Maybe it’s time to start calling the duck and my super subjective snack reviews ‘chocolate reviews’ instead because we yet again present you with a chocolaty treat that we discovered. After falling in love with Peanut butter Schogetten last year, we were excited when we spotted some new interesting-looking varieties that are part of a line called Schogetten Selection Gold that hit the grocery store shelves fairly recently. Out of the five varieties adorned with fancy golden lettering: hazelnut and cacao waffle in milk chocolate, hazelnut and cacao in semisweet chocolate, salt caramel crisp in milk chocolate, coconut almond in white chocolate and pistachio in white chocolate, the duck and I knew right away that we wanted to try the pistachio one. Here’s what we thought of it:
Tonight is Walpurgis Night, a night that, while it’s named after and celebrated Saint Walpurga in the Middle Ages, is commonly linked with imagery of witches having big celebrations on Brocken, the highest mountain in Northern Germany. Some Germans like to gather and dance around a big fire in the night of April 30th. Centuries ago this tradition was said to banish evil spirits; these days it’s mainly seen as a fun activity to greet the month of May. The duck’s favorite local custom is dressing up as a witch, as you might on Halloween, to gather with other like-minded makeshift magicians for a walk around the neighborhood. Since the duck has neither participated in nor personally observed this particular practice – and should definitely refrain from changing that this year! – I decided to create a virtual experience instead. And, because we’re generous, we’ll share with you our very own duck Walpurgis night witch costume dress up doll set 🙂
If you were a witch or warlock what kind of clothing would you wear and what would your black cat friend’s name be?
Our friend N’s birthday is in April and every year around this time the duck and I reminisce about the Kokubunji coffee tour – in our coffee snob period – that we went on a few days before we were to leave Tokyo. After having had one of the best iced coffees of our lives at Life Size Cribe, we sat down for an Amanatsu (a Japanese citrus fruit) peel and Camomile muffin served with tofu cream at Café Slow while N, keeping with the actual theme of our outing, had her second cup of lovely coffee. This muffin was super nice and getting to see a bit of Kokubunji was just as great! 5/5 ducks for an amazing coffee themed afternoon in an area that we should have explored properly much sooner! ☆★☆★☆
We can’t wait to continue our Kokubunji exploration and coffee snobbery, hopefully in the not too distant future!
Today the duck and I want to write about Life Is Strange and pancakes. For those of you who haven’t played Life Is Strange yet (though it feels like the duck and I were the last ones) and wonder why we put those two things together, I should add that the mother of one of the characters works at a diner and that all the mentions of breakfast foods in this game made us crave pancakes a lot.
The duck and I like video games but we wouldn’t call ourselves avid players because sometimes we’re too lazy to play, afraid that we get obsessed and do nothing else but play as a result, or simply don’t have a console around. But when two individual friends (which is a lot since most of our friends don’t even know that we enjoy the occasional video game) told us that we just had to play Life Is Strange last year because it’s ‘so you’, the duck and I knew that there was no way around it, especially since we like games with a solid story: Continue reading
This is a story about something that happened last summer, at a time when I was running on a lot less sleep than usual:
It was the evening of a day I had spent running lots of errands, trying hard to not get lost on the way and to avoid bare-faced strangers who were looking for conversation. I was standing at an unfamiliar train station, blankly watching the strip of evening sky between an ugly building and the station roof change colors. I barely paid attention to the podcast I was listening to, partly because I didn’t have my coat and it was getting chilly, partly because I was thinking about whether I’d make my next appointment – with Berlin public transport being so unreliable, especially during the evening rush hour. While I was standing there, lost in thought, a train approached the platform. After a glance at the information board to confirm that it wasn’t the one I had to take, my gaze found the train windows that were passing by me at a decreasing speed until I could make out individual passengers. When I realized that they were all wearing masks I was genuinely shocked and the thought that this train full of incognito criminals would soon open its doors and thus remove the barrier between us worried me. Only then did I remember that we were in the midst of a pandemic and that wearing a mask on public transport is mandated which meant that all those apparent criminals were everyday heroes. As I continued to gaze at the windows that were now slowly gaining speed as they passed by me, I was shocked at how exhausted I must have been in that moment and I decided to get some much-needed rest after that last appointment. I should definitely stop laughing about the duck’s numerous Christmas market and cookie daydreams after this embarrassing incident that, hopefully, didn’t show in the tiny bare section of my tired face because, yes, I had forgotten that I was wearing a mask myself. I would have been one of the criminals.
