When you are neither rich nor possess many earthly belongings, you tend to direct your attention toward the little things in life, what is not materialistic nor can be quantified in money terms. You learn not to have greedy expectations or to take things for granted, to be satisfied with not much, to have a more spiritual insight into things and to become increasingly open to the outside world and that which surrounds us...- Ernest Hemingway
Due to that my life is very restricted. I cannot go on holiday (the last time I travelled abroad was 13 years ago when I last saw my English grandparents), buy what I want (let alone what I need), visit restaurants and coffee shops nor have many activities. Nonetheless, I try to make the best of what I have, positivize and find beauty in everything, even (or especially) where people don't. My situation has made me clear-sighted as I am not blinded by pecuniary matters or encumbered by avarice.
“The present moment is filled with joy and happiness.
If you are attentive, you will see it.”
- Thich Nhat Hanh
"Be Content with what you have; rejoice in the way things are. When you realize there is nothing lacking, the whole world belongs to you."
Thanks to my "misfortune", I am a keen lover of Nature. It never fails to surprise me and I cannot get enough of admiring it and incessantly being flabbergasted by its unlimited wonders. I am capable of sitting on my balcony for hours looking at the sky and the way clouds evolve. The dreamlike and elegant flight of the buzzards fascinates me. I cherish the welcoming morning chant of the birds and that of the perky rooster living in the garden opposite my building block. The imposing solemness of the Salève mountain that towers over my village like a monolithic monster bedazzles me. My kitty Maruschka is a real bundle of joy and brings a charming feline touch to my day. The flutter of leaves in the evening wind brings me peace of mind. The croacking of frogs makes me smile. The sudden appearence of a fiery and fluffy fox during my Saturday walks delights me. A warm summer breeze wraps me in a shroud of pure bliss. The rumbling river nearby comforts me. An afternoon spent foraging for exceptionally fragrant wild blackberries excites me to the highest point. Listening to the electric sounding songs of the cicadas which have colonized the area lately just fills my heart with joy. The shape of a fruit or the color of a vegetable sends me into a state of meditation. The sheer variety of food astounds me and makes me feel so thankful...
"Don't seek, don't search, don't ask, don't knock, don't demand - relax. If you relax, it comes. If you relax, it is there. If you relax, you start vibrating with it."- Osho
Somehow, I have the attitude of a Zen (or Taoist) monk who sees magnificence everywhere he looks and doesn't burden his soul with negativity. Genius lies in simplicity, naturalness and harmony. Being able to stay humble brings you inner strenghth as it is when humans are left with the strict minimum that they are forced to face themselves and dig deep into their inner being in order to "survive" the lack of artificiality in their existence."Two novice Zen monks are arguing about whose master is more evolved and accomplished. So the first monk boasts, 'My master is so powerful, he can stand on one side of the river and write his name in the mud on the opposite side'. 'That’s nothing' said the other one. 'When my master is hungry, he eats and when he is tired he sleeps'."
With food, the same can be said. There is no need to complicate things, spend considerable amounts on luxury ingredients or be frivolous. A well-balanced and uncomplex dish can have even more impact that one that is ultra-complicated, pompous and extravagant. Sometimes, it is the most elementary and frugal meal that leaves the greatest as well as long-lasting memories
"The modern mind has lost all capacity to wonder. It has lost all capacity to look into the mysterious, into the miraculous - because of knowledge, because it thinks it knows."- Osho
"Preparing food is not about yourself and others. It is about everything!"It is for that reason, that the recipe I am presenting today is not pretentious and is of Nippon inspiration. Like all things Japanese, it is subtly refined in both looks and taste, and shines in its purity, sobriety, equilibrium and apparent rusticity.
- Shunryu Suzuki
This exquisite "Cold Soba Noodle Salad" is easily prepared, ravishingly summery and perfect for hot weather as the cool pasta play off the heat marvelously. It is a dish that has strong earthy and warm aromas of wasabi, sesame oil/seeds, soy sauce and buckwheat noodles, but thanks to the heady and fresh flavors of ginger, rice vinegar, cucumber and carrots, the symmetry is absolute.
