Question of the day.

What’s the worst ice cream flavour you have ever tasted?

My answer:

I’m not sure if there has been one that would stand out particularly much, so I’ll write about a few that I didn’t really like. I am definitely not a fan of salted caramel ice cream. I don’t hate it, but definitely don’t like it and totally don’t get the appeal that a lot of people seem to find in it. One ice cream flavour I strongly dislike and that I had a few times as a child is yoghurt, which I guess is a little weird, because I have nothing at all against yoghurt as such. I like different kinds of yoghurts, especially with some yummy additional stuff like fruit or cereal etc. or drinkable yoghurt. But literally every kind of yoghurt-flavoured ice cream that I’ve had is just gross and I wonder why. Perhaps they don’t use actual yoghurt in it or ice cream and yoghurt don’t make a good combination.

Some years ago I also had an alcohol-flavoured ice cream for the first and only time, a whisky-flavoured one, and that was quite impressively yucky too. Not that I expected it to be otherwise, I hate most if not all sweets that are alcohol-flavoured or contain alcohol, but my Mum just went to the shops and decided it would be cool to get one for herself and one for me. She didn’t like hers either, haha, but that was back when we enjoyed drinking whisky together, hence her idea.

Last year in summer I had some peanut butter ice cream, which was a lot worse than I expected it to be. I like most things that have to do with peanut butter, including ice cream, but that particular one was surprisingly bad.

You? πŸ™‚

Question of the day.

What are three things you like that other people don’t like?

My answer:

I like liking things that other people don’t. One reason is because it feels kind of quirky, and since I’m quirky anyway it comes to me without even trying particularly hard. Another one is that I like and have a strong tendency to personalise things or even abstract concepts, so my mentality is like if no one likes them, they must be really sad. πŸ˜€ And since I am an (overly, as it seems) empathetic person, I feel a genuine need to compensate for that.

One such thing that I like but very few other people seem to do as well is the beautiful Dutch language. The funny thing is that I also used to consider it quite an unattractive language when I was younger, but everything changed as I started to listenn to Cornelis Vreeswijk when I was 17 and got a faza on him (he mostly sang and wrote his music and poems and everything in Swedish and lived there most of his life since he was 12 but he was born in the Netherlands and also had some sort of a career in his native country however much less impressive from what I understand and it’s like he’s sort of known in his country for being famous in Sweden). Fazas can change one’s perspective quite a bit, and while it took me quite a while to take a liking for this language, at some point it was just like something randomly switched in my brain and suddenly I was like “Awwww it’s actually such a really really beautiful language!” and my brain was all melting with delight as it tends to in such situations. It feels weird these days that I could ever have not liked it. I’m not one for the Romance languages and the like. One reason is that they’re “over-liked”, everyone wants to learn them and considers them beautiful. Aside from that, I often say, and have said on here as well, that I believe a language is similar to pasta in that it needs to be al dente. Swedish is a perfect example of that. Perhaps Dutch is a bit undercooked to be considered al dente, but that’s still way better than overcooked, I totally don’t mind the former and as a kid even used to eat dry pasta or noodles, but I can’t stand the texture when it’s overcooked, ewww! Like a dish, a language also needs to be spiced just right, and not be bland or wishy-washy. I usually don’t like things that are aesthetically, as my Mum calls it, “farting sweet”, or cloying, unless it’s genuinely cute. Dutch is really hot and I guess not everyone has high tolerance for spicy food so perhaps it’s the same with this language. Anyway, most Dutch natives I’ve talked to seemed very surprised whenever I mentioned that their language is on my list of languages that I want to learn and that I love. They’d usually find it difficult for some reason to understand why I’d want to do it, and many would admit that they actually don’t like the language themselves, and that they prefer English. πŸ˜€ I love English too, but it’s everywhere so it’s a bit boring, why limit myself like that? And some would even tell me how their language is actually quite difficult. I mean, I don’t speak it just yet, but I don’t really see how it would be extremely difficult for me, when I already know two Germanic languages (three if you include my kinda sorta making friends with Norwegian since about a month). Perhaps I’m overly confident here or not aware of something but it seems pretty straightforward and I find it very encouraging that I can already understand small bits of vocabulary with the languages I know, so it feels like one of the easiest languages on my list, if not THE easiest one. Some things about the sentence structure, like sticking the verb at the end of a sentence, is fairly odd to me, but I suppose it’s just a matter of enough exposure and practice until it will no longer feel odd. Swedish sentence structure in some more elaborate cases, especially where time is involved, is also different from the Polish (which is quite loose really or at least not permanently fixed) or English one and felt slightly intimidating to me at the beginning and difficult to understand, but, while I still do make mistakes with it, overall it feels completely natural that that’s how Swedish works because it’s Swedish, if that makes any sense to anyone other than me. Or it’s amusing what I sometimes hear Dutch language learners say, that they visit or move to a Dutch-speaking country to be able to practice their target language, but it often turns out impossible because as soon as people figure out they’re non-natives, they speak to them in English. πŸ˜€ Some of my Sweden experience was very similar, and it was kind of confusing because it made me feel like my Swedish must be really shitty if they find it easier to communicate with me in another language rather than their native one, even though I theoretically know it’s because people want to be helpful. Anyway, I myself am quite a patriot and love my own language and country so every time I’ve heard Dutch people being so underappreciative of their language, I honestly felt really shocked and also kind of sad, and that gave me just another reason for wanting to learn that language, to give it some love it totally deserves. I also love and plan to learn Frisian, which also gets some really interesting reactions sometimes. πŸ˜€

