2015. gada 24. aug.

Par Unas jauno puisi

Una, bezgala sakautrējusies: - Mammu, man jaunajā dārziņā ir jauns puika.
- Kā tad viņu sauc?
- ... Ui, es neatceros, paprasīšu audzinātājai. Bet viņš Danielam iemeta ar čiekuru!

2015. gada 24. jūn.

Par ceļošanu laikā

Briseles lidostas gaitenī uz Rīgas lidmašīnu aiz manis rindā gaida plecīgs, būdīgs vīrietis īsi apcirptiem, gaišiem matiem, gadus trīsdesmit piecus vecs, ap kaklu masīva, spoži dzeltena ķēde, kājās gaišas putekļauduma bikses, sporta krekliņš neuzkrītošā krāsā ir visnotaļ solīds, tomēr krietni apspīlēts - pāris pēdējo gadu pārticība, šķiet, atstājusi savas zīmes ap vidukli. Līdzi divi pusaugu bērni, zēns un meitene. Zēnam rokās afrikāņu suvenīrtotēms, meitenei ap roku pīta rokassprādze no sarkaniem un dzelteniem pavedieniem, kas liek domāt, ka viņi atgriežas no ceļojuma uz kādu Āfrikas valsti. Rīga, iespējams, ir tikai tranzītpunkts, jo tēvs bērniem krieviski skaidro, uz kurieni viņi tūliņ lidos:
 - Karoče, braucam uz bijušo Padomju Savienību.

Atrodam savas vietas lidmašīnā, zēns sēž man tieši blakus un visu ceļu iPadā ritina bumbiņas, iziet labirintus un šauj ar loku uz cūkām. Viņa tēvs sēž vienu vietu tālāk, bet ar bērniem vairs nesarunājas - izvelk no somas spilvenu, atbalsta galvu, aizver acis un visu ceļu noguļ. Tā arī palieku neziņā, kādā gramatiskā kategorijā ierindot viņa izteikumu. Saliktā pabeigtā pagātne? Ciešamā kārta, īstenības izteiksme? Vēlējuma izteiksme?

2015. gada 18. maijs

Kladdkaka smuggled back

I have improvised on top of this simple chocolate cake recipe for almost 4 years now, and it's time to document the outcome. The source recipe comes from a Latvian photographer who borrowed it from a Swedish colleague, which makes this recipe a kladdkaka re-imported. It has become my cake of choice as it is extremely simple to make and has a terrific effort/performance index.

Basic ingredients:
3-4 eggs
125-150 g butter
300 ml sugar
150 ml flour (gluten-free goes as well)
6-7 generous tablespoonfuls of cocoa powder

Optionally for richer taste, add any or all of the following:
a few pieces of dark chocolate, grated 
a handful of walnuts 
a handful of dried cranberries (tranbär)
some amount of Riga Black Balsam or another alcohol of your liking  

Optionally for glazing:
chocolate for glazing
a tablespoon of butter or milk or both
grated orange zest or a tablespoon of orange juice
a few drops of good brandy
powdered sugar
Steps:

1. Start your oven (180 C); if needed, place butter in the oven to get it soft.
2. Beat eggs. Yolks and whites go together, no worries. No need to overdo it, 3 minutes by hand is plenty.
3. Add sugar. The more the better. And beat some more.
4. Add cocoa powder and gently fold it in.  
5. Add butter. By this time, I have normally forgotten that I put it in the oven and it's all melted, which makes it real easy to add.
6. Add any or, best, all of the optional ingredients for richer taste.
7. Add flour. Wheat is fine, all kinds of gluten-free have been tested and worked. My favourite for this recipe is 'bovete' flour (buckwheat in English, griķu in Latvian).
8. The outcome so far should be a dough that is not too liquid but is still somewhat 'flowing'. It should flow nicely and slowly into the baking form that you have prepared. Add flour or melted butter if it seems too liquid or too hard. 
9. Bake it at 180C for about 40 minutes. In some ovens, it takes significantly less (20 min in the original recipe but it has never worked for me). The important thing is to finish baking before the cake dries out, but you also don't want to stop too early. 
10. Let it rest and get cool before adding the glazing.

Glazing
11. Melt chocolate and add some butter and/or milk. Continue beating it as it melts.
12. Add orange zest/orange juice and brandy. 
13. Drizzle it on top of the cake.
14. Put the cake in the fridge for the glazing to set. Overnight works perfect, but 30 minutes should be fine as well. 
15. Sprinkle the cake with powdered sugar.