MSG on my mind

Today I listened to a podcast about MSG. It’s is a very interesting food additive, and something I only knew very little about.

Doodle style drawing of the letters MSG inside the mouth of a person.
A silly doodle and a serious post.

The Food Programme (BBC Radio 4) is one of my favourite podcasts. While the baby was on her way to a nap in the garden, I listened to the first half of the episode “Pure umami: should we learn to love MSG?” from May 2021. And I was eager to hear the rest.

The thing that struck me the most was the points about racism and the stigma around MSG and Chinese food.

As I learned from the podcast, MSG is used in a wide variety of foods, such as chips (crisps). The science does not show that it’s unhealthy, even though many people think that it is. I’m one of the people who had an idea that “MSG is bad”, but I couldn’t tell you why I thought so. I also couldn’t tell you why I mostly related this to Chinese food without giving it a second thought.

Racism is a hard word for me to say or even type, but it’s something that I know I have to care more about than I have. Especially because it is so ingrained in things that I would never think of, because I’m so privileged that I don’t see it.

Besides an important wake-up call about racism, what I gained from the podcast is that I probably shouldn’t worry about MSG in restaurant food. I could even consider using it in my home cooking. A whole other issue addressed in the end of the episode is additives in processed foods. Long story short, things like MSG or sweeteners can make a product taste good even though it has very little nutrition. And that might be a bigger problem.

Did you know a lot about MSG already, or did you learn something reading this?

Please listen to the whole podcast episode if you’re interested, I probably didn’t do it justice!

Anyway, thanks for reading this, I know the post was more serious than my usual stuff. Maybe it’s because I’m a mother now, maybe it’s because of the state of the world. I can’t promise my next post won’t be about a fluffy bug that I saw, or something even more silly. But I’ll probably continue to write about things that are close to my heart, I hope you’re here for it.

❀

MSG on my mind

I drew 3 Spring doodles (and rambled a bit about veggies) πŸŒ·πŸŒ€οΈ

… and then Winter returned πŸ˜³πŸ˜„ But here they are anyway.

Here are 3 Spring-themed doodles I made in the first week of March. Still doodling away on my phone in ibisPaint X whenever I have the chance.

I love illustrating food, especially veggies πŸ’š

I didn’t really plan out this drawing but just added things bit by bit. I try to eat what’s in season (and not grown in heated greenhouses), because it’s a way for me to be more sustainable. That means I haven’t had a fresh tomato or cucumber in a long time.

But living in this country can get a bit boring foodwise, especially in Winter. We love potatoes, carrots and all sorts of kale and cabbage in this house, but do get fed up with it. So we allow ourselves to get imported veg, especially peppers and lots of oranges and lemons, I just can’t live without them. And on rare occasions an avocado, yum!

I think I’m going to be a bit more loose about my “local and in season” food goal, because our daughter will soon start to eat solid food. And I want her to taste everything. But I’m torn, because I also want to teach her about sustainable lifestyle and give her a good Earth to live on!

When you think about it, it’s quite ridiculous that we have become used to being able to buy fresh fruit this far North in the middle of Winter.

Umm, that was quite a blurb about food. Anyway! Here are the other two Spring doodles.

Weeeeee! *sniffle

Just a lil’ Spring flower who is maybe now reconsidering the choice to come up and say hi.

You can find speed videos of my drawing process for both of these last doodles on my Instagram.

It was great to have some days with nice weather, especially since all you can really do is go for walks at the moment. But then the cold came back to bite us all in the, well, cheeks! πŸ₯Ά So I think I’ll wait an extra couple months to remove my woolly layers πŸ˜„

I drew 3 Spring doodles (and rambled a bit about veggies) πŸŒ·πŸŒ€οΈ

Swol sourdough is back!

I’ve been baking sooo much bread lately, and it reminded me of a dough doodle I made for #inktober 2018. If you love baking too, you can get the new, colourful Swol Sourdough as a sticker, on a mug or notebook (among other products) in my shop.

The old drawing looked like this:

sourdough yeast rise #inktober doodle by wordsanddoodlesblog
Read my Inktober post from 2018 here

And here’s the fresh version of “Swol Sourdough” as I’ve decided to name it:

You’d better pop it in the oven soon, before it spills out of its tin.