Another thing I love truly and deeply but everyone uninitiated seems to hate, or at best just not get my love for it, is kefir. I drink loads of it, so does Sofi, it’s very healthy and yumilicious and very refreshing, and is good for your guts so a perfect thing to drink if you’re emetophobic and happen to need to take antibiotics or something. It’s also okay for people who have lactose intolerance like my Mum. Obviously there is kefir and kefir though so you have to find the right one which has some better quality if it’s really important for you that it has the health benefits it’s supposed to have. Aside from water, I think this is the best drink when you’re properly thirsty. I rarely drink it on its own, unless I’m very thirsty and happen to crave kefir, but I drink it with most meals. I also used to get bad culture shock in my early days of penpalling when I’d mention kefir to my British pen pals and they’d be like: “Uh, and what is kefir?” I have an impression though that it’s become more popular over the last few years in regions where it hadn’t been previously known.

And another such thing are olives. I guess it’s not like everyone dislikes them but there seem to be two camps, people who love olives and people who dislike/hate olives and hardly anything in-between. I much prefer the black ones, but the green ones are okay too, certainly better than none. Olives weren’t a thing my family would eat when I was a kid, as we’re not very fancy with food really, and I remember the first time I ate them was on the train station in Warsaw when my Mum and me were waiting for a train to go home from my school. We were ravenously hungry so we bought one big Greek salad for us both, and that was how I discovered olives and immediately fell in love. Even though I have always loved them, I think I get why people wouldn’t, they really do have a very particular taste, and even I wouldn’t be able to eat a lot of olives without something that would complement the taste, it starts to feel weird pretty quickly. Since my Mum loves olives too, when she found out that so do I they became a regular ting in our house, even though everyone else here hates them. I also love capers, which seem to be even less popular with normal people.

How about you? πŸ™‚

Question of the day.

What is the simplest thing that makes you happy?

My answer:

I’ve said it many times before that Misha makes me happy, but one particular thing about Misha that makes me really happy is when he eats something he really likes. When he’s enjoying himself so much that his bowl is moving back and forth as he’s eating and he eats more noisily than normal and when he’s eaten, he rubs his head with his paw, as if he was stroking himself. When he does that, it means something was really really delicious. I just like when Misha is happy and it makes me happy too.

You? πŸ™‚

Question of the day.

What tastes worse the more you eat it?

My answer:

All sorts of fast food and a lot of junk food, or some things that are either really filling, or very sweet, or both, since as you gradually feel more full, you’re less and less hungry and more stuffed so naturally it no longer tastes quite as good as it did at the beginning when you were properly hungry. I usually eat small portions of food in one go because I feel totally filled really quickly, or in any case as it seems it takes a lot less for me than most people. I think I might have screwed myself up a little bit in this regard through eating little and quite irregularly due to emetophobia and other mental health stuff like that I had times where I would eat very little or skip meals as a way of self-harming/defeating, or because I sort of didn’t like having needs like that, or simply due to stress because when I’m stressed or anxious I feel nauseous and unable to eat. Then when the stress would be over, like after exams or stuff, I’d get myself a chocolate or a bag of crisps and eat it pretty much in one go. It’s not a real problem for me most of the time, I guess it’s better to eat mini meals and the fact that I don’t need loads of food means I’m pretty low-maintenance and there’s always more left for Olek who eats like four Bibiel portions for dinner, except when we go to a restaurant or get takeaway food and it’s a new place so I don’t know how big the portions might be, and I order something which turns out to be HUGE and I end up feeling full by the time I eat half of it. πŸ˜€ Even when ordering from a place I know, I can sometimes overestimate how much I can eat when I’m really hungry, plus being blind and having a brain that doesn’t really do counting also means that over- or underestimating abstractive amounts of abstractive food you can’t actually see is easy.

