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Monthly Archives: July 2012

July

mellow like a childhood taste

blue like the illuminated skies that bounce off the tops of high trees

obstinate like a child that does not want to go to sleep

July is counting the days

the cold  kiss of an ice-cream

and the flamingo pink of clouds setting off for a night-flight to meet the day

July

the perfect cry of summer

that wants to live forever

The sun pulled me out of bed a little bit after 04 am. I sat up and admired the brightness.

I cannot get over this magnificent play of lights. The vivid bronze nuances of the early day and the flamingo pink and baby-blue hues colouring the evening skies.

I had to go out on the balcony and watch the colours of the sunrise bleed on the row of trees stretching out along the highway…

The Swedish summer is like an artichoke – it takes some effort to get to the heart of it.

But then, sometimes with no warning, comes one of those days that could be pasted into my anthology of Things of Beauty: the greens and the blues in perfect harmony. The temperature exemplary. The heavens laced by a decorum of fluffy clouds.

A day to savour like the fior di latte ice-cream shared  in a gelateria of Söder, one of the islets of Stockholm city.

A day to graze on grass so green, it almost squeeks under your feet. Laying  down on a  blanket in the semi-shade of an apple-tree feeling lawnly and enveloped in sun-beams.

When I was traveling in the subcontinent, I would get flash-backs to my childhood nordic summers. It could be the warm stones on a paved temple court, a luscious landscape or a smell. Reminiscences triggered by a place so remote and different.

In the punishing heat I would feel nostalgy for the subtle al dente temperatures and the gentleness of the booming nature I had gotten to know as I child.

I  was thinking  to myself that if something as beautiful as this exists in the world, and it is still in my reach, why  on earth wouldn’t I make sure to experience it ?

Several months later, here I am.

I do not want to be accused of misleading advertisement. Summer in these coordinates are probably not  suited for  those looking for instant satisfaction.

But then again, who wants instant when you can get wholesome?

Who doesn’t love a good excuse, or two?

In Rome do as Romans do, and in Sweden soup goes with pancakes and who says soup is not good on a warm summer evening?

Skipping the soup and just having pancakes for dinner is an option, but a little bit over-the-top. On the other hand,  buying some ready-made soup, heating it up and then finishing up the meal with pancakes made from scratch, fresh berries and whipped cream is playing by the rules and is both politically and culturally correct.

I must just share this recipe with you, because these – glutenfree – beauties just came out perfect: softly whisk 1 dl almond flour and 2 dl toasted oat flour, skrädmjöl, (or wheat flour) together to remove any lumps. Add 1 spoon of baking powder, a pinch of salt and finally 4 eggs laid by “happy” hens. Mix everything together.

Put 30 gr of butter in a pot and add 1 1/2 dl of milk. Heat on medium fire just until the butter melts. Put aside to let cool and then mix it with the dry ingredients. Forget the mix in the fridge for some hours.

Then just before pancake-time, remember to take the batter out of the fridge and heat a pan, adding a tiny bit of grease. You do not need to grease the pan any more after that. This recipe yields 12 pancakes, but I made irregular sized ones,  to get more of them!

Share with someone you love and watch the sunset.

If you try, let me know how it went (recipe and not romance-wise).

In the heart of the Swedish summer there are seven days in a row packed with ladies’ namedays. The Swedish call it the ladies’ week, fruntimmersveckan.

Technically, the week starts off on July 18 and offers excellent opportunities for recreation with one of the most loved activities of Swedish people, namely fika.

Fika is a revered word up here. It means drinking coffee, tea or any other favourite drink, cold or warm, with some form of accompaniment. The latter could be a cinnamon roll, a cookie, a piece of cake, or even an open sandwich, macka. Fika is something you do when you take a break at work, when you meet a friend at home or in town, when you celebrate an occasion…

Namedays used to be  more celebrated back in the days, a christian tradition as they are. Moreover, people often did not know their exact birth dates so namedays were both practical and pious.

Nowadays, birthdays are the big celebration occasion for most Swedes. However, namedays still qualify for a nice card, a phone-call, some flowers and breakfast in bed.

Personally, I support any good enough reason to make a day special, and celebrate life.

I am a lacto-ovo-pesceterian who shuns gluten. I relish vegetables and legumes of all kinds, pick my cereals, love fruits and nuts.

I like getting ideas from food that I taste, or from recipes that I happen to stumble across or deliberately look up, but I am a big fan of experimentation. Tweaking, inventing and innovating are my favorite kitchen utensils.

I seldom cook traditional, well-defined dishes. Therefore, when people get curious about what I eat, I assume the look of a question mark. My answer is usually a non convincing medley of the words vegetables, stews, pulse, quinoa and rice. Not exactly what would make your mouth start watering.

It is a bit like when you are asked what your favorite song is, and  suddenly  feel like you have never had a musical taste  whatsoever.

To satisfy the curious among you, I have been collecting pictures over a week, documenting breakfasts, dinners and lunches, presented in random order.

Let’s imagine these are pages from the culinary diaries of a person vegeterian at heart.

Morning porridge with strawberries, blackberries and a lot of cardamome.

Vegetable coconut curry with rice noodles, sprinkled with fresh coriander and kinako.

Artichokes in a tomato sauce served with wild rice and green salad, bearing the signatures of my sister and her husband.

Vegetables with poched eggs.

Fruit salad, again, with a generous amount of cardamome. Cardamome goes so well with fruit!

Dal, salad and chickpea flat-bread.

Buckwheat pancakes with whipped cream and fruit.

Sister’s salad with ruccola, kidney beans, avocado, egg, stir fried celery root and sundried tomatoes. Pasta optional…

Freshly baked bread with honey. Fruit salad and ginger-lemon tea.

Several cups of rosehip soup. A vitamin-C bomb that I just love.

When I moved out of my appartment some months ago I was amazed at having collected so many things, despite not having bought much furniture or other household stuff over the years.

This time, it was my grandfather’s turn to move. Packing things – I like that. Especially the sorting and disposing off bit. Using page after page of old newspapers, reading obsolete news and wrapping fragile stuff until fingers get black, stained by ink and dust.

Then after some days of intense work, comes the rewarding moment when the  liberating emptiness of rooms and walls previously crammed with things appears. Α glade in the domestic wilderness,

Of course, in the packing process I also picked out some old gems of emotional value that I thought should stay on with the family. Attachment and detachment are best friends.

Items that once co-existed in the same space, making up a home, will be separated and enter the unknown.

They will be touched and examined by strangers at some lonely hearts club for abandonned furniture and household gear.

Then, according to the mysterious laws of karma, they will be reincarnated into new lives  and find their place in novelty constellations in other people’s homes.

Pieces of our family history  dispersed into the manmade universe of things. A history that will remain untold.

sofiawise

Clockwise, otherwise & likewise

The Chick on a Pea

Clockwise, otherwise & likewise

Buttercupgoeswest

Buttercup is a newborn and we are taking her on a 5000 KM journey from Ahmedabad to Kanyakumari

Sadness Theory

Music with passion for the environment

zee pause café

taking a moment, having a coffee, writing down some thoughts