Caning plumes and the sugar dilemma 


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Recently we had a lively debate at home, about sugar! Do we need sugar to preserve food? 

Is sugar a “good“ ingredients such as in homemade marmalade or at canning fruits. Or is it always evil and should be replaced. In homemade marmalade or for caning sugar does not only adds flavor but is mainly used to preserve the fruits or vegetables. 

My first source of wisdom is always my “ancient“ cookbook from 1900. It’s beauty is that it was edited before electrical devices have been invented, speaking here of a fridge! Clearly all recipes are referring to sugar to preserve fruits over winter. By referring to “newly“ invented method of pressure caning, they highlight the advantage to reduce the amount of sugar vs. the older method of water bath caning. But still sugar is needed, or isn’t it?

Ok, our ancestors where in favor of sugar, but what about new technologies today? 

A research of the Internet brought only the option of deep freezing. I personally don’t like that method because of the watery taste when food is defreezed. And the equipment consumes massively power and the storage space is limited anyway in a normal household. 

I am running into a dilemma, wasting electricity and have defreezed food I don’t like or preserving with sugar. My stand is to can with sugar as a method of choice. I really do not consume much sugar, neither in drinks nor in food. So I can justify it and make use of the positive properties of sugar. It chemically reduces the exposer to get moldy. The sugar crystals wrap up the organic structure of the fruit by cooking. After it is cooled up the sugar crystals prevent oxidation as the fruit is not directly exposed to the oxidation process. 

Do you have alternatives? Any ideas? I would like to know if you see a similar dilemma I do? 

Blogger Awards


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Awards – and 2 of them together!

I am so proud and surprised to be awarded by two awards. Halee Pagel of 2blueeyes nominated my blog with that award mash.
Thank you Halee!

Actually I have started blogging only beginning this year and I am so happy about all the feedback I have received from a truly global community. Reading all those different blogs is a true inspiration to me and Halee’s blog is one of those that makes you feel better by reading. Don’t miss it out

With LADY ASH’S DIWAN I have finally found a platform to share thoughts about modern and urban lifestyle, which is to me coupled with the aim for sustainability.
It is amazing to see all the blogs from multiple nationalities all around the world. If we all hook up wouldn’t it be possible to change the world a bit to a better place to live. It is true
“There is no planet B”


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What is the Sunshine Blogger Award? This is awarded to those bloggers who bring positivity and inspiration to their readers and followers.


Thank the person who nominated you.
Answer the 11 questions from your nominator.
Nominate 11 bloggers.
Give them 11 questions to answer.
Notify your nominees through comments on their blogs.



Questions I’ve been given from Halee

What’s your favorite non-blog website? Puhh that’s hard…. Most are somehow blogs. I guess documentaries about ancient history.
What’s your guilty pleasure tv show or movie? Telenovelas, from Turkey or India, yes I admit.
How long have you been blogging? Just six month, I am a newbie.
What part of your blog are you the proudest of? All the positive feedback and interaction with other blogger
What are your goals for your blog? To have a platform “Diwan” to share ideas on a sustainable lifestyle in an urban environment.
What is your favorite place on earth? Belgrade and Montenegro
What’s your favorite food? Indian curries
Are you a planner or spontaneous? I try to plan, but I have better ideas being spontaneous.
If you could give someone $1,000,000 who would you give it to? Someone to make our plant a better place. Who is influentials enough the be a changer.
What is your greatest joy in life? Be with family and friends and enjoy a good dinner.
If you have free time, what do you do? Dancing, Tribal Fusion

The questions for the nominees:
1.Why do you write blogs?
2.Do you have blogs on different subjects?
3.What is first layout or content?
4.Do you think a blog needs graphics or pictures along with the text?
5.Do you like to travel or being at home?
6.What is your favorite book?
7.Movies or TV shows?
8.What is your favorite animal?
9.The “famous” fairy approaches you: what are your 3 wishes to her?
10.What do you prefer, Day or Night?
11.What is your favorite sport?


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What is the Blogger Recognition Award? This is awarded to bloggers that are carving out an inspirational space on the internet.


Write a post to show your award
Give a brief story of how your blog started
Give two pieces of advice to new bloggers
Thank whoever nominated you and provide a link to their blog
Select 15 other blogs you want to give the award to
Thanks again to Halee 2blueeyes. It’s an honor to be awarded with two such inspirational awards, I have never dreamt about.

I just started blogging six month ago and still need to learn lot of technical stuff. Beside my professional work as a controller and researcher I like to explore the creative world by writing.
Actually with blogging I found I can combine both. I am exited where this new hobby will take me to.

Well, my ADVICE to new bloggers – like me! Just do what you feel is right for you. If the layout is not immediately what you think it should look like. Just keep trying and pushing. Each time it will be closer to your ideas. The tools are great and all available on Internet. It just needs training once you have the ideas you will learn to use the toolkits.

