Let's Talk About Broccoli Soup

Broccoli soup

Oh, you thought you were gonna get a recipe of perfect broccoli soup? Steaming with a certain freshness and healthiness, only found in Instagram posts? I’m sorry, but if you’re not looking for a recipe of disaster I’ve got nothing for you.

Because let me tell you a little something about broccoli soup.

I’m not known for my cooking skills. Or, on the flip side, I’m well-known for the lack of them. Actually, when I tell people I’m gonna make them dinner they usually either

1) offer to bring their own/cook for me instead. (And, usually, they try to hide their intentions: ‘Don’t bother with the cooking, LinnΓ©a, you’re contributing enough with your home!’)
2) secretly bring something eatable/devour something before they even get here.

Now, I’m actually trying to be more interested in cooking. Because I’m thinking that’s one of those basic skills one should have. At least if you’re like me and don’t wanna waste money on take-out for the rest of your life, resulting in me rather having a pot of plain beans for lunch. Yeah, it’s rough.

Hence, I’m trying to be more interested and learning as much as I can about cooking. So far, I’ve had three exceptional successes (one being with some help from Gruvfrun – but it still counts!) and more than ten failures.

But I knew that my broccoli soup was gonna make for another success. How could I fail anyway? It’s like broccoli and stuff blended together. Right?

When I was done chopping the broccoli into perfect little pieces and had put it all on the stove to boil for a very specific three minutes, Selma began whinging and demanded my attention.

‘I need to go ooooooooooout.’

This always happens when I’m doing things that need 100% of my focus. Our dog’s clearly psychic.

So I went out with her, reluctantly. I nearly stumbled on some kids but just made it through the critical moment of ‘hey, lady, can I pet you do-‘ by half-walking and half-running away from them (I’m known as the crazy neighbourhood lady that hates kids by now. And I’m alright with that because it’s just about true). But as soon as we got to her favourite peeing spot on the lawn – and yes, there is such a thing – she got distracted by some happy-Friday-person playing extremely loud music from their car.

Now, I play loud music too. When I’m INSIDE. So I gave him a hysterically bitter glare and tried to make Selma do her thing.

Nothing.

I tried to remind her that I had broccoli on the stove.

Nothing.

I tried to explain to her that if she was a good girl now, I’d give her a huuuuge reward later – but she called my bluff.

A solid ten minutes later she finally sat down. And, as I was in the elevator on the way up again, I realised that that was a little more than 7 minutes longer than I was supposed to boil the broccoli.

‘No harm done’, I thought, ‘it’s gonna be mash anyway.’
‘*soup’, my mind corrected me.

Of course, nothing is ever that easy and once I got inside, not only had the broccoli boiled over (I know, I know, very dangerous, next time I’ll turn the stove off) but I’d forgotten to turn on the fan, leaving a heavy, broccoli fuelled, mist absolutely everywhere in the flat. I instantly turned to our dining table to smell our bouquet of tulips, only to have to swallow the fact that it did, indeed, smell like broccoli.

In that very moment, I decided to give up. I took my hand blender – but not before I’d brought myself a comforting glass of wine – threw in some milk, and turned it all into a soup. Only it turned into a mash. And I had forgotten every kind of spice.

In my saucepan, therefore, there was literally nothing but broccoli and milk. A very sad little lunch.

And as I sat there, eating straight out of the saucepan, because I dread the idea of doing the dishes and ESPECIALLY unnecessary dishes, Gruvfrun came to my rescue.

‘How did the soup turn out?’ she texted me.
‘Fucking horrible. Taste like horse shit.’
‘Oh.’
‘With peanuts.’
‘Peanuts? Why pe- don’t tell me. Why don’t you add some more salt – you always put in too little’ (I didn’t have the courage to tell her that I’d forgotten about spices altogether) ‘pepper, and some chilli flakes? And top with some creme fraiche and sesame seeds.’
‘Okay, I’ll try.’
‘And PLEASE put it in a bowl. Don’t eat straight out of the saucepan again.’
~Muttering~

To my surprise, although I wasn’t surprised at all, my lunch tasted great all of a sudden. And I did give Selma a huge reward anyway because I couldn’t stand her looking at me like: Mum, it’s Friday, and you obviously hate me.

Hope your lunch tasted moderately to awesomely good and if you had broccoli, let me know.

Happy Friday!

Spontaneous Like No Other

writing-mundane-magpie

I’m just about two and a half hours late with this post – but for a very good reason. You see, today, I did something unspeakable: I was spontaneous.

Oh yes, spontaneous. Perhaps you thought you misread that? But no, let’s hear it again: spontaneous.

Possibly not as spontaneous as some might think when they think of the word ‘spontaneous’ but then again, most people are more spontaneous than me.

Planning for – and taking action towards – a new business has required me to be pretty much on my own the past few weeks. And, as you already know, I work from home anyways, which means I am alone most of the weekdays with Selma and Gruvfrun (once she’s come home from work) and weekends, of course, because I’m an old lady

But I’m one of those people that really get into a bubble once I do. The kind of bubble that shuts its door(s) from the outside world totally, with like spike traps and a dragon to guard it.

