Saffranstårta

Saffranstårta / Saffron cake with the garden’s still blossoming calendula, and sage.
Text & Photo © JE Nilsson, CM Cordeiro 2017

Six weeks to Christmas, and the Christmas street lights are on display at Haga, lighting up in festive manner one of the oldest market and living quarters of the city of Gothenburg. Haga Nygata is lined with cafés currently inviting visitors with displays of festive treats, the large summer cinnamonroll side by side with Lussekatter saffron swirls.

Saffron came to Sweden during the 1300s by trade with Asia. The rarity of saffron meant it was limited in use to those who could afford such luxury. But by the 1800s, socio-economic circumstances made it possible for saffron to be used (still exclusively) as a winter festive spice in cakes and breads. Since arriving in Sweden in 2002, I perhaps only ever tried saffron cake on one occasion. Most other saffron experiences had come in the form of eating Lussekatter, which are now available in bakeries and grocery stores in the weeks that lead up to St. Lucia day (13 Dec.) in Sweden and then to Chiristmas. Attracted to its rich golden hue, but wanting to leave Lussekatter [1,2,3,4,] baking as a closer-to-Christmas project, I thought to try my hand at saffron cake baking.

Continue reading “Saffranstårta”

(Visited 13 times, 1 visits today)

Kuriaki Grouliou wearable art

Kuriaki Grouliou, who is from Athens, Greece, makes wearable art in a myriad of styles, using different materials.
Text & Photo © JE Nilsson, CM Cordeiro 2017

Over dinner, Kuriaki Grouliou mentioned that she made and sold jewellery. She had just arrived together with her family in Sweden from Athens, Greece. My eyes lit at that information. She wondered if I wanted to see what she had made. The resounding answer from my side was, yes! Or, nαί, in Greek. She then pulled out several nondescript boxes. Carefully unlidding them one by one, the boxes spilled a burst of colours in miniature designs. She began showing me a variety items, not just jewellery but cufflinks, hair pieces, headbands, etc. I took my time to go through her hand crafted pieces, marvelling at the exquisite detail all made in less than 2×2 cm of space. I asked her what inspired her to create such beautiful, wearable pieces of art.

Continue reading “Kuriaki Grouliou wearable art”

(Visited 24 times, 1 visits today)

Pintxos, a culinary signature of Basque Country, Spain

I sit in the shared dining space of the stalls of the market place at the Mercado de la Ribera, Bilbao, Basque Country, Spain. The glass of deep burgundy Viña Real Crianza 2014, is a wine made in the region just south of Bilbao.
Text & Photo © JE Nilsson, CM Cordeiro 2017

I resesarched the weather forecast ahead of landing in Bilbao, a city located north of Spain in the autonomous Basque region, Bay of Biscay. It was advised that the days in Bilbao during the RESER 2017 conference would be rainy and I should bring an umbrella. I had not however read up too much on the culinary scene of Basque Country Spain. I assumed it would be plenty of tapas, sangria and wines, perhaps much like that to be found in Barcelona, when I was there for the International Faculty Program (IFP) 2011 program at IESE Business School. I was pleasantly surprised that it was not so much tapas as pintxos to be discovered as a social event with the intention that one could move from eatery to eatery, exploring in one evening, different atmospheres of different places*. If living in Bilbao or Basque Country Spain in general, I would expect to slow down the nomadic pintxos eating, taking one place for one evening at a time, if not making your own creative version at home. And instead of sangria to the food, Txakoli, a very dry white wine produced in the region, was suggested as accompanying drink to pintxos.

Continue reading “Pintxos, a culinary signature of Basque Country, Spain”

(Visited 69 times, 1 visits today)

