Saturday, November 19, 2005

BBM3 from Kristina

Early this week I received a wonderful package from Kristina of Clivia's Cuisine. What a shock! I thought that this BBM was confined to our neck of the woods. My package came all the way from Sweden and due to Kristina's careful packaging the contents arrived all in one piece. At this writing I already finished the Nut Tops she sent. They have very little flour and are almost an hazelnut macarron. Can't wait to try the recipe myself. Lussekatter are leavened saffron cakes and are delicious. I had them for breakfast, warmed in the oven and dripping with butter. Heavenly! Blåbärstryffel are wonderful white chocolate covered blueberry truffles and I'm enjoying them as I write this. Very rich, to be sampled slowly and enjoy the goodness. Rounding up the package she sent a Christmas tree ornament, a potholder decorated with a gingerbreadman, Pepparkakor (ginger cookies), Salt Lakrits and Polkagris, a salt licorice candycane (to die for) and mint candycane. I also got a package of Glöggkryddor, the special spices to make glögg (a Swedish mulled wine) and, last but not least, a jar a loganberry jam which Kristina says is essential in Swedish cuisine, being served with both savoury and sweet dishes.

Kristina also sent a beautiful letter telling me all about the Christmas traditions of her family, some postcards of her hometown and of of Stockholm and pictures of herself and her family and, of course, the recipes. Thank you Kristina for a lovely package.

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Working on another house

One of these days people will ask me how come I have a cooking blog, since it looks like any construction job can get me away from the pots and pans in no time at all. My last post is dated almost a month ago. During this time I've tried to keep in touch and read and comment on my favourite blogs, as a way to let people know that I'm still breathing.

My son bought his first house, a nice house in a great location with "good bones" but in need of quite a bit of TLC. In the photo you do not see the jungle of vines that was hiding the front door. I wish we had taken a picture before we started the work. By this time I had cleared all the vines and was about to start painting the windows white. Although the windows themselves were white, the surrounding metal was black, as were all the doors. As it is, and since we can only work on the weekends, it was a bit of a race against time - once the temperature gets below 10ºC you cannot paint. We had some frustrating weekends full of rain but we lucked out in the last weekend of October. Mild weather allowed us to finish all the exterior repairs. There was much work my son did but I will not bore you with the details. Suffice to say we are now ready to start working inside. Here is viewew of the backyard before we cleared the weeds and mowed the lawn.

During this time I spent my weekends going up and down ladders either painting or sanding. By the end of the day me knees were killing me and I was so tired that either cooking or blogging was just too much work. Fortunately Loblaws, my favourite supermarket has an excellent selection of delicious prepared foods. I love their Vegetable Lasagna with 7 Cheeses, which is enough for six to eight servings, the Shepherd's Pie (they say it is enough for 4 people, but I liked it so much I had seconds), and the Moussaka.

Last week I made another pot of soup, this one losely based on Clotilde's Une Simple Soupe. I had it several times with a fat slice of organic bread and some unsalted butter. This recipe of hers was the first recipe I ever tried when I first discovered the blogosphere back in December of last year. I tried her soup recipe and was hooked on Clotilde's blog and her recipes. The rest, as they say, is history.