Tuesday, 10 December 2013

Cabbage salad and digital disquiet

I am aware that for someone who spends so much time putting my life online, I am very wary of our digital age.  One part of me loves it and embraces it with fascination and excitment, while another part feels overexposed and vulnerable to have so much information that someone might just turn off with the flick of a switch.

Living online changes how we live.  I used to scribble recipe down in a notebook or take them from cookbooks before blogging.  These days I often search online for ideas, scribble down what I do as I cook (or soon after) and then write up for my blog.  I then trust the internet gods to take care of my recipe for I don't have a copy elsewhere.  (Must remember to back up!)

Take for example this Cabbage Salad I am bringing you today. It wasn't my very favourite dish but I found it strangely appealing.  On the first night I found it refreshing but slightly piquant. On the next night Sylvia had rejected some chopped peach.  I cut it into small pieces and added it to the salad.  It worked nicely.  E was still not convinced.  Brief notes today because I have more to reflect on, but, with the photos, it is enough to remind me of a moment, an idea for making a salad right, and how to use up a what is in the fridge.

At times I get very nervous that all that I have created on my blog, all my memories and recipes, will disappear.  I think maybe I should make a book of some favourite recipes.  Of course if my blog was to go down, I would still have all my recipe books and notebooks from where I have taken many recipes and ideas.  I worry too that these could all go in the blink of an eye if the house burnt down.

Then I think of a recent piece I heard on the radio about an Aboriginal elder talking about how in his time children learnt from the uncles not from school or television.  It reminds me of our inner resources, of all I have learnt.  We now are so reliant on books and computers that we can easily forget how much resides within us.

I started thinking about the longevity of digital data when I heard a discussion on the radio about digital assets in deceased estates.  It had never occurred to me to think about what happens to my passwords and online accounts when I die.  I was a bit horrified to hear that some online music accounts expire when people die so children will not inherit their parents' collection of albums or songs.  After all E has a great collection of music.

It is ironic that the digital age has made it so much easier to share many things.  Food blogs are brilliant at sharing recipes and if I don't find what I want at one news site, I can easily find another.  Yet in other ways it inhibits sharing.  This was brought home to me recently when my dad told me about how much he enjoyed reading a book.  I asked to borrow it but he had it on his Kindle.


Further to my digital disquiet, here are a few links that I found interesting:
Cooking with Herbs
I am sending this salad to Karen of Lavender and Lovage who hosts the Cooking with Herbs event.  This month she has challenged bloggers to use both herbs and spices.  This salad uses what is probably my most prolific herb in my garden and a favourite spice from my pantry (mustard).

Previously on Green Gourmet Giraffe:
One year ago:
Peebles, Snow and the Prince of India
Two years ago: CC Chesterfield Farm and Smoky Red Pepper Hummus
Three years ago: Buns, soup and crunchie in yaz's kitchen
Four years ago: David Bann - vegetarian excellence!
Five years ago: Festive Shortbread
Six years ago: How green was my mole?

Cabbage salad with lime and mustard dressing
Inspired by Gourmet Traveller and Straight Up Food
serves 4 as a side

250g wombak cabbage, finely sliced
1 red capsicum, cut into sticks
small bunch of asparagus, chopped and lightly steamed
good handful of mint, chopped
good handful of snowpeas, trimmed and chopped
2 white peaches (slightly underripe), matchsticks

Dressing:
2 tbsp lime juice (about 1 lime)
1 tbsp seeded mustard
1 small garlic clove, crushed
pinch of salt
ground black pepper

Place all salad ingredients in a medium to large salad bowl.  Toss through dressing ingredients.  Check and adjust seasonings.  Serve fresh or keep overnight in the fridge and serve the next day.  Great with vegetarian haggis or pasta with vegan alfredo sauce.

On the Stereo:
Hirta Songs: Alasdair Roberts and Robin Robertson

31 comments:

  1. Living in this online age is totally a strange thing, especially when so much of your life is online. I try not to think about it too much, but probably in ten or fifteen years blogging will be a whole new kind of thing and whatever we're doing now will be antiquated. We'll see....

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    1. Thanks Joanne - it will be interesting to see where blogging goes in the future - it has changed a lot in my six plus years of blogging

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  2. It is possible to create a PDF out of your blog material, but I have no idea whether one can have, say, all the archives since 2006 converted into PDF. For free. Maybe :-)

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    1. Thanks for the link to that site, it's brilliant!

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    2. Thanks alcessa - this looks really interesting - much easier than doing it myself

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  3. So many things to ponder this morning, Johanna. Perhaps what I find the most profound is...by the time I figure it all out, it will change.

    I still go to my cookbooks first when searching for a recipe for Marion and myself. I don't know what I would do without them but I do worry about what will happen to them when I am no longer willing or able to appreciate them:)

    I'm liking your salad a lot. It sounds so refreshing and healthy. I'm saving it in hopes it doesn't get lost somewhere, lol...Thank you so much for sharing...

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    1. Thanks Louise - you make me laugh - it is all change on the web. Your question about what happens to cookbooks once you go is a good one - I think you have such a great collection maybe you could donate it to a museum but maybe you would like it to be used and you would need an enthusiast like yourself for that.