Guernica, Province of Biscay, Basque Country Spain

http://www.cmariec.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2017/09/DM1A6108-800500.jpg http://www.cmariec.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2017/09/DM1A6108-800500.jpg
http://www.cmariec.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2017/09/IMG_8645-800500.jpg http://www.cmariec.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2017/09/IMG_8645-800500.jpg
http://www.cmariec.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2017/09/IMG_8601-800500.jpg http://www.cmariec.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2017/09/IMG_8601-800500.jpg
http://www.cmariec.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2017/09/IMG_8618-800500.jpg http://www.cmariec.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2017/09/IMG_8618-800500.jpg
http://www.cmariec.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2017/09/IMG_8543-800500.jpg http://www.cmariec.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2017/09/IMG_8543-800500.jpg
http://www.cmariec.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2017/09/IMG_8536-800500.jpg http://www.cmariec.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2017/09/IMG_8536-800500.jpg
http://www.cmariec.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2017/09/DM1A6216-800500.jpg http://www.cmariec.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2017/09/DM1A6216-800500.jpg
http://www.cmariec.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2017/09/DM1A6210-800500.jpg http://www.cmariec.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2017/09/DM1A6210-800500.jpg
http://www.cmariec.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2017/09/DM1A6137-800500.jpg http://www.cmariec.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2017/09/DM1A6137-800500.jpg
http://www.cmariec.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2017/09/DM1A6092-800500.jpg http://www.cmariec.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2017/09/DM1A6092-800500.jpg
http://www.cmariec.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2017/09/DM1A6065-800500.jpg http://www.cmariec.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2017/09/DM1A6065-800500.jpg
http://www.cmariec.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2017/09/IMG_8520-800500.jpg http://www.cmariec.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2017/09/IMG_8520-800500.jpg

Guernica, Basque Country Spain
Text & Photo © JE Nilsson, CM Cordeiro 2017

About an hour’s train ride away from Bilbao, Spain, is the town of Guernica or Gernika-Lumo. Basque Country outside of the provincial capital influences and its industries is heterogenous. Passing by in a train, a fleeting glance could make one label agricultural Basque region as ‘rural’ or ‘traditional’, termed as such because these places have either remained untouched by urbanisation, with no evident applications of modern technologies and/or have not reached mass consumerism [1]. But a closer study indicates that alongisde a mixed agricultural economy is an impressive inshore fishing sector supported by small and medium enterprises complements local agriculture, whose economic influence is impactful enough to make changes to the daily lifestyles of its people from how they allocate time between work and leisure, and what forms of entertainment they prefer [1].

For Gernika-Lumo, not a hundred years have passed since the Spanish Civil War of the late 1930s. Under the soft drizzle of the late summer’s rain, Guernica, or Gernika which is the Basque spelling, looks very different than anyone more familiar with Picasso’s representation or indeed the old journal films of the late 1930s would have lead anyone to expect.The bombing of Guernica on 26 Apr. 1937 was made on the personal request of Francisco Franco, who at the time enjoyed military support from nazi Germany and fascist Italy. The devastation of Guernica was an experiment and a way to decide in a discussion within the new Nazi Luftwaffe, if an enough horrible attack on defenseless civilians would lead them to give up and surrender, or to just fight harder. This was the first intentional terror bombing of civilians in the history of modern warfare. The torn civilians of Guernica did give up. The lesson was learnt, and this dragon seed led to names of events that we know more of such as Dresden, Nagasaki and Hiroshima.

At the time, the bombing of Guernica created a worldwide uproar and made visible the divide between the power hungry and the artistic, more civilized part of humanity. The latter are best represented by Picasso’s masterpiece Guernica, which in my view, might well also have been the inspiration to the architecture of the Bilbao Guggenheim Museum.

Today, Guernica has become an international symbol of peace [2] due the senseless violence and waste its people endured during the hours of uninterrupted destruction. The onslaught left 70% of the town completely destroyed and most of the rest, seriously damaged. Guernica was in the early 1900s, a small market city with hardly more than 6,000 inhabitants. Some accounts say that almost one third of them perished in the attack that went on in wave after wave with different kinds of bombs, from light to heavy to fire bombs. The central idea was to force people into shelter, and then set fire to the rubble. Today, the city is inhabited with slightly more than 16,000 people.

For someone coming from outside of Spain, I find the beautifully kept surroundings and quiet streets difficult to reconcile with its painful past.

Continue reading “Guernica, Province of Biscay, Basque Country Spain”

(Visited 57 times, 1 visits today)

Strawberry and shrimp

At Brogyllen konditori, Västra Hamngatan, Gothenburg, Sweden.
Text & Photo © JE Nilsson, CM Cordeiro 2017

It might have been as early as 2003 or 2004 during my first years living in Sweden, that I visited Brogyllen. Brogyllen konditori is a bakery-café located at the southwest corner of Hamngatan in the city of Gothenburg. The café opened early, at half past seven in the morning, and my doctoral studies courses usually began at nine. This gave me ample time to sit, have coffee with a Swedish kladdkaka, a sweet, sticky chocolate fudgecake served with whipped cream on top, and watch the trams go by. In a routine sitting, I could almost tell the time by the tram number that went past. From the time I sat down, by three tram no. 2s gone by, it would be about time to leave for university campus grounds.