It seems particularly difficult to find the golden mean when ordering fast food. Yesterday I wanted to have a deep talk with Sofi about something, and I was craving something salty so I figured that since we haven’t had fast food in a good while, I could order some for both of us, which would also make getting the desired information out of Sofi hella easier, ’cause fast food is not a frequent thing in our house and it’s even rarer that Mum would spontaneously get something for Sofi so she would definitely be delighted and chatty as a result. So we ordered some KFC which is closest to us, and I had a problem again, ’cause the last time we ordered from there I got very little food for myself, and it didn’t feel quite enough. So this time I got small fries, five hot wings and a big chocolate milkshake since it seems like you can no longer order small ones, at least online. Sofi got herself big fries, a wrap, five hot wings and a big chocolate milkshake as well. And both of us ended barely being able to finish our meals, and we couldn’t even think about food without feeling queasy. πŸ˜€ Those KFC milkshakes are really good, but there’s always a problem with them, even Sofi says so. When you eat all of your food, which is filling in itself, you no longer have the space for something as sweet and filling as the milkshake. So we often have to drink them over time and this way they no longer taste as good. That’s one reason why we rarely eat stuff like that.

What’s such a food in your opinion? πŸ™‚

Question of the day.

If you could eat only one type of ethnic cuisine for the rest of your life, what would it be?

My answer:

Hmmmm… I have a few favourite cuisines, so it’s a little tricky. It’s a bit funny because it’s actually the opposite compared with languages – I love mostly Celtic, a lot of Germanic and some Finnougrian languages but am not particularly in love with cuisines from these areas. – I don’t feel any inclination towards Mediterranean languages, but I really like Mediterranean cuisines, especially Greek. Also Italian, but Greek dishes are even yummier, and I love all those things like feta cheese and olives etc. I also really like a lot of Mexican and Indian dishes because I like things to be hot, and I don’t mind real real hot, to the point where sometimes people are surprised how much spicy food I can eat, πŸ˜€ I guess it’s genetic because my Dad is the same. Our Polish cuisine also has many absolutely delicious dishes, but there are also many that I don’t like at all and I’m not sure I could live my entire life solely on the thoroughly Polish dishes that I like, especially that most of them aren’t extremely healthy, my favourite Silesian dumplings for example, although perhaps if I ate that for every meal every day I’d finally put on some weight so my Mum would be happy. πŸ˜€ I think in general, I’d like Greek cuisine the most, but the big downside is that I guess it isn’t very hot in its nature. I mean sure, I could put chili or Cayenne pepper or kalonji on things but I guess that would no longer be true Greek cuisine, so I’m not sure whether that would be cheating or not. And not having any hot dishes at all would quickly get rather boring and underwhelming. So I think ultimately I’d pick Mexican.

How about you? πŸ™‚

Question of the day (21st June).

What is the weirdest thing you eat on its own?

My answer:

Salt. Don’t know how weird it is in general, but I don’t know people who would do that. I don’t do it as often now, but I really used to a lot when I was a kid. I could just get a salt cellar, put the salt on my hand and eat it, without anything else. Or, what I suppose is a bit more common, when I’d finish some crisps, or chips, or something else salted, I would not only lick my fingers from all the salt but also eat the salt that was left. My Mum says it’s directly linked to the fact that my blood pressure has always been low, but I dunno, I just like salt. As a kid I had a salt lamp in my room and I liked to lick it sometimes, and salt figurines/statues as well. Now I also have a salt lamp in my room but I don’t lick it. πŸ˜€ One time when my uncle was on holidays by the Dead Sea he got me a whole box of the salt crystals so I had a supply for a really long time and absolutely loved it. I was in a salt cave a couple of times, which is a fabulous experience and so very relaxing, and I had a hard time not to eat any of that salt, I probably would if not the emetophobia. πŸ˜€ Sometimes I would also eat monosodium glutamate, I don’t know what it’s popular name in English is, in Poland it’s sold as Vegeta, I absolutely love the umami taste. And me and my brother often ate dry pasta. I can eat olives on their own, which some people find weird. I do think they’re much better with something else, but I do eat them on their own sometimes anyways. I guess olives are generally not hugely popular with people so that’s why eating them on their own is even more weird for many, but for me they’re one of my most favourite healthy foods.

You? πŸ™‚

Question of the day.

What was the last thing you took the time to really enjoy? It can be anything – food, beverage, film, etc.