It is really hard to differentiate between the two awards, therefore I’ll continue with the combination. All nominees are writing inspirational blogs I love reading.


Fahrtrichtung Eden
Ends and Beginning
Become Nika
Claudia Falcao


Potatoes, your friendly soil support


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With my gardening project I am converting grassland back into gardening beds. I have tested organic methods that needs to be easy and do not involve digging. I like the idea that what is good for me also is good for the garden and follow the concept of permaculture.
Potatoes are supposed to to a good job in the transitioning process. With its roots the potato plants loosening the ground that was compressed by walking on the grassland. Therefore potatoes are a fantastic first growing.
In early spring I did the preparation work Preparation for Spring
In early May I bought organic potatoes, just 1 package with about 10 mother potatoes to plant.
Right Into the grass mulch cover I put into two lines the potatoes. Covered them about 20 cm with addition of very rough mulch that contains cut branches and twigs from last autumns garden cut.
That’s basically all you need to do. Other then to wait until the time of harvest has come.
The potato seedlings mange their ways through the thick mulch layers. I had very strong and healthy looking potato green and no issues with bugs and other little friends. It really looked promising for cropping out the potatoes.
And here it is. A bucket full of delicious potatoes.
I just had to loosed the soil a bit with a fork and take out the new potatoes.
Right away I seeded an autumn salad Red Giant.
Next to my potato bed I have a few sweet corns which also looks very promising.


Summer Berries


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I am a happy gardener, now this is the time of the year where I can harvest the crop. First are all sorts of berries, raspberry, red and black currant and gooseberry, followed by cherries and later blackberries. Most berries get ripe so convenient that I can pick only a handful for the morning musli. A few needs to be cooked, like black currant or depending on the individual taste gooseberries. I found myself yesterday sitting in the garden to pick black currant. Right after work into the garden. Now I have 2 pots full of black currant, gooseberries and first cherries that are waiting for me to be processed. One other afternoon!

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Avoiding waste is a task and a challenge. For me a sustainable approach is to think each time ahead if there is a better way that reduces the output of waste. So the little things counts and add up to a remarkable result in the long run.
Those little gestures start with drinking coffee to stay or to use again.
Me and my barista are of the opinion that a good coffee taste better in a cup and it is worthwhile to spend the extra 15 min. Here is my previous post.Coffee cups and waste
Some shops offer reusable mugs or accept the clients own coffee mugs.
The City of San Fransisco does not allow to go cups or take away boxes! Congrats!!!

Similar little gesture is with with ice cream. I admit I am not very fond of ice cream and in cornets in particular. But when I feel like having an ice cream I avoid the plastic or paper cups. I would feeling bad by wasting a paper cup.
That’s the thing with sustainability, not doing something because it is fashionable. But to engage in behaviors that is becoming fashionable because it feels good and is a right thing for oneself and it supports the environment.

The list can be endless and once you start thinking over the habits you will discover enormous potential to avoid waste.
More and more package free supermarkets are opened. Again it is a vintage trend. None of our grand or grand grandparents had plastic bags or could buy a tomato in winter in a plastic tray. And why do I need a tomato in winter in a plastic tray? A homemade tomato sauce in a jar would serve the same purpose.Easy made tomato sauce 

Just Herbs, a must have


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Even before I decided to grow vegetables myself, I was into herbs growing. Nothing taste better than a freshly self made pesto for pasta or risotto. 
I always have peppermint, melissa , persil and rosemary and others available. 

Last year in early winter I seeded further persil and wild chives. Actually I was hoping to have them ready for winter. But I was too late seeding. You know how it is, the weather was still warm and one can not think of winter. So I ended up putting the seeds into the pots only end of October. In February I could use the new persil’s leaves. Which is not to too bad!
I am having both in pots, because I am planning to keep them available for a winter supply on fresh greens. Therefore the pots needs to be removable to locate them in house in winter. 

By the way persil or fresh herbs can be stored for at least a week in a glass of water in the fridge. So there is always fresh leaves handy for cooking.  
The melissa and the peppermint just grow extremely. If I do not diminish them every year, the garden would be full of them. And I mean just full of them. The fresh leaves are good for salads, pestos and tea. I can recommend melissa tea with fresh leaves at night for relaxation. The tea can be used hot or cold as a summer cooler, home made ice tea. 
The herbs are a real must have. And they grow in every space you can grow them easily indoors at the window sill or a hanging garden. Some great ideas for indoors gardening. 

Garden at small spaces

The rosemary needs winter protecting in my zone. So it is also in a large pot I can remove in an outside storage in late winter. For indoor usage it is advisable to just use young rosemary. You can generate new plants easily. Just cut off a vegative ending and stick it in a little pot or in water first until it generated roots. 

