I washed the large quilt today and did some more bookwork. I picked up a couple of chairs for my new outdoor table. And I thought about journaling. Writing each day. I thought about how it is a synthesis of thoughts, an unplanned outpouring. A tapping into the subconscious. The way that things come together in ways that are not planned, or thought about. One thought leads to another, leads to another, leads to another.
I thought about how I love that free flow of associations, how sometimes sentences are not needed, the joy in discovering associations amongst ideas, thoughts, happenings that had not been apparent. I thought about what it teaches me about me, about how to be a better me, about how it sometimes settles me, grounds me.
I love having the time to play with ideas. There was a part of my life where I was busy, but in a quieter way, and often I would play with a word for a day. Or two. Or more. And then write about how I now understood that word in a very different way. It is a great practice that can totally change your outlook. You find yourself undoing the word in layers. Any word will do. Here are some to start with. Efficiency. Tolerance. Fear. Gardens. Corners. Travel. Contemplation. Parents. Choose one word, only one, and stay with it, spend a week with it.
Journaling takes time, at least 20 minutes at a time. It takes that time to draw the thinking from the depths of the mind, form thoughts and translate them onto paper. However it should not involve a lot of thinking and planning. It is a fairly fluid process.
Words do it for me. I like to play with words. For others it is pictures, or strings of words without form. or mindmaps. or collages. anything that is an expression, is done daily, is given time. and attention. and focus. It brings in a natural contemplation.
I thought about the time that I used to write a lot more. About how it would be nice to do that a lot more. It takes space. I don’t allow my self that space. Those punctuations in the day.
I thought about Simplicity and Stillness, my two favourite mantras. I thought about how my journey to them is very very slow. I thought about the richness of simple things. The joy of a telephone call from London. The sun rising. A smile. A comment on my post.
I thought about how much I love pears. Then I made a thick thick yoghurt.
I wanted to make The Budding Cook’s Rasberry Shrikand. I got as far as making the yoghurt and found it so incredibly wonderful I ate it as it was. On scones with jam. On crumpets. On some chopped fruit. It is so very very good. I am going to think about it all day tomorrow.
Thick Thick Yoghurt
Take a tub of yoghurt. Tip the yoghurt into something that will allow it to drain for at least 4 hours. I lined a sieve with a piece of muslin and sat this over a large bowl. A double layer of paper towels is Ok. Even coffee filters! A clean teatowel.
Allow the yoghurt to drain for up to 24 hours in the fridge. The whey drains off, and can be discarded or used in other ways you would normally use whey (in soups, bread baking etc). The amount that drains is surprising.
24 hours produces a very thick yoghurt, more like a soft soft cheese. 6 hours produces a thick but still liquid yoghurt. Choose the thickness to suit your taste and the way that you plan to use it.
Use as is on fruit, in place of cream, on muesli or porridge, in icecream, curd rice, yoghurt curries etc. Or, like The Budding Cook, make Rasberry Shrikand.
Ways I have used Thick Thick Yoghurt:
- I finally made a Blueberry Shrikhand. It is hard to beat.
- With all sorts of fruits and other toppings.
- Stir through some Tuscan herbs, a clove of garlic, some lemon rind for a wonderful dip with Turkish bread.
- A huge dollop on top of winter soups, like this spicy red lentil soup.
- Thick Yoghurt Tahina Dip with Herbs
- Yoghurt and Rosepetals
Other Ways with Yoghurt:
- Yoghurt Curry
- Cacik: Turkish cucumber and Yoghurt Mezze
- Tender Eggplant with yoghurt
- Yoghurt, Feta and Mustard Dip
The Holiday Series
- Mint Paneer: A recipe
- Srikand: A recipe
- Creme Fraiche: How to make
- Thick Thick Yogurt (Yogurt Cheese): How to make
- Yogi Tea: A recipe
- Roasted Rosemary Pears: A Recipe
- Pomodori Gratinati (Baked Tomatoes with Cheese): A recipe
- Ginger Garlic Lentil Soup: A recipe
- Oven Baked Chickpeas: A recipe