I complain of it sometimes but truth be told I am guilty of it too. Trying to be faster than the fast-paced life we are living in. A touch and go world in need of more information in 140 characters. Our lives are ruled by news tickers, coffee-on-the-go and internet shopping. Apps organize our day, keep us “in touch” and connected, while we are constantly on the move
Anything that will make us faster, better and achieve more - in what seems to be less time than we had before.
At times I find myself on this fast track, raging ahead to keep up. Being a Gemini, I am ruled by Mercury and have the speediest of minds, running a zigzag path through the world of ideas and juggling all it takes. I am usually happiest in verbal, fast-paced environments, sharing knowledge with friends and learning from new people around me. I like tapping into the minds of others, and exchange what each knows through conversation. So being able to keep up is not really my problem. Actually the 21st Century is exactly my kind of time period.
My grudge about this accelerated lifestyle is that it all seems so hasty and superficial, where time is the most precious commodity and no one really has any to spare. We text message our friends that we will arrive late, we tweet apologizing for late emails and we wish them Happy Birthday on Facebook. Like I said earlier … I am guilty of all of the above too. We seem to prefer skimming the surface rather than plunging the depths of a topic. And I miss being able to discover the deeper realms of a topic.
I find myself hitting the brakes more often. Pulling out on the grassy knoll to take a breath of fresh air and watch the rest whizz by. At some point I will stop my friends and capture them in debates, engage them in discussions or dissect a current topic. I love challenging thoughts and provoking deeper conversation and I am enamored by the deeper thinkers, who give me a new insight to the topic. This helps me to keep my belief that the world does not revolve around casual acquaintances and swift social skills.
I cherish those of my friends who see me burning the candle on both ends and are quick to help me put out the flames. They pull me into a safe zone and bring me down to the ground. We then cook together, read poetry, talk about things on our minds and just enjoy the breather before we have to get up and join the race again.
Cooking a magnificent dish from scratch is one of the ways I like to slow down the pace. A bouillabaisse has got to be one of those grounding dishes that one just cannot add any hast to. It certainly does not take days to make a bouillabaisse, on the contrary traditionally, it was something that was much simpler to make. Home cooks threw together slices of fish into water, olive oil, and sometimes wine, an onion or two, tomatoes, saffron, some herbs then gave the ingredients a furious boil and dinner was ready. However, in those days the recipes were not constructed to maximize on flavor. It was a quick and cheap way to get dinner to the table.
Over the years it has morphed into a culinary delight and has become the most famous fish stew of the Mediterranean. But is it really a stew? Some will argue as the bouillabaisse must be boiled vigorously to achieve an amalgamation of olive oil with water and, if using, the wine. It is also not technically a soup because traditionally the broth of the bouillabaisse and the solids are eaten separately. Whatever you want to call it, I think everyone needs to make a bouillabaisse at home. Whether it’s a traditional one or your own tweaked version, I recommend taking time to make this from scratch for therapeutic reasons. Make the fish stock first and then open a bottle of wine and enjoy the sublime mix of the ingredients as they come together.
While the home of the bouillabaisse is considered to be Marseilles, it is made in every little port throughout the coastal regions of Provence and enjoyed in almost every good restaurant in France. Fish is not the most distinguishing characteristic of a bouillabaisse, because all fish stews and soups contain fish. The unique flavoring for the bouillabaisse is derived from the mixture of saffron, fennel seeds, and orange zest.
In my version, I have tweaked a few things, giving a slightly different note and a modern take to the dish. It is an experiment that I think really worked well. In my Roasted Fennel Soup with Pernod and Smoked Salmon I found the combination of fennel and Pernod worked exquisitely and decided to substitute the white wine with Pernod for the bouillabaisse. Keeping the fragrance of fennel and aromas of saffron this was an explosion of flavors. A crusty rustic baguette and my red pepper rouille, is all you need to boost the flavors further.
Workshop Update and News
We have had some awesome response to the Ettersburg Design and Composition food photography and styling workshop here in Weimar this July. Places sold out within 3 days and we’re getting more requests for the workshop. We have decided to open up 4 additional places on the workshop.
But wait we have more news to share.
Julia, Lisa and I have invited the gorgeous Holly Becker of Decor 8 to join us for the workshop. Holly will be guest speaking not only about her inspiring journey, but also about interior styling, going beyond the plate, trends in cookbooks and food photography & styling and creating creative and meaningful blog content. She will also spend time discussing and answering participants questions and queries.
If you are not familiar with Holly go and check out her website and take in some of her wonderful features.
Holly Becker is Founder/Editor of decor8blog.com, Author of international best-seller, "Decorate", and Founder of decor8 ecourses, "Blogging Your Way".
Want to join us?
You will find the all the details for the Ettersburg Design and Composition Workshop on the announcement page.
Registrations: We are now open for only 4 more places so make sure you register quickly. Register here.
Please note: The additional 4 registrations are accepted on a first-come-first-serve basis.You are required to make full payment upon registration. Once you register you will receive an email with details on how to make the payment, which must be made within 5 days from date of email otherwise your registration is void due to no payment. Once you have made payment your place is secured and you will receive further information for the workshop, including a detailed programme.
My beautiful and saucy big sister Jamie has invited us all to join her for the Monthly Mingle in April. I am late! Jamie asked us to spend April in Paris with her and I hope she forgives my tardiness --- but I hear in France it is très chic to arrive a few minutes late! So I am doing this in perfect style ;o) Enjoy the sublime mixture of incredible flavors and aromas in the bouillabaisse and if you make it please do tell me what you thought about the flavors.
I will be spending the weekend in Berlin as my other sister-from-another-mother Jeanne is flying in to visit me. We are planning an awesome itinerary with shopping, sightseeing, food, photographs and yes … there is a certain Norwegian pop singer involved! We’ll be painting Berlin red this weekend!
Wishing you all a great week and weekend ahead!
You might like these ideas from WFLH:
|German Lentil and Sausage Stew||Ras El Hanout Lamb Tagine with Pumpkin and Apricots||Yellow Bell Pepper and Fava Bean Soup|
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