Sunday, July 20, 2008

A jam packed weekend a.k.a. be ready for a really long post

I love how good intentions never really make it sometimes. That was my day yesterday. I planned on making a day out of thrifting and markets, but I got a rather late start. As in me not waking up until 1:30 pm. Ah well, I guess that is what I get for staying up until 4 am with friends.

Unfortunately, I have been getting home late from my internship this week, and, as a consequence, I have hardly been cooking. Plus, midway through the week I completely ran out of produce due to not being here over the previous weekend. Oh horrors! Needless to say, I have eaten several falafels and much bread this week. Probably not the best thing, but this next week is going to more than make up for it (hopefully).

As usual, I visited the market on Kollwitz Platz to get my week's produce on Saturday. My 10 Euros worth of produce this week is 6 carrots, a zucchini, small garlic, red bell pepper, 3 apples, small container of raspberries, and a large (500g) container of red currants. Not too bad of a haul. I wasn't sure what to expect with the red currants (johannesbeern here) because I have only eaten them (or their black relatives) in  jam or cake. I ended up being pleasantly surprised, and they might be going on my favorites produce list because of their perfect amount of tartness. I rather enjoy fruits that are more tart than sweet (proved by my love for raspberries and lemons). Red currants are in season right now here in Germany, but I am not sure how long it will last. Hopefully long enough that I can make them as an addition to my usual breakfast of muesli, fruit, and soymilk. Until now, I have been switching between strawberries and raspberries (and even a peach on a few occasions). My purchases at the market also consisted of two homemade jams (strawberry and a black currant with mint) for my host family in Heidelberg when I go visit them next weekend.

As for the rest of the day, I had only eaten a light brunch, so I decided to start things off by heading to Vöner first. Wow is that place addicting. I bet most people would not have guessed that vegan döner can be so filling, but for a mere 2.90 Euros, I walk away feeling rather full. I got to visit a few smaller second hand shops in the area between Vöner aznd Carmello, but I did not find anything good. At Carmello Eis Cafe, I proceeded to get a cone with two scoops of vanilla and chocolate with chips soy ice cream. Sooo good and the chocolate was a new flavor as well. Enjoying my good vegan ice made up for the fact that it had started to rain rather hard.

Sadly, I got to my main thrift store destination too late and discovered that it was only open until 6 on Saturdays. I will try to go back sometime soon because it looks promising. Four floors of second hand goodness. That is correct- four floors. See why I was excited?

Sunday was also started a little late (but not due to my laziness this time) but because of me doing laundry. Then there was the other complication of the other student doing laundry as well and not enough drying racks to go around. (What to do? My host just took me to visit some neighbors upstairs and borrow two from them.) Then I had to spend a bunch of time going to/from the laundromat, hanging clothes, etc. But that is all boring stuff no one wants to hear about.

As for fun things, I went to the Flohmarkt (flea market) in Boxhagener Platz for the first time. As usual, there was so much absolute junk like the one in Mauer Park. Strangely enough, I did manage to buy a few things. The first of which was Flintstones wallpaper. Exactly, and it was only in black and white, so I guess that I could color it if I wanted to. I paid too much for it (6 Euro), but I just could not pass it up. I could make a banner or two with it, use it to cover boxes, or as wrapping paper. My other purchase was some cool patches cut out from used clothes. Two are very vegan. One is a chicken that says, "Isst mehr tofu!" (Eat more tofu), and the other has a sheep saying "Friends? Not food o.k.?" The third is a heart surrounded by the triangle recycling symbol. Because I was in the neighborhood, I stopped by Carmello again and got the same flavored cone as yesterday because it was just so freaking good.

Diner was fun as I actually cooked Isa's Snobby Joes, albeit a totally bastardized version. They were still amazing though. I also got reminded of how I need to be more careful when guessing amounts. (That's right. Since I have been in Berlin, I have not been measuring anything at all.) I did the 4x water ratio to the lentils correctly, but I had way too much water in the pot that I was using. Oops. It proceeded to overflow a little several times in the cooking process, and I was afraid that my host was going to come home at any moment and complain about the mess I was making on the stove. I also spaced out and did not pay attention to the time when the lentils started to cook, so after a bit, I just tasted a few to make sure they weren't too crunchy before proceeding with the recipe. Apparently, using a load of cumin makes up for not having chili powder, oregano, or salt. Ha.

Sorry about having no pictures to go along with these adventures, but all the ones that I took ended up being blurry. Schade. To make up for it, here are two pictures of a new friend of mine. He was worried that the Ritter Sport Pfefferminz that I was eating was not vegan and insisted that he had to double check the ingredients for me. Here are the before and after expressions because they are just too cute. They make me smile every time that I see these pictures.

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