~ Cold Soba Noodle Salad ~
Recipe by Rosa Mayland, August 2011.
Ingredients For The "Soba Noodles":
2x 80g Dry soba/buckwheat noodle bundles
Ingredients For The "Vinaigrette":
4 Tbs Sweet Japanese soy sauce (Kikkoman)
3 Tbs Sesame oil
2 1/2 Tbs Rice vinegar
1 1/2 Tsp Wasabi paste
3 Tsps Chopped fresh ginger
2 1/2 Tbs sesame seeds (black or white), roasted
Ingredients For The "Topping":
2 Medium carrots, cut into thin matchtsicks
1/3 Cucumber, cut into thin matchsticks
Method For The "Soba Noodles":
1. Bring a large pot of unsalted water to the boil.
2. Add the noodles, sprinkling them strand by strand into the water.
3. Gently stir to immerse them completely.
4. Simmer over low heat for about 4 minutes, or following the package directions.
5. Drain and rinse with cold water.
6. Place in a bowl and set aside.
7. Mix all the ingredients together.
8. Pour over the salad and mix together thoroughly before adding the sesame seeds and tossing again.
9. Refrigerate for about 30 minutes, so that the flavors develop.
Method For The "Garnishes":
10. Add the carrot and the cucumber, mix.
You can replace the rice vinegar by white balsamic vinegar or malt vinegar.
While the soba noodles are cooking, stir occasionally to prevent from sticking.
If you want, you can also top your noodles with chopped scallions.
Serve cold and accompany dish with eggs (omelet, fried eggs, hard boiled eggs or poached eggs) or fish (steamed or fried).
~ Salade Froide De Nouilles Soba ~
Recette par Rosa Mayland, août 2011.
Pour 2 personnes.
Ingrédients Pour Les "Nouilles Soba":
2x 80g de Nouilles soba sèches (2 bottes)
Ingrédients Pour La "Vinaigrette":
4 CS de Sauce soya légère (Kikkoman)
2 1/2 CS de Vinaigre de riz
3 CS d'Huile de sésame
1 1/2 CC de Pâte de wasabi
3 CC de Gingembre frais, haché finement
2 1/2 CS de Graines de sésame (noir ou blanches), torréfiées
Ingrédients Pour La "Garniture":
2 Carottes (moyennes), coupées en fines allumettes
1/3 de Concombre, coupé en fines allumettes
Méthode pour Les "Nouilles Soba":
1. Remplir une grande casserole d'eau (sans ajout de sel) et porter à ébullition.
2. Ajouter les nouilles, en les faisant tomber une à une (en pluie).
3. Mélanger délicatement afin d'immerger les nouilles.
4. Faire cuire à feu dou pendant environ 4 minutes, ou selon les instructions sur l'emballage.
5. Egoutter et rinser à l'eau froide.
6. Mettre dans un bol et mettre de côté.
Méthode Pour La "Vinaigrette":
7. Mélanger tous les ingrédients ensemble.
8. Verser sur les nouilles et bien mélanger avant d'ajouter les graines de sésame.
9. Entreposer au frigo pendant 30 minutes, de sorte que les arômes se développent.
Méthode Pour La "Garniture":
10. Ajouter la carotte et le concombre, mélanger.
Le vinaigre de riz peut être remplacer par du vinaigre balsamique blanc ou du vinaigre de malte.
Pendant que les nouilles cuisent, mélanger occasionellement afin qu'elles ne collent pas ensemble.
Si vous le désirez, vous pouvez aussi garnir cette salade avec des oignons verts coupés en rondelles.
Idées de présentation:
Servir cette salade froide et accompagnée d'oeufs (omelette, oeufs à la poêle, oeufs cuits dur ou oeufs pochés) ou de poisson (grillé ou à la vapeur).