My favourite veggie sushi roll

Hi again! For a few months now, I’ve been kind of obsessed with sushi. So much that I’ve started making my own. I always thought making your own sushi would be really difficult, but it’s actually not that hard if you know a few tricks. I’ve been eating vegetarian for quite a while now, and the few times a year that I eat sushi at a restaurant have been my only exception to that. However, I figured that when I’m making my own sushi, I might as well explore some vegetarian options. That’s how I came up with this delicious vegetarian sushi roll.

Ingredients

For the rice:
(sushi) rice*
rice vinegar / sushi seasoning*
salt
sugar
dried seaweed sheets (nori)*

Tools:
sushi rolling mat
plastic foil
a sharp knife

Fillings and toppings:
some fresh carrots
one ripe avocado
two or three eggs
one teaspoon of sugar
one tablespoon sesame seeds
chili flakes
soy sauce*
mayonnaise
sriracha sauce*
pickled ginger (gari)*
optional: sesame oil, lemon juice

 

* You can find these ingredients at an Asian supermarket, but some regular supermarkets have them as well.

How to make it

Preparing the rice

First, you need to cook the rice (I used this recipe for that). There’s a special kind of sushi rice*, but so far, I’ve just been using the rice that we have at home and that worked fine as well. It’s important to rinse the rice with some water before cooking it. When it’s done, I just put it in a bowl and I add some rice vinegar (that’s what makes it taste like typical sushi rice) and a little bit of salt and sugar, and I leave it to cool down for an hour.

Preparing the fillings

In the mean time, I prepare the fillings. I do the hot things first, so that they have time to cool down as well.

  • Sweet omelette: I mix some eggs (at least two, depending on how much sushi I’m making), a teaspoon of soy sauce, a teaspoon of water and a teaspoon of sugar. Then I try to do something like in this video, but it’s okay if it’s not perfect, because it’s going in a roll anyway. Then I put it in the fridge to cool down, and afterwards I cut it into slices.
  • Roasted sesame seeds: I just put some sesame seeds in a pan (without any oil) and I let them roast on low heat for about 10 minutes.
  • Spicy mayonnaise: I mix 1 tablespoon of mayonnaise, 1 teaspoon of sriracha sauce, and – optionally – also 1 teaspoon of sesame oil and a little bit of lemon juice.
  • Vegetables: I peel one or two fresh carrots and then I cut them in thin strips (sort of like this). I cut the avocado in half, then I carefully take of the peel and I cut the two avocado halves in thin slices.

Assembling the sushi roll

Set out all of your fillings on the table, as well as your bowl of rice, a bowl of water and a towel. Take your sushi rolling mat and wrap it in some plastic foil. Take a piece of nori that’s as wide as your rolling mat, and about 13 centimeter long. Usually, nori sheets are a bit longer than that, so you’ll probably have to cut off a bit. Put it on the mat with the rough side up. Use the bowl of water to make your hands wet (this will prevent the rice from sticking to your hands) and then put a layer of rice on the nori sheet. Cover about 10 centimeter lengthwise, leaving free about 3 centimeter. Next, put on a row of carrot strips, omelette slices, avocado slices, and spicy mayonnaise and sprinkle some roasted sesame seeds and some chili flakes on top. Then roll it up tightly, cut of the ends and cut it into pieces. It may be helpful to make wet your knife before, to prevent the rice from sticking to it.

(If you’re still not sure, take a look here for more instructions and illustrations.)

Almost done…

Serve it on a wooden plank or a nice plate. Pour some soy sauce into a dish and also add some mayonnaise, sriracha sauce and pickled ginger. Enjoy!



Things I painted lately

Things I painted lately | rougeimaginaire

Back to English now! Since I’ve had a quite a lot of free time lately, I’ve started to paint a little bit again. So I thought I’d share what I made and some of my thoughts behind it.

