Photography, food, fashion, lifestyle and pretty things.

niedziela, 25 stycznia 2015

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On the menu in January

One would think that eating in season would be difficult in January for someone who lives in zone 6. Yet, there are crops that you can harvest, even if you have to dust off the snow first. Fashionable kale is waiting for you, crispy from the cold. Scorzonera hispanica has been with us since November, just like other root vegetables. And of course you can always grow some microgreens. Even my unforgiving northern-east window is ok for them. So what's on the menu? Homemade onion baguettes with kale, garlic and broad beans spread? Check. Pasta topped with scorzonera, leeks and carrot cooked in rice milk? Check. Savoy cabbage with lentil sprouts and roasted tofu. Check. Krupnik soup with scorzonera? Still on the waiting list.

Mogłoby się wydawać, że trudno w tym kraju o świeże, sezonowe warzywa zimą. I choć warzywniaki kuszą dobrami zwiezionymi z południa, to przecież i u nas jest sporo rzeczy, nawet jeśli trzeba je przynieść z piwnicy albo wydobyć spod śniegu. Jest modny ostatnio jarmuż i równie modny wężymord, a wraz z nim wszystkie inne warzywa z korzeniami spichrzowymi. Poza tym zawsze można wyhodować kiełki, nawet na oknie od tej smutnej, północno-wschodniej strony. Co więc mamy w menu? Były domowe bagietki z cebulą okraszone smarowidłem z fasoli, jarmużu i czosnku. Była jarzynka ze skorzonery, pora i marchewek podana z makaronem. Była kapusta włoska z kiełkami soczewicy i wędzonym tofu. A na swoją kolej czeka krupnik ze skorzonerą.

Anna Pavord, whose book I've been reading recently, gives a sound piece of advice: use that quiet period of January to sort through your seeds. If you've collected any, it's time to clean them. It's also good to plan ahead and think of what seeds you will be needing this spring and what you need to buy. As a beginning urban gardener, I hardly have any seed collection. I've stolen some Ipomea capillacea seeds on my walk to Niepołomice, and will trade some with my mother who has been collecting the purple variety. I have some basil form her garden (in the picture), some marigolds (Tagetes patula) stolen during another walk (but they are so popular it's no crime), hosta (stolen in the park) and finally my own evening stock from my own balcony. Too much? You haven't seen the shopping list.

Anna Pavord, której książkę ostatnio podczytuję, radzi – bardzo rozsądnie – by wykorzystać styczniowy okres zastoju ogrodniczego na uporządkowanie nasion. Jeśli jakieś zebrałeś, teraz jest najlepszy moment, żeby je wyczyścić i posortować. Styczeń to także czas na planowanie i zamawianie nasion, które będą nam w tym roku potrzebne. Jestem początkującą ogrodniczką balkonową, więc nie mam zbyt wielkiej kolekcji nasion. Podczas spaceru do Niepołomic udało mi się ukraść różowego wilca. Wymienię się z mamą, która zebrała nasiona purpurowego. Z maminego ogrodu wzięłam bazylię, innym razem ukradłam aksamitki (aksamitki są wszędzie, więc to żadna zbrodnia), a z parku przyniosłam nasiona funkii. Wreszcie są też niekradzione nasiona maciejki, które zebrałam z mojej balkonowej donicy po przekwitnięciu. Dużo tego? Lista zakupów jest jeszcze dłuższa.

niedziela, 18 stycznia 2015

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December books and thoughts

December was exceptionally warm this year (except for the last week, obviously, because then we got to enjoy some Christmas snow). I'm not going to rumble about climate changes, though after completing Navigating Climate Change Conversations courseI feel totally prepared for that. Instead, I'm going to lament over some of my bulbs that wend crazy and started shooting just a few days before the temperatures plummeted down. I hope they will survive, though I don't expect them to flower this year. However, the mint will survive for sure. This pest always does.

Since we're still in the period of no-gardening-now, I'm pampering myself with books. I've bought The Curious Gardener in The Book Hive in Norwich, UK. You might or might not know this is one of the most famous (and rightfully so!) bookshops in Europe. Norwich itself is a most charming city with its cathedral, falcons, Tudor houses, Wild Thyme and herb garden. Sadly, I have no pictures to prove that.

