar routine in 21 days must be a piece of cake! Right?

BoB RaT

Bout of BooksThere once was… a me that could be defined as a reader. But for several years now I’ve been trying to crawl my way out of a reading slump. So I’m signing up to be a BoB RaT from May 12th to 18th, participating in the Bout of Books Read-a-Thon. You may think that gives me a week off between readathons, but NO: if I manage to keep up my pace during the interlude, the BoB readathon will work as a a way of anchoring. In total it’ll be three weeks to kick in the ‘new’ habit! I *want* that happy ending.

My readathon goals will be generally the same as in the Books & Kisses RaT:

  • read every day of the week for at least 30 minutes;
  • finish the book I’m reading when the readathon starts;
  • provide for a change of palate to keep me motivated (i.e. alternate short works with longer);
  • [added] read from my real life folder of paper cuttings and such for 5 minutes each day;
  • make sure I’m well into a new book once the readathon ends;
  • (last but not least) HAVE FUN.

Of course there may be changes when May 12 comes around. Will keep you updated!

B&K Readathon

Kuki posing for TS Eliot's Cats

I wasn’t particularly looking forward to today’s book, Cats by T.S. Eliot, because I don’t really like reading poetry – and maybe whimsical poems even less. So I was pleasantly surprised when I immediately felt sympathetic towards the first poem: The Naming of Cats (Hoe noem je een kat? in Dutch, ranslated by Gerrit Komrij). It’s about cats needing no less than three names.

[..] But above and beyond there’s still one name left over,
And that is the name that you never will guess;
The name that no human research can discover–
But THE CAT HIMSELF KNOWS, and will never confess.

[..] Maar inzonderheid is daar die naam nog, die ene,
En dat is de naam die je vindt voor geen goud;
De naam door geen mensenverstand bij te benen–
Die ALLEEN DE KAT ZELF KENT, en stug voor zich houdt.

Drawing of cat on sofa by Edward GoreyThat said, the first poem was also the best of them all (as far as I’m concerned). Of course there’s no way of telling how close the translation is to the original, having to do with rhyme, rhythm, alliteration and wit.It is probably not for nothing that the 1939 original was translated to Dutch until 1985! Anyway, while the drawings by Edward Gorey are very much worth looking at, this genre is just really not something I enjoy spending time on. If I have to, I’d rather choose something by our very own Annie M.G. Schmidt.

Today’s Summary

  • Current read
    x
  • Pages read today
    64
  • Books finished today
    1: Cats: Kobus Kruls parmantige kattenboek (Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats)  ~ T.S. Eliot
  • Time read
    0:41
  • Books read so far
    Crossing to Safety ~ Wallace Stegner
    Cats: Kobus Kruls parmantige kattenboek (Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats)  ~ T.S. Eliot
  • Total of pages read so far
    432
  • Total of time read so far
    4:46
Prosecco wine with mandarin licueur

A toast to a successful readathon!

So. The bed is made, a load of laundry is running and the dishes of dinner, snacks, breakfast and lunch can wait a while longer while I write up this second-and-last update for the April 2014 24 hour read-a-thon. Let me say first: I had such FUN! My go-with-the-flow attitude was just what I needed to make this readathon a success. I am very grateful to my reading buddy Kuki whom stayed with me (or rather on top of me) most of the time. She even tried to wake me up before the alarm to continue reading ;) Her being so faithful made me less sad about my former readathon buddy Juno isn’t here any more.

Cat

My sweet reading buddy Kuki – yes you may kiss the screen ;)

The statistics…

Cover Crossing to SafetyI’ve been reading just one book and wasn’t able to finish it in time: Crossing to Safety ~ Wallace Stegner (ebook)

Percentage of book read: 51%

Amount of time spent reading: 7 hours and 35 minutes

Amount of time spent socialising: 1 hour 30 minutes

Mini-challenges: just the kick-off and end of the event memes

Tools: the readathon spreadsheet that Jenn of Jenn’s Bookshelves provided, Timelytics app on my phone

