Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Shorter Days Call for Sweet and Sour Pickles

Winter is upon us in Switzerland. The cloudy or rainy days are between 3 and 8 degrees Celsius here, whereas in the north-west of Italy by the Mediterranean, where I was for 3 days last weekend, it was sunny and warm (up to 22 degrees).

The water level at Zugerlake is noticeably lower now - compared to summer when it was flooded for a week (see pic below).

One tries not to let the cloudy days affect one's mood. It's not encouraging to see the sun set by five o'clock - when it had hardly made a showing during the short day. Sadly, Daylight Savings Time is a thing of the past.

If you are centred in yourself, and feel happy and content wherever you are in the world, you will not be affected so much by your surroundings.

I have at least one thing to look forward to: the book 'Dark City 2' is scheduled to be arriving in my letter box soon from Xeus. Yes, I have a story published in it - yay!

To tickle your tastebuds, here is a simple recipe for you to try:

Cucumber Carrot Pickle

1 medium-size cucumber
1 medium-size carrot
1 red chilli
1/2 tsp mustard seeds
3 tbs vinegar (I used apple cider vinegar)
4 tbs sugar

Wash and dry the cucumber and carrot. Remove the soft centre of the cucumber; slice the rest into 2mm-thin pieces. Slice the carrot thinly with a potato peeler. Deseed the chilli and slice it as small as possible. Put all ingredients into a clean, dry jar and mix with dry chopsticks. After several hours, mix again. Keep jar in refrigerator. The pickle is ready the next day.



wonda said...

Congrats Argus!! Where have you been all this while? Feeding Small Duck or making yourself kaya? Are you still busy writing?

Argus Lou said...

Hi, Wonda. Was travelling for the past long weekend (All Saints holiday here last Thursday).

Yes, still writing and editing. And baking and cooking, and taking photographs. And learning German and listening to music while reading.

Cynthia said...

Hi Argus, congrats!

I've bookmarked your pickle to try. Thanks!

Kelly Mahoney said...

That looks delicious. It's also getting quite chilly here in DC and I've brought out all my winter items.

gRaCe said...

the pickle looks nice... tho i dun think i'll be making one soon. lazy la...lolzz..;o)

I've missed you..! feeling quite melancholy for the past week. *if u read my blog, u cud feel it too*

i cant wait to get Xeus' new book too.. cudn find in MPH midvalley the other day i was there..hmpphh!

Frankensteina said...

Oh that looks delish :) I'd just eat that with some hot steamy rice

Argus Lou said...

Hi, Cynthia. Thanks. Adjust the vinegar and sugar amounts according to your taste. Hope you'll like it.

Hello, Kelly. Still dreamin' of Crab Brulee? (The name just makes me smile.) As a nod to winter, I bought a pair of crazy-coloured 'stop socks' (with beads of rubber on the sole to prevent slipping) today. ^_^

Argus Lou said...

Grace Spiffy, hope you'll feel much more cheery and uplifted soon. I call these emotions 'growing pains' (only because I'm almost double your age). ;-) 'Dark City 2' can be found at 1-Utama's MPH, according to Xeus.

Frankensteina, hi again! Yep, the pickle goes well with roast chicken and steamin' rice. It's a versatile side dish. It even works as a snack!

Lyrical Lemongrass said...

I like your positive attitude. You go girl! :-) I do believe that when you look for the silver lining, you'll find that it's right there, in front of you.

The pickle looks really yummy. Can eat with just about anything, hor. You have some wonderful colours there. So pretty, and a great spirit-lifter, I bet.

Argus Lou said...

Thanks, Lyrical Zitrongrass. It's even colder today - 2 degrees C! Brrr... and I have a driving test early on Monday morning.

Good thing is my sis from Sydney gave me 3 packs of Tim Tams - Original, Latte & Double Layer (chocolate, I suppose). And then my other half's nice colleague from Down Under gave him a double-pack of Original Tim Tams. Heh heh. Looks like our silver lining is lined with chocolate biscuits. ;-)

Tunku Halim said...

Hey Argus, I look forward to reading your tale in Dark City 2. I should be getting my copy soon. Winter blues already? Good excuse to curl up with a good book and a glass of something nice!

Argus Lou said...

Hey, TH! Thankee... maybe for our retirement, to avoid bluesy weather, it should be 6 months by the Mediterranean, 3 months in Australia (year end) and 3 months in M'sia (Jan-March), eh?
I'm dying to receive my copy of DC2, too.
Mine is a cup of hot fennel tea. Terribly healthy, huh? ^_^

Xeus said...

Grace, Dark City 2 is already out in MPH Midvalley, very prominently too, I was told. See, I told everyone it would take a month! That's why I'm holding off doing publicity till it's at least out in the major stores. It's also out in Kino.

Argus, nothing like holding your own author's copy, eh? :) Would you please do a review of it for your blog?

Argus Lou said...

Thanks, Xeus. Yes, that's a good idea - it'd be an overview rather than a review since I'm so closely connected to it. I would like to interview a few of the contributors, too, if possible.

My old living-room

My old living-room
In Petaling Jaya, Malaysia

A cherished dream

A cherished dream
To live on a pale beach by a crystal clear sea. (This was taken on the east coast of Johor state, Malaysia.)