A weekly round-up of what gave me the feeling of sunshine, my favorite sip & my reflections. Welcome to Sunshine and Sips in the Time of Quarantine!
This hopefully-weekly list will be a small pocket of sunshine, to highlight what gave me energy, joy and fed my soul during the week. An attempt to help my brain not to overlook small joys and practice gratitude. And I’ll never pass the opportunity to share what I’ve been sipping on! This is not a place for fake positivity, COVID-19 still sucks hard and I am definitely not immune to the depressing and energy suppressing effects it has on most people.
Happy if you’re reading along and if you have them, share your joys in the comments below!
The biggest, fluffiest sweater I have ever owned
The first piece of clothing I’ve bought since the summer is the same I’ve been living in since I was lucky to envelop myself in its soft cloud. From the brand Samsøe & Samsøe, it’s one big cloud of light pink alpaca wool that has been protecting me from cold, and given me a continuous cozy feeling whenever I put it on. It also fits with my aim to buy higher quality garments that will last much longer/give more wear, in order to make my wardrobe more sustainable 😄.
Going for a walk. It feels like an entire happening sometimes when you’ve been inside for days on end. For me, breaking the loop of endless inside sometimes feels daunting, not sure why. All I want to do is be able to DO things outside…but just going outside for a walk sometimes feels…pointless? Rubbing it in my face that there is not much else to do? Don’t get me wrong, once I’m outside, I’m grateful for the fresh air, the movement, and the drama and attention given to anything slightly out of the ordinary (dogs in baskets! Cool street art! Another new poké bowl place! A super old house!).
To make this more fun, and ring in the weekend in a manner which feels more known, me and my SO have been going on cocktail walks. Pre-COVID times we’d celebrate the turn of the week into weekEND by copious amounts of alcohol, consumed in small spaces surrounded by a few loved ones and many more strangers. I can’t even remember what it feels like to flirt with a cute person in a bar, only to lose them in a group of obnoxious Dutch men pushing their way through the bar. Adding that to the list of things I *won’t* be taking for granted P.C.
Back to the cocktail walks. We now consume intermediate amounts of alcohol, with the company of mostly just each other, in the spacious center of Rotterdam. I know it doesn’t sound as exciting as before mentioned celebrations, but it does make me look forward to celebrating the start of the weekend just as much. Talking about whatever catches our interest, weekend plans, friend updates, and work updates whilst we walk from one bar to another, getting colder, cheesier, and tipsier.
We end the evening as we would coming home tipsy from the bar; take-out, bad tv, and the occasional dance in the living room. Reframing Friday night 😉. I’ll soon share our favorites in a new blog post!
A thickly layered sandwich is an art. Getting all the right textures in, the crunch, the softness, saltiness, a slight sweet… it takes someone with love for food to make all of the flavors dance together harmoniously. To my delight, there is a ‘hidden’ Japanese sandwich bar place around the corner, included in one of the Han restaurants in Rotterdam.
The Chinese duck was absolutely delicious, but the surimi one was just as good (and had that satisfying crunch from red cabbage). They have more ‘hidden’ restaurants at that location, and their food has never disappointed me <3.
Stanley Tucci: Searching for Italy
After seeing this show mentioned several times in my food lovers groups, I downloaded a few episodes. If you enjoy food and travel programs… don’t hesitate! They take care to tell the stories behind the food. Where they grow the ingredients and why it matters where they source them from. More importantly, they share the stories of the people, communities, and their history linked to the many mouthwatering dishes that are shown. Watching the show helped with my sense of saudade of traveling to places I’ve never been, and renewed my determination to learn to cook some Italian dishes better. I’m not kidding myself, I’ll never get close to the absolutely brilliant balance of flavors. I’d like to be able to cook (Italian) dishes that warm you up, give the eater the sense of a warm hug. Kind of like this series does.
Barbara, so named because she is a grand lady (Strelitzia Nicolai) and Eve, so named for her alluring and seductive glossy red flowers (Anthurium), are new additions to my plant family. They’ve settled into their spots in the living room, allowing Barbara to soak up all the early morning and afternoon sunlight. The same sunlight which relentlessly washes over my other plants, forever on the balance of being over- or underwatered. Eve stands on the Ikea plant perch, begging for a new pot that is big enough to fit it… It’ll have to wait until the lockdown is over. Since my new living room is large and has lots of white spaces, extra green and touches of color are just what it needed!
Sips: Sunshine and Pét-Nat
I tried Pét-Nat for the first time last Saturday. It made me long for the first summer nights, when the air can still be crisp, but the sunshine lingers on your face, and food and wine can be uncomplicated as long as it’s good. Long conversations, leading to silliness or seriousness. The taste of peach and apples, a bit tart but accompanied by a light white grape aroma. It made me want to pack-up a picnic of wine, bread, fruits and cheese and run to the nearest park to sit with friends.
Read more about what Pét-Nat is here (it has bubbles!). I bought mine from SupremeVino on the Meent, and came from Chateau Schembs in Germany, they sell it online here! If you enjoy wine, don’t forget to read my Books and Wine Pairings blog post from last year.
Hope you enjoyed the first ‘Sunshine and Sips in Times of Quarantine’ blog post.
If you have any sunshine, sips or sadness you’d like to share, please do so below! More episodes will be published under the Fiery Living category.