Continue reading “Strawberry and shrimp”

(Visited 42 times, 1 visits today)

Mincemeat pie, a takeaway from Scotland

Mincemeat pie, the savoury kind.
Text & Photo © JE Nilsson, CM Cordeiro 2017

At about midsummer in June this year, I was in Glasgow, Scotland, for the EURAM 2017 conference. During the days in Glasgow, I took the opportunity to explore the city’s eateries and local fare. First thing I had wanted to try when in Scotland was haggis. This, I found already on the first day’s lunch hour whilst exploring the streets closest to the conference venue, which was the University of Strathclyde, the campus nearest George Square.

Continue reading “Mincemeat pie, a takeaway from Scotland”

(Visited 35 times, 1 visits today)

Styrsö Uttervik



At Styrsö Uttervik, a seaside bathing spot well-liked by both locals and visitors to the Swedish west coast during the summer months.
Text & Photo © JE Nilsson, CM Cordeiro 2017

There are a number of seaside bathing spots to go to when visiting the harbour city of Gothenburg. Some of the most scenic of swim areas can be found at the southern archipelago islands of Gothenburg, along the Swedish west coast. Styrsö Uttervik, located at the island of Styrsö is one of them.

Continue reading “Styrsö Uttervik”

(Visited 128 times, 1 visits today)

A little bit of Italy at Åboulevard, Copenhagen, Denmark

Åboulevard or ‘River’ Boulevard.
Åboulevard is one of the more scenic routes to bike or walk in central Copenhagen, Denmark.
A view from Åboulevard across Peblinge Lake.

Text & Photo © JE Nilsson, CM Cordeiro 2017

Most days are gelato days for me, regardless the country or season. After walking around much of central Copenhagen in the evenings for supper, it was still the gelati found at the little Italian shop right next door to the hotel at which I was housed that drew me back to their modest quarters. With walls lined with scenes from southern coastal Italy, it felt like sunshine to walk into the place, even at sundown.

Continue reading “A little bit of Italy at Åboulevard, Copenhagen, Denmark”

(Visited 74 times, 1 visits today)

Stalking Louis Vuitton

Copenhagen, Denmark

An evening walk, summer 2017.
The shutters are already down but works by Jeff Koons in collaboration with Louis Vuitton can be seen on display at Louis Vuitton Copenhagen at Amagertorv 2, 1160 København K, Denmark.

Text & Photo © JE Nilsson, CM Cordeiro 2017

Against the muted tones of the city walls of Copenhagen, the works of Jeff Koons draw attention even after shop closing hours. Interpretation and reinterpretation. I find a lot of humour in the 51 piece collection that came out of Jeff Koons collaborating with French luxury house Louis Vuitton. Humour might not however translate as one might expect, depending upon the boundaries to be traversed. In the everyday lives of people, transcendence is pure abstract.

Continue reading “Stalking Louis Vuitton”

(Visited 1,107 times, 1 visits today)

La Vita George Square, Glasgow, Scotland, UK

Breakfast at La Vita Pizzeria at George Square, Glasgow, Scotland 2017. The chocolate fudge cake, an exception to the breakfast menu, is mine.
Text & Photo © JE Nilsson, CM Cordeiro 2017

It was the search for a traditional Scotch pie for breakfast that brought me to La Vita at 161 Queen St. The interiors of this pizzeria is warm, conveyed mostly by its dark wood panels, reflecting of gold-cognac hues from the ceiling lamps and surrounding decor. We were immediately greeted by our waiter who inquired after our stay thus far in Scotland. He wanted to know if we had planned to do some sight seeing for the day. His recommendation for sight seeing was for us to head down to Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum that housed one of his favourite art pieces, which is a painting entitled Christ of Saint John of the Cross by Salvador Dalí made in 1951. It was his absolute go-to piece of art work to spend hours contemplating. It reminded him of his daughter, who also loved that painting by Dalí.