The painting on the left is a self-portrait I made last weekend. It had been quite a while since the last time I used acrylic paint – it feels so different from watercolour, more like a getting-your-hands-dirty feeling, if that makes sense. I think making self-portraits can be very nice and consoling (I think I got that idea from Frida Kahlo), but you have to be in the right mood for them. For the this one, I was inspired by the American painter Winston Chmielinksi: his colours are often very bright and I liked that idea. I like how it turned out, although I also think it maybe looks a little bit too perfect, as if nothing was left to chance.

The right one is a little watercolour painting that I made back in September when I was listening to the audiobook of The Serious Game by Hjalmar Söderberg. I heard that they were going to show the film adaptation at Film Fest Ghent, and I wanted to read the book first, because I figured I would get more out of the film that way. However, since it was quite a long book and I wasn’t even sure if I could get my hands on a paper copy so quickly, I decided to go for the audiobook. I really liked the film, by the way: it was nice and intimate and sort of dynamic, and there were a lot of nice details. Whenever I’m listening to an audiobook, I enjoy doing things like painting or crocheting, especially when autumn’s coming around (even though it sometimes takes up so much concentration that I can’t focus on the book anymore).

The text says “dare to take up space”, which I think is a nice reminder to myself. You can interpret it in a physical way, and then I suppose it means that there’s no point in being ashamed of how you look – and that, to give an example, you shouldn’t apologize for being “fat” (according to the norms of society, that is), because why on earth should you apologize for something that is essentially just taking up space. If you wouldn’t take up space, you wouldn’t be at all – and everyone has the right to be, whichever way they are. Besides that, you can also interpret it in a more abstract, social way: to dare to say things, to do things and to be seen in social situations. A couple of months ago, I listened to Liv Strömquist’s episode of Sommar i P1, and she said that “to overcome shame is to give oneself an inner right to express oneself”, and I think that’s what people should do. That’s what I am trying to do.


Mina favoritavsnitt av Sommar i P1

Mina favoritavsnitt av Sommar i P1 | rougeimaginaire

Nä men nu gör jag det! Nu skriver jag ett blogginlägg på svenska! Jag har velat skriva det här sedan ett tag nu, men har liksom alltid tänkt att “jag kan väl inte skriva ett blogginlägg på svenska, för min blogg är ju på engelska”. Men nu har jag faktiskt kommit på att om mitt liv är lite konstigt när det gäller språk, så får min blogg också vara det. Så nu tycker jag att utgångspunkten får vara engelska, men att jag också kan skriva på nederländska eller svenska om det lämpar sig bättre till innehållet (eller om jag nu känner för det). Jag vet inte om jag överhuvudtaget har några läsare som talar svenska, men vi får väl se hur det går.

Hur som helst. Idag vill jag skriva om mina favoritavsnitt av Sommar i P1, ett radioprogram där olika intressanta människor i en timme får berätta om sina upplevelser eller bara sådant som de tycker är intressant, och spela sin favoritmusik (ifall ni inte visste än ;)). Jag gillar ju att lyssna på poddar, så jag blev glad när jag fick reda på att det fanns något som verkade som en oändlig lista med avsnitt att välja från. Nu har jag lyssnat på en hel del och vissa är så bra att jag egentligen skulle vilja tipsa om dem till alla jag känner (om de bara talade svenska!). Så här er de!

Laleh Pourkarim (30 juli 2009)
Om det finns ett avsnitt som jag vill tipsa om, så är det det här. Musikern Laleh pratar om tidsandan och om att bryta tystnaden och hon läser också upp några av sina låttexter. Jag tycker att hon är en så förtjusande person och jag älskar att hon är så expressiv när hon pratar. Jag skulle gissa att jag har lyssnat på detta avsnitt minst fem gånger.

Susanna Alakoski (13 augusti 2007)
Författaren Susanna Alakoskis sommarprogram handlar om miljonprogram och städning, om hur människor påverkas av fattigdom och om hur viktigt det med förutsättningar.

Liv Strömquist (24 juni 2013)
Liv Strömquist är serietecknare och hennes sommarprogram handlar om mens, skam och kreativt skapande. Jag tyckte att hon hade så många intressanta idéer, som faktiskt går att tillämpa på mycket mer en bara mens.

