“You’re living a slow life when you gather seashells along the shore, feed a campfire, visit a nearly empty museum on a weekday morning, talk late into the night, read an ink-on-paper book cover to cover without stopping to do much else, and, I would say, if you take the time to be bored. Part of being civilised is not just being slow but occasionally coming to a stop, establishing a point of reference for the moment when you start moving again. When you stop you aren’t really stopping, of course, because that’s often when good ideas rise to the surface.
Slowness really means living at the right speed for whatever you are doing, living more in the present moment, rather than looking always ahead to the next thing: deadlines, bills, future plans. It’s not about being inefficient or taking too much time. It’s about moving at the right speed.
The pleasure we find in cooking and eating lies not in being either fast or slow but in being both or in-between at different times. Different speeds are part of food as they are of the rest of life. What we need is balance. “
These words (“What we need is balance”) are filling my head these days.
I sense I finally found the balance I needed so badly.
Life is still fast. I’m up every morning at 6-7am and on my legs for 10 hours a day, commuting and getting squeezed in the tube carriages twice a day, climbing all kinds of stairs and escalators, queueing everywhere, carrying grocery bags on foot as well as trying to keep everything else going in between –meals, cleaning and some sort of mental and physical health.
Most of the time, at the end of the day, I feel exhausted. But the rituals that I already created for myself give me more energy and more motivation to tackle the next day. Rituals that are meaningfully slow to balance out the rest of the day: a warm shower first thing as I come home, with no lights except for a lit candle. Music. Some stretching and meditation to soothe my ache-y legs and noisy mind. A glass of wine. Cooking dinner. Sharing a meal with whom I love. Chatting on the sofa, reading a book or some open tabs on the computer. Falling asleep on the couch. Going to bed.
Every day, almost. This, for now, is my new luxury life, my long-sought balance.
Ground Cherry (Physalis) Salsa
I found some beautiful ground cherries at the grocery store and couldn’t resist buying them. I figured, since they are closely related to tomatillos and tomatoes in general, albeit sweet, that they might make a good sweet-savory salsa to go along some grilled fish or some zesty cheese like a mature Cheddar, Wensleydale or Lancashire. Clearly, it’s perfect for tortilla chips, too.
150 gr/ about 3/4 cup ground cherries (physalis)
half (about 1/3 cup) small red onion, finely chopped
a bunch (about 1/2 cup) finely chopped cilantro
1/2 fresh red chili, minced
juice of half lime
pinch of salt
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
Remove husk from ground cherries and rinse well. Cut into quarters and place in a small bowl. Add onion, cilantro and chili. Season with lime juice, oil and salt to taste. Stir to combine. Let sit in the refrigerator for a few hours before serving to let the flavours combine. Store in the fridge for up to 3 days.