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  4. Love the colors in this slaw/salad! Great way to incorporate a lot of those ingredients :)

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    1. Thanks Jennifer - I thought the colours looked a little christmassy - and was very pleased to use up some of what was in the fridge even though it made a salad very unlike either that I was inspired by

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  5. I seem to remember that while sales of most physical books are declining as people move to digital copies, cookbooks are the opposite - people need to have something they can splash and drop and get cake mix on them and it won't break. Why not get a proper book made of some of your favourite digital recipes? I think there are a few companies that do it that aren't too expensive.

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    1. Thanks joey - I used to enjoy sitting down with a pile of cookbooks but I think it changed when I started using Delicious which bookmarks and tags recipes - perhaps I should use it for my cookbook recipes too (Eat your books is useful for using cookbooks). I have thought of doing a cookbook of favourite recipes but I just need some time to do it.

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  6. I've never really thought about my digital footprint and assets. I guess I should really think about them. I'm assuming that it will all go to hubby :P

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    1. Thanks Lorraine - it is an odd thing to think about our blog accounts going to anyone else - perhaps in the future successful blogs can be sold to others to continue updating them - like businesses:-)

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  7. I lost a blog at the end of 2009. It was on a blogspot site, and suddenly my domain name was usurped by a chinese pharmaceutical company. The blog dealt with my recovery after the 2009 bushfires and documented, with photos, my destroyed house. I managed to salvage some hard copies which are now in a filing cabinet. In that event, I lost, as well as everything I owned, photographs ( real) of my children as they grew up, all our travels OS, wedding photos, Christmas and party snaps and so on. Some kind people have dug around and replaced some photos but on the whole, we are without a visual history. After that disaster, my husband sends all photos to various clowds, I print the best, and as for my new blog, I copy it from time to time into a word file, which is then sent to dropbox. Records, hard copies or cloud, are so important.

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    1. Thanks Francesca - am so sorry to hear about how much you have lost - hackers who attack personal blogs just bamboozle me - why would they do it!! I do have a few back up plans with my digital assets but not enough. You sound wiser for your experiences.

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  8. So much food for thought here - I'm very grateful to Alcessa above for that link to BlogBooker because I am forever worried about losing my blog material (not that it ever prompts me to do anything about it). My goal for 2013 was to live less online... I don't think I've achieved it!

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    1. Thanks Lucy - I think I need a bit less blogging time - because there is so much else that needs to be done (christmas preparations anyone!)

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  9. This is something I ponder a lot. I do worry about losing everything I have online, on my laptop, on my phone...
    Since I can't do anything about this digital age I try and embrace the positive things like the connections it allows and the information it opens up to us. I do find myself needing to take a digital sabbatical every now and again though to keep me from getting too sucked in, to the detriment of my "real" life.

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    1. Thanks Emma - I like the idea of a digital sabbatical - so much good stuff offline but I do find I quite enjoy the dialectic between the digital and offline. I wonder how the next generation - the digital natives - will find the idea of digital sabbatical

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  10. Just one of the reasons I never discuss dating on my blog! And why my dad backs up my blog every time he helps me run updates. :P

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    1. Thanks Hannah - you are lucky to have an IT savvy dad and probably wise to keep dating out of the blogosphere - some things are not meant to be shared with all and sundry

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  11. I always back up my blog every month and recently we have started to migrate ALL of our digital information to offsite storage in case of disaster. Thank goodness Rob is more into that... He got us a Space Monkey and our photos alone all hundreds of GB... I couldn't imagine losing all that!

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    1. Thanks Janet - I find storing photos a constant challenge - so many digital photos compared to when you could just take one because film and processing was so expensive. I have had one experience of losing some photos and it is annoying but luckily I had kept my favourites elsewhere.

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  12. Mustard! That is something I have not yet put on cabbage salad, but given the frequency with which I find myself starting at cabbages, I will definitely give it a try.

    I share your concern about online issues and my mother often reminds us (all of us! everyone!) about risks of losing digital content. My siblings and I used to joke at her but I have come to understand :P

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    1. Thanks Kari - I am quite challenged by cabbages which is why I made the salad - had to use it up - and quite liked the sound of the salad dressing.

      Your mother sounds very wise - glad you are listening to her

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  13. I also think a lot about what I share on the internet. It's a wonderful medium but I'm also scared by its potential of abuse and surveillance.

    The salad looks wonderfully fresh! I imagine also the addition of peaches worked very well, fruit can give such a nice sweet twist to savory dishes!

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    1. Thanks Kath - I really like the way you sum up the risks as abuse and surveillance. The peaches worked well - I kept thinking pineapple but had peaches so those went in.

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  14. I like that you were able to use up leftovers in your salad and make it better as you went along. Thanks for the interesting links.

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    1. Thanks Cakelaw - I sometimes tweak a dish on a second night - that is why I love leftovers - they are like a second chance to get it right

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  15. WOW! What a FABULOUS entry into cooking with herbs for December and my spicy theme, and such lovely photos too! Thanks so much and Happy New Year! Karen

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