Iced tea

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Where I work, we make iced teas. We make mean iced tea.

At home, I have one type of tea, Christmas tea I brought back from home last winter. I have been meaning to go to a tea shop and stock up on herbal tea since I finished my packets a while ago, but it’s not up there on my list of priorities.

When it was really hot a while back, I was craving a really cold, fresh drink, and made my own batch of iced tea. It reminded me of the craze I witnessed when I was in Montreal in 2015 for David’s Tea iced tea sets, where you could buy tea that is specifically aimed at being cooled. Anyway, this bottle also comes from work – it used to contain Sriracha sauce.

I think the right type of iced tea would be a lovely summer drink to bring to a friend’s lunch or dinner.

Breakfast

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We had a few days of heat and that morning I had run out of bread and did not feel like hot porridge. I had one banana left and was struck by the coolest idea of the week: smoothie.

I never make smoothies because I can’t anticipate the reward enough to care, and will happily just eat fruit as it is. BUT. This smoothie is banana / soya milk / honey / peanut butter – and we all know how I feel about peanut butter. It is DELISH. I made the smoothie, poured it into a jar, and hopped on my bike to work.

I bought these two croissants from the supermarket and carried them to the cashier, holding them in one hand and handing over a few coins with the other. No one cared.  I ate in the grass, drank my milky liquid, and went to work. BREAKFAST RULES!

Bulk M&Ms

In my last post, I mentioned that I crave M&Ms.

A part of me feels like I really shouldn’t even put such foodstuffs in my body anyway – and I could probably make them from scratch (Hello recipe. Nice to meet you.)

And then, I remember that I am transitioning, that I have already cut out kilos of food I would usually eat, and that I can’t expect myself to flip over like a pancake and be a new person.

I also remember that I am heading to London soon, and that I have always looked away in disgust at M&Ms world on Leicester Square, criticising that place for being the pinnacle of junk food, consumerism, and aimless eating.

But they have bulk bins.

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Full of M&Ms. I could stock up for a year. Until I’ve weaned myself off them. Until I come back to my senses, as an adult. Until the sugar oozes out of my pores.

Funnily enough, I’m not trying to be super healthy – or not anymore than I used to. I eat loads of chocolate. I eat loads of brownies. I eat loads of snacks other people offer me. I eat. I like eating. I talk about food. Passionately.

So my transitioning and learning how to live differently will also include slip-ups (deliberate or not) which will continue to teach me what I am looking for, and what I am working towards.

These might be the last batch of M&Ms I get.

 

Galette des rois – or when homesickness for another home produces trash

I don’t celebrate any religious festivities – however since a few years I make a galette des rois on the 6th of January (recipe below). Because it is the most scrumptious thing on this planet and I will take any excuse to make a cake, especially in grim and grey Glasgow.

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It’s a French puff pastry-frangipane delight, light enough to eat bucketloads of and tasty enough to make even the meanest kid smile. Normally, bakers add a porcelain figurine somewhere in the frangipane for a lucky eater to find (Peau d’Âne style). Typically, the youngest child scrambles under the table and dictates who gets which piece of galette, so that there can be no peeking. When someone finds the figurine during eating, they become “king” and don a golden crown.

This is the first year when I consciously took stock of how much trash this tradition produces in my household. As you can see in the picture above, the puff pastry came with its own baking sheet. It also came in a plastic wrapper and cardboard box.

This time of year has probably been the hardest so far on my quest to reduce my trash production – and not even because of presents, which we don’t really do in my family. Simply because of all the foodstuffs that I chose to bring back from France or Switzerland (heaps of chocolates) and that sustain me for the time I am away in my other home. A friend often comes back from Italy with 2 litres of olive oil. Another French friend brought lots of raclette cheese back and had a raclette party a few years ago. All of us who have left home to find another home use food as a reminder of what’s left behind, and what we carry with us everyday.

So how can I produce less trash, whilst still fulfilling this need of mine?

Galette des rois recipe (via)

  • 1 rectangular puff pastry
  • 100 g ground almonds
  • 75g caster sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 50g butter at room temperature
  • a few drops of almond extract (optional)
  • 1 egg yolk

Heat oven at 210 C.

Cut the puff pastry in half. Put one half aside, and lay the other one on an oven dish. Prick the latter with a fork.

Mix the almonds, sugar, egg and butter (and almond extract) to form a paste. Spread the paste evenly on the pastry. Cover with the other half, and seal the edges well (I see a fork).

Dilute the egg yolk in a bit of water and spread on the surface and edges of the galette. Using a knife, lightly trace decorations on the top of the galette. Prick the top a few times, to let the air escape.

Cook in the oven for 30 minutes (start to monitor from 25 minutes onwards, don’t hesitate to leave it in for 40 minutes if it needs it).