Just keep BRAINS!

Cemetary-Travels and the life of a german Darkling.

Category: cooking

So you are one of those ‘Food-Nazis’

Hey there, Internet!

This phrase (in German but still) was what I got when I wanted to buy some fries today. I kindly asked the salesman if he could tell me if the sauce was gluten-free and his reply was ‘So you are one of those Food-Nazis?’. I instantly turned around without buying. Knowing there is a trend of people having Gluten (or whatever) free diets this question obviously was ok for him and he tried to do a joke I guess. For anyone who (like me) suffers from intolerances this was quite painful so here is a bit of background story.

1604 nature banana easteregg apple rice healthy food allergies intolerances fresh

Living healthy with allergies or food intolerances can be a pain.

I was a kid with a lot of allergies, also didn’t like meat so my mom had to try a lot of different things to convince me, back in the early 90s that’s what people would do. During my pubescence most of my allergies disappeared and I ate everything but warm spinach (you know, when it gets mushy). I sometimes did have a pain in my stomach, but thought it was normal, same with the migraines, as a teenager you don’t think about that too much, parties might cause hangovers, so you would blame the last party. That party for sure was fun so you would not want to look closer into the pain.

When I was 16 though the pain in my stomach was enough to get me collapsing, pale, barely able to move or breathe, doctors thought it could be a ruptured appendix, luckily they did not start any surgery before some more tests were done. My appendix is still with me, it was not reasonable for my pain. One of the doctors I saw during that time thought it could be lactose that made my stomach hurt so much. Tests were done and I had to start looking into ingredients again, ask for them, try to avoid lactose. If not possible I would have to also take a lactase pill. That was 2003 when soy products were quite new in Germany and tasted horrible, got better throughout the years. The pain in my stomach did not completely disappear but was a lot better, migraines stayed but because nobody knew where they came from doctors decided it was because of my arachnoid cyst and there would be nothing they could do about it besides the painkillers. Then there were a few years of bad and good eating habits, diets, weight differences but everything was still ok. I sticked to Montignac method mainly and simply left out lactose.

In 2014 / 2015 though the pain was back in all its glory, migraines tunred worse as well and left me confused, tests were done, all different kind of diseases were suspected, again. All they found out was that my body had some pretty big infection. At that time I saw a few fellow bloggers post about similar problems and the reason for most was gluten, that was what I told my doctors to look into as well because we got quite desperate. More tests were done, eating habits were changed and again more tests were done. Result: Now I would have to stop eating gluten containing stuff as well. As far as I know there is not such a nice pill for gluten as there is for lactose so permanent abandonment it is. Tried for a while and it worked. Stomach pain is completely gone and migraines only show up maybe once a month for 3 days and less intense as they were. This though ends in more reading of ingredients, of more asking salesmen, of more tears when shopping for food or eating at restaurants. Most companies write tiny notes that all their products might contain tiny bits of gluten even when no gluten is listed directly in the ingredients, fear of pain is big enough to keep me even away from those products – last time I tried to buy some chocolate I was reading ingredients for 30 minutes and in the end found not a single bar that I could buy. There are alternatives for cooking / baking most of the things one would wish for but still, eating outside will force me to ask and this experience today was one of a few. No Sir, I am not just a Food-Nazi (and I hate that word.), I simply am afraid of pain, pain that will last for days!

And yes, besides one energy drink each day I still try to stick to Montignac method most days (unlike today) while taking care of my lactose and gluten intolerances. In the end I wonder what if I was vegan or vegetarian on top. I still don’t like eating meat too much but maybe once in two months or on festivals with a medieval market I have a Mutzbraten or something similar. I could eat even less stuff than I can now and probably get comments like the one today even more frequently. Then again there is hope, hope of more alternatives to find in stores in the future (especially with the whatever-free diet trends these days), and the hope that no more intolerances or food allergies will be found in my body.

Do you have to cut some food from your meals as well? Is it easy in your area to get alternatives? Have a nice evening!

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Gothica Absinthe

Hey there, Internet!

Time to apologize! I have been writing on 4 posts at the same time and was not happy with any of them just to find myself in shock when I realized it has been a week without a post! So yes, I am very sorry for getting lost in my writings instead of simply posting. (Thanks to todays Faderhead newsletter talking about deadlines I woke up again!)