I put this design on stickers, mugs and more products in my Redbubble shop for other baking nerds flexing their dough muscles – you can see them all here:

Drawing process

The new and improved version of my dough doodle was drawn on paper using Windsor & Newton Promarkers and coloured pencils. Afterwards I did some digital editing in Gimp and Adobe Illustrator to give it some clearer colours and contrast. I also ended up using Adobe Draw to do the final line art. Needless to say, I spent many hours on perfecting this sourdough!

If you follow the blog, you might also have seen this sourdough doodle that I made a couple of weeks ago – also inspired by the doodle from 2018.

It’s funny how old drawings sometimes pop up in my head and inspire something new. I draw a lot of new things on paper and screen at the moment, too, but redrawing old stuff is very fun and challenging at the same time.

Swol sourdough is back!

Pancakes #2

Here’s my second, gruesome pancake comic from the same doodle session:

I don’t know what got into me with these! How could anyone eat that tiny cute blob?! But they were fun to draw. And pancakes are delicious…

If you didn’t see the first pancake comic featuring my bf it’s here.

With this one, I thought I would erase the handwritten text and rewrite speech bubbles like I usually do with comics. But I decided to keep the hand writing in, because it’s a different look and easy enough to read (I think).

Also, it saved me a bit of editing time. I’ve been practicing my digital editing of drawings a lot this past year. But at the moment I feel like spending some more time on the hand drawing process (on paper).

In my last post I promised to share the original sketch book page, so you can get a glance at the chaotic ways of my doodlings πŸ˜€ Here you go!

Pancakes #2

Squash, beet, squash, beet, squash

Hey guys, I put a new veggie pattern in my Redbubble shop – it’s less doodly than what I usually make:

See available products with this pattern

I made the design in Illustrator while sketching things out for a Danish food themed design competition (which I didn’t win, but the people liked my design and gave me free tickets for their event, so that was cool!).

Only the beet (in a different version) ended up in my final illustration, but I really like this pattern.

If you also think it’s cool, you can get it via the link on:

  • mugs, coasters, tote bags, water bottles and stickers (white background)
  • travel mugs and spiral notebooks (blue background).

Old drawings ❀

Now that I look at it, the design also reminds me of a squash comic that I made in the early days of this blog (over 4 years ago!):

Posh Squash by Wordsanddoodles (May 22, 2015)

It’s really weird! I think I thought it was hilarious then. I still like the style of the drawing and the expressions on the characters’ faces.

And maybe it somehow inspired me to draw the butternut squash again in a new version.

I guess I could make the old doodle a product design too (without the speech bubbles, maybe) – what do you think?

Squash, beet, squash, beet, squash

Going bananas

Wow, I just realised I haven’t posted any doodles here for almost a month. Here’s a 5-minute drawing of a banana to make up for it:

I listened to one of my favourite podcasts yesterday while cooking dinner: BBC Radio Four – The Food Programme. I listened to this episode about bananas that I highly recommend.

I learned that there are lots and lots of varieties of bananas in the world, but we often only see one variety in super markets, at least in the countries where bananas don’t grow naturally. And there was a whole story about how that one type of banana became the super banana that now dominates the market. But apparently some bananas are purple and some taste like icecream! The most common type of banana is in danger of extinction because of – I think – a type of fungus that attacks it and has spread to some parts of the world. I’m doing a bad job of summing up the podcast, so yeah, maybe just listen to it πŸ™‚

I don’t actually eat bananas that often, mainly because I try to eat locally grown fruits and veggies as much as possible, because it’s often better for the environment. Also, my boyfriend REALLY hates bananas (and has since childhood) so he’s happier when we don’t have them in the apartment. I have foods that I’m disgusted by too, so no shade thrown, and since I can live without bananas, I don’t mind. However, I have a really good recipe for banana bread that I kind of crave now after drawing and writing about bananas so much.

