I was just on holiday for 2 1/2 weeks…..
It went like this:
I spent 3 weeks frantically busy getting ready for it.
I was busy every day and every evening while I was gone.
I've spent the week since I've been home frantically busy catching up.
What's wrong with this picture?
Every summer we watch the French (and other Europeans) stuff their cars and/or campers so full one couldn't squeeze in a post-it note, get on the motorways in bumper-to-bumper traffic and spend 3 days with similarly packed vehicles all driving the, otherwise 1 day journey, to the beach – frantic to get there.
In the past we thought they were a bit daft.
Now I'm not so sure.
Once they get to wherever it is they're going they set-up their camper or move into to their tiny holiday rental, put out the lawn chairs and hammocks, open a bottle of wine and don't move for 4 weeks.
Oh, they'll be off to the boulangerie for their daily baguette, have a coffee at the local cafe, dinner at the local restaurant and, just maybe, a leisurely stroll on the beach, but that's it.
Well, the truly ambitious might take in a local sight or two…. or maybe they'll just talk about it.
We used to ride by the campgrounds on our bikes and see these poor folks napping in the sun, reading in the shade, without laptops or iPads or Blackberries, and think 'Is THIS all they're going to do on their holiday?!?!'
They may just be on to something.
Think about it: a holiday where one actually relaxes; a vacation where one actually unwinds; a period of time during which one does nothing the least bit productive and one has no schedule whatsoever.
The thought is lovely but I have no idea if I could do it.
I might manage for a few days but does that count?
I know I could be forcibly idle, but could I actually relax?
Would my right hand be constanly twitching for the mouse?
Would I be waving my fingers over the view trying to change it?
What have we done to ourselves (some of us, anyway)?
Could you do it? Leave the electronics behind, not schedule every minute and do nothing?
And if you could – for how long?
Here's one of the last things I made from my garden before I left…. Now, sadly, it's all compost.
This is a stir-fry that's not a stir-fry…. or, at least not in the Asian cuisine sense of the word.
Stir-Fried Turkey with Spinach
10oz (300gr) turkey cutlets or tenderloin
2 cloves garlic
6oz (175gr) fresh spinach
2 yellow or red tomatoes or 1 each
1 tbs minced ginger
1 tbs olive oil
1/2 tsp cumin
2 tsp soy sauce
1/2 cup chicken stock
2 tsp cornstarch (Maizena) dissolved in 2 tbs water
Thinly slice onion. Mince garlic. Mince ginger (peel first). Wash spinach, slice large leaves leaving small leaves whole. Cut the turkey into strips. Cut tomatoes into thick slices, then quarter the slices.
Heat olive oil in large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion and stir-fry for 2 minutes. Add garlic, ginger, cumin and stir-fry another 2 minutes. Add turkey and stir-fry 3 – 5 minutes, until golden. Add chicken stock, sherry, soy sauce and bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat and simmer for 3 minutes. Uncover and stir in cornstarch mixture until thickened. Add tomatoes and heat through. Add spinach and stir until it starts to wilt. Remove from heat and serve over brown rice.
Now I have to go figure out why the furnace isn't working…. I'm freezing!
(It's a joint effort – mon mari does the mechanical part; I do the French computer part. So far we are equal failures. May have to do the dreaded phone call for help.)