My answer:

I was reading a very interesting Polish book that I just finished today. Perhaps it may not sound interesting for most people, and would likely even be infinitely boring for many, especially if you’re one for quick pace and a lot of action, and don’t like non-fiction, but it was interesting for me, mostly because I’d never come across anything similar before, and always sort of wanted to. It was a book from (I believe) 1843, called DwΓ³r Wiejski (Rural Manor House) by Karolina Nakwaska. It’s essentially a retro self-help book for women – women who were mistresses of rural manors. – Why would I even want to read something like this when I’m not even a housewife or a mother or anything that the potential reader of such book would be, except a woman? Well, language, mostly. πŸ˜€ Have I ever said before how delicious, interesting, full of character, or just funny, archaic/obsolete polish words and sentence structure can be? I absolutely love reading old Polish books, but I rarely get a chance, because such stuff is usually only sold as physical books, or not easily available at all, unless some second-hand bookshops, forget ebooks. And I really don’t like scanning and usually can’t achieve satisfying enough results by myself. I wasn’t hunting for this particular book or anything like that, it just happened that someone added it to the section in our blind library where people can add their scanned books, and I was interested by the excerpt. I like learning about how people used to live before, I like books about what people used to eat, what they used to wear etc. etc. about specific groups of people and their situation. I’m also quite into women’s history as well. Here, it’s not some historian’s book or a historical novel, but pretty much a first-hand account. I love love love reading old recipes! I love etnography. So this was, essentially, the perfect book for me, and I relished it properly. Well, the scan was pretty bad, so I would have relished it more if not the abundant spelling errors and unreadable fragments, but still it was great. The first volume is about all sorts of different things from how to serve and go about meals as well as good manners relating to that, to how to raise children, charitable activity and giving a good example to people, taking care of the ill and treating in the absence of a doctor, treatment of servants etc. The second was all recipes, and the third was an alphabetical glossary of all things possible that, according to the author, women should be knowledgeable in and on which she had some advice to give them. It’s from a very strongly Christian perspective. The author emigrated from Poland as far as I know during or after the November uprising and lived in several different countries – Switzerland, Germany, England and France – the book was written in Switzerland I guess, so she also had a good idea not only about manor life and a manor mistress’s life in Poland but in other European countries and had quite a modern perspective for her times. She often makes comparisons between how all these different countries she’s lived handle specific things like toilet training of children or cleanliness in the house. Apparently, she was quite ostracised by people before the publishing of her book as they thought she simply wants to promote and imitate foreign ways of life, but I think she really just wanted to introduce the good things from other countries that could be adopted in her motherland. And it seemed to be successful because eventually her book became quite popular with women.

In the third volume, there’s a mini section about language mistakes and how it isn’t appropriate for a lady to make them, and she mentions a lot of particular mistakes that apparently were common at the time. Interesting to see what was considered a language mistake over 100 years ago, especially that some things that were considered appropriate or some words or phrases that she uses in the book are now considered incorrect and some of the things that she says are incorrect are now normal, but most of those mistakes I’ve never ever heard in today’s speech so it was quite funny. Or when talking about table manners, she writes in such an indignant tone how it’s absolutely hideous to eat more than one dish with the same fork, and even proceeds this comment with the warning that she’s about to say something extremely hideous. Or she says things like how it’s not appropriate to make balls from bread and throw them around, or spit or eat from someone else’s plate. You’d think she writes for kindergarten children or some barbarian vikings, not the gentle women in the age of romanticism. But my Mum has a pre-Vatican Council II book for lay people about the Mass to help them understand it better, and there is also a fragment about how one should behave, what to wear etc. and spitting in church, (or rather, not spitting) is mentioned, which she found rather hilarious.

My Mum also loves old books like that, and old recipes, and as I read it I thought that she would be interested in it even more than myself. I mentioned it to her and she said she’d love to read it. So, tomorrow is Mother’s Day, and I decided to buy a physical version for her, which is exactly what I did yesterday.

You? πŸ™‚

Question of the day.

What’s your favourite food?

My answer:

This is such a difficult question, isn’t it?! At least it is for me because I think it depends on what category of food or when or other things, I don’t think I have like one MOST favourite kind of food. So I’m going to just say very generally what kinds of things I like. I eat quite a lot of dairy although at the same time I never drink milk as such. I used to, but at some point I just decided it was no longer fun and have heard lots of different theories on whether it’s healthy for people other than babies or not. I do drink kefir though and that’s still milk. I also eat a lot of things like pastas, rice, pierogi, one of my most favourite dishes are Silesian dumplings which are made mainly of potatoes and you can have them either savoury or sweet, we usually do savoury, with champignon sauce or as a side dish. I also eat a lot of soups. Chicken soup is probably my most favourite. I like most vegetables really, but usually I much prefer them raw rather than cooked or boiled or whatever. I eat a lot of green stuff. I also like the vast majority of fruits out of those I’ve ever had and could probably count on the fingers of one hand the ones that I do not like. I like things like almonds, sunflower seeds and most nuts. I do eat meat, but am not somehow in need of it so much that I’d have to have every meal with it, as some people need it to be. And I much prefer white meat over red. I think though that if for some reason I had to stop eating meat altogether, I would manage quite well. Usually if it’s just Mum, Sofi and me at home, we don’t eat any meat at all. I like a lot of spicy, hot things and salty things. Therefore I quite like for example Indian or Mexican cuisine, but for example Chinese not so much even though it can be very spicy too. And I love Mediterranean food as well. I do eat some fast food sometimes but I was not really raised with eating it regularly so I can live a happy life without it and I don’t even really like things like hot dogs or hamburgers or a lot of other fast food. But I really like chips/fries. Speaking of chips, I like chips/crisps too, and a lot of other similar snacks. Also a lot of sweets, but definitely not all of them. This is definitely not an exhaustive list of what I like though.

