I’m currently sitting in my hotel room in Zurich, Switzerland. It’s Sunday morning, 8 a.m. and my stomach is grumbling. The boyfriend is still sleeping but I’d rather go downstairs to the breakfast room and order a cup of fresh coffee and fill up my plate with a croissant and lots of fruits. We had a big vegan burger late last night, so I shouldn’t be hungry at all. But I guess the fresh Swiss air and lots of walking have a share in that. So now I’m patiently waiting because who needs a tired and grumpy boyfriend and let him sleep….
In one of my latest Instagram posts I talked about the concept of home and what it means to me.
Living abroad since more than 12 years, I often get asked if I miss home. I always say no. Then people are confused and ask ‘So where is home for you?’ It’s everywhere. I’ve lived in 10 countries on 4 continents. For me home is not a place. It’s not a mindset, not a feeling. It’s not about nostalgia. And it’s not a person. Not a single experience. Neither is it the sound of crushing waves, nor the smell of my grandma’s cooking. It’s everywhere. In all of the 10 countries I’ve lived, no matter if it was for years or only a few months. It’s also in all of the 70 countries I’ve visited, every city, every meal, every new friend. Home for me is everywhere. Home is literally where I’ve been, I am or I want to be.
The response to sharing my journey and my thoughts on it was incredible. Many shared their stories too and the countries they had lived in so far and I absolutely loved reading about it. There were also a few people who were interested in the how and why. And I thought my blog is a good place to share a little bit more about this side of my life….
There are two things that went slightly wrong this week. First thing, I changed my time management and instead of randomly writing down to-do’s for that day, I allotted time slots for each tasks. This helped me to prioritize projects that are important by adding it to my morning slots. But it eventually also helps to have a better overview on which tasks take up most of your time. It is then up to you (or in this case me ) to evaluate if the right tasks actually get the most time. Well, I kind of failed. Usually I’m not even able to stick to my morning slots and work much more on one tasks than I planned for. That in return means that I’m now sitting at my laptop and I have 10 more minutes to finish this blog post and publish it before my social Friday evening begins….
I love my life. I wouldn’t want to change anything. The only thing I’m missing are family food traditions. There are just a few rare moments in my childhood that I associate with the kitchen and eating. Most of them are shaped by my two grandmothers, making buttery semolina pudding or cold cherry soup. I would visit either of them during my school holidays and enjoy spending time in the kitchen with them….
Hello dear people. I hope you had a fantastic long weekend and enjoyed the extra day off. I also hope you got the chance to spend some time outside and soaked in a few rays of sun. If not, this German Comfort Potato Soup might just be the right recipe because I heard some people in the Northern Hemisphere still face ugly things like freezing temperatures and cloudy skies. This is exactly how it looked liked in Istanbul until mid last week. So early last week I was fed up with my mind making me believe its almost summer and wanting me to eat fresh greens and fruits and my body telling me that it’s too cold for that and craving comfort food. Obviously I gave in. Not just because it was actually very cold outside but also because it’s always important to listen to your body….
Don’t be fooled, this is not yet again another overnight oats recipe. Though it clearly is an overnight oats recipe. But it’s the mother of all overnight oats recipe. It’s a vegan Bircher muesli. The Bircher muesli was originally developed by the Swiss Maximilian Bircher-Brenner around 1900. Until today it’s still very popular on Swiss and German breakfast tables. Though today’s versions of the Swiss Bircher muesli often don’t nearly look like the original recipe….
Now if you think that I tell you a story about an adventurous trip to Thailand after I graduated from university. Where I drove with a small scooter through the hilly jungle landscape of the north, island hopped my way around in the south and visited way to many temples in Bangkok. Then you are wrong. Because I reserve this story for another time. Today I tell you how I fell in love with Thai food. And this didn’t happen in Thailand. Well, it kind of did. Because when I went to Thailand for the first time, I ate myself into a daily food coma with sticky rice and mango. I also had the occasional pad thai and though I liked it, it wasn’t until I moved to Hong Kong a few years later that I actually fell in love with Thai food. …
I’m slightly proud of myself. First of all, this is my first recipe for a drink. Secondly, it’s the first time I cooked with lavender. But most importantly (read impressively (at least to me)), I foraged the lavender in the woods on our recent trip to a small Turkish island in the Mediterranean Sea. It was also on that said island that I did my very first outdoor food shot for my Vegan Hot Cross Buns. Back home I put my bouquet of fresh lavender in a vintage vase I inherited from my grandma and simply enjoyed the smell. A day later I researched the internet to find recipes that call for fresh lavender buds. Most recipes list dried lavender as an ingredient. And since I had just finished my coconut syrup the other week, I thought it might be worth a try to make syrup with my lavender….
‘Chickpea tofu?’ I hear you say. ‚Is that tofu with chickpeas? Or chickpeas with soy?’ Neither nor! It’s soy-free tofu made with chickpea flour. ‚But how is that Japanese?’ I hear you say again. Fair question, so let me tell you a little story.
A few years ago I went to Japan for a few days. At that time I was living in Hong Kong and my boyfriend frequently had to go Japan for business. On one of those trips I joined him and we flew to Tokyo. Now I would call myself an avid traveller, a so-called experienced adventurer who has seen many different cultures, lived in way too many countries (though there is no such thing as too many) and even spent a long summer in South Korea. A country just a stone-throw away from Japan. But yet, the moment I stepped out of the airplane I felt like I had landed on a different planet….
Where is this beautiful place, you might wonder? So let me tell you about last weekend. We spontaneously decided that we wanted a weekend away from Istanbul as the weather forecast looked very poor and we felt like it was about time again to explore some new regions in Turkey. Initially we planed on going to Izmir but I wasn’t in the mood for such a long drive. So I literally put my finger on a map, went a little north of Izmir (closer to Istanbul) and stopped at an island, which is just a stone, throw away from Lesbos, Greece. Our destination for the weekend, Cunda island, a 4.5 h drive from Istanbul.
A word a blow and the alarm went off at 5 am on Saturday morning. The day before I had prepared a picnic basket with English Hot Cross Buns, raspberry chia jam and coconut chia cream. I had hoped that we would find a nice spot on the way but unfortunately almost the entire route was built up with houses and factories. And so we quickly agreed it was better to wait for some peaceful greenery than sitting next to the highway. In hindsight, this was the best decision. Because as soon as we reached Cunda island, or how I would call it “the island of olive trees”, I spotted the perfect tree for our picnic….