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Published in: on June 15, 2012 at 9:28 am  Leave a Comment  

Questions

Got this from Johan, and as I was answering these questions, a very nice memory came back, one about food (yeah)…

As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?

When the traditional friendship booklets passed around in the classroom, I generally filled in “farmer”. But as soon as I noticed my classmates made a lot of fun of that, I spied on the previous pages and answered -as all girls did- “singer”.

What did you become?

Herbalist, nature guide. The green kept calling me. Concerning the farmer-part: to live off the land is still fascinating to me, though the “wild” side more than the “cultivated” part.

As a child, how did you want to look later?

I was a fatty, so my greatest wish was: being less fat.

How do you look now?

Little did I know that later in life I would get nicknames like “skinny butt”….

What did the man of your dreams look like?

Dark, and tall.

And what did it turn out to be?

Something beyond my most beautiful dreams (yeah, pretty dull, and still…)

And yes: dark and tall.

How many children did you want, and at what age?

As a child -more than likely inspired by the Sound of Music- there was a short moment that I wanted a lot of kids. But quite soon that changed into: no kids.

Eventually, how many do you have or intend to have?

Turning 30 this year, but no feelings in that direction yet…

What was, as a child, your favourite food? What did you not like at all?

My absolute number one favourite was “green potatoes”. A real family recipe of my father’s family, from the polders in the West of Flanders, where the sorrel grows abundantly. (Later on I discovered there’s even an expression “sorrel frump” in that region).

Green potatoes could also be called “mashed potatoes with sorrel”, but that first name just spoke more to us as a child.

It was a dish that was only served in the weekend, not on ordinary week days, and my sister and I were exceptionally allowed to spoon out the leftovers in the cooking pot. Each her turn. And that was the cause of quite a few arguments. So my mother had invented this system where the one who got the last leftovers, had to write her name on an especially for this purpose installed board in the kitchen. After which there was obviously a lot of fooling around with the board.

So the conclusion here is probably that the preference for wild foods was an early one…

There were not many things I absolutely detested, though I remember wondering about eating animals at a very young age. Especially the inconsistency about doing anything for the pets, and just eating other animals, I just didn’t get it. Telling fairy tales of the three little pigs and then eat porc with taste.

In a desperate attempt to understand, I even assisted my godmother removing the lungs, kidneys and livers from the freshly slaughtered chickens. So no, I am not a softie. But still: I never got it. And today, I am already longer a vegetarian than I ever was an omnivore.

Do you still (not) like it, or are there other favourites now?

Looking back, it all seems hysterical, but a plate of green potatoes is still comfort food to me. Especially when they are combined with fresh wild wood mushrooms, shortly fried in olive oil, with some garlic.

I still don’t eat meat.

When I left home, I started cooking with a lot of -for me- new ingredients. So yes, a lot of new favourites, but the number one thing for me is: food prepared with love. Enjoyed in good company.

Published in: on January 9, 2008 at 12:26 pm  Leave a Comment  
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“A huge tree begins as a tiny sprout.” (Lao Tzu)

So, what project are you currently working on?

What was that recipe again?

How are the herbs in your garden doing?

And did you take any pictures?

For all those, far away and nearby who’d like to keep updated of a herbalist’s adventures, herbal recipes, herbal lore and tree stories , there’s this blog now…

Please do keep in mind that I am not a native English speaker/writer, but I decided to make a mirror blog for my Flemish blog, as this nomadic herbalist has been meeting lots of interesting people abroad…

Published in: on August 6, 2007 at 7:07 am  Leave a Comment