And this, my friends, ins one of the perks of travelling. It always leaves you with a sense of longing. If you've read Harry Potter series you are familiar with the idea of horcrux. I came to believe that whenever you travel to a new place, you create a kind of horcrux – you leave a part of your soul there and this is where the longing comes form.

poniedziałek, 29 grudnia 2014

piątek, 26 grudnia 2014

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Christmas at home

Snow is falling. To tell the truth, it melts down the second it touches the ground so there is probably no chance of white Christmas this year, but frankly I don't mind.
It was the first Christmas Eve that I didn't spend at my parent's house, choosing to stay in Cracow instead. As my mother reports, it was also the first year that my family realised I'm a vegetarian-almost-vegan (it's been 12 years people!). So I skipped the carp, the egg salad and tons of fish-based meals. Instead I cooked a humongous supper with highlights such as roasted vegetable pâté with thick gravy, cabbage with peas and obviously borscht. I baked Jewish krantz – a last minute decision, because it turned out there is SO MUCH time for cooking. I'm still eating leftovers and I'll be taking some to my cousin whom I'm visiting later today.
After a day in a kitchen I deserved a good rest, so I spent the first day of Christmas wrapped in blanket, eating Swedish pepparkakor and reading The God of Small Things and The Isles: A History. Here I must reflect on how multicultural my Christmas are. Hence, I don't hesitate to wish you a very merry Christmas. In Poland we may have only two days of Christmas, but as a popular English song shows, some might have twelve.

czwartek, 27 listopada 2014

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Revisiting and retouching

I've been guilty of revisiting old pictures at least one time. Now I'm doing it again. And again, the model is Anna Maria (I love working with her). Taken at Studio Luma. Photos & make-up by me. It was a project for a friend's etsy shop. Below are the results of a new take at editing and retouching. It turned out quite low-key.

I guess there are more to come since the days are so short I can't catch any natural light to take new pictures. Coming home after the sunset is really depressing not only in terms of photo opportunities, but I think I can manage a couple of weeks more.

czwartek, 16 października 2014


Teacups and memories

I'm not much of a collector. Since most of my belongings have been destroyed in a flood that happened a couple a year ago in the area where my parents have a house I've learned not to get too attached to things. I briefly mourned my pink Game Boy Color. Sometimes I forget all about the flood and expect to find a particular book or piece of garment only to realise it's been destroyed, but that's it.

However, I still have a particular fondness of beautiful teacups. I might not be terribly attached to them, but I like to think of the stories they convey. The Oldemor one (oldemor means grandmother in Norwegian and it has nothing to do with Voldemort) reminds me of a great year I have spent in Oslo, Norway. The wide white one was the first one I bought after moving to a new flat. The one with the flowers is form my aunt who lives in Berlin, where I used to spend summer holidays as a teenager. So if you're looking for a birthday present for me, get me a teacup. It will remind me of you.

niedziela, 5 października 2014

I'f you're lucky enough to have a cat and if you watch her closely, you have probably noticed her getting prepared for a long leap. Body close to the ground, eyes fixed on the aim. She stays still, not even one muscle moves, except for the back legs. Those are working hard. A cat is putting her weight forst one one of them, then on the other, repeating this a few times before she finally jumps.

This is how I'm feeling right now. I have been deprived of a proper summer ending by a sudden construction work in the tenment house where I live. One day scaffolding just emerged behind my window, cutting off next to all the sunlight. The plants had to be moved form the balcony and temporarily placed in the apartment. Some haven't survived. Strawberries stopped producing fruit. There was no place to seed autumn crops such as lettuce and kale. And now it's too late to do almost any gardening. Thank God for bulbs, they give me hope and something to do.

Having been deprived of my balcony I already started planning for the next year. We're gonna have three varieties of of cherry tomatoes, runner beans (mascotte variety), some rocket and pak choy, I'm gonna get some sweet peas and wild flowers form my mum… I have everything planned. I even made charts and tables. I'm waiting. Ready to reclaim my balcony.

A copule of survivors placed by the only window providing natural light. Sadly, only in the mornings.

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