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Archive for the ‘people’ Category

pretty things.

In food, people, savory, sweet on July 4, 2010 at 5:45 pm

The lay out bit of this whole shebang has yet to be figured out, and this post is more of a mishmash of things enjoyed over the last few weeks. Let it be jumbled, I say! For if tastiness is defined by structure, then I would rather experience a clusterfuck of vegan mouth jooooyyyyyyaaarrrrgh (the tiredness of the week just hit me. have lost. all ability. to form. coherant. sentence.)

500 Vegan Recipes: Oatmeal Cookie-Topped Pear Crumble

In my parents household this dish would be named pear crisp, not crumble, and necessitates in the desire for a sweet, yet somewhat healthy treat. The topping recipe is now my canon for future crisps, as it truly mimics that crunchy, chewy oatmeal cookie that screams to be paired with vanilla (soy) ice cream. The horse pan makes me giggle.

The weekend of June 18th saw the coming and going of my neighborhood’s annual street festival. Established in 1990 after Germany’s reunification, the contemporary development supposedly has gone the route of commercialism. No longer the home-made, politically influenced street fair, many locals complain. As my apartment is located smack dab within the square that is the Neustadt, the throbbing techno mashed together with power-cord heavy punk rock wafting from the bar across the street caused more complaints to come from my mouth than euphoric yelps. Then again, I’m sure they didn’t offer vegan sausage 20 years ago…

Summer also finally arrived in Dresden, and so the hallowed rite of grilling has become a weekend activity. My new simple favorite are shish-kabobs: marinated soy medallions, eggplant, pepper, garlic, onions.. they just look so pretty. pretty can also be associated with this graffiti. Just so you know.

Hearts.

Sharlene

TOPFIVE: D.

In people on July 2, 2010 at 7:37 pm

Introducing D. My partner, lover, challenger, and friend. Portland born, he seems to still be looking for the idealistic “home”, yet doubts the necessity of that being a particular place. Maybe more a combination of people and social factors. We learned of each other’s existence in 2003, but found each other again in 2007. Since then, I’ve experienced more joy and sorrow than my imagination could ever create, but maybe that is part of the trite, overused, word love. How does one begin to describe a being of such subjective, personal importance? He has to come first, and yet I fear this pitiful quintet will absolutely fail in doing him justice. To quote that novel which takes place in the city we currently live in.. “And so it goes.”

Sharlene & D. May 2nd, 2010. Alaun Park. Vegan Bake Sale.

5. D. plays guitar. Not only that, but he’s collected umpteen (real numbers, 10?) pedals, an Orange tiny terror (hand carried to Dresden from England), an Alesis Drum Machine, and who knows what other little gadgetries with which he creates his music. I admire and appreciate his dreams of living from his music. Could there be a better goal? When we re-met, music was not what drew me to his person, but I have a distinct memory of walking into his room in Tacoma, seeing his cherry red guitar, and thinking “He will be mine, oh yes, he will be mine.” Right now his main project, The Orange Dinosaurs, consists of him and the above mentioned toys. Dresden has yet to show love in the way of gigs, and I find myself wanting to be the most extreme of bandgirlfriends. e.g. this is me telling you to listen, LISTEN, and tell all your friends .

4. D. doesn’t choose the path of least resistance. In the last three years he’s moved from Portland, to Tacoma, to Seattle, to Dresden, and then from our apartment to his own flat share. With each move he faced the possibility of unemployment, and/or complete detachment from the circle of friends he had built up to that point, and yet he took charge of offering himself what he needed (even though he may not view it as a conscious assertion, I see it so). I find myself again and again in his ability to take the blocks of his life and change their shape with a, perhaps unintentional, architectural whimsy.

3. D. is neurotic. but so am I. He is an avid glass jar re-user. He boils batches of jars that once housed applesauce, saurkraut, or pickles (the best jar yield). These jars offer grains and other goodies a home safe from moths or cross contamination. In the old apartment, our first glasses were jars, I don’t know if he realizes how happy that made me. He has a talent for surviving off the basics, and yet revels in allowing himself well-deserved treats (e.g. guitar equipment, bike gear, smoked tofu). His little peccadilloes seem to be a battle of conscious contradictions: particularly organized and labeled dry good storage vs. purposeful oversight of dust bunnies on kitchen floor. Hands washed continuously vs. other body parts left uncleansed in seeing regular bathroom rituals a wasteful use of resources. I don’t want to embarrass… you see, though these things might irritate when I’m off my A-Game, they are little presents that I get to open as we know each other longer and longer. Things I get to smile about as I catch him washing his hands for the 6th time that morning.

