New Teapots – part 2

When I was in London back in June, I came across one of the many touristy giftshops there. I had been considering getting a small teapot containing no more than two cups of tea for a while. I have done so as I have had a tendency make an entire pot of tea (the only pots I had here in Gellerup up until then both hold about a liter of tea), but for various reasons I haven’t been able to drink more than a cup or two before the rest of the tea went cold. This is especially a problem around Advent/December/Christmas, seeing that a huge part of my everyday that time of year is the Christmas tea.

As I write this, I start thinking that I might just as well use teabags or use one-cup filters for loose tea – but nevertheless, I found this teapot+cup in said tourist trap museum gift shop and thought I would kill two birds with one stone: get a souvenir from London and get the tiny teapot I had been thinking of getting for so long.

I can’t quite remember what I had with the inauguration of this one – probably a muffin – but with a quick cuppa I could just as easily have had freshly baked vanilla cookies (the dough freezes well – and if coming directly from the fridge, one can easily slice a few slices from the dough and bake them accordingly).

New Teapots – part 1

I was fortunate enough to inaugurate a new teapot back in the fall. It’s not that the old one wasn’t good – but it just didn’t work as well as I wanted it to. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t regret buying it – I just ended up realizing how unpractical it is.

The old teapot is a Bodum teapot – Bodum is the firm behind most quality French press coffee pots in Denmark if I’m not wrong – and this teapot is derived from the French press idea; pressing the loose tea down to the bottom of the filter when the tea is done steeping. Very convenient for black teas, there are no holes in the lower part of the filter, preventing the tea from going bitter from the tannin.
But with time, a couple of problems with this teapot occured; 1) it is impossible to get the stains off of the filter, and 2) it’s just awkward to brew tea with teabags (yes, you heard me – I use teabags) in it; you can’t use it without the filter since the opening is otherwise too wide to support the lid.

The Tea Pot - without the filter

Then one day, I saw this teapot and small matching mugs in a store in central Aarhus – and I fell in love.

Teapot and small mugs in store

The irony? The teapot and seven mugs (the number of my study group at the time) didn’t cost much more than half of what the Bodum teapot alone cost me. This teapot also has a filter for lose tea, but the design of it is so subtle that no matter what, the lid of the teapot fits the opening like a glove. This means that I can use it for both lose tea and for teabags. Yay! On top of that, the filter is very easy to clean. Double-Yay!

I celebrated the new teapot with muffins made from a new recipe (rather: new at the time of the inauguration) – they are so freakin' easy and are made from ingredients I usually have in the kitchen anyway, and the end result is an appropriate (as in: not overwhelming) number of muffins. So I almost need an excuse not to make them these days. You can find the recipe in the previous post on this very blog.

Yum.

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Gallery

Recipe: English Muffins

Source: This is based on another recipe – but as with any other recipe on this blog, I edited a bit. The original recipe can be found right here.

I found this one while looking for a simple muffin recipe, and one must admit that this must fulfill that demand – even to an extend that I didn’t expect. But since I don’t like raisins other ways than how they come in the package, that was a no-go, and since I had no lemon, so was that. But although the muffins are great without, a dash of lemon might dress it well.

Another perk is that these muffins freeze well.

Yield: 9 muffins.

Ingredients
150 g butter
150 g sugar
150 g flour
2 eggs
1 teaspoon baking powder

To-do
Let the butter soften – this makes it easier to work with.
Preheat the oven to 200º C (390º F).
Mix butter and sugar.
Mix in the eggs.
Mix flour and baking powder – and mix it in with the rest.
Divide between nine muffin tins/moulds.
Bake for 15 minutes or until golden and unwobbly.

Enjoy with your afternoon/evening tea/coffee – eg. a good Earl Grey.

Randomness Recharged

Hey all,

I was talking to a fellow student over the Facebook chat the other night. She needed more pictures for her own blog, and I wanted to update this one. But I think we both felt a bit out of blogging mojo – in spite of myself having a bunch of drafts lying around (some of them from when I started here on WordPress a couple of years ago).

One of the reasons why I started blogging more regularly often was that I wanted to get into a proper rythm and get a bit of practice – and most important: “speak” (write) my mind and communicate various things to the rest of the world. I wanted communication through writing to be part of my professional life as well as wanting a place to share aforementioned various things.

