Miso soup

I’ve known miso for around twenty years. I got it in the health food store, which has a good japanese section. It is a thick paste, available from yellowish through mid reddish brown to deep dark brown, generally made from fermenting soybeans – sometimes other grains are added, like rice and barley. It has different tastes, from an earthy sweetness for the light ones to a deep saltiness for the darker ones. Miso can be used for marinades, sauces and soups. I use it for soup most of the time.

2015-11-29-17.18.06

A true miso soup has dashi as a broth. I do sometimes use a vegetable or chicken stock cube as a starting point. You may even use water.

The dashi is made in around 5 minutes. You do need kombu, a sort of seaweed and bonito flakes, shavings of a type of tuna. You start with putting the kombu into cold water and heating it up until it boiles. After a couple of minutes you can take out the kombu and leave it for another time. I will most likely use for around four times. Then you add a tablespoon of the bonito flakes and let it simmer for a couple of minutes. After that you drain the broth. The dashi is ready.

2015-11-29-17.16.26

The filling can be basically anything you have in the house. For this evening i chose the following:

  • 2-3 cm of fresh ginger, grated
  • two cloves of garlic, chopped
  • a bit of freshly sliced red pepper
  • 4 cm of large carrot, in 1 mm thick slices
  • the remaining bits of bok choy
  • tofu, sliced in medium blocks
  • some noodles

2015-11-29-17.23.47

The miso i mixed with a couple of tablespoons of the broth. It’s best not to cook the miso. It seems natural miso has many microorganisms which can be killed by overcooking.

2015-11-29-17.30.13

2015-11-29-17.36.16

When the carrot is cooked through, add the broth with all the veggies, tofu and noodles to the miso.

A half slice of nori i found in the cupboard was cut up in small pieces and thrown on top. A spring onion sliced was added as well. I finished with spreading some chili sauce on top.

This recipe is for an evening meal. There are many other options. A good place to start reading for more information about miso soup is the following article: Understand the Flavor Framework of Miso Soup.

Enjoy!

Published on November 30, 2015 at 6:00 by

The Word Girl

The best band in the world! Scritti Politti. It’s been thirty years this year since i got to know the album Cupid & Psyche 85. I was hooked from the start. Eight months later i bought Songs to Remember. Loved this one too.

Cupid % Psyche 85 did stay my favourite over the years. I enjoyed the other albums too, many a song on there which i can sing along with. But so far Cupid & Psyche still is the best.

Once, either in the old yahoo group or in the fanzines made by James Lawrence in the late 90s the question was asked which Scritti song would be your favourite. I didn’t know. I knew it would be from Cupid & Psyche, but i was torn between Absolute, Woodbeez, Perfect Way, A Little Knowledge and The Word Girl. I do love the entire album. But over the years my thoughts settled more and more on The Word Girl.

So here it is. It’s actually a hard one to sing for me, i think i go off key several times. The a cappella thing. The singing goes a lot better when i sing with the music. I love this song. I love the lyrics. I love the music. Yep, the whole lot.

Enjoy!

The Word Girl – Scritti Politti
To do what I should do
To long for you to hear
I open up my heart
And watch her name appear
A word for you to use
A girl without a cause
A name for what you lose
When it was never yours

The first time baby that I came to you
I’d do things that you want me to
The second time baby that I came to you
Oh you found my love for you
The third time baby that I came to you
Oh, oh, oh, I knew
The last time baby that I came to you
Oh how your flesh and blood became the word

A name the girl outgrew
The girl was never real
She stands for your abuse
The girl is no ideal
It’s a word for what you do
In a world of broken rules
She found a place for you
Along her chain of fools

The first time baby that I came to you
Swore I’d do things that you want me to
The second time baby that I came to you
For oh you found my love for you
The third time baby that I came to you
Oh, oh, oh, I knew
The last time baby that I came to you
Oh how your flesh and blood became the word

Oh how
Your flesh and blood
Oh how
Your flesh and blood
Oh how
Your flesh and blood
Oh how
Your flesh and blood
Oh how
Your flesh and blood
Oh how
Your flesh and blood
Oh how
Your flesh and blood

The original

A live version

And another live version!