On the picture you can see my herbal garden and a little sapling of laurel I brought back from my other tropical garden in Montenegro. There are laurel forests directly in front of the house. 

Here some vertical garden, I found on Pinterest 

Guerilla Street Gardens


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During lunch break I love to walk around the streets. Luckily I the neighborhood has a flavor of artesian quarter. With little a shops full of handcrafted goods. By walking around you feel the free spirit.These days you can find pop up gardens everywhere between the parking lots. It proves that there is always a possibility for flowers. I am very thankful to all who did those little gardens in the streets. Every day you can find a new surprise. It is so relaxing just strolling by and watch the flowers.
That reminds me of guerilla gardening? Prepare some soil balls and plant them with various seeds. Local field flowers are best suited as they are robust and do not need much to look after. Throw those soil balls on a open space between the asphalt coverage. In a few month you may see some flowers growing in the streets. Nature is conquering back its space from mankind. 

Recap of my veggie seeds


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Mid of April, time to do a little recap. How am I doing with my plans to grow own veggies? Most of my seeds is planted in soil expect a few very late ones waiting for May to come. I have some good results but also some unsatisfactory. 

Well, my broccoli is doing well. But I had to suffer some big losses. The yield was disturbing. The little sprout are so fragile that they literally break just when you think of touching them. But some I managed to keep and those are improving day over day. Guess what I do not dare to touch them again. Next year I have to seed them either in proper soil bed already or use paper roll container. So that I can plant them with the container into the soil. 

The parsnips are doing well but carrots are also very small and still look desperate. 

Sweet peas are doing extremely well – I am proud off. 
Together with the last year planted garden sorrel and herbs I should have sufficient supply for greens for salads, pesto and sautéed dishes. I expect from the parsnips and sweet peas at least decent crops and tomatoes should add their part to menu. 

Beans, sweet corn, broccoli and cucumber needs to prove their contribution. 
For carrots I am desperate. Perhaps I need to change the seeds next year…
On fruits I can expect sufficient harvest from berries, cherries and apples. 

This should be a good step forward to self-sufficiency in food supply. 
To grow my own food allows me to control my entire supply chain for my veggies or at least the major share of it. In addition it just cost opportunity costs for space and time. The monetary costs for seeds and special fertilizer are just marginal. 

Alternatively seeds sharing fairs are becoming popular and various compost and organic mulch can provide the necessary carbon and minerals. 


Coffee cups and waste


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I love coffee. Drinking a tasty cup of cappuccino with vegan milk is relaxing routine I do not want to miss. Specially after my daily 1 hour train ride to work I enjoy a stop over in a trendy coffee shop.But what is about the wast?

If I drink a cup a day that’s 365 cups for the bin. I also drink coffee over the weekends.

Multiplied with the years, let’s say 5 years – that’s make already 1.825.

That would be enough for a container, just from my trash.

But I do a trick and don’t use paper cups. 

In the morning after the commute I take my 15 min to sit down in the coffee shop. I order the coffee not to go and get it in a regular porcelain cup. 

In the office I have my own cup as well. 
By sitting down and having a relaxing cup of coffee it supports the environment and is a great break in the daily work routine. 

With being cautioned about our behavior in the environmental context we can all contribute to the better. 


Bento Box


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I do commute about 1 and a half hour one way. That gives me about 3 hours a working day of spare time in the train. Time I use for reading or writing. But back at home I am missing those 3 hours. Therefore preparing food needs to be planned ahead. The cantinas we have around are ok but do not meet my expectations in quality of clean food at all. I use to cook plenty of vegetables and rice and grains over the weekend. From that supply I take my daily lunch with me to the office. So that’s what I am used to to.Over the weekend I did some reading about pickling methods and came across a brilliant Japanese solution for my lunch box routine.

In Japan there are the Bento Boxes. A really stylish and cute system to carry the daily lunch.

Immediately I was thrilled and read the whole evening about boxes and recipes.

Here are some links to Bento boxes and the cute food arrangements which are an art of itself.

And so on……..

It is a very traditional way in taking food away. A box should contain carbohydrates, proteins, vegetables or salat, fruits or a little sweet treat. 

3 parts of carbohydrates  

2 parts of protein 

1 part of vegetables / salat

1 part of fruit or sweets
The box contains a full meal that satisfy the daily nutrition. 

Immediately I ordered a box. The choice was really difficult, as all looked so nice. Finally I made the decision to buy a little round container in which smaller boxes can be stapled. It is very solid and no liquid can leak out. Very important! I have ruined already a few times my bag with curry sauce or other colorful dishes. Oh and on the side is a box with chopsticks ! I love to eat with chopsticks. Here is my first lunch I need to improve the art of decoration.