Complex Times

Posted on January 15th, 2016

Processed with VSCOcam with hb1 preset
The world is a complex place. A place that is sometimes so scary, sometimes so beautiful, never fair. It’s so easy to sit here in my warm and cosy home, surrounded by pictures of loved ones who are healthy and happy. It’s a position of privilege and comfort.

 

But I feel uncomfortable. Does complexity make me feel uncomfortable? No. The reason why I feel uncomfortable is our tendency to ignore the world’s complexity. As soon as I open news apps, scroll through Twitter or Facebook, turn on the radio or the TV, there are so many answers, opinions, so many people who seem to know it all – seconds, minutes after something happened. I just wish news outlets and politicians people would take more time to reflect, deliberate, think and try to grasp the complexity of our world and the events that happen these days. And yes, I wish some people would just shut up and keep their thoughts to themselves forever. However some humility towards the complexity of this world would already help… please sit and think for a while before you say something. I know many of you wish it was all easy, it isn’t. So please just stop. Don’t say or scream the first thing that pops into your head, don’t print it on paper, don’t put it on a poster, don’t type it into your browser, just don’t. Please do some thinking first.

 

Ignoring complexity is dangerous. It’s like pushing the next button you see on a very complex machine. Let’s not do this. Oh and while we’re at it, let’s stop and think about our own privileged lives and be thankful once in a while, ok? Thank you.

Christmas

Posted on December 27th, 2015

Home-3492
The perfect tree, good food, delicious drinks, great presents and company – I had a blast!

Happy Advent with archiv/e

Posted on December 18th, 2015

The great people of archiv/e magazine asked me to be part of their advent calendar this year and suggest a gift to their readers. I did not want to recommend anything you can easily buy in a store – as Christmas eve draws nearer, city centres get more crowded and postal services are already overstrained, so I don’t want to be responsible for you to have to rush to some store to find a random gift or to desperately check delivery statuses online every ten minutes until Christmas is over.

So grab an apron and get cooking – a nice bag of fleur de sel caramels is what you will give to your distant aunt or girlfriend’s sister this year.

What you need

(For about 12-16 caramels)

  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1/4 cup golden syrup or molasses
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 1/2 cups heavy cream
  • 5 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 teaspoon fleur de sel, plus extra for sprinkling
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • Parchment paper or wax paper, for wrapping
  • Good music to get you into candy making mood, for example Sufjan Steven’s Christmas Songs

Fleur de sel caramel recipe ingredient list 

How it works

(Adapted from Gimme some Oven)

Line an 7cm square baking pan with parchment paper – take a little extra paper and allow it to drape over 2 sides of the pan. Brush the paper lightly with oil.
 
Combine the sugar, molasses or golden syrup and 1/2 water in a deep saucepan or pot and bring the mixture to a boil over medium heat. Boil until the caramel is a warm golden brown color. Swirl the pan to mix, don’t stir. You will have to guard the caramel mixture carefully, it will burn quickly.
 
In the meantime, mix the cream, butter and one teaspoon flour de sel in a small pan and bring to a simmer over medium heat. Remove from the stove and keep it warm.
 
As soon as your the caramel mixture reaches the right color, very slowly add your cream mixture – keep stirring while doing so and keep attention: it will boil up violently.
 
Use a wooden spoon to stir in the vanilla and cook the mixture over medium heat for 5 – 10 minutes. You can use a candy thermometer to check the heat, when your mixture reaches 120°C start pouring the caramel into the baking pan that you lined with parchment paper. Be careful, the mixture is very hot!

Congratulations –you just made caramel!

Refrigerate the caramel until firm. As soon as this happened, take the caramel from the pan using the parchment paper and put it onto a cutting board. Roll it up tightly until you reach half of the sheet. Cut the sheet across and roll the second half up tightly. Sprinkle your caramel logs lightly with fleur de sel and cut each log in pieces of the same size.
 
Wrap each caramel into fitting pieces of parchment or wax paper. You can easily store the caramels in the fridge or at room temperature.
 
To make the gift extra nice, create a hand written label for the caramel and put them into a paper or cellophane bag.
fds_caramel003

About archiv/e magazine

Archiv/e Magazin is an independent publication that dedicates each issue to a blog. The magazines aims at preserving selected contents from that blog and make them available in printed form. They published their first issue back in September.

archivemag_ausgepackt

If you are curious about archiv/e – or if the Fleur de Sel Caramel idea did not convince you and you are still on the look-out for a Christmas present, visit their online shop, enter the code “adventsarchive” and receive 15% off until Christmas. Yay!

Continuation

Posted on November 22nd, 2015

About a year ago I shared a post called “Intermission” containing some thoughts, about how I was looking for a new purpose for this blog – in the meantime I slowly started posting again, but without having found this new purpose in any observable way or so it seemed.
 
In the past weeks, I realised that something had changed, quite unintentionally so. Previously, I used to share pictures and thoughts quite instantaneously. But since last year I seem to have become more deliberate about the things that find their way onto the blog. Frequently I looked at the pictures I had taken on trips or here in Zurich, but never really felt like publishing them. Often enough did I not yet know what images to select and kept searching for the story I wanted to tell. But as it happens, some of those stories just needed some time. Additionally I started to enjoy creating those retrospective postings – looking back on moments and experiences and reliving them again through images.
 
Now that I realised this, I am looking forward to all those new and old pictures and stories waiting to be shared. I hope you are, too.

Take me back to Tokyo

Posted on November 21st, 2015

DSC_2846
DSC_2983
DSC_2981
DSC_3090
DSC_2865
DSC_2884
DSC_3098
DSC_2895
DSC_2979
Japan-2984
DSC_2906

 

(June 2015)

 
Tokyo was too short, but oh so sweet… That’s the last of the Japan posts up here for now, I hope you enjoyed looking back on this trip as much as I did. I want to go back.