So alcoholic drinks have a hard time convincing me, I will have my Vodka when going out, enjoy a glass of Bloody Mary (hah, stereotypes!) or White Russian but when available I will always prefer an Absinthe. Luckily most of my friends agree so I don’t have to have a lot of other drinks at home. There are bottles that I would always have a spare one because it simply is that good, others will only be bought once to try them. Today I would like to introduce you to one that you can find a lot of different online-reviews for so it could have been a good or a bad one for me but talking about stereotypes I could not resist to at least try it!

1511 gothica purple absinthe essence of darkness wordpress 1511 gothica purple absinthe sugar 1511 gothica purple absinthe louche

Essence of Darkness, Gothica Absinthe (80% alcohol, 0.5l bottle). Official description: With a strong wormwood taste and merciless alcohol degree Gothica opens the gates to darkness. Dedicated to the inspiration the recipe makes use of artemisia absinthium as well as other ingredients that are known for their transcendental virtues. Because of its strength, we recommend to serve Absinthe Gothica with three parts ice cold water and two sugar cubes.

Well, the bottle already looks much different, shape- & designwise and with the liquid being unnatural purple / black colored. Not going to lie, I prefer my Absinthe colored by natural ingredients. We tried it with different amounts of sugar and water, giving us every color from bright milky purple to the hint of white / misty color you can see in the pictures.

Some reviews say there will be no louche when adding your iced water but there is, the picture shows 1:4 mixed, 1:2 was really dense, opaque purple. The first slug was strange, of course I did not know what I would have to expect when I read the seller’s description of this brand not wanting to be a traditional french style absinthe. Glass was put aside for a minute. In the beginning it had a strange, strong, nearly bitter taste that was much too intense for my liking and oddly was worse in those glasses with more sugar. The best mixture I tried with this absinthe was with 1 sugar cube and 1:2 mixed with water. Afterwards you will be rewarded with a lovely sweet aroma that will last for a while.

In the end it was quite nice, probably not my favourite but I am happy I tried it and when this bottle is facing the empty side I am sure I will buy a second one!

Have you tried this one yet, what did you think? Have a nice evening!

Pumpkin Soup, Summer Version!

Hey there, Internet!

NO, this won’t turn into a food blog, promised! Some things that are related to halloween & stuff I adore, I will have to share with you though! Halloween is still 4 months away and over here in Germany it is summer / or as they say horribly hot. Still I sometimes want to include a bit of halloween taste to my food. Did so earlier this month when I tried my hands on a summer version of my pumpkin soup and since it turned out quite tasty I wanted to share it with you! I don’t cook by exact amounts of product because I don’t want to throw something away that would still be good. And in the end the most important thing when cooking for your friends and family should be to put some love into it anyways! Hope you will enjoy it!

food halloween pumpkin soup summer style

What you will need (for 3-4 persons)

* 1 Hokaido pumpkin
* 1 Butternut pumpkin
* 5-10 carrots (depending on size and your ‘nomming while cooking’ habits)
* 1 tiny onion
* 500ml creamy coconut juice
* 100ml pineapple juice (without additional sugar, eriously thats sweet enough)
* 100ml water
* 1 lemon
* fresh ginger (about 3x3x3cms in size)
* fresh basil (i grabbed 4 leafs this time)
* 1 teaspoon nutmeg
* 1/2 teaspoon allspice
* 1/2 teaspoon white pepper
* a tiny bit of cinnamon

How to make this – Don’t forget to put the seeds away, you might want to try to grow your own pumpkins / lemontree from them!

* clean & excorticate the pumpkins, carrots, ginger & onion.
* put the coconut juice in your cooking pot, i always start the oven at highest temperature and go down a bit as soon as it starts boiling.
* cut the pumpkins to the size of gaming cubes (about 2x2x2 cms), it is ok if they get a bit bigger, we will change that in the end, carrots in slices, add to the coconut juice as soon as it starts boiling.
* cut onion & ginger (tiny pieces, unless you like to bite on those things!), add to the big pot, juice the lemon, add that, too.
* let it boil (a bit!!) for 30 minutes, stir every few minutes
* add the water, pineapple juice and spices, let it stand for 15 minutes, use your hand held blender a bit to cut the bigger pumpkin & carrot parts (makes the soup a bit creamier, too) and you’re done!

Do you think Pumpkins are only for Halloween or do you sometimes include them to your dishes throughout the year? Maybe share some receipes? Have a nice evening!

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