2. D. is vegetarian/80% vegan. Moving in with him gave me the push into vegetarianism, as I respect him and wanted to affirm my own dedication to change. He cooks. Oh how good he cooks, and is more likely than I to pull out the stops and fry up something. Vegan Grits & Tofu bacon is a regular thing at his place.

1.He’s a talker. A conversation with D. is worth more than any bit of trendy pop-culture, graphic novel, grown-up animated television mashup that you might quote to your friends later in the evening to seem hip. The authenticity and wit in his contribution mixed with an ability to simply listen is a cocktail in which I can’t stop imbibing.

The phenomenon of a TOPFIVE

In food, people, sharlene on June 16, 2010 at 4:17 pm

As I now live across an ocean, and we have the childhood history of never been separated — although our parents were– my sister, O., attempted at one point to revamp the way we communicated. Fully detailed emails of daily occurrences were too trying, and only waiting for the big news to come resulted in months of empty space and a continual feeling of disconnectedness. What then to respond about when the news came, and being who we are, we asked, “is no news, good news” really? really? She presented me with her idea of the TOPFIVE, e.g. the topic: her life. The contents: a quintet of events that affected, excited, frustrated, or beguiled her during a time spectrum of her choice. It could be within that particular day, week, or since whenever we had last touched base. I personally loved this method for the following reasons: I like lists, and rankings. Considering a number of events lower than the value of six is considerably less intimidating to write about, and there in quite efficient. This medium forces me to view my life with analyst’s glasses, not just simply reporting dry facts (cups of coffee: 2, piles of crap on the street stepped on: 0!). I then ask myself, where does finding organic hempseed in a grocery store on Bischofsweg rank in comparison to talking with a girlfriend about how I think babies are silly and how her German boyfriend very much wants one? Is this ranking objective, or completely subjective? Beats me. Ultimately, I enjoy me a good TOPFIVE and want to use this here to give a rundown about what I think of certain people and things.

First. (surprise. EGOIST!) Me. And things I like. Right now.

5. I cut my own hair for the first time on Monday. Friend N. loaned me some shears as thinking of an electric razor give me a funny taste in my mouth. A taste of rednecks, shorn sheep, and girls with one side short one side long hair that are just too hip for me. There are two spots on the back that, if I point them out, you can see what I obviously didn’t see while cutting. Doing this was special for me as it required a certain “I just don’t give a fuck” which usually is absent from my personality.

4. The street where I live: being in the middle of the Neustadt, I basically have it all. Highest bar-count next only to the red-light of Hamburg, farmer’s market close enough to throw a stone at (if C. is the one throwing, I have negative skills), lovely boutiques with handmade plastic tabacco holders and individualized linocut stamps, and graffiti — enough maybe to make Banksy proud. Also on my street is one of the two cafes that serve soyicecream and soy Lattes. And a punk/oy subculture store. And an independent movie theater. And someone was stabbed here, well, that’s not a reason to like it. oops.

3. The following blogs have enriched my recipe collection in such a rewarding way. Solid recipes, beautiful pictures, and true sensibility in the matters of cruelty free cuisine: Vegan Dad, Seitan is my motor, Bittersweet, Chow Vegan, the Gluttonous Vegan. There are so many more, but these are my tried and faithful (hahaha not true! zing.) favorites.

2.This setup is not complete but something I have been dreaming about for the last year and a half. Macbook pro, Axiom 49, Audio interface (half of it belongs to D.) Over the last 5 years my creative muscle has been atrophying and I finally have tools with which to rejuvenate that.  Believe, as soon as I’m fully prepared to expose my vulnerable musician’s underbelly to criticism, you’ll hear from me. Right now things are mostly synth heavy, distorted electric organ, driving bass focused melodies. Mal sehen was daraus wird.

1. What currently moves me above all: although life, and living in Germany has not become easier over the last three years, I find myself learning to accept the challenges and defeats as they come. To welcome each moment as equal and necessary is something I strive for — a thing that might give me the satisfaction I’ve been straining after during this first chunk of adulthood. To be truthful, my current task of facing intensive therapy for help on changing a depressive cycle, a presence which has strongly effected said adulthood chunk, seems to be leading to that acceptance. Or at least offering a support which will allow me to let go, and look for it.

hearts,

Sharlene.

p.s. more TOPFIVES about people soon.

p.p.s. this should not be compared to David Letterman’s top ten.