End of Event Meme

24 Hour Read-a-Thon button

  1. Which hour was most daunting for you?|
    The first few… I was looking forward to it so much and then I something came up that made me miss out on the first six hours. So in fact I got an eighteen hour twentyfour readathon ;) Had to adapt a little and try not to be too disappointed. Also, when I went to bed at 1:30. I had planned on reading a while longer but my eyes fell shut even before my head hit the pillow.
  2. Could you list a few high-interest books that you think could keep a Reader engaged for next year?
    YES! I’ve only been reading Crossing to Safety and time flew! I can definitely recommend it to everyone.
  3. Do you have any suggestions for how to improve the Read-a-thon next year?
    Nope.
  4. What do you think worked really well in this year’s Read-a-thon?
    My own attitude of going with the flow and just enjoying the event, taking part in the community stuff. I may not have made that concious decision if Andi hadn’t mentioned it in one of her video blogs!
  5. How many books did you read?
    One.
  6. What were the names of the books you read?
    Crossing to Safety by Wallace Stegner (1987).
  7. Which book did you enjoy most?
  8. Crossing to Safety obviously ;)
  9. Which did you enjoy least?
    -
  10. If you were a Cheerleader, do you have any advice for next year’s Cheerleaders?
    -
  11. How likely are you to participate in the Read-a-thon again? What role would you be likely to take next time?
    I want it to start RIGHT NOW! Reader and unofficial cheerleader (like I did now).
Late night snacks

Late night snacks: toasted nori, assorted nuts, potato chips, lemon olives, chili rice crackers and tomato juice

According to my e-reader I need only 3 more hours of reading to finish the last 27% of Crossing to Safety. If.. I had started at the right time I had made it. So I am a little tempted to steal that time right now but on the other hand there are several tasks waiting for me. Appealing my self-discipline. ;)

Anywayz, I have enjoyed myself SO MUCH that I’m determined to make reading part of my daily routine again (and play on my phone less). Thanks to Wallace Stegner I already know I want to read Bill Bryson’s Walk in the Woods next. Yay for getting out of my reading slump!

THANK YOU Dewey and all the awesome people behind the 24 Hour Read-a-Thon!

Juno

In memory of my beloved former readathon buddy Juno

24 Hour Read-a-Thon button

This first update is going up much later than I thought while writing my start-up post. The day took an unexpected turn and -going with the flow- I only got to join in the fun at ten to seven tonight. It’s eleven now and I’m a bit tired, but also happy that I got to read at last!

Cover Crossing to SafetyCurrently reading: Crossing to Safety ~ Wallace Stegner (ebook)

Books finished: 0

Pages read: no page count but I went from 22% to 39% read – progress!

Running total of pages read: ?

Amount of time spent reading: 3.00

Running total of time spent reading: 3.00

Amount of time spent on socialising: 0.27

Other: I only did the kick-off meme mini-challenge. Concerning reading spots: I first hung on the couch with Mr Gnoe reading next to me. After dinner (a simple tomato soup) I changed to our lazy chair where I lounged with Kuki on my lap. Had a glass of orange coloured prosecco (with a drop of mandarin liqueur) on the occasion of King’s Day. Staying with just the one because it makes me sleepy and we can’t have that, now can we? Snacked on grapes and banana, drank tea, coca cola light and water. Now I’m going to light some candles, make another pot of tea, grab a cat and continue my book.

See you later?!

24 Hour Read-a-Thon button

Kick-off meme

  1. What fine part of the world are you reading from today?
    Utrecht, The Netherlands, Europe!
  2. Which book in your stack are you most looking forward to?
    Finishing Crossing to Safety and finally reading We the Animals.
  3. Which snack are you most looking forward to?
    Haven’t prepared any but I cleaned a whole bowl of grapes so… Looking forward to that!
  4. Tell us a little something about yourself!
    I’ve read so little for a long time lately that I hardly dare call myself a reader any more. My choice of books is literature (rarely Dutch though) and mysteries. Some of my favourite books are Mr Sandman by Barbara Gowdy, The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle by Murakami, A Pale View of Hills and Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro and ANYTHING by David Mitchell. I love both reading from paper as on my Kobo Glo. I just don’t like that I can’t choose fitting bookmarks to accompany the different ebooks. :(
  5. If you participated in the last read-a-thon, what’s one thing you’ll do different today?
    I didn’t participate in October’s readathon but I was here for the one in April 2013. Today I’m NOT going to read as many hours nor books as possible and I AM going to connect with the community fun a lot.

Cover Crossing to SafetyCurrently reading: Crossing to Safety ~ Wallace Stegner (ebook)

Books finished: 0

Pages read: 0

Running total of pages read: 0

Amount of time spent reading: 0

Running total of time spent reading: 0

Amount of time spent on socialising: 0

Other: -

Gnoe goes ExtraVeganza!

Archive

Twittering Gnoe

Currently grazing

And munching on..

Gnoe herding…

Enter your email address to follow Graasland and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Doe mee met 439 andere volgers

Gnoe Bookcrossing

Graasland on Flickr

Raffles Bento #213

SwaS: Notecard with small enclosure swap no.2. Incoming from Kirsty, the Netherlands.

Snailmail

Meer foto's
Volg

Ontvang elk nieuw bericht direct in je inbox.

Doe mee met 439 andere volgers