I am really grateful for the fact that I like a lot of healthy foods, because I can be also quite picky and if I wouldn’t like all the veg and other healthy food, I simply would not eat it at all and it would be super hard if I needed to be on some kind of diet or something, I really don’t like to force myself to eat things I don’t like, similarly as I would never force anyone else to do so and I totally don’t understand why some people force their kids to eat something they know they don’t like if there are other things they like and could eat instead, especially if they are healthy foods, or how some people who are on some restrictive diets manage to eat things they don’t like, often for many years. My Mum has always said I must have some kind of taste hypersensitivity or something, I don’t know if it’s a thing. I definitely have a problem with some textures though and I know it is a thing.

How about you? Do you actually have one single food item or dish that always springs to your mind when you think of your most favourite food? πŸ™‚

Question of the day.

Do you prefer pizza or spaghetti?

My answer:

Definitely spaghetti. I like most pasta dishes actually. Pizza, on the other hand, has been on my emetophobic so called no-no foods list for a long time. It never made me vomit, but I often feel awful after it. I have no general problem with gluten or anything like that, I don’t have a weak or easily upset digestive system by any means,either, but pizza I guess just doesn’t agree with me and I suppose it depends what kind of dough it has and how good it is in terms of quality or something like that. These days it’s not like I won’t eat pizza at all, I will if I have to or am very hungry or something, but usually I’d rather avoid it. It’s also not that I don’t like pizza, but I’m not very crazy about it either. The only exception I make is whenever I get to eat home-made pizza somewhere or at a place that I know has good quality pizza. But I still prefer spaghetti.

You? πŸ™‚

Question of the day.

What food was a disappointment for you that you were excited to try?

My answer:

One thing that comes to mind is mango. I somehow always thought I’d love it, if not for any other reason then at least because I love most fruits I know. Then one year at school, my friend took me to a Moroccan restaurant. She was actually my Godmother’s friend but ended up also being my friend because she lived relatively close to my school and my Mum arranged with her that she’d speak English with me, as she used to work as a missionary in many English-speaking countries, so that it would be both beneficial for my language skills and also help me emotionally because that worked as a good excuse thanks to which she could often take me somewhere out of there, because officially she was my private English tutor, and I always appreciated a change of scene like that, and we grew quite close over time. So at some point it was my birthday and I confided in her that there was going to be a school prom happening on that same day, and I always hated school proms, and especially wasn’t going to deal with one on my own birthday, and asked her if she was free that day and if we could do something fun instead, as it wasn’t obligatory for me to be at school anyway since there were no normal classes. So we ended up going to that Moroccan restaurant and that was amazing, there was lots of great food and I had never eaten a lot of those things before. And one of the things we got ourselves was mango juice and that was also delicious. So, naturally, I felt even more sure that I’d like the fruit in general.

Finally I had a chance to eat it a few years later, and wasn’t impressed at all. I just didn’t like it whatsoever for some reason. That’s a bit weird, I didn’t have any texture issues with it and I don’t normally have such things that I’d like a fruit juice but not the fruit itself, but oh well, I just don’t like it.

Another such thing for me was zucchini. I know a lot of people who liked it and I always wanted to try it as a little kid thinking that it would be right up my alley because from what people were saying it sounded really good. Well, it’s gross. And by now I’ve tried it a lot, prepared in a lot of ways and in different dishes, but I always hate it just the same. Similarly with other similar things like pumpkin or cucurbit. Of pumpkin, I only like pumpkin seeds. πŸ˜€

How about you? πŸ™‚

Question of the day.

How do you like your eggs? πŸ™‚

My answer:

I like them both soft-boiled and hard-boiled. They’re not my favourite thing in the world but I do like them and have them for breakfast sometimes. I really dislike fried eggs though, and scrambled as well, plus scrambled eggs are on my emetophobic no-no food list so even if I theoretically liked them, I wouldn’t eat them anyway. I used to eat scrambled eggs years ago before they made it on to my no-no list even though I didn’t really like them, because it’s a deeply ingrained habit of my Dad’s to eat scrambled eggs every Sunday and we all used to do that, also I had them sometimes at nursery. But then I got sick from them once at nursery and since then I don’t even pretend I like them and I don’t know what you’d have to do to make me eat scrambled eggs. πŸ˜€ For some time, as a teenager, when my emetophobia was at its worst, I had a huge problem with eggs and almost anything containing eggs because of salmonella and the like, and it was one of the products with which it really took me quite some time to get back to eating them normally, and I still feel wary in places like restaurants, but what helps is that my grandparents sell eggs – they used to have hens of their own for years but now they get their eggs from somewhere – and we also buy from them, they get them from one source and neither I nor anyone else in my family ever got sick from them. Then again, I’ve never had salmonellosis or a similar thing at all, except from that one short episode with scrambled eggs which I don’t think was due to any bacteria, but that might be just because I’m emetophobic so I’m always cautious. πŸ˜€

How about you? πŸ™‚

Truthful Tuesday.