Continue reading “La Vita George Square, Glasgow, Scotland, UK”

(Visited 46 times, 1 visits today)

The Spanish Butcher, Glasgow, Scotland 2017

Dining at The Spanish Butcher, Glasgow, Scotland 2017.
Text & Photo © JE Nilsson, CM Cordeiro 2017

I found myself in late evening near midsummer’s, at a corner of George Square in Glasgow. The temperature outdoors was a friendly 13 deg C, and it was windy. From the discreet dark wood panels lining the entrance to the restaurant, The Spanish Butcher at 80 Miller Street, central Glasgow, Scotland, seemed perfectly alluring for a languid meal after dusk. Stepping inside of the restaurant, I was greeted with more of the same contouring of dark panelled woods. The texture and wood grains were made visible by light play from the soft golden glows of candles placed on the tabletops. Had I a dinner reservation with them, I was asked. My negative reply was greeted with a slight upturn of an eyebrow, a smile, and then with a showing to a table for two. Service was immpeccable, the menu explained most patiently in all manner of details.

Continue reading “The Spanish Butcher, Glasgow, Scotland 2017”

(Visited 68 times, 1 visits today)

Kristiansand, Norway, summer 2017

http://www.cmariec.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2017/06/DM1A2224-800500.jpg http://www.cmariec.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2017/06/DM1A2224-800500.jpg
http://www.cmariec.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2017/06/DM1A2226-800500.jpg http://www.cmariec.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2017/06/DM1A2226-800500.jpg
http://www.cmariec.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2017/06/DM1A2238-800500.jpg http://www.cmariec.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2017/06/DM1A2238-800500.jpg
http://www.cmariec.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2017/06/DM1A2262-800500.jpg http://www.cmariec.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2017/06/DM1A2262-800500.jpg
http://www.cmariec.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2017/06/DM1A2307-800500.jpg http://www.cmariec.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2017/06/DM1A2307-800500.jpg
http://www.cmariec.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2017/06/IMG_5833-800500.jpg http://www.cmariec.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2017/06/IMG_5833-800500.jpg
http://www.cmariec.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2017/06/IMG_5862-800500.jpg http://www.cmariec.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2017/06/IMG_5862-800500.jpg
http://www.cmariec.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2017/06/IMG_5873-800500.jpg http://www.cmariec.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2017/06/IMG_5873-800500.jpg

Postcards from Kristiansand, Norway, summer 2017.
Text & Photo © JE Nilsson, CM Cordeiro 2017

The initial expectations of a long and tiring drive north along E18 from Gothenburg, Sweden, to Kristiansand in southernmost part of Norway, via the Bastø Fosen ferry between Horten and Moss turned out to be one that was scenic and comfortable. The comforts of a long drive being provided for in terms of a more than adequate number of rest stops, and eateries dotted along the way.

Kristiansand is Norway’s fifth largest city with the sixth largest municipality. The city has about 90,000 inhabitants. A number that can swell to more than a hundred times its local population during the summer months when tourism is at its peak.

Most houses in the city and in its archipelago are beautifully kept, pristine in detail of wood oak panels, generously coated with linseed oil paint in colours of mostly white or earth yellow for houses, and red for boat houses and barnyards. Some barnyards are so large in comparison to the main house that they looked more like mansions in themselves from a distance. Driving along the coast in southern Norway, the small clusters of houses and villages are breathtakingly beautiful. This drive reminded me of the drive along the coastline of the French Riviera some years ago, the houses here being distinctly Nordic in architecture.

Continue reading “Kristiansand, Norway, summer 2017”

(Visited 112 times, 1 visits today)

Culinary Team West of Sweden, Spring Dinner 2017

A dessert of coconut ice-cream with puréed mango, yuzu and roasted pineapple.
Culinary Team West of Sweden [1] and the Swedish Chefs Association [2] present their Spring Dinner 2017 at Ester Mosessons gymnasium, 12 June 2017.

Text & Photo © JE Nilsson, CM Cordeiro 2017

Outdoors at Lindholmen harbour in Gothenburg, gusts of spring/summer seawinds threatened to let fly loosely fastened tarpaulin on smaller boats docked rocking in choppy waters. Indoors, at Ester Mossessons gymnasium along Utvecklingsgatan 4, a calmer, more inviting atmosphere beckoned to guests of the Culinary Team West of Sweden’s spring dinner 2017 held on 12 June 2017.

Members of the board of the Swedish Chefs Association stood by the entrance in greeting of friends and associates. We were invited to place our coats in a designated cloak room and thereafter proceed into a room with dining tables that were set with several wine glasses to each person, the table centres lit with black candles. We seemed to lack nothing in terms of how the evening’s event was spatially organized.

