This past week has been intense, exhausting and very tiring. First of all, autumn is coming to an end. That’s such a bumper if you ask me. Icy winds took over colourful leaves. A thick scarf, a woolen hat and even gloves have become essential accessories on a Sunday morning walk. Here and there you can already hear the first Christmas tunes. But I’m not ready to let autumn go yet. After all it’s my favourite season. I love its cold but sunny afternoons. I enjoy its flavours and produce. Everything pumpkin and apple, preferable with cinnamon and cardamom lets my heart jump of joy. I even love the first very cold and rainy days, snuggled in a blanket with a hot cup of chai latte. I’m lucky that I live in Istanbul because it’s still autumn here. That means I can still hold on to autumn a little longer. Also my very autumn-y smoothie recipe with Spiced Persimmon and Roasted Apple relives this season.
Secondly, I’ve just been to Stockholm (find my Quick Shopping Guide to Stockholm here) and Germany last week and there, winter has already arrived. Stockholm has been for pleasure. It was my boyfriend’s birthday gift to me. I absolutely love receiving trips as a present. I definitely enjoy shared experiences much more than material things. I’d rather spend my money on traveling than buying myself a car, a house or spend it on any other large investment. Anyhow, we spent 3 days in Stockholm. We knew the weather would be much colder than in Istanbul but the cold felt much worse than it did in our memories 🙂
It’s so funny that our bodies got so used to a warm climate. I originally come from a city close to Sweden. So our winters are cold and our days very short too. However I now wonder how I was happy the first 20 years of my life. Seeing the sun set at 3.15 p.m. in the afternoon felt like the most depressing thing. I usually don’t mind bad weather. I don’t mind going on holiday and not having sunny days all the time. That’s fine but I can’t stand long winters anymore.
It has actually become one significant reason why I would hesitate moving back to Germany or anywhere in Northern Europe. Too many dark and grey days in a row make me moody and less energetic. I like to be active and involved throughout the year and those winter days just slow me down. So last week hasn’t been as productive as I wanted it to be. But I’m now on my flight back home from Germany, getting some editing and writing done. So I can start into a more productive week.
The trip to Germany was a family affair. I flew home for only a few days to surprise my granddad for his 90th birthday. We had a little celebration organised for him with all my cousins, stepsister and their families, my dad, his wife and my aunt. It was one big family gathering. And while we raised our glasses of sparkling wine, I looked at my grandparents and wondered how my life will look like with over 90. How will I feel on my 90th birthday? Will I be happy about my journey so far? Or will I regret the path I’ve chosen? Deep in thought, the ‘clink’ of glasses brought me back to the moment. We enjoyed a wonderful evening and it wasn’t until the next day that I got back to my thought.
I’ve read and heard about it so many times. Sometimes it only takes a small moment to change the course of our lives. It’s a turning point. And it was that moment, seeing my grandparents standing next to each other, that got me thinking. If I continue my life like it is right now, will I be proud of it when I turn 90? Maybe? But it’s definitely not a clear Yes. So this is when I actually like long winter periods. Because it kind of forces you to spend more time at home (no, I don’t like wandering around in rain). Time I can use to set some new goals and make a plan for 2017. And while I’m at it, I just have a jar of Spiced Persimmon Roasted Apple Smoothie. Good food and drinks makes thinking, it basically makes everything so much easier.
Spiced Persimmon Roasted Apple Smoothie
- 2 sweet apples
- 1 ½ ripe persimmon fruits
- ½ - 1 cup (120 -240 ml) plant milk
- juice of ½ lemon
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- ¼ tsp cardamom
- ½ tsp vanilla powder
- 4 tbsp coconut cream
- Preheat oven to 350 F/ 180 C
- Slice apples and spread apples slices on a parchment lined baking sheet
- Sprinkle with lemon juice and ½ tsp cinnamon
- Bake for 10-15 min or until apple slices are tender
- Let them cool to room temperature
- In a blender, combine apples, persimmon, spices and ½ cup plant milk
- Blend until smooth and creamy – add more plant milk if it’s too thick
- Divide smoothie between two jars, top each one with 2 tbsp of coconut cream and a dash of extra cinnamon (optional)