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Monday, 31 August 2015

Love Story: Moonlight and murder


Hello dear friends.

To all of you who expected this on Sunday, I owe my deepest apologies. The fact of the matter is, not everything goes according to plans, even when the plans are perfectly settled. My network provider has not arrived on Friday, and left me "off the grid" for the weekend.
I didn't mind not having TV or internet (except for the sadness of realization that I could not honor our Sunday morning ritual and sand a Love Story your way). Other than that, I was fine. 
No FOMO (the "Fear of missing out")
No stressing over the news.

As our old folks used to say:
Better late than never. :)










This is a kind of story I can not dare to leave for next week.
(Hey, it's still Sunday in Las Vegas, Vancouver, Honolulu...)  :)
....

Have a great week.
Marija

Friday, 28 August 2015

I'm not nuts - I'm "carrots".


Hello everybody.

Lately, I have devoted myself to carrots Honestly, it's due to lack of apples - they are not in season, and I went for the "next best thing" that is available at Farmer's Market.

Just bought them, so fresh
you can smell the dirt. :)

I haven't wrote about my daily meals on this blog - yet. I'm no fun when it comes to food: my morning and my evening meals don't change on Monday to Friday.. only the meal after work (you call that dinner?) changes every day. As for "lunch" - it's carrots. Raw. Chopped. Crispy, crunchy, highly nutritious and filling.. all that I want my food to be.

See this?
This tells you that that huge carrot I'm holding
has just 30 calories.
(think about it the next time you reach out for a bag of chips)

Back in WWII, carrots were the home fronts secret weapon. The propaganda's powerful machinery was charged to convince children that carrots on sticks were just as tasty as ice-creams, that eating lots of carrots helped you ‘see in the dark’ during blackouts, and that Dr Carrot would make everything better. 

Everyone has posted this... I know.
But isn't he cute? 
(he'd convince me to try carrots)

Carrots were also used to sweeten cakes and biscuits (cookies) replacing some of the sugar used in many recipes. Globally, the carrot became a staple food: it was fairly easy to grow, it was bulky, could be turned into many, many meals - salty & sweet.
In our country, after War ended and after the re-building was over - came the "time of plenty", and people slowly moved away from cooking with carrot; it became something you'd put in your stock, or maybe something to give color to a salad. Come 1980s and folks forgot about carrot as a base for desert meal. Fast forward to this day and age - people are slowly moving back to basics, but are still a minority, and they are usually called "health freaks".

Being freaky or not, 
I made a carrot cake
from pages of my grandma's cook book:

First time I made this cake, I served it to my family. My parents ate without any "problems", they were wondering about what's the ingredient that give the cake it's moist(y) feel. They liked it pretty much, and after a while started remembering their early childhood (yes, my folks are elderly, or as we like to say "have a great memory"). Dad remembered the garden, the carrot picking and the way his mom's kitchen smelled while the cake was baking; there were no "aspirators" in the kitchens, so the smells stay indoors for a while.. filling the house with sweet sense of carrot's goodness.
On the other hand, my brother had trouble with an idea of "putting a vegetable in a cake", since for someone like him (I dare add: who has NO IDEA about baking) a cake must not have anything other than: flour, sugar, eggs, chocolate and nuts. I believe the words were "I'm not going to be tricked by this". Later on, I caught him feasting on a large slice of my carrot cake. He accepted it. :)



I hope you can read my handwriting.
Let me know if you try it out.
Marija

Wednesday, 26 August 2015

BURDA Wednesday: May 1958, part I


Hello everybody.

First, there's NEWS:

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I've moved.
Simple as that. Nothing historic. Nothing hysteric.
I have been moving things for a long time, and it's now done.
I live alone. :)

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Now, that we've got that drama out of the way,
let's take a look at this week's Burda:

 Don't you think this is a perfect pattern for spring and summer,
it's a like wearing rays of sunshine .

 Even undergarments look amazing.

 Window-shopping for May 1958.

 "Overnight smooth dry"
(it's a type of fabric)

 Letters from readers
and "hello" to Eyebrow-lady. :)

 Perfect for the office.

 What word do you use for "frottir"?
Terrycloth?!

 "Slimming made easy"
They are pushing advertisements forward. and
the magazines are getting the form we now recognize..

 "A stocking which, as you see, 
is something to be proud of"  :)

 Emulating some late 1920s spirit?

 New fashions.. new colors.

 Garments are slowly loosing waists..

Wonderful shape!

 My, my..
take a look at the lovely piece in the upper left! :)

 I suppose this is perfect for strolling down city streets.

 As for going to a mountain retreat..

...they grab these things!

Back to "all that drama".
About a year ago, after a lot of true drama (family drama, money drama, work drama..) I have given a down-payment for a dilapidated old house located across the street from my parent's home (the one I was brought in when I was born and the one I lived in my whole life).  
The poor thing was in a sorry state, and I had to employ builders right away, or else there was to be no house by spring (the heavy snows that we get each winter have "eaten it up" and it would not last another snow season). 
Walls were changed, roof re-made, I had to go on a scavenger-hunt for the windows (you can easily get PVC windows, but it takes a lot more to find old-school wood three piece windows in size "S", trust me). I learned how to install floors and how to count ceramic tiles. I spent hours studying plum-work in order to be prepared for the arrival of plumbers (last thing you want is to be the "know nothing" and "let the folks do their business"). I draw and re-draw electronics-plans, and plug-in locations for every room. 
It all took time.
It all took energy (I will not discuss money here, probably never)... but it was worth it.

My grandpa used to say:
"Nothing is impossible - all you need is
to have nerves think like anchoring rode"
HE WAS RIGHT.

I'm not expecting moving-in presents.. but if you're feeling extra charitable; I can share my address with you (no pressure there)  :)
..

Have a great Wednesday, dear friends...
Marija

Tuesday, 25 August 2015

Wipe, dust, sweep, soak,mop, polish, vacuum.. or: the Rules of Cleaning


Hello there.

Let me start with a definition of the subject of our discussion: "Housekeeping is the care and control of property, ensuring it's maintenance, proper use and appearance".
With knowing this, there's s somewhat eery feeling of a woman stuck in the house, doing piles and piles of laundry, washing countless dishes, carrying the broom with her almost all the time.. and (for some reason, yet un-explained) having messy hair and sloppy overall look. The truth is far from it - we are all, in a way "housekeepers"; because we all KEEP our homes. Now: some do it less often, with less care & less enthusiasm, and some are diagnosed with Obsessive Compulsive disorder (for more info on that, please, read THIS article)

For most of us, regular day-to-day cleaning and caring tasks are.. a golden middle. Many of us have full time jobs, and it is ever so true what the old folks used to say "So much to do, and so little time to do it"; especially when we get back home all tired and "worn out" and there's laundry to be done and dust to be swiped. 

Back in September 1st 1912 the "Rules for cleaning" was published, with intention to guide the housekeeper in this routine. The purpose of these rules is to give directions for various household processes in a form that may aid the housekeeper in systematizing her own work and the work of those who are assisting her.

The booklet states that in every house
there should be a cupboard or a closet set aside
for cleaning purposes, because:
"...a place for everything and everything in its place"  :)

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Let's now take a closer look:





Side note:
"Washing soda" is made by putting your regular baking soda
in the pan and baking it in your oven for 45 minutes at 200°C (400F)

















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There's an addition to this periodical:


 I strongly advise you to first read the paper,
then go back here and (why not?!) fill this form out.

Gosh, it would be wonderful if you'd mail me the answers. :)
Marija