When I think of bananas in a dessert context I always also think of a specific banana shaped pastry that I often got at the bakery when I went with my sister as a kid. It was some kind of sponge cake at the bottom with (maybe) swiss buttercream on top covered with yellow marcipan and with dark chocolate details at the ends. I can’t remember if it actually had a banana taste to it, though. But I loved it so much – I think I mainly liked cakes with fun shapes as a kid, and didn’t really care a lot about taste.

Here’s a speed video of the 5-minute banana drawing:

Going bananas

Burrito time (is so short)

This happened today (and many times before):

burrito time web comic wordsanddoodles
“Yum, burrito time!”

The thing is, I get hungry. Sometimes from one minute to the next. And I happen to live with a Slow Eater. We try not to food shame (or generally shame) each other,Β  because that’s obviously not nice or healthy.

It’s just that… We’re both a bit surprised every time I manage to spray burrito filling all over myself and the furniture in a very short time, while Slow Eater hasn’t spilled a single crumb.

I guess burritos are difficult to eat for some people. And when I start making a mess, I feel like I might as well just continue down that road.

Fun facts about this comic:

#1: We don’t actually sit shoulder to shoulder and eat dinner like that. We obviously lounge at either end of the couch while watching YouTube, like proper grown-ups.

#2:Β Slow Eater doesn’t actually own a nice, red, woolly sweater, but I asked which colour he wanted to wear in the comic and he requested this – and now wants to get one IRL.

#3:Β Last month I drew another comic of me and my BF – you can check it out here: Duvet drama.

 

Burrito time (is so short)

Funky beets

I love beets!

They’re so beautiful and have that weird sweet and earthy taste, that’s sometimes too much, and sometimes just right.

Look at that colour!

beet 1

 

Here’s one of the smaller, round ones:

Once I tried to grow beets in my tiny urban garden (literally a box of dirt, but it works). They turned out like this:

… Very small!

I found out that I should have picked some of them out to make room for other ones to grow big. I told my colleagues at the time about it and someone was very nice and gave me some giant ones from their garden. I pickled them and all was good, and I never tried growing my own beets again. But I guess now I know what to do, so I should try again.

Beets are on my mind, because I made some hummus a couple of days ago and put in a couple of baked beets. The hummus was amazingly pink and tasted and felt very spring-like in spite of the season. It turns out it doesn’t take a lot to excite me, when it comes to food. The beets I used looked a bit more like this, though:

It’s a difficult season to find good vegetables, especially local and organic ones. But these were both, and they tasted very nice. I find that baking them and peeling the skin off afterwards makes them more tasty than boiling them.

That was a lot of thoughts about beets, congrats for reading this far! Here’s a a fun fact:

I drew the first two of the beet doodles today while talking to my mum on the phone. (Not about beets, though, mainly about what we’re baking at the moment and what the rest of the family are up to).

*Update: After posting this I went and googled “beets”, and I can see that I totally drew the leaves wrong. They have long pink stems! Anyway it goes to show how little I remember about actual vegetables coming from the ground and not the store. I’ll remember next time I’m drawing a bunch of beets πŸ˜€

Funky beets

My kitchen counter – process video

I enjoy watching drawing videos on Instagram, and today I wanted to try to make one myself. Here’s the recording of my process of making a quick drawing – it’s the result of about 40 minutes work (at 1000% speed):


I’m still learning to draw properly in Illustratir using my Wacom tablet, which is very different than drawing on paper or drawing directly on a tablet with a screen. But it gives lots of opportunities for colouring and drawing with different brushes, so it’s worth the hassle of learning.

The final drawing turned out like this by the way:

If you’re curious, the stuff on my counter this morning was (from left to right):

Massive jar of instant coffee, old speakers for listening to the BBC Food Programme (or other things) in the kitchen – behind a pot of parsley, plate with apples and a brown (not red) avocado, sugar left on the counter from breakfast (porridge), pot of rosemary, weird, tall mason jar with its own rubber seal inside, which should have been in a cupboard, stand mixer.

Sometimes there’s nothing except the mixer on the counter, sometimes its full of keys, tissues and other stuff that has nothing to do in the kitchen. But today it looks like this and it makes me happy to look at all these colours on a grey and cold January morning.

My kitchen counter – process video