Annika Norlin (8 augusti 2015)
Journalisten och låtskrivaren Annika Norlin pratar om PMS, p-piller, samt hur hormoner i största allmänhet kan påverka ens mående. Så himla fascinerande.

José González (13 augusti 2016)
Jag har ju tyckt om José González musik sedan länge, men jag hade faktiskt ingen aning om att han var svensk. Det var fint att få lite av en bättre uppfattning av vem han egentligen var, och jag tyckte att han verkade som en så himla intelligent och nyanserad person. I sitt sommarprogram talar han om universumet, om att skriva musik, om människans omedvetna preferenser för vissa estetiska mönster och om världsbilder och religioner.

Saga Becker (3 juli 2015)
Skådespelaren Saga Becker berättar om hur det var att växa upp som transkvinna. Mycket häftigt, men jag tycker att det är så viktigt att den här typen av berättelser når ut.

→ Seinabo Sey (15 augusti 2015)
Musikern Seinabo Sey talar om kroppsångest och hudfärg. Jag har faktiskt aldrig riktigt lyssnat på hennes musik, men hennes sommarprogram var i alla fall intressant.

→ Jonas Gardell (22 juni 2013)
Författaren Jonas Gardell berättar om hur man blir människa, om att våga leva livet och om hur det gick till när Astrid Lindgren bet honom i näsan. Roligt tyckte jag!

→ Mark Levengood (25 juni 2011)
Programledaren och författaren Mark Levengood berättar om hur han fick ett hus av en främmande man och undrar varför hans liv egentligen är så konstigt. Mycket underhållande, och det är ju alltid fint att lyssna på lite finlandssvenska.


Translation: This is a blog post about my favourite episodes of the Swedish radio program “Sommar i P1”. I decided to write it in Swedish because it would only be useful to people who speak Swedish anyway. I also decided that it’s impossible for me to stick to just one language on this blog, at least if I want it to reflect who I am and how I think. My life is just a bit weird when it comes to languages, so I think my blog can be too. English will still be the default language, but if I feel like writing in Dutch or Swedish every now and then, I’ll just do that. But I’ll still make a translation, if it’s relevant. (Let me know what you think!)


Self Image

Click here if you can’t see the video.

I made another video. I wasn’t sure if I wanted to put this online, because on the one hand I think it’s kind of corny (although that might be because these kinds of things always sound corny in English), but on the other hand I do think it’s kind of nice to have some kind of a (concise) snapshot of how I see myself right now, because it’s nice to look back on later. And I don’t think you ever remember these kinds of things if you don’t document them. So well. I’m just putting this up. I hope you enjoy it.


Mijn to-do-lijstje voor Gent

Mijn to-do-lijstje voor Gent | rougeimaginaire

Zoals jullie misschien al wel weten (of misschien ook nog niet) zit mijn laatste jaar als student in Gent er alweer op. In augustus maakte ik mijn thesis af en mijn kot leeg, en nu woon ik voorlopig weer thuis bij mijn ouders. Ik heb geprobeerd om zo veel mogelijk te genieten van mijn laatste jaar in Gent, en ik had me voorgenomen om de stad dit jaar wat beter te verkennen, maar natuurlijk komen er als je studeert altijd weer andere dingen tussen – en voor je het weet is het schooljaar alweer voorbij. Eigenlijk denk ik dat het altijd wel de moeite is om zo nu en dan wat tijd vrij te maken voor dit soort dingen, zelfs al denk je dat je geen tijd hebt, want dat zijn toch altijd de dingen die je bijblijven. In juli probeerde ik de schade nog een beetje in te halen, en maakte ik een fietstochtje naar de Bourgoyen (een natuurgebied waar je fijn kunt wandelen), maar verder had ik het zo druk met mijn thesis dat er van mijn andere plannen niet echt iets gekomen is. Natuurlijk kan ik nog wel eens terug naar Gent, maar dat is natuurlijk niet hetzelfde als wanneer je er woont – dat je gewoon wakker wordt, je fiets kunt pakken, en spontaan erop uit kunt trekken.

