we didn’t have this, and this. There wasn’t this pot, there was not that lamp, or the little table, the basket.”
“What are we doing? Why are we doing this?”, asked J.
“At least we still don’t have a TV”.
After reading this article, I started to mumble a lot (more than usual) over the very human habit of accumulating stuff. And although I have always thought I am pretty good at not doing it, reality tells me differently. The simplifier and the wonderluster that is in me is constantly challenged by this instinct to be surrounded by objects which somehow make life easier but that are not essential in any way. I could have lived without those enamel dishes, or without reading lamps or pile blankets or a bread bag. I could, but I chose not to.
Eventually, I realised that there has to be a balance, a fragile yet important balance, between feeling constantly precarious and having so much stuff that moving becomes impossible. It is up to us to find it, as there is no single answer to the issue. As it happens, a home that feels like home rather than a temporary accommodation might require pillows, a comfy blanket, and some extra kitchen appliances that will enable cooking a dinner for some friends on the right occasion. I decided that I won’t give up these small things for fear that they will hold me down. I decided that as soon as I feel it’s getting too much, I’ll get rid of all the excess. I decided I don’t want to be a slave of objects nor to fear them. I decided that I decide.
A few months ago we bought a blender (also called “the pureerer” as mentioned here). Nothing fancy, just a very basic blender with a few attachments and two functions on special offer. The purchase was controversial: it was the biggest and heaviest thing we had ever bought since our move to London, and something we knew we had to leave behind at one point –too heavy to brin with us to our next stop, our next bit of life in a new, still unknown place in the world. However, we had been moaning about not being able to make this or that creamy soup for months, about wanting to make those granola bars that require pureed dates, or the fantastic Ottolenghi’s hummus recipe. Why not satisfying a very basic, simple need as a warm creamy soup to warm up our soul in a very chilly winter night? We finally chose the blender over the moaning, and we will never regret it.
We have been using the blender for many purposes, but perhaps the most satisfying has been making almond milk from scratch. Far from being an enemy of dairy milk, I still enjoy a glass of chilled almond milk from time to time, and I like using it to make chai latte and hot cocoa. Some store bought options might be OK, but they are fairly expensive and sometimes contain extra-ingredients that I don’t want in my milk. The home-made version is not only inexpensive, but healthier too, and ridiculously easy to make. The proportions are 1 cup of soaked, blanched whole almonds for 4 cups of pure water, blended until smooth, and drained with a colander (or a nut milk bag). Store in a clean glass bottle, in the fridge, and consume over 3-4 days, shaking the bottle before serving.
Here comes the cool part. Making almond milk from scratch means you will kill two birds with one stone, as you’ll make the most of your almonds by having milk on one side, and a good deal of solids (pureed almonds) on the other. Don’t throw them! They can be turned into your next favorite spread, aka almond hummus.
We have been enjoying this almond hummus on toast or crackers as a starter or snack, or in some tasty sandwiches. It can even be used as a dip to eat with pita chips as part of a potluck dinner or a pic-nic –it’s almost that time of the year! And because it packs so well, it can be the perfect simplifier and wanderluster’s lunch to go ever. I came full circle.
- about 1 cup almond pulp, leftover from making almond milk*
- 2 tbsp tahini
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1/2 tsp fine grain sea salt
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
- 2 tbsp sesame seeds
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