Published on November 27, 2015 at 6:00 by

Close to You

Officially called (They Long to Be) Close to You. Written by Burt Bacharach and Hal David. It was recorded earlier by other artists, Dionne Warwick, Dinah Washington, Burt Bacharach himself. But the best known version is by the Carpenters.

I got a the Best of album somewhere in the late 80s. I don’t think i bought it. It might have been an album from my parents. From that time on i got to love some of the Carpenters songs. I especially liked Karen Carpenter’s voice. I am no professional singer, so i wouldn’t know how to describe her voice. But to me it always sounded as someone really close singing softly to me. Not very high or low, no prolonged notes. Very warm. Nothing like the gymnastics a Whitney Houston can bring you.

I love this song. Enjoy!

Close To You – The Carpenters
Why do birds suddenly appear
Every time you are near?
Just like me, they long to be
Close to you

Why do stars fall down from the sky
Every time you walk by?
Just like me, they long to be
Close to you

On the day that you were born the angels got together
And decided to create a dream come true
So they sprinkled moon dust in your hair
Of gold and starlight in your eyes of blue

That is why all the girls in town
(Girls in town)
Follow you
(Follow you)
All around
(All around)
Just like me, they long to be
Close to you

On the day that you were born the angels got together
And decided to create a dream come true
So they sprinkled moon dust in your hair
Of gold and starlight in your eyes of blue

That is why all the girls in town
(Girls in town)
Follow you
(Follow you)
All around
(All around)
Just like me, they long to be
Close to you
Just like me, they long to be
Close to you

(Why? Close to you)
(Why? Close to you)
(Haa, close to you)
(Why? Close to you)

The original

Live version

Dinah Washington

Dionne Warwick

Trijntje Oosterhuis

Published on November 26, 2015 at 6:00 by

Glory Box

Glory Box by Portishead. In the 90s this was one of the few bands whose music did enchant me. Still does.

This song Glory Box sings to something deep inside me. Yeah, i wanna be a woman. Sometimes. Other times, i’m Ellen, not entirely a woman, not entirely a man.

Enjoy this whispering song.

Glory Box – Portishead
I’m so tired, of playing
Playing with this bow and arrow
Gonna give my heart away
Leave it to the other girls to play
For I’ve been a temptress too long
Just

Give me a reason to love you
Give me a reason to be, a woman
I just want to be a woman

From this time, unchained
We’re all looking at a different picture
Through this new frame of mind
A thousand flowers could bloom
Move over, and give us some room, yeah

Give me a reason to love you
Give me a reason to be, a woman
I just want to be a woman

So don’t you stop, being a man
Just take a little look from our side when you can
Sow a little tenderness
No matter if you cry

Give me a reason to love you
Give me a reason to be, a woman
It’s all I want to be is all woman
For this is the beginning of forever and ever
It’s time to move over

I’m so tired, of playing
Playing with this bow and arrow
Gonna give my heart away
Leave it to the other girls to play
For I’ve been a temptress too long

Just
Give me a reason to love you
Give me a reason to be

The orginal

A live version at Roseland NY

A live version on Jools Holland 1994

Published on November 25, 2015 at 6:00 by

Three girl rhumba

It was most likely around 1981 when i got to know Wire. I do have their first album Pink Flag on vinyl. And a live album Document and Eyewitness (1981). Over the years Wire kept popping up. I bought the cd’s of Chairs Missing and 154 in the 90s. I do have these albums on cassette, but since my cassette player is in the attic, i don’t play my old cassettes anymore.

I had another song in my playlist, Mannequin. Also a song from Pink Flag, as is Three Girl Rhumba. I still might do Mannequin, one day. I could have picked other songs, but i do love the lyrics of Three Girl Rhumba. I don’t know what this song is about. No idea. But i do enjoy numbers! So.. i divide it by two. I open a box. Tear of the lid. Don’t think of an answer. Don’t get swept under. A number is a number. I want to avoid the inevitable. So i do the impossible. I just wanna rhumba. There is no way i’m gonna go under. Go under. Go under.