But then something went… wrong. Or maybe not wrong, but not how it should have gone. I came up with other blogs.

One blog was Eksilkøbenhavneren, where I wanted to share the process of moving from Copenhagen to Aarhus in order to study dramaturgy at Aarhus University. It still holds its validity as it is written for my Danish friends and family, and thus it’s written in Danish. But many of my personal reflections moved away from this present blog when creating Eksilkøbenhavneren.

Another blog is Stage Takeoff. Initially having a drive for travel that is about as dominating as the drive to do theater, it didn’t take much inspiration to start a blog that would be based on the combination of the two. But what happened was that I took everything theater up on that blog – although that wasn’t the initial plan with neither ye olde present blog nor Stage Takeoff.

Suddenly the themes that were important to me were outsourced to the aforementioned blogs (I even made a blog specific for travel updates, but it was barely updated, and in retrospect really vague and barely worth the time) – and it is as if focus was removed from here instead of using the blog as a centering unit.

The only thing happening to Eksilkøbenhavneren will probably be no more than just start blogging on it again. But both this, my personal blog, and Stage Takeoff will have a minor overhaul each. I will be taking a look at all of my blogs and collect evrything possible right here on my personal blog. Stage Takeoff will go back to be the combination of theater and travel (occasional stints will be rare and/or limited to the matching Twitteraccount).

As for the future – I don’t know where I will be going with writing, but as it is it doesn’t seem as if I have the basis to create something new to write about theater (or anything else for that matter) from a personal perspective on. If I have anything to say on theater, it will either have to be from here, from Stage Takeoff, or from the platform of those I write for (and in the case of the latter, I will to my best to either retreive permission to re-post it, digitally scrapbook it, or link it from here). The day I have the basis to start a professional blog on theater, I will. Until then I see no need not to “exploid” my own personal corner of the Interwebs for the cause.

Yours truly.

😉

On Politics

If you’re friends with me on Facebook, you saw the image/link I shared. It’s from Anti-Rebuplican Crusaders by the way of Re-Elect President Obama and shared by someone on my friend’s list. The image features a picture of and quotes George Clooney. The quote goes:

I’m disillusioned by the people who are disillusioned by Obama, quite honestly, I am. Democrats eat their own. Democrats find singular issues and go, ‘Well I didn’t get everything I wanted.’

I’m a firm believer in sticking by and sticking up for the people you’ve elected.

If (Obama) was a Republican running, because Republicans are better at this, they’d be selling him as the guy who stopped 400,000 jobs a month from leaving the country. They’d be selling him as the guy who saved the auto-industry. If they had the beliefs, they’d be selling him as they guy who got rid of ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,’ who got Osama bin Laden. You could be selling this as a very successful three years.

– George Clooney

Now, let me start by setting something straight: I’m not an anti-Republican crusader. I’m certainly not a Republican, either. On the contrary. But as the old quote goes: I may disagree with you, but I will fight for your right to have your beliefs/opinion/etc.

But I do think that Clooney has a point. I think that there is way too much mudthrowing in politics these days (also in Denmark) instead of acknowledging the actual accomplishments – and it overshadows the actual accomplishments. I honestly think that if the oppositions spent their energy on what they stand for and cooperate on what they actually agree upon (environmental issues, anyone?) instead of denying that there is actually something they agree with their opposing parties upon (12 minutes extra per day, five days a week or an extra hour per week of labor? Anyone?) or trying to trip their opposing parties in order to maintain their own or get (back) into a position of power, politics would be so much more effective as well as attractive. So much more would be done, and people like myself wouldn’t give up on political activity as easily or find the news so uninteresting and discouraging.

To be honest, I am one of those who was quickly disappointed after the latest election in Denmark (efterløn – anyone at all?). But I tend to forget three of the initial and instant accomplishments of that election:

  1. We elected our first female Prime Minister, Helle Thorning-Schmidt.
  2. We changed the political color, thus having a left-wing government after a decade with a right-wing government.
  3. Every time I start feeling the disappointment sneaking in, I always think of what the alternative could be, and think that at least we’re going somewhat in the right direction by now.

Win-win-win!