That’s about the extent of my stamina. Back when the duck and I were living in Tokyo our window looked out onto a trail. Sometimes, when – chocolate in hand – we observed the outside world, we saw super motivated joggers run by, some of them twice our combined age: a regular reminder of how unfit we were. ‘Running for ten seconds’ was, in fact, supposed to be the title of a blog post about how we finally took up running so that no runner would ever be able to mock us again – by simply running past our lazy tail feathers. Of course, the titular ten second run would never happen (not while we were living in Tokyo, anyway) even though, a few weeks before the duck and I set off on our Japan adventure, we visited our inspirational friend who used to go running every morning and inspired us to try ourselves. She told us that she loved Haruki Murakami’s memoir What I Talk About When I Talk About Running and recommended we read it, too. 3+ years later we finally did. And, weirdly, after a life of feeling sick for hours after having had to run for more than ten seconds, reading about the experiences of someone (granted, one who never shared our specific lack-of-running-stamina-problem) who started running on a regular basis as an adult made the duck and me finally attempt to properly take up the practice ourselves (if only we’d read this earlier):
When the duck and I started ‘to explore the outside world some more‘, despite our inherent laziness, it was the beginning of winter. Now that spring has officially started, we want to post a few farewell shots to this particularly weird winter. In the past few months we have fallen even more in love with the golden light that makes everything look pretty and hopeful in the hour before the sun sets. So, that’s what we tried to capture: Continue reading
When I reported on the duck and my attempt to make homemade hot cocoa, I mentioned that our lovely friend R had gotten us chocolate for Christmas that we were excited to try. We finally did. And we liked it so much that we decided to write about it.
Let’s start by saying that this is by far the fanciest chocolate that the duck and I have tasted. The Taza Chocolate Chocolate Mexicano Sampler comes with eight different varieties ranging from chili over salted almond to vanilla. Just by looking at the box we knew that we would like this chocolate because the ‘basic’ variety is called ‘Cacao Puro’ which comes with a beautiful 70% of cocoa which, according to our very specific chocolate bias, is a perfect place to start! On top of that the chocolate is organic, not as heavily processed as most other chocolate and promises to be ethically sourced. I don’t think that the duck and I have tried stone-ground chocolate before, but when we read on the box that that apparently means a bolder flavor and an unusual texture we were curious. As soon as we found out that you could transform these chocolate discs into cups of hot chocolate we were sold. Now the only thing that was left for us to do was try it:
Dreaming of cookies
Happily dancing in space
On a rainbow cloud.
I’ve drawn several pictures of the duck and cookies in the years that we’ve known each other, but there was never one that adequately depicted what the duck’s dreams are made of. There still isn’t. But this picture has come the closest so far. It had been years since I used my (too) cheap watercolors and watercolor paper so that I had forgotten how bad they are and on top of that I forgot everything that I had resolved to pay attention to for a less blotchy result. To diminish the chances of completely ruining this picture, I decided to use watercolor pencils for the small details. It’s far from what I imagined, but I don’t mind it (enough to redo it) – that’s the mindset you need for successful laziness! The haiku is descriptive enough, anyway.
I was inspired by Ricky Baker from the film Hunt for the Wilderpeople that I wrote about two weeks ago. So far, whenever the duck and I were in haiku composition mode, we tried to adhere to the form as much as we (as fauxets) were able to in English. Ricky’s haiku, however, merely follow the 5-7-5 pattern and instead of describing seasons or sensations they are about his current situation or feelings. We liked that. So we did that, too.
When we were living in Tokyo the duck and I loved to spend evenings with C, one of our favorite Tokyo people and the initiator of the sugar-appreciation-pals, having vivid conversations over some pizza and water at Pizzeria Mar de Napoli at Tokyo Dome City. We mainly had pizza because we wanted to consider ourselves as grown-ups who eat real food before ordering cake. But, really, the cake usually was the nutritive highlight of our late dinners. This photo is from the first time we ordered some. The duck and I got a dense chocolate cake while our friend went with a lighter chocolate cake with chocolate cream that she let us try. 5/5 Ducks for glorious cake and conversations ♥
The duck and I love looking back at our time in Tokyo. We had a lot of fun there and the opportunity to hang out with friends without having to worry about getting anyone sick. We can’t wait to go back to eating overpriced restaurant food and meeting up with all the people we haven’t seen in way too long!