Stir fried Cucumber

I wanted scampi. Big scampi, lightly battered, in a chinese sweet chilli sauce. We don’t have those things…

  • cucumber cut into 5cm sticks
  • cashew nuts
  • fried tofu
  • garlic
  • ginger
  • chilis (fresh or dried)
  • chili-bean paste (toubanjan, the ubiquitous lee kum kee!)
  • sake (or rice wine)
  • cornstarch
  • soya sauce

Toast cashew nuts in a pan / wok until they start to colour. Set aside. Stir fry ginger, garlic, and chilis in oil. Add tofu, cucumbers, cashews, and bean paste. Deglaze with sake, then add a splash of water. Cook for 30s to a minute – the tofu needs to get hot, then thicken with cornstarch. Soya sauce (shoyu, of course!) before serving.

Takes… meh, ten minutes including preparation time.

Millet Salad

Never been a huge fan of couscous, far too dry unless you slather it in olive oil… which isn’t great either. Millet (Hirse in german) is somehow better.

Cook a small amount of millet in twice as much water (by volume) for five minutes, and then let it sit with top on the pan for another five minutes. Meanwhile cook thinly sliced button mushrooms in a pan. when the are soft take them of the heat, cut them through, and stir into millet. Leave the top off the pan now, so it can cool.

In a large bowl, mix:

  • chopped tomatoes
  • black olives
  • capers
  • minced garlic
  • cooked green beans, cut into small (several millimetre length)

Let it all sit for a while, and prepare the following:

  • cucumber, chopped small
  • lettuce, shredded
  • bunch of fresh cilantro (parsley would be fine, some sort of tabbouleh!)

When the millet has cooled down, but is still warm… add it to the large bowl, along with the other ingredients, and dress it all with rape seed oil and lemon juice.

If i’d had a fresh green chilli…

7 a day (another)


  • salad (lettuce, alfalfa, cauliflower, broccoli, cucumber, salad radishes, edamame)
  • miso soup (white radish, taro, napa cabbage)
  • half an apple


  • grilled aubergine with grated ginger
  • silken tofu
  • stir-fried pak-choi
  • genmai (brown rice)


  • salad (lamb’s lettuce, alfalfa, sunflower seeds, salad radishes, broccoli, grated carrot, red onion)
  • rest of yesterdays lentil stew

Sometime during the afternoon i had a banana and handful of nuts.

7 a day (again)


  • salad (lettuce, cucumber, alfalfa, sunflower seeds, broccoli)
  • pineapple


  • yasai itame / japanese stir fly (cabbage, leek, carrot, onion, mushroom, grilled tofu, ginger, garlic)
  • pickled diakon (white raddish)
  • 2 dried figs
  • grapefruit


  • lentil stew (onions, garlic, chillis, savory, brown lentils, tomatoes)
  • salad (lamb’s lettuce, pear, walnuts, lemon juice, hemp oil)
  • bottle of red wine

Easter was a little “off the rails” but not horribly so… some pasta was involved, a falafel in durum, some rice. Nothing horrendous.


It’s not really my thing voting. As best as i can recall the first (and last…) time i voted was in an EU election. It would have been around the time that i became eligible. Since then, nothing. Which isn’t entirely surprising – a few years latter i fled that sceptic isle and have never returned.

The recent rise is idiots such as UKIP, and subsequent push for an ‘in-out’ referendum on Europe have made me wonder if voting might become necessary. After all, the last thing that i need is to be forced to move back (maybe the Scottish would take me in?)

Well, it turns out that i’m no longer eligible to vote in UK elections. In order to register to vote you must have a lived at a UK address in the last 15 years. Nope, haven’t done that. And therefore no voting. Seems a little odd as a citizen, who would be effected by the outcome of any referendum, not to be able to vote. Still, i’m the last last person who would pretend that democracy is perfect… or that the UK is particularly democratic!

In theory it’ll only be a another five years until i can apply for citizenship here in Germany. In practice, i’m not sure how that will work out. Oh, and i can vote in EU elections as a resident of Germany, but somehow the machinery here seems to have neglected to register me… maybe they know?


This really rings true for me:

It is Mr Rottenberg’s view that the current vogue for the “pursuit of happiness” may perversely push certain people towards depression. Happiness, he argues, is the result of achieving a goal, rather than a goal itself. He cites recent evidence suggesting that depression or low mood can be triggered by setting unobtainable goals. Rather than becoming depressed because of underachievement, he suggests that perhaps depression is an overcommitment to goals that cannot be reached.

To the point that i don’t really want to discuss the details.

I’m leery of reading books with titles like “The Depths: The Evolutionary Origins of the Depression Epidemic”, but perhaps Mr. Rottenberg will bring some clarity to episodes that i don’t really feel equipped to comprehend in any detail…