Continue reading “Culinary Team West of Sweden, Spring Dinner 2017”

(Visited 202 times, 1 visits today)

Alchemisten Kaffebar & Kafé, Gothenburg, Sweden

Located on Hisingen island, Alchemisten Kaffebar & Kafé is a White Guide Café 2017 listing that is changing the urban landscape of the city of Gothenburg, Sweden. Address: Gustaf Dalénsgatan, 14, 417 23 Göteborg, Sweden.
Text & Photo © JE Nilsson, CM Cordeiro 2017

This cozy coffee bar that epitomises the concept of the Swedish fredags fika (Friday coffee) was opened in 2015 by Kristian Hedborg. Located in the green Kvillebäcken district on Hisingen island in Gothenburg, the name of the coffee bar and café, Alkemisten (The Alchemist) calls to mind the chemistry of all things natural and organic, the making of coffee being an art in itself. Striving to customise coffee by per cup and per customer, you could simply convey over the counter, the type of coffee aroma/s and taste you prefer, and the team behind the counter will work their magic for you.

Continue reading “Alchemisten Kaffebar & Kafé, Gothenburg, Sweden”

(Visited 66 times, 1 visits today)

Styrsö Valborg 2017

Valborgsmässoafton with perfect weather along the Swedish west coast for a funfair and playing outdoors.
Text & Photo © JE Nilsson, CM Cordeiro 2017

It is the weekend of the Swedish Valborg in celebration of Saint Walburga. Despite its naming heritage, this festivity has little to do with religion but rather everything to do with the ushering in of spring. Across the land, large bonfires are lit in symbol of cleansing of the past (plus, a fantastic way to getting rid of unwanted wooden furniture) and welcoming the season that sees trees visibly come back to life and flowers blossom. There are few, if hardly any, Swedish festivities that do not in essence celebrate fertility in one form or another. It is only that some festivities have a touch more explicit use of fertility symbols than others.

As indication that globalisation and cultural confluence was already in place thousands of years before scholastic theorising, in Viking folklore the lighting of a bonfire is believed to scare off witches and evil spirits, this night being the night when witches gather on the Brocken, the highest peak in the Harz Mountains in central Germany. Sweden and the Nordic region would be just a swish of a broomstick’s flight away from the woods of central Germany, so one could never be too cautious. The larger the fire, the better. On the practical side, the bonfires also work well in keeping predatory animals such as foxes away from newborn farm animals who are often let out to graze freely from the beginning of May.

On Styrsö, an island located in the southern archipelago of Gothenburg, Valborg is celebrated with a funfair held on the island’s school grounds filled with games, bingo lottery playing and traditional Swedish fika fare such as cinnamon rolls, marzipan filled sugar cakes topped with various fruits and creams. Come evening, a bonfire is lit and neighbours and friends gather around the bonfire in song and dance. Apart from keeping witches away, the presence of a bonfire fills all with anticipation of the long summer nights to come. Nights presumably similarly filled with more drink, song and dance.

Donated Flee market bargains for the benefit of the 5th Year annual School outings.

Face painting.

Flee market bargain hunting. Both sad and a blessing that you can now have printed books for next to nothing.
I haven’t decided yet if I should be sad about this or just dig in and carry home the loot…

– That’s a monstrosity of a barbecue grill! Who would want such a thing in their garden? – Who wouldn’t?
At this time the highest bid was about $50 USD. I certainly hope they got much more for it at the end of the day. Imagine how quick you could become the happy owner of something you didn’t knew existed just a few minutes earlier. Flee markets are plain dangerous.

In that sense, books are much safer.

Not too far from the funfair grounds is this sheep farm, the quiet of which is punctuated with the occasional bleats of the tiniest of bouncing balls of black, tight ringlet wool.

The sweetest. This one took the time to come say hello to us.

Pretending not to be curious this soon to be mother of a lamb, nibbled its way towards us on the sparse fresh grass strands.

We had an instant connect with her. So amazingly alive and so closely related to us humans.

Located center of the funfair grounds, a café tent pitched and ready for guests with traditional Swedish fika items such as these cinnamon knots.

Carrot cake cupcakes topped with cream cheese frosting, and chocolate swiss rolls in the background topped with fresh strawberries.