I thought I’d participate today in Frank’s

Truthful Tuesday

linkup, and it’s my first time taking part in it! πŸ™‚ The question he asks us this week is:

 

Whether it’s soups, stews, or chili, are there certain foods that you consider β€œwinter fare”, only suitable when the temperature dips low enough to turn the furnace on, or do you just eat whatever whenever?

The soup that I definitely associate with winter is chicken soup. It’s not that I only eat it during winter, but it has a very wintry feel, and I think with the right amount of spices and made the right way it can be so incredibly warming. I like it either with noodles as a proper soup, or just a drinkable broth. But it has to have parsley in it and a lot of spices so that it’s also hot in terms of taste, not just temperature. My Mum always makes it very fat and sticky with a lot of collagen, because she’s crazy about collagen and having enough of it. I guess there is some relationship between broth/chicken soup and getting rid of mucus, because I tend to be quite phlegmy and especially in winter, and for many years I used to get a recurring winter allergic bronchitis every single year that would last for months, now it’s been getting better over time and there are even years when I don’t get it at all or it’s a lot milder than it used to be, but even if I don’t end up getting the bronchitis itself I’m still more or less always phlegmy in winter anyway, and chicken soup is one of the foods that I find to be helpful with the mucus thing, but it could be just all the spices doing the trick rather than the soup itself. When dealing with mucus, apparently millet is one of the foods which helps to get rid of it, so at such times I’ll more often have my chicken soup with millet.

Another soup I very strongly associate with winter is borsch, which is a Polish soup made of beetroots. It’s often traditionally eaten on Christmas Eve, typically with a lot of seasonal spices like cloves and a sort of ear-shaped noodles with cabbage and mushrooms stuffing, which is why it’s often called borsch with ears, or it can be drinkable. This past Christmas Eve, we had both. You can also eat borsch any time of the year but then it typically is without the “ears” and spices, but will often have beans in it instead. I love both the casual and the Christmassy type of borsch, but the Christmassy is better and it feels so hearty and it has a very characteristic taste.

A drink that I strongly associate with winter is also kisiel. Kisiel is made of fruit and it like a sort of jelly, only more liquid and thick, which you can either eat with a spoon or drink, and it’s best when warm. You can get it as an instant product but you can also make it yourself especially from things like preserves or jams, which is what my Mum does. I’m sure that for most Poles there is no connotation between kisiel and winter, but my Mum always makes her kisiel around Christmas and I absolutely love it. It is a very warming drink. Kisiel is often given to people who have some tummy troubles, as long as they can eat fruit, because it’s very light and also oliquid as I said, I remember when my grandad was recovering from colon cancer surgery he was drinking it very often. My Mum’s winter kisiel always has cloves, cinnamon and the like in it.

Also anything really that contains things like ginger, turmeric, cinnamon, cloves, chilli and the like is a good winter fit in my opinion.

But I absolutely love spicy food, and I can’t imagine eating it only in winter. Which is why chilli in particular I’m happy to eat all year round. Same about other equally hot spices like kalonji and such, which I don’t associate solely with winter like I do ginger for example. Ginger is very much a wintry spice in our household, chilli rules all the time.

I’m not particularly big on stews so they aren’t my thing neither in winter nor at any other time, however it’s not like I don’t eat them at all, it’s just not something I’d be a huge fan of.

How does it look like in your case? πŸ™‚

 

Question of the day.

What are you watching/listening to/eating/drinking?

My answer:

I am not watching anything. Today I only watched a few short videos on YouTube in the morning.

I am listening to Cymru FM, but not very actively, currently it’s more like a background noise. And I’m listening to Misha slowly waking up and tossing in his basket, that’s so lovely.

Eating – Sofi had a big party for her friends yesterday and Mum made a cake so we’re finishing this.

Drinking – I have water in my room so I sip on that to stay hydrated. Other than that the last thing I drank was a glass of kefir that I had with dinner.

How about you? πŸ™‚

Sian James – “Aderyn Bach Syw” (Little Laden Bird).

