Usually this blog is not the place where I address political topics. Not to say that there aren’t any topics on which I have strong opinions on and that I like to discuss with people. But this is a food blog, a place for food, love and happiness and I never felt that it was the right place to discuss some of the dark topics that are happening in the world right now. But there is one matter that has dominated German and European news in the last couple of months. The refugee problem is everywhere and reported on daily. Whether its reports about burning refugee housings and people spewing hateful things or reports covering people welcoming the refugees and helping wherever they can. To take a stance against the cowards who are spreading hate, fear and awful messages over social media, Conny from Seelenschmeichelei started the campaign #deutschlandisstbunt. Deutschland isst bunt is a wordplay that plays with the word be (ist) and eat (isst) and roughly translates to Germany eats(is) colorfully. With this campaign Conny wanted to spread messages of love, tolerance and diversity instead of hate, fear and anger. A lot of people (bloggers and non-bloggers) have taken part in this campaign and I am very happy to support it on this blog as well.
If you live in Europe like me, you have probably noticed the drift to the right that has occurred in the last couple of years. The economic crisis and ongoing refugees that are arriving in Europe to escape war and poverty has caused people to block themselves and get scared of everything foreign. It is horrible and has left me angry, speechless and a little bit scared. People are taking to social media so spread horrible horrible messages of hate and fear under the cover of animosity and “screw political correctness – you aren’t allowed to say anything anymore”. Every time I see something like this (which unfortunately is far too often) I´m just absolutely baffled. How can people be so dull, to directly shun everything that is foreign? How can anybody not have any empathy at all and fail to understand what causes people to flee their homeland and what horrible things they have to endure before they even get here? Why do people prefer to “demonstrate” while chanting xenophobic things instead of informing themselves and deal thoroughly with the subject? Social media, which can be a wonderful place of love, communication and happiness has been overrun with hate and xenophobia. Germany has a horrible past – have we not learned anything from it?
I felt that this type of hate campaign had reached its peak this summer. But then something wonderful happened. People were fed up. Celebrities, news anchors, politicians, blogger and much more started to actively take a stance against these people. Videos were spread over social media, campaigns were started, and positivity and tolerance was spread over television, blogs and social media. People were no longer ignoring the so called “worried citizens”, instead they started to use social media for love, instead of hate. Instead of images of people burning down refugee accommodation, images of people welcoming refugees at the train station, policeman playing football with little kids, hair dressers giving haircuts for free, people donating clothes, bikes and much more, opening their house to refugees and trying to help wherever they can were spread on Facebook, twitter and co. About two weeks ago, 500 refugees arrived in the city where my parents live. It was absolutely amazing to see all these people welcoming them, donating everything that was needed, from clothes, bikes, hygienic articles, furniture and so much more. There were no more alleged pictures or facts of refugee camps on Facebook, instead, people used it to connect themselves and organize help that was so badly needed. It has gotten to the point where I can´t donate the clothes that I wanted to because there are no more capacities to store them. In a time where I almost completely lost all faith in humanity, it was these images and the knowledge of the helpfulness of so many people that gave me hope again. It shows that Germany is not a country of screaming nationalists who are so scared and angry that they refuse to help the people in need. Instead, we showed that we are open, helpful and tolerant, that we learned from the mistakes of our past. People fighting hate and fear with acts of kindness is my favorite thing. There is still so much more to do, but if everybody just does a little thing, we can truly help the people in need. Donate, inform yourself, fight hate and intolerance…everybody can play a little part in helping to make the world a better place.
Now on to the recipe. Quinoa stuffed aubergines are made regularly in my home. If you don´t like quinoa or don´t have any, you could replace it with couscous, bulgur or millet. There might be some filling left, depending on the size of the aubergines. It makes for a great snack though.
For the filled aubergines (serves 4):
1 garlic clove
100 g quinoa
3 tbsp. roasted sunflower seed
200 g feta cheese
2 tbsp. cream cheese
For the tomato sauce:
1 garlic clove
4-5 cherry tomatoes
50 ml red wine
1 package sieved tomatoes
1 tbsp. balsamic vinegar
1 teaspoon honey
1) Rinse the quinoa, place in a pot with sufficient water and bring to boil. Let simmer until it is done, then drain and rinse. Wash the aubergines and take out the core. Roast the aubergines gently form both sides, then place in a casserole dish. Cut the core of the aubergine into little pieces. Chop onion and garlic clove and roast on medium heat. Add the remaining aubergine and roast for a couple of minutes.
2) Add aubergine, onion and garlic to the quinoa. Chop parsley and add as well as the sunflower seeds. Crumble 150 g feta cheese and add as well. Season with salt and pepper. Fill the aubergines and bake in the preheated oven at 200°C for 15 minutes. Crumble the remaining feta cheese and mix with the cream cheese and some parsley. Add the mixture on top of the filling after 15 minutes and bake for another 15 minutes.
3) For the tomato sauce chop onion, garlic and tomatoes. Heat oil in a pot and roast onion and garlic. Add tomatoes and let simmer for a little while. Add red wine and let it boil down. Then, add the sieved tomatoes, turn down the heat and let simmer for about 10 minutes. Blend the sauce, season with vinegar, honey, salt and pepper.