Homemade kimchi

Here is my first post about my kitchen experiments 🙂

I had two Kohlrabi (turnip cabbage) to prepare and I was not impressed by any of the recipes I found on the Internet with the search string “kohlrabi recipes”. I like to eat kohlrabi just raw and without condiments, but I was looking for something more interesting – and challenging.

After a long and random walk across the Internet, yesterday I stumbled upon a variation of kimchi that featured kohlrabi. Kimchi is a fermented side dish from Korea, with a distinctive taste and lot of healthy properties. I therefore proceeded to make my first kimchi… today I had some of it with plain rice, and it tasted good, even if all ingredients were not yet properly blended. This same effect of “taste mosaic” came up with a fresh batch of harissa paste. With time, the taste becomes unique and smooth, and the single ingredients are to be spotted as nuances, aftertastes, shadows.

I am impatient to taste it after the appropriate fermentation process! The recipe gives an estimate of 14 days, depending on temperature and type of vegetables used.

Update: we ate half of it already in an interesting set of recipes, finding them very tasty. I don’t give more than a clue: “kimchi recipes” in your search engine. Enjoy!



New felt pens

I have a slight preference for felt pens over pencils, here are some scribblings with the two I bought yesterday:

(More on my Flickr page)

I’m starting to really like drawing slowly. The line becomes apparently uncertain, but I have more time to actually think and plan where it is going, and the result is usually closer to what I had in mind (or the subject I am copying from reality). Even when I draw from memory, the slow pace makes me feel I am using tracing paper.

One thing that is usually not told, is how long does it need to make a drawing, any drawing that is not a sketch. A day? A week? More? It’s so easy to get frustrated when you seem not to go past the sketch phase, just because you don’t know how to plan for a more complex/big/detailed drawing. I’ll post about it as soon as I find something.

Thought on music practice

Today I practices on my drum set for about one hour, after a couple of weeks without practice at all. Needless to say, I needed a lot of time to get some suppleness back into my movements.

I later felt tired and achy, and I tried to find out how a meager hour of practice could be so tiresome. It could not be because of the type of exercises that I played, nor the sheer force that I used (I am used to play softly). It appears to me that part of the energy had been used to slow down or push forward some movements, in order to play all the notes at the right time. This is especially visible with exercises that make use of all drum set, or fast patterns. This forced control of the body is overall felt as contraction of the muscles.

I have the feeling that I will become a better musician when I will be able to transform the energy into useful movements only. There is so much grace to be seen in the movements of an experienced musician, the impression that all that music requires no effort to be created.

(More pictures on my Flickr page)

2016: more drawing exercises!

Hello all and delayed wishes of a Happy New Year 🙂

For me it started with a great read, “Just Draw It!” from Sam Piyasena and Beverly Philp. It’s a book full of ideas, some really unexpected, for the improvement of observation skills. I found quite some convergence with “Drawing on the right side of the brain”, object of a former post. There are many ideas suitable for short drawing/art sessions, and I ended the book with renewd enthusiasm!

So I looked around for drawing subjects, and here are two of my sketches:

(More on my Flickr page)

I have come to realise that (realistic) drawing requires a lot of concentration and observation, more than technique. I think that I need to train concentration and observation first, so that I can work in longer sessions. I suppose that the need for technical progress will come as a consequence of more sketching, and it is nowadays quite easy to find information in libraries or on the Internet about a specific style, tool or technique. For the moment I stick to my simple pencils and felt pens – and practice.

I also noticed that I draw more easily when the light creates good contrasts. It is for example challenging for me to draw in the evening without a significant light source, or when it is available but can’t create enough shadows. I also am a bit short sighted and I feel I am missing some details that I would like to draw, and good lights are a big help in enhancing smaller details.

So my two suggestions for the random sketcher: train your observation skills, and look for good light sources!