Less than a week in advance The Visionary, therefore, decided that I needed to get out of my bubble (rightfully so).

Now, Gruvfrun, as always, was the first one to see this common behaviour of mine – and I strongly suspect she spoke with The Visionary about it because three days after Gruvfrun told me that my bubble behaviour was escalating, The Visionary kindly asked me if I was:

‘Heading to that place again?’

‘Of course not!’

‘Really?’

‘Yeah!’

‘Been seeing a lot of people lately?’

‘Well…’

‘Because this coffee with you, I had to plan a month in advance.’

‘Mhm.’

‘A month.’

‘Yup, so you said.’

‘A month AND you postponed it two times. That’s like two months.’

‘Mmmmm.’

‘Mate, you’re heading into your bubble. Gotta burst it.’

So she challenged me to be spontaneous.

‘Let’s meet as soon as next week for a walk. Ok?’

And, shockingly to myself, I said yes.

I instantly regretted it. 

This morning I wandered about all grumpy about ‘having to do something today’ (my conception of freedom is severely fallible) but once I got to the park I had a really good time. It wasn’t as bad as I thought. Actually, it wasn’t bad at all. 

Maybe being spontaneous isn’t as bad as I remembered it. Maybe I’ll even dare to do something the same day next time. Yeah, how about that.

Hope you’re all having a wonderful Wednesday.

Cheers

Honesty makes for awkward encounters

Fire in the woods.

I am, of course, not very subtle when it comes to emotions. I would like to believe that I’m good at concealing them (especially the negative ones), but I’m simply not. 

It’s not that I can’t smile when I’m upset or nod my head as if I was interested when what I really want to do is to get out of that party asap β€“ it’s just that I’m really, really, really bad at it.

And, naturally, that has put me in some awkward situations. For instance, I accidentally insulted The Historian about his job (which I’m actually very impressed by), and I couldn’t help but almost forcedly showing my opinion about wearing sweatpants outdoors to The Philosopher (who wears them outside on a regular basis), and for some unexplainable reason, I offended a stranger at the watchmaker’s shop when she asked for my opinion regarding a wristwatch she meant to buy.

And that got me thinking, in a world that asks for (screams for) more honesty, is that really what we want? Really

Some honesty is required for sure, like in politics and when you’re at the doctor’s. I mean, imagine if you had a severe cough and it turns out it is pneumonia but the doctor goes: “Nah, it’s the flu.” That would be bad, I agree. 

But when it comes down to the details – in which us mediocre, invisible, normal people (so to speak) would be the details – isn’t some dishonesty more or less needed? Imagine all of the conflicts we’d end up in if we all went about and told things “as it is”. Doesn’t turn out great for those that already do it. And it most certainly doesn’t end well for those of us that are trying to hide whatever negative thoughts we’re having but who are simply incapable of doing so.

But also, it works the other way around.

Because sometimes I get really grateful – and no, it’s not a good thing. The other day, you see, when I was food shopping I’d ticked off all that was on my list except aubergine. And for some reason, on this particular day, the aubergine had decided to hide from me. I think I looped around the vegetable department at least five times, passing by the same old man three of them, two of which he looked at me as if I was stalking him.

I can see why.

Somewhere at the end of my fifth round, I got hold of a person in a friendly red fleece jumper stating ASK ME FOR HELP in large white letters:

‘I can’t find that goddamn aubergine’, I splurted out annoyingly when he simply asked me to turn around. As it so happens, the aubergine had gone undercover as a purple cucumber, and that was why I hadn’t seen it.

Now, the reasonable thing to do had obviously been to say a simple thank you, maybe apologize for the unnecessarily annoyed tone I’d used at first, and to move on.

The unreasonable thing to do would have been to praise him, the store, and the universe for bringing me my aubergine, to tell the old man I’d passed three times that I finally found that aubergine, as if he cared (also, why was he still there?? How long can one person take to choose three apples?), and to jump up and down as I picked up the perfect vegetable and put it in my basket. The poor fellow awkwardly smiled, took an almost invisible step backwards, and uttered a little “ehehe……….”

And to make things worse, when I walked away I did it with little spastic dance steps every other second or so.

The fact that I didn’t jump up to hug him and announce that we were gonna marry, is probably the only thing that kept me from being institutionalised on the spot.

It might sound like a perfectly kind thing to do, to be very grateful – and I was very, very grateful, obviously incapable of hiding it – but, in that case, you don’t get to what extent I was acting precisely like a crazy lady who’s probably killed six people and have more than thirteen cats at home.

From that day on I’ve been like a ninja in the store. Swiftly I move between the aisles, quickly I duck when I see a staff member, and hastily I run through the checkout.

It’s been three weeks of this work-out-like shopping method and so far so good. I’m hoping to break my 1-mile record pretty soon. Then again, if I simply had acted like a normal person then I wouldn’t have to act like a crazy person now.

Family, Mine Of Three

Family
Family
Family.