Hmm… this actually does make sense to little old crazy me.

Enjoy!

Three Girl Rhumba – Wire
Think of a number, divide it by two
Something is nothing, nothing is nothing

Open a box, tear off the lid
Then think of a number, don’t think of an answer

Open your eyes, think of a number
Don’t get swept under, a number’s a number

A chance encounter you want to avoid the inevitable
So you do, oh yes you do the impossible

Now you ain’t got a number, you just want to rhumba
And there ain’t no way you’re gonna go under

Go under, go under, go under, go under
You tell me asunder
Go under, go under, go under, yeah

The original

Published on November 24, 2015 at 6:00 by

Rapture

Rapture. I always liked this song. Not a big Blondie fan, but their music was around when i grew up in the late 70s and early 80s. Over the years this song was in most of my birthday party playlists. I do try other songs too, but hmm.. not really a big fan. But still, this song is in my MIX playlists. I do like it.

I have to say, singing these songs, looking up the lyrics is really opening up my understanding of them. In many songs there are parts i simply don’t hear too well. I can sing along with the sound and sometimes make up my own bits. Singing along with the lyrics in front of me is so much better! As i usually sing a bit before i record the song of the day, i am training all the other songs in the meantime. Singing them all from my head a cappella is a different story. That is hard, with no music to fall back on. A bit sad i don’t play any instrument to be honest. Piano or guitar, but no, i don’t feel any desire to learn these instruments. Well, piano maybe, but only to play classical music. Not any use there either.

Anyways, enjoy Rapture!

Rapture – Blondie
Toe to toe
Dancing very close
Barely breathing
Almost comatose
Wall to wall
People hypnotized
And they’re stepping lightly
Hang each night in Rapture

Back to back
Sacroiliac
Spineless movement
And a wild attack

Face to face
Sadly solitude
And it’s finger popping
Twenty-four hour shopping in Rapture

Fab Five Freddie told me everybody’s high
DJ’s spinnin’ are savin’ my mind
Flash is fast, Flash is cool
Francois sez fas, Flashe’ no do
And you don’t stop, sure shot
Go out to the parking lot
And you get in your car and you drive real far
And you drive all night and then you see a light
And it comes right down and lands on the ground
And out comes a man from Mars
And you try to run but he’s got a gun
And he shoots you dead and he eats your head
And then you’re in the man from Mars
You go out at night, eatin’ cars
You eat Cadillacs, Lincolns too
Mercury’s and Subaru’s
And you don’t stop, you keep on eatin’ cars

Then, when there’s no more cars
You go out at night and eat up bars where the people meet
Face to face, dance cheek to cheek
One to one, man to man
Dance toe too toe
Don’t move to slow, ’cause the man from Mars
Is through with cars, he’s eatin’ bars
Yeah, wall to wall, door to door, hall to hall
He’s gonna eat ’em all
Rapture, be pure
Take a tour, through the sewer
Don’t strain your brain, paint a train
You’ll be singin’ in the rain
I said don’t stop, to punk rock

Well now you see what you wanna be
Just have your party on TV
‘Cause the man from Mars won’t eat up bars when the TV’s on
And now he’s gone back up to space
Where he won’t have a hassle with the human race
And you hip-hop, and you don’t stop
Just blast off, sure shot
‘Cause the man from Mars stopped eatin’ cars and eatin’ bars
And now he only eats guitars, get up!

The original

Published on November 23, 2015 at 6:00 by

Sunken Love

Rip Rig & Panic was one of my favourite bands in the early 80s. I loved the wildness of their songs, the voices, the piano, the instrumental tracks.

I do remember sitting in the train in 1988 and reading The Face i had just bought. Or Blitz? Hmm, not sure. Anyway, my eye fell on this article about a new singer, Neneh Cherry. The name rang a bell. And then i realized i knew her, she was the singer of Rip Rig & Panic. More mainstream, still feisty.