Another thing I just realized was that they haven’t even been governing for 100 days yet (although we are almost there – the election was on September 15th), and I remember being puzzled by the people criticizing Obama for not accomplishing what he set out to accomplish before or about the time when his 100 first days had gone by. So this is also a note to self about just taking a step back, chill out, and give the politicians a bit of space to do their thing.

I do see the point that there sometimes may be a need for “watchdogs”, but there is a difference between keeping people to their word and throwing mud at them. Parts of that difference are respect, reason, and common sense. And may I add to that that it takes more than 100 days to get through some things and more than one electoral period to get other things through? Just sayin’. With the risk of coming off defensive, I can also inform the uninformed that the Danish system isn’t just bipartial (although it’s usually the leader of the Social Democrats on the left and the leader of the Liberal Party on the right who goes head to head for the position of Prime Minister); the Danish system is multipartial, meaning that a government usually consists of at least two parties who have to agree upon a government platform to govern from – thus naturally compromises have to be in the mix. As for now, we have the Social Democrats, lead by Thorning-Schmidt, flanked by the Social Liberals on the right and the Socialist People’s Party on the left having to govern from their platform while the Red-Green Alliance are yanking their chain from the far left. This also gives me reason to think that we might have to add about a week or so to the 100 days, as that was the time it took the three parties to agree upon a mutual platform to govern from.

You’re asking who I voted for? Well – that’s for us all to know, but for me to write a separate post on. If you know me well you already know, if you know me and the Danish parties you may be able to guess, and frankly I don’t think my confused pile of evenly confused thoughts on that subject fits into this post.

A couple of thoughts on food (#BAD – Blog Action Day)

Food. We all need it to survive – but unfortunately it’s not all who have easy access to this life necessity. This is why I write this blogpost: today is Blog Action Day, an annual day that happened to fall on the same day as World Food Day. This is why the theme of Blog Action Day this year is food. I have been wanting to get some thoughts on food down in writing on this blog – and now would be the chance.

There are so many ethics when it comes to food. Personally I believe that we should be taking care of our planet, the people and other animals on it, and the environment around it all, not just run it down to make money. This may sound saved and hippie-esque – well, it does, doesn’t it? But we should, shouldn’t we? And food and drinks seems to be something of the most obvious to work around to do so.

I’m no angel, though. Although I would love to buy everything organic and fairtrade, I don’t have the money to do so in my present situation. And I like meat a tad bit too much to not eat it. Not that I am entirely a carnivore – I’m an omnivore (just as human beings were initially made to be).
I do admire those who can lead a strictly vegan diet/lifestyle, and I love vegan and vegetarian food when it’s made right (just like every other kind of food; frikadeller, the Danish meatballs, don’t taste right if they’re made wrong either). I just don’t want to lay off meat.

But I do believe in treating animals well. This means that I buy as much of my animalistic products (meat, dairies) organic – and on the rare occasion I buy fish, I go for MSC-certified fish.

A concept I love and think should be a rule rather than an exception should be freeganism. A lot of supermarkets throw out food that is still in a good condition, and some people know how to get to the containers with the disregarded food – and they take the food with them. You who do this: know that I praise you! Everything else is a waste of food.
I remember when I visited London on my own back in 2004 – it was my third time there, but my first trip on my own – I ate at a Pret a Manger. I can’t remember whether it was a sign on the wall or one of those signs at the table, but it said that whatever was left at the end of the day would be given to homeless people. I love that solution as well. I think they still do stuff like that. Dear Pret, know that I praise you for that.

Anyway. I would love to give you some wise words on how to live the perfect, sustainable life with food – but as I said, I’m no angel. The best tips I can give you is to make your favorite food – BUT: try to do it with sustainable products! And google freeganism. Or check GratisMad (in Danish) and TrashWiki (in English).

RE-BLOG: Saying Hello: A Guide for Beginners (via studentdesignblog)

… Or at least make and keep eye contact and smile back!…

Saying Hello:  A Guide for Beginners Okay, fellow runners:  What’s up with the not-greeting-each-other thing?  I see the same ten or twenty people in the exact same places along the trail by my house every single morning, and so naturally I say hello to them every single morning.  And still some of them literally squirm with discomfort when I do.  What’s the problem here?!  My head is very simple on this count, and I’m thinking, “You’re a runner! Cool, so am I! Let’s be friends!”  A … Read More

via studentdesignblog

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