Happy Valentine’s Day! Or if you hate this particular day:Β Happy Friday!Β Just as good a reason to celebrate as any.

Valentine’s Day stirs up emotions for many people, I know that. All the same, I’m gonna go on and be truly Valentine’s cheesy in this short post. I’ll make up for it later with some pure, sarcastic bitterness, I promise.

You see, I wanted to dedicate this post to the most important thing in my life: My family. Or, more specifically, my family of three.

Since I met Gruvfrun at uni a million years ago – give or take one or so – we’ve been a tiny family of two. Accidentally, two is Gruvfrun’s favourite number. And, very convenient, my favourite number is three (well, I’ve gotten a few, to be honest – I always feel like I’ll jinx something if I only have one favourite, you know?).

The other night, I woke up around 3 am because a slumbrous four-legged person came climbing on top of my belly, hoping to get invited under the covers (of course she was). And as she lay her tiny, sleep warm body in a comfortable position on my shoulder – with her nose tightly tucked in under my hair next to my neck – with Gruvfrun breathing calmly beside us, I felt a wave of uncontrollable happiness entwisting its fussy arms around me.

We, Gruvfrun, Selma, and I, we were a little family of three.

It’s through them that I find the world so much more beautiful, despite whatever is going on around us. It’s honestly a little bit like opening a bag of your favourite sweets.

Because you know when you get the first whiff of – in my case – the superduper sour, ghost-shaped pieces and you know that even though the scent is unquestionably amazing, the best is yet to come? That’s what life is with my two favourite persons.

Like a bag of perfectly sour sweets.

❀️

The Art Of Being An Old Lady

Baking cinnamon rolls.

My grandmother called me the other day, and that got me thinking about age. Age is pretty fluent, isn’t it? I know everyone’s talking about it, but that’s more in the sense of ‘Yes, I am 42 but I look like 23 *blink*’ I don’t mean it like that.

My grandmother and I bond over the ill-behaving younglings, the coupons you get at the grocery store, and how wonderful the flowerbed will look at the end of May. Boys, booze, and break-ups are far away from our conversations. (Now, obviously, I’m a lesbian so boys, I’ve never really talked about anyway. But I needed another ‘B’ alright? Not the point, moving on.)

By the fourth sentence we exchanged, it dawned on me: I’m really an old lady in a twenty-something body.

Coming to think of it, I’ve probably been 80-something for the better part of my life.

No wonder I’m all into slow living, books, and plants. Nothing strange about me choosing a night in with Gruvfrun and Selma over a night out on the dancefloor. Suddenly, all the sighs I’ve made when having to deal with another friend+crisis-related issue – or when we actually were going out – made sense: I’m too old for that shit.

Although some might argue that this entire old-lady-thing is a crisis in its own, I choose to believe that it’s simply me. 

Being an old lady makes you stand out a bit from the rest of the twenty-something crowd of course – the objects above being the main reason. And it’s not widely accepted either:

‘This is the age when you’re supposed to be wild and crazy! You will regret it if you don’t! Stop being so boring.’

Yes. I am boring. I’m freaking 85-years-old! See how wildly spirited you’ll be when you’re my age.

But the main thing that bothers people is that you need to plan ahead with me. When friends have called me in the morning to plan something for 4 pm the same day, I’ve said no. It’s too sudden, too little time to prepare, too spontaneous. I simply have no time, I’ve got plants to take care of for Pete’s sake!

I feel bad for my friends, old ladies can be a proper pain in the ass.

But don’t get me wrong, I love being an old lady. It’s marvellous. Not only can old ladies do pretty much what they like but I, for one, get the perk of not having bones cracking and ligaments aching. (If you don’t count my back of course, but honestly, which person born after 1980 don’t have problems with their back?)

Baking cinnamon rolls.

I feel like we’re all so focused on – and being obsessed with – staying energetic, fresh, and rejuvenated, to the point where we’ve forgotten how to be old.

We need to learn how to be old. Maybe not ghastly old, but still: pretty old. Old enough to accept our flaws, old enough to let go of our past, and – as cheesy as it is – old enough to take on a new day with a smile and dare to hope for the best outcome.

(Now, I know I’m more of a bitter old lady, I do understand that. But I can change. I think…)

It’s not all sunshine and rainbows. A few huge problems with being 85 when you’re really 27 are:

  • I still get ID’ed when I buy wine
  • No one’s holding up the door for me (except one of our very, very, very lovely neighbours who seem to get the idea)
  • I can’t go as a senior to the theatre
  • I get judged unfairly when I don’t understand where to blip my card on the card terminal in the shop

But other than that, it’s pretty great. I recommend everyone to at least try to be somewhere over 70 in the next few days. If not for what I’ve talked about so for the fact that you can google ‘Common cookie problems and how to avoid them’ at the same time as you’re eating and baking cookies – for hours and hours on end. Or perhaps you’re more of a stare-at-the-neighbours type of old person, that’s alright too. Just don’t forget the coffee.

Now I’m gonna water exactly three of my plants and maybe grab a good ol’ cup of coffee as I pet my dog and read a book. ~aah~

Cheers