Home | Short Stories | Nº 72 – It’s all about energy, right?

Nº 72 – It’s all about energy, right?

Suesskartoffeln, aufgenommen am 07.02.2018 auf der Messe Fruit Logistica in Berlin. Foto: Andrea Warnecke

Saturday, the 30th of January 2021

During the Covid-19 pandemic, people have been displaying a range of different attitudes that have never before been so well observed and analysed. And it is challenging moments like this one that can help us to overcome our problems. We are now at the stage where our goal is to prevent the virus from spreading any further. It is a struggle between humans and the virus, Goliath versus David. Who will emerge the winner? Since we have a head between our ears and a brain to think with, we can decide our own future. And, in thinking about it, we ask the following question: which is the attitude that spreads the virus the most? That’s it! It’s all to do with our movements. It’s the journeys we make from A to B and C that carry our enemy around and increase its spread. Travel transports the virus from one person to another. And, so far, we have reached a death toll of more than two million.

Anyone who goes to a restaurant to eat and drink necessarily travels. And, at the moment, this is almost impossible. Restaurants are closed and travel has become very restricted. But we still eat and drink. We have to, obviously. But since we’re moving less, we should also eat less. I will reveal how I am resolving this dilemma today. Examining my daily routine, I have noticed that I now eat only two meals a day, and that I also eat a lot of fruit from my garden: oranges, grapefruit, clementines. But we can still go shopping for food. How about developing this line of thinking further? I will simply say that many of our problems can be solved by doing nothing. It’s hard to believe, but it’s true. For those of us who don’t want to be infected, the best thing we can do is stay at home. Sleep more, and sunbathe when the weather is good to increase our levels of vitamin D. We can begin to live our lives in a more conscious fashion, immediately. Of course, for some this can be boring – many people don’t know how to occupy themselves. But it’s a question of trying to change. There are many who try to make contact with the outside world by playing with their mobile phones. Hello, is there anyone there who feels as bad or as good as I do? But, at the end of the day, we will find that this is nothing more than a way of killing time.

I want to make good use of my time and so I divide up my day to give it a rhythm. I start very early by thinking about what I’m going to eat during the day, and deciding what I want to cook. In these pandemic times, many people have surely noticed that living in the city is not an ideal solution. Why is that? It is difficult having a garden to look after. I have just planted lots of strawberries. If I was living in the city, I would make a list of the goals I’d like to achieve in the near future. In first place I’d put: moving to the countryside. It is very useful for us to make such a list at this moment in time, if we have the chance and the energy to do so. The action itself can be left for later on, whenever this opportunity arises. At the moment, we should not move around too much. This is a theme for the future, for when Goliath and David… but you already know the story.

I almost always feel a great joy in living, which includes cooking, of course. I have read many books over the years and have always kept sweet potatoes, onions, garlic and eggs in the basement – and in the kitchen – while also producing my own olive oil. In the vegetable garden and meadow, there are edible herbs and strange plants that grow rapidly when there’s enough rains. These can be used to make a starter salad with rocket, dandelion and water cress. I cut the potatoes into small cubes or thin slices, depending on how I’m feeling that day. And today is the day I’m making a tortilla for lunch. I fry the cubes or slices of potatoes with chopped onions in a frying pan with olive oil until they’re golden brown. Then I beat several eggs in a bowl, adding these to the potatoes and the fried onion (without forgetting the salt and pepper) and leave this mixture to stand for 30 minutes. Meanwhile I also add a few grams of nutmeg. Then I fry everything and end up putting the tortilla in a hot oven. At the moment, there are also mushrooms in the forest that can significantly enhance a meal, if you know how to clearly distinguish the edible ones from the poisonous ones. For dessert, I serve a puree made from apples, sultanas, cinnamon and honey.

And, to end this article, here’s today’s news: for the first time, a Michelin star has been awarded to a vegan restaurant. A special mention is reserved for the environmentally friendly and healthy creations of Chef Claire Vallée from the restaurant “ONA”, in Arès, to the west of Bordeaux. It will be interesting to see when a distinction of this kind is awarded in Portugal. https://www.clairevallee.com

Uwe Heitkamp (60)

trained TV journalist, book author and hobby botanist, father of two grown-up children, knows Portugal for 30 years, founder of ECO123. Translations : Dina Adão, Tim Coombs, João Medronho
Fotos: Stefanie Kreutzer & dpa

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