This song is from Rip Rig & Panic’s third album Attitude. This track i always loved. Never looked up the lyrics until today. Harbor a horror i always heared as habahareeree. Well.. i’m learning these lyrics now by heart.

I added three other songs from God, their first album. The best!

Sunken Love – Rip Rig & Panic
Whirlpools of wonder
Try to wash away a memory
Unfathomable leaks of thought
Lost in the deep blue me
Below the calm surface
Pain flows to and fro

Sunken love
Chasing drowned sorrow
Harbor a horror
‘Til tomorrow

Plunged into dark dark depths
Anchor where secrets are kept
Dark feelings, mystery voyages

Try to avoid those forgotten ages

Sunken love
Chasing drowned sorrow
Harbor a horror
‘Til tomorrow

Don’t worry, don’t fear
Drowned loves will reappear
Reserve a scene within that vessel
Destiny

So don’t mourn
‘Cause everything is reborn.

The original song

Those Eskimo Women Speak Frankly

The Blue Blue Third

Knee deep in Shit

Published on November 20, 2015 at 6:00 by

Homemade toothpaste and deodorant

The most important part of my new homemade toothpaste and deodorant is sodium bicarbonate. The following applications are listed on the wikipedia page:

  • pest control
  • paint and corrosion removal
  • pH balancer
  • mild disinfectant
  • fire extinguisher
  • cooking
    • with acids
    • by heating
  • neutralisation of acids and bases
  • medical uses
  • personal hygiene
  • sports
  • cleaning
  • biopesticide

Toothpaste
The past week my toothpaste ran out. I am using Parodontax for like, 25 years. It is a bit salty and its main ingredient is – yep! – sodium bicarbonate. I’ve been using it for so long i don’t notice the salty taste. So last week i decided to bite the bullet and make my own toothpaste. Most recipes i found had a mix of the following ingredients:

  • baking soda
  • coconut oil
  • peppermint essential oil
  • stevia
  • vegetable glycerin
  • sea salt
  • hydrogen peroxide (3%)
  • water
  • bentonite clay

I decided to try the following recipe:

  • 3 tablespoons of baking soda
  • 3 tablespoons of coconut oil
  • 1 teaspoon of salt
  • 20 drops of peppermint essential oil

I slightly warmed the coconut oil au bain marie and put in the baking soda and the salt and peppermint. I let it cool for a night. The next day i went through it with a teaspoon. I use a wooden icicle stick to get some paste out and put it on my toothbrush. Yes, it is salty, but the smell of peppermint makes up for it – a bit.

I might get some stevia to make it a bit more sweeter. I have never bought stevia before, i will have a look around. I did do a search for it this evening and i do need to look at the composition. I would like to get some pure stevia. Not the products with 97% maltodextrine and 3% stevia (yes you Albert Heijn!). So i might need to go to the nature shop Gimsel.

So far i do like the toothpaste. It is not the same as my old Parodontax, i will need to give it some more time to get used to it. But, it does really clean remarkably well. Happy with that!

Deodorant
To be honest, i haven’t made this one yet. But last week a video came by from Trash is for Tossers and today i bought the arrowroot powder.

The ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons of arrowroot powder
  • 1 tablespoon of baking soda
  • 1 tablespoon of coconut oil
  • 1 tablespoon of shea butter
  • around 20 drops of lemongrass essential oil

I do have a confession to make here though. I hardly use deodorant. I don’t find myself smelling weird. Truthfully, i like my smell. But yeah, i’m a lot by myself, so it is not a big deal anyway. When i go out more, for work or anything else, i have used deodorant. So it’s not a completely strange product. Right now i have a mixture of baking soda and coconut oil in my bathroom – how do you call that?? – closet? little tiny cabinet? – sorry, i have no idea! Anyway, this mixture sounds good. So i will let you know once i made this and tried it a couple of times.

Published on November 17, 2015 at 6:00 by