Hi guys! πŸ™‚

Today I have something very short and sweet for you – a Welsh nursery rhyme. I find this little tune quite interesting – as a lot of nursery rhymes are, even if they don’t seem to be at a first glance. – I’ve always believed that since nursery rhymes are generally for children, and we put so much pressure on teaching kids all sorts of things even through literature or music that is made especially for them, that they’d have some kind of a moral. But if this one has a moral indeed, it seems quite hilarious to me. People complain so much that times have changed a lot and how so many children now are overweight or even obese. Well, perhaps it’s nursery rhymes like this, emphasising the role of our bellies that are at fault. πŸ˜€ Perhaps it was just made for the fussy kids… Well yeah, sometimes music provokes strange thoughts in my brain. πŸ˜€

I like how stoical this bird is and accepting of the possibility that we may die just absolutely any time. Reminds me of how Sofi was little, and when you asked her what she was going to do tomorrow, for example, she’d say “I don’t know, maybe I will die”. No, Sofi wasn’t suicidal or depressed, I can assure you of that. She would always say that in a happy/neutral tone, like the most natural thing in the world. Since our family is Christian and my Mum has a very similar mentality, she was simply taught that you just never know what will happen but whatever will, it was surely meant to happen, and even if it seems a bad thing, something good will likely come out of it for someone at some point. This, rather than making her nervous and worried about the future as some would perhaps expect, made her a very spontaneous girl who never plans anything too far in advance and prefers to live in the now. Which has its good and bad sides, obviously, but that’s just what Sofi’s like, and this bird reminds me of her. The part about the belly also reminds me of Sofi when she was little, because there was such a time when, whenever she would introduce herself she would say something like this: “My name is Zofia, I like to dance, draw and eat”. She doesn’t remember that but she still loves to eat more than an average person and even though she eats a lot, it doesn’t show as she’s very thin, and, because she knows about that thing she used to say from what we’ve told her, sometimes now that’s what she tells people on purpose when she doesn’t know what else to say about herself: “I’m Sofi and I like to eat”. πŸ˜€

Perhaps then, the actual moral of this nursery rhyme is accepting whatever happens to you, even if it’s death, and being aware of the fact that it may be just about anything, but while you’re alive, doing things that will keep you alive and that you find pleasant at the same time. Very simple, but perhaps not necessarily as obvious life truth as we may be tempted to think.

I used to wonder why there’s a bird in this nursery rhyme, but Welsh nursery rhymes and lullabies generally seem to be full of animals (which is, after all, not a distinctly Welsh trait at all), moreover I’ve heard about similarly nonsensical nursery rhymes from other countries where an animal is asked where it’s been or where it’s going and its answers have nothing to do with what animals of its species actually do/eat etc. The word for little bird in Welsh is aderyn, and I’ve seen somewhere that it could also mean a boy (don’t know how accurate it actually is though as I’ve never heard it in such use and am not sure how credible the source is) so perhaps it could be a boy, not a bird, but each and every mention of this song that I found in English says bird, so it’s much safer to assume that it is actually a bird.

Okay, now I’ll let you formm your own opinion on this song, here is the translation, and the song itself is below.

β€žWhere are you going, little laden bird?”

β€œI’m going to the market, if I will be alive.”

β€œWhat will you do in the market, little laden bird?”

β€œGo and get salt, if I will be alive.”

β€œWhat will you do with the salt, little laden bird?”

β€œPut it in the soup, if I will be alive.”

β€œWhat will you do with the soup, little laden bird?”

β€œPut it in my belly, if I will be alive.”

β€œWhat will you do with the belly, little laden bird?”

β€œIf it weren’t for my belly, I wouldn’t be alie.

Question of the day.

Hi people! πŸ™‚

Is there a type of candy/dessert etc. you absolutely hate?

My answer:

Sure! Just as I love a lot of candy, desserts and stuff there are also such that I hate. I hate any kind of candy filled with alcohol, they’re gross. I hate strawberry-flavoured chocolate, in fact I dislike a lot of flavoured chocolates with fillings, plain milk chocolate or with hazelnuts or dark is best. I hate anything banana-flavoured. I hate marzipan. As I mentioned in response to Kacha’s comment in an earlier post, I hate tiramisu, anything with mascarpone really. That’s what first comes to my mind.

How about you? πŸ™‚

Question of the day (27th September).

What is your favourite type of dessert that is NOT cake, pie, or candy?

My answer:

I don’t know if it counts as a cake or pie or not but I love meringue with whipped cream and fruit, especially blueberries and peaches, but a lot of other fruits work well with this too. If this doesn’t count, hmm… I like a lot of things really, haha… perhaps muffins? Muffins are great!

What would you choose? πŸ™‚

Question of the day (26th September=.

Hi people! πŸ™‚

Recently we talked about our favourite cakes, so let’s talk some more about yummy sweet things.

What is your favourite type of candy?

