Saturday, March 28, 2015

Pirmaas atraitnites 2015

I just couldn't resist any more -
and I discovered that my lavender plant from last year is still alive. How is it even possible? The last time I watered that pot was maybe back in October. Yet there they were, silvery green new leaves on the dried up (I thought) stems.

You can see parts of the lavender plant towards the back of the pot, the branches looking like thyme.

Planting those first spring flowers is one of my absolutely favorite things, ever.

Thank you for stopping by Pieliekamais!

Friday, March 27, 2015

Tulpes uz balkona

I've gotten this far -
this is one of my three pots with tulip bulbs. I'm not holding my breath for tulip blooms yet as it can be super windy out on the balcony, but who knows.

Thank you for stopping by Pieliekamais!

Sunday, March 8, 2015

The Air Pockets Worked!

Remember my tulip-bulb insulation project back in December? Today, when I removed the top insulation packs to take a peek, I found tulip sprouts in two of the three pots! The air pockets worked! I am so happy. The only pot where there were no sprouts (yet?) was the clay one, which was exposed to the elements the most. Instead of taking pictures of the tulip sprouts, I went to the woods where I saw the first butterfly (yellow), a ladybug, and the first hepatica flowers of this year.
I didn't expect to find these little beauties for another month! And how happy am I that our friend the sweet-natured spaniel decided to join us on our trek (that's his paw in the picture). He was saying, "OK, what are we excited about here?"
I checked the weather prognosis, and it doesn't seem like we'll get minus degrees (C) for a couple of nights, so I left the flowerpots on the balcony uncovered. Imagine if I'm really going to get blooming tulips on my balcony?
Spring is here :).
Oh, I also ordered some seeds! Will share when the package gets here.

Thank you for stopping by Pieliekamais!

Saturday, March 7, 2015

Power snack: avocado and almonds

According to some study, people who ate half an avocado for lunch stayed sated longer, or something like that. In my quest to eat for endurance, energy, and grace,
I've embraced these findings, and am trying to eat more avocado. Does it work? I think so. With avocado, I can be hungry as opposed to extremely hungry by lunchtime. In these pictures, I am trying a cottage cheese/curd/yogurt type of dairy product (kvarg in Swedish) that is currently very trendy in Sweden. What works best for me is
avocado with my hard bread sandwiches, and then in the afternoon, almonds with raisins, sometimes with kvarg.

Have I peeled a (washed) avocado on the train? Yes, I have.

Have I brought real silverware with me on the train? Yes, of course.

If I make a huge pasta salad, and eat only some of it for lunch, I'm so happy to have some extra food (that I made, for me) to tie me over until dinner on my ride home. Besides the environmental issue of sparing the world one more plastic fork that had to be produced and that I am most likely going to throw away un-recycled, I like using my favorite (real) fork.

So. Try some avocado, and use some of your favorite things more often.

Thank you for stopping by Pieliekamais!

Friday, February 27, 2015

The Happiest Yellow

One of the happiest yellow colors I know is the color of postal trucks (and carts, and trains) in Sweden. Every time I see that "egg yolk stirred with sugar" shade, I get happy. Every time I see that

yellow truck or cart, I think, "something good is going to happen today. Something very good is coming my way." (See the long, yellow train in the picture?)
The building in the picture is called Tomteboda, and it's a mail sorting facility in Stockholm, Sweden. I just love how the morning sun is hitting the building in this picture, currently one of my favorite buildings to look at.
I don't know much about steam punk, but to me, this is a steam punk-sy building. It reminds me of an art exhibit by Shaun Tan that I saw very quickly last autumn
(it was during Culture Night and I did not know that the exhibit was on, hence only a super quick look).  The piece above is called "The Tuesday Afternoon Reading Group".
Look at the chimneys behind the portrait! I see two buildings, plus Tomteboda, that look almost like that on my train ride.
The happiest yellow, and a dog.

When the skies are gray, it helps to see the happiest of yellows, and to think, "something very good is coming my way soon". Give it a try.

Thank you for stopping by Pieliekamais!

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

First snowdrops of 2015

Finally! I had been looking for snowdrops in the forest (near a farm) twice already, and finally today, here they are! (There will be a metaphor about searching for something at the end of this post.)
The temperature has been fluctuating from +4C during daytime (and probably a lot more in sunny spots) to minus 2C early in the morning. The last time I looked for the snowdrops a few days ago, there was still some snow in that part of the woods, and no snowdrops to be seen. That same day though, I noticed that the muscari bulbs near my parking spot had started to sprout!
Really? Here I had been going to the woods and walking the icy path to that one spot where I knew the snowdrops are, and nothing. Meanwhile, the muscari (known in Sweden as "pearl hyacinths", and I also learned the name "grape hyacinths" today) were growing right here, in front of my eyes.

Now for the metaphor:
It is interesting to think that that the answer we are looking for might already be here, right in front of us. Not a journey away, not in that one book that if I just bought it and read it I'm sure it would give me an answer. (For the record, I am all for books, and books do contain many good answers, and questions.)

Back to my pearl hyacinths, I suspect that a bunny or two have been munching on the new buds. So I sprinkled some red hot chili flakes on the buds - a tip I read somewhere. I hope this harms no one.

Ahh, spring is here.

Thank you for stopping by Pieliekamais!

Friday, February 13, 2015

Fenheļa-avokado salāti ar greipfrūtu / Mīlestības salāti

According to some statistic, most people will not get a romantic present on Valentine's Day. So instead of trying to figure out your feelings about Valentine's Day, "turn the steak around" (Swedish expression) and
give your loving attention to someone this Valentine's Day. Your kid, your dog, your awesome relative that always comes through for you (but what have you done for them lately?).
To celebrate you, your body, and the fact that it was still pretty light out yesterday at 5 pm (I could not believe it!), here is a delicious and pretty salad (recepte zemāk būs latviski). This fennel-avocado salad with grapefruit is also part of my 2015 foodie resolutions to make one new sweet and one new salty dish a month (so this is January's "salty", a bit belated).
1 fenhelis
2 avokado
dažas greipfrūta daiviņas
sāls (skaisti būs ar sāls skaidiņām)
Darba secība:
Pannā izkausē sviesta piku (jo vairāk sviesta, jo garšīgāk).
Noskalo fenheli un nogriež tam "artērijas" ("zarus", kas aug no sīpola) un ja ir kāds nesmukums, nogriež arī to. Sagriež fenheļa skaisto sīpolu ("sirdi") daiviņās vai strēmelēs, kā pats grib, un apcep sviestā, lai fenhelis kļūst mīksts un nedaudz zeltains.
Nomizo un sagriež avokado.
Nomizo dažas greipfrūta daiviņas, lai būtu bez baltās mizas (kā bildē).
Visu kārto uz šķīvja, apslaka ar olīveļļu un pārkaisa ar drusciņ sāli (jo ļoti viegli uzbērt par daudz).
Greipfrūts ir vairāk skaistumam un mazam garšas akcentam, tāpēc labāk mazāk nekā vairāk. Lūdzu, es varētu šos salātus ēst katru dienu.
Receptes ideja no žurnāla Buffé, 2015.gada 1.numura, 15.lpp. Tur arī padoms, ka šie salāti brīnišķīgi piestāv pie laša - nu protams! Krāsnī cepts lasis ir Pieliekamā vispopulārākā recepte. Kamēr lasis savā nodabā cepas krāsnī, var sataisīt šos salātus, un vakariņas gatavas.
Lai izdodas!
Paldies, ka ieskatījies Pieliekamajā!