Daarom bij deze, mijn to-do-lijstje voor als ik ooit nog eens in Gent ga wonen (of gewoon voor als ik nog eens terugga). Toevoegingen zijn altijd welkom!

  • picknicken
  • naar een museum gaan (niet dat ik dat nog nooit gedaan heb, hoor, kijk maar hier)
  • nog eens ergens koffie drinken
  • bloemen kopen op de zondagse bloemenmarkt
  • veel fietstochtjes maken (en daarmee bedoel ik meer dan drie)
  • naar de Blaarmeersen gaan
  • naar de Gentse feesten gaan
  • kajakken
  • het Belfort beklimmen
  • feesten! (of op café gaan of zo)

Translation: I recently moved out of my student room, but there’s still a lot of things I’d like to do in Ghent – so I made a list of them, which includes going on bike tours, having a picnic and go to the flower market.


My love for Bob Dylan

Bob Dylan | rougeimaginaire

In my explorations of the 1960s and 70s for one of my literature classes last semester, I rediscovered Bob Dylan. I was re-watching “Upp till kamp“, a Swedish tv-series that’s set in that period (which I really recommend, but I have no idea if it’s available with English subtitles somewhere), and there was this one scene where one of the characters was listening to “Girl From the North Country” – which reminded me of the fact that the sixties also were Bob Dylan’s initial period. Later on, when I was writing my paper for that class, I decided to listen to some of his albums, kind of to get in the spirit, and then I kept listening for most of June. I also watched a documentary about him (called “No direction home“) and I learned that although he was often seen as a folk singer or a protest singer, in reality, he was kind of opposed to everything and he didn’t want to be labeled as anything.

I know pretty much everyone already knows Bob Dylan, but in case you never really listened to his music and you’d like to give it a try, I made a playlist on Spotify with some songs I really like. My favourites are “Song to Woody”, “Girl From the North Country” and “I Was Young When I Left Home”, but I also added som other ones. You can find it here! By the way, let me know if you prefer me sharing music on Spotify or some other way.


I finished my master’s thesis!

I finished my master's thesis! | rougeimaginaire

Hi people, time for a life update! Last week, I finally handed in my master’s thesis :) The title is “Barnboken som leksakslåda”, which means “The Children’s Book as a Toy Box” (ugh, that doesn’t sound nearly as good as it does in Swedish) and it’s about children’s books written by children. Even though children’s books are supposed to be directed to children in the first place, it’s usually adults who write them. So that’s why I thought it would be interesting to see if children’s books written by children reflected the same thematic and aesthetic ideas as the ones written by adults. Also, I thought it would be interesting to see what kind of literature children between 10 and 12 years old would produce, to see to what extent they’re aware of literary conventions.

As it turned out, most of the books reflected a lot of the typical aspects of children’s books, both traditional and modern, and they also played with them sometimes, for example by mixing different genres. They had themes like desert islands, doors to fantasy worlds, and there were also a couple of problem-oriented books on themes like bullying. The most striking difference with children’s books written by adults was that the distinction between children and adults wasn’t as sharp as it usually is. A lot of times, the protagonists in children’s books kind of oppose themselves to adult ideas and rules (think of Pippi Longstocking ;)), and leave home to go on their own adventure, but that wasn’t exactly the case in these books. For example, there was one book where the parents and the children went on an adventure together and never returned home.

I mainly chose this subject because I wanted to explore the theoretical background of children’s books a little more. Even though I also wrote about children’s books in my bachelor thesis, I didn’t really study them from that perspective. It was really interesting to find out things like how the concept of childhood (just like the modern ideas about family and motherhood) didn’t really exist before the 18th century, because there simply wasn’t enough prosperity — and how child readers often have a preference for pulp literature and why that’s totally fine. So now, I just have to wait for my results!