My answer:

I have very many favourite types of candy, but the ones I’ve been particularly loving recently are Bomilla caramel hard candies. We’ve got a lot of these for ourselves with Sofi and still have a large supply. I don’t even know if they’re called Bomilla any longer because now that I’ve tried searching for it to see if Bomilla is a thing anywhere else it turns out it was a Polish brand and actually doesn’t exist any longer, but I’ve always known this type of candy as Bomilla since Bomilla was the first brand of them that I had and these are pretty much identical with the Bomilla ones.

How about you? πŸ™‚

Question of the day.

Hi people! πŸ™‚

We’ve had similar questions before, but I thought there’s never too much of a yummy thing and perhaps there will be some new peeps who’d also like to answer.

What is your favourite type of cake?

My answer:

I think my very most favourite would have to be toffee cake. It’s really sweet though, so you can’t each much at once, but it’s such a delicious cake!

Yours? πŸ™‚

Question of the day (17th September).

Hi people! πŸ™‚

Have you ever had couscous, or do you like it?

My answer:

Yes, I have had it. But let me give you a bit of a backstory first as I guess it might be interesting. The first time I had couscous was around the time when I started primary or perhaps during nursery yet. I had an aunt back then, who wasn’t my real, biological aunt, but I always called her aunt anyway and will always think of her as such. And whenever I think about couscous, I immediately think of her. πŸ˜€ She lived very close to my boarding school, and at some point during nursery, when my Mum realised that I was struggling there and wanted to do something about it, she was looking for a flat or a room to rent there so that she could be closer to me and so that we could live there at least temporarily and some of the time during the year. The prices were really high though in that part of the country and there weren’t that many satisfying offers anyway, and so finally during her search my Mum phoned just another real estate agent, who didn’t have anything to offer for her but felt really moved by our situation as it seemed and offered that, since she lived so close to the boarding school, she could be like my aunt and visit me or I could visit her and perhaps having someone like this would make things easier for me even though it wouldn’t be my actual family. Mum was euphoric, though I remember being rather skeptical about the idea. But it actually turned out to be a great thing, we got along very easily and I grew very attached to her. It wasn’t quite like as if I lived with my family and it didn’t resolve all the problems, but it did make things easier. I absolutely adored spending time in her house which was very different from my ownn or from any houses I had been to so far. I visited her on weekends or we went out somewhere. When my Mum couldn’t be at stuff like different contests, Nativity plays or other such that I might have taken part in, she would often come and cheer me, despite she neither had to nor actually should as she was chronically ill and had something with her immune system so it was a bit risky. When my Mum came to me for the weekend or longer rather than took me home, she let us stay at her home upstairs so we didn’t have to continuously spend the time in the boarding school. She was extremely altruistic, to the point that you could consider it foolish or extremely naive. My family and her had a lot in common, though also at the same time she was very different from them which attracted me all the more to her, and also we both shared a passion for figurines, which I collected at the time, mostly porcelain figurines, and so did she, and we exchanged a lot of our figurines. Sadly though, this relationship didn’t last too long, because over time she felt worse and worse physically and had a lot of familial problems, so couldn’t see me as regularly as she used to, and finally, some two years or so since we first met, she moved out with her daughter to the city. I tried to keep in touch with her and called her infrequently but regularly when I was at home and could do it, as I felt very grateful for what she did to me and knew she was struggling with a lot of things and of course my family also encouraged me to show my gratitude towards her, and she continued to have more and more health issues of her own and also her two granddaughters were very ill. And then at some point we lost touch. Both me and Mum tried to find her, as it seemed like she changed her phone number, and we both wanted to show her our gratitude and perhaps help if possible, but from what we could find out it seemed like she might just as well have moved out somewhere else and we were unable to trace her. So it’s been very many years since we’ve last heard from her and this sucks a lot, as I’d like her to know how very helpful she had been to me, and I’d like to be able to reciprocate somehow. Since she was in her early fifties when we were in touch and as I said she was already struggling a lot with her health, I’m not even sure if she’s still alive.

Anyway, she was also a real foodie and quite sophisticated in general and, during my stays at hers, I got to try a lot of things that were totally new to me. Like the couscous, for example.

Interestingly, I found it absolutely delicious and I was a real fan of couscous. But when, years later, I asked my Mum to make it and she did, somehow it wasn’t quite as good, and my Mum found it even more unpleasant. My Mum is a fab cook and often makes various grains so I wonder was it just that it wasn’t so new and exciting anymore, or did my aunt make it in some special way that made it have a bit more character or have I just grown out of couscousmania. Whatever the reason, these days I find couscous incredibly bland, and so does everyone else here, so we don’t really eat it in our house. Perhaps we’re just not classy enough hahaha. I know that, because it’s so neutral, you can combine it with a lot of things, but either we haven’t combined it with the right things or it’s just not our thing because no matter the additions, spices and stuff the couscous itself always feels bland.

How about you? πŸ™‚