this belgium trip really is fun - and so inspiring! i am only surrounded by males all day (data analysists, nerdy cute guys). i've learned a few things, got a lot of new ideas in stow, am bursting with action plans (existing in my mind). yesterday evening we watched soccer and (i) drank cherry beer (the boys of course drank only real beer). what i've seen so far of antwerpen (not really much, to be honest, but still) is really to love: the rivers, the brick houses, the shabby, dark, cosy pubs and little cafés everywhere, the neat town houses, the many (many!) fashionable shops (from filippa k to bensimon to sissy boy homeware and lifestyle interior) - it's a good city to live in.
just one thing that stroke me: taxis. first, there were no taxis available at all. only if you can muster the luxury of being able to wait forever to get one. and then they're either making an almost-accident (not my ideal start into a morning...) or just not getting the address right and trying to drop you off somewhere else (honestly wtf?). and generally speaking (yes, i'm universalising) they're all rude. with no exception. met a rude guy in antwerpen? hey, it's got to be the taxi driver!
but you know what? strangely, this all (even the taxi drivers) only added to the city's magic charm and attractiveness! it's like when i'm in paris: i can't help but think 'god, those parisian girls are bitches!' all the time - but i like it, nevertheless. because it's makes the experience complete. guess i'm all positive at the moment, so better take it while it lasts... laugh.
here's the recipe for the moroccan carrot salad i cooked a while back for my team. simple, quick to whip up, good and healthy. what's not to like?
moroccan carrot salad
4 orange carrots, peeled
4 yellow carrots, peeled
1/2 cup coriander, minced
1/2 cup flat parsley, minced
1 organic orange, juice
1 tbsp. organic orange zest
1 tsp. acacia honey
1 tbsp. black cumin seeds
fleur de sel
freshly ground pink pepper
heat water in a large saucepan, then salt it generously. cook the peeled carrots as a whole for only three to four minutes. they have to remain firm. drain and cool. when cool, cut diagonally into thin slices. prepare the dressing: orange juice, zest, honey, pinches of fleur de sel, a bit of pink pepper, the cumin seeds. pour over the carrots. up to this step, the salad can be made ahead and stored in the fridge for 1 day. i would only add the herbs in the end before serving, though. so, add the herbs, stir to combine, and serve.
this salad goes well with other mezze (arab starters) in general, i.e. with flatbreads, yogurt sauce, meat balls, skewers of any kind, hummus, labneh, baba ganoush, couscous, tabouleh... or simply with more conventional / western style dishes, too, acting as a side dish: with lamb chops, with grilled meat in general or with baked potatoes. the options are limitless.