Recent doings #6

Uh, how is it time for the What’s New With You linkup again? How is it June? How will this year be half over in a matter of weeks? Could somebody please stop time for a while?

Anyway, like it or not, it is time for my monthly recap post. So here’s what I got up to in May.

What's New With You
Reading. I finished The Grapes of Wrath! Another one down for the BBC Big Read. It’s quite a fitting book for the current times, but so, so depressing. And that ending… what?! Goodreads said I also read 8 other books in May. I’m not going to list them all here though.
Watching. We haven’t got back to any series yet, but I did watch Wreck It Ralph on TV. It was actually really good and not at all what I was expecting.
Cooking. Lots of salad. You’re probably thinking “Silly, you don’t cook salad!”. Well, you do cook the kind I’ve been making! We’ve had bulgur wheat salad, a wild rice salad and a pasta salad. Yummy!
Buying. Apart from the obvious books, books and more books? I bought shoes (sandals) that I will hopefully be wearing for my friend’s wedding in August… provided the dress I bought for them to go with still fits me by then! (Let’s not talk about how much weight I’ve put on/the fact that I needed to wear decent clothes the other day (see listening to below) and precisely one of the things I tried on still fit!)
Cross stitching. Something for a friend. Jan helped me design it and I stitched it, but I can’t show you because I forgot to take a photo before I gave it to her.
Listening to. I can just about sneak this in here since it happened on 31st May 😉 We went to see the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra because for part of the concert they were playing with Daniil Trifnov, apparently the best pianist around at the moment. Jan had heard of him, I hadn’t (because I’m uncultured). I discovered that I quite like Tchaikovsky.
What did you get up to in May? Why not join the linkup (you don’t have to use this format – you can literally write any kind of catchup post).

Apple, walnut and cranberry salad

Salad

With all the ridiculously hot weather we’ve been having lately, the idea of cooking full meals is just not pleasant. The result: lots of salads for dinner! This one is probably technically more of an autumn salad as it uses apples, but since they’re available all year round these days it’s an easy one to make at any time and the fruit is lovely and refreshing on a hot summer’s day. Here’s the recipe:

Apple, Walnut and Cranberry Salad

Ingredients:
100g lettuce leaves (I use lamb’s lettuce – I find it goes well with the walnuts)
1 apple
100 g walnut halves
75 g dried cranberries
2 dessert spoons walnut oil
2 dessert spoons apple cider vinegar
Salt
Freshly ground black pepper

Method:
1. Toast the walnuts by placing them in a hot frying pan for around 5 minutes (or do them in the oven), then set aside to cool for a while. While they’re cooling, core and slice the apple.

2. Wash the lettuce and place it in a salad bowl, then add the walnuts, sliced apple and dried cranberries and toss everything a bit to mix it evenly.

3. For the dressing, mix together the walnut oil, apple cider vinegar, a pinch of salt plus black pepper to taste.

4. Pour the dressing over the salad and toss so everything is covered in dressing. This amount serves 2 as a side dish. We had it with marinated grill cheese, but I imagine it would also go well with pork (thanks to the apples) or grilled chicken.

Food

Down with salads!

yuck

After consuming an entire packet of biscuits all by myself on Sunday, on Monday it was time to resume my healthy eating plan. New week, new start and all that.

I had bought a cheese and ham salad from Aldi that I was quite excited about. It’s very unusual for a salad to contain no ingredients that I won’t eat, but this one had managed it. No cucumber, no pepper, no boiled eggs. Cherry tomatoes (good!) rather than ordinary tomatoes (I only like them when they’re cooked). It should have been the perfect Bevchen salad… except it wasn’t.

The grated carrots were mushy, half the croutons were soft and I found one hard piece each of ham and cheese (those went straight in the bin!). Even the bits of ham that weren’t hard didn’t taste particularly nice, and I ended up feeling slightly sick. On the bright side, that meant I didn’t want anything else to eat for the rest of the afternoon (a good thing because I didn’t have anything else with me… and by the time I’d forced down the salad my lunch break was over).

In future, I’m sticking with the biscuits!

 

Brief update on Jan: He has to stay in Turkey until Monday as he won’t be safe to fly until then. I suspected that this would be the case despite his initally assuring me that he should be able to fly home with the rest of them. Major disappointment, but better than him flying when it’s not safe.

And on an entirely unrelated note, how and why did two people manage to find my blog by searching for “girls playing with noose”? Should I be worried?…

Strawberries and cream, poured not whipped

I pre-empted (great word that) Jan last night. I called him at quarter to 8. Someone had just told me that he and his girlfriend are coming to the meal tonight and I had to tell Jan to get extra ingredients before I forgot about it. This meant I was actually able to get to bed fairly early. It didn’t do me any good though… once I was in there I couldn’t sleep. So it was still after 11 o’clock when I finally drifted off. I am feeling slightly less tired this morning though (well at least my eyes don’t hurt) so maybe it wasn’t a total waste of time.

Tonight is the night that I cook for my floor. I’m making cottage pie for 11 people, including one vegetarian. (The vegetarian is getting a pie made with soya mince). I’ve planned ingredients for 10 people (the 11th just told me they want to come) so I hope there’s enough to go round! I’m making salad as well and there are strawberries for afterwards so everyone should be able to eat their fill… I hope.
Speaking of strawberries, my boyfriend told me last night that I’m weird. I asked him whether the Germans eat strawberries and cream, and he said they did. So I said “But whipped cream, right?” The reply: “Yes, of course, what do you do?” He was shocked when I told him we just pour the cream on. That’s strange, apparantly, and can’t possibly taste nice. I told him he’s not allowed to knock it til he’s tried it, but I’m a little worried about what the others are going to say now.

I have a job interview tomorrow. Can’t believe that’s the first time I’ve mentioned it all week! I think I’m less nervous about this one than I was about the one in Gernsbach, not sure why though. Maybe because I’ve had more practice.
Only 3 and a half more weeks til the end of my internship. The need for employment is becoming greater by the day…