(Visited 44 times, 1 visits today)

Sunday sopa de llenties, a moment Barcelona

Spanish lentil soup – sopa de llenties. Seems to be a Sunday favourite. A serving of which has a certain petite madeleine effect on me, that takes me back to Barcelona.
Text & Photo © JE Nilsson, CM Cordeiro 2017

I haven’t a clue why it is that we often cook this dish on a Sunday, though path dependency could well provide a theory. In this case, the inherent (perceived) languidity of the day would also provide a buttressing argument for the theory as to why Spanish lentil soup on Sundays. This soup inevitably brings me right back to my stay in Barcelona just about six years ago. Perhaps in my case Proust’s petite madeleine moment should be renamed simply, the sopa de llenties moment, no? But, no. If there was a defining culinary moment to remember in Barcelona for me, it would have be Restaurant Los Caracoles, located in Barrio Gótico, just off tangent to La Ram­bla, the city’s main artery for activities. Within that restaurant, its inferno heart of a kitchen with hot glowing coals readied for the evening’s cooking is a sight to remember. That, and their signature buns served in the shape of a snail. That restaurant provides too cozy an atmosphere to decline any evening’s invite.

Continue reading “Sunday sopa de llenties, a moment Barcelona”

(Visited 55 times, 1 visits today)

Easter 2017 reads after moons of Jupiter and Saturn discoveries by Cassini

Planning for the long weekend, in reads.
Text & Photo © JE Nilsson, CM Cordeiro 2017

One of the most interesting news releases that would have certainly captured the imaginations of many out there was the announcement of the discovery of hydrogen molecules in the plumes around Enceladus, Saturn’s sixth largest moon by Cassini, a joint space exploration endeavour of NASA, the European Space Agency (ESA) and the Italian space agency, Agenzia Spaziale Italiana (ASI) [1]. Part of a twenty year long spacecraft exploration project, this Cassini discovery points towards increased prospects of the existence of microbial organisms other than those found on Earth [2,4]:

“In 2005, NASA’s Cassini spacecraft spied jets of water ice and vapor erupting into space from fissures on Enceladus, evidence of a salty ocean beneath the saturnian moon’s placid icy surface. Now, it turns out that the jets contain hydrogen gas, a sign of ongoing reactions on the floor of that alien sea. Because such chemistry provides energy for microbial life on Earth, the discovery makes Enceladus the top candidate for hosting life elsewhere in the solar system—besting even Jupiter’s Europa, another icy moon with an ocean. “We didn’t see microbes,” says Hunter Waite, a planetary scientist at the Southwest Research Institute in San Antonio, Texas, and the lead author of a study published this week in Science. “But we saw their food.”” [2]

Continue reading “Easter 2017 reads after moons of Jupiter and Saturn discoveries by Cassini”

(Visited 192 times, 1 visits today)

Passion för Mat 2017, Gothenburg, Sweden

http://www.cmariec.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2017/02/IMG_5059-800500.jpg http://www.cmariec.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2017/02/IMG_5059-800500.jpg
http://www.cmariec.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2017/02/IMG_5378-800500.jpg http://www.cmariec.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2017/02/IMG_5378-800500.jpg
http://www.cmariec.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2017/02/IMG_5121-800500.jpg http://www.cmariec.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2017/02/IMG_5121-800500.jpg
http://www.cmariec.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2017/02/IMG_5122-800500.jpg http://www.cmariec.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2017/02/IMG_5122-800500.jpg
http://www.cmariec.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2017/02/DM1A9847-800500.jpg http://www.cmariec.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2017/02/DM1A9847-800500.jpg
http://www.cmariec.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2017/02/DM1A9911-800500.jpg http://www.cmariec.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2017/02/DM1A9911-800500.jpg
http://www.cmariec.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2017/02/DM1A9939-800500.jpg http://www.cmariec.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2017/02/DM1A9939-800500.jpg
http://www.cmariec.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2017/02/DM1A9856-800500.jpg http://www.cmariec.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2017/02/DM1A9856-800500.jpg

Highlights from Passion för Mat 2017, Gothenburg, Sweden.
Text & Photo © JE Nilsson, CM Cordeiro 2017

Gothenburg’s annual culinary fair (24-26 Feb. 2017) is one of my absolute trade fairs to visit, not only because the trade fair grounds at Eriksbergshallen provides a meeting place for the small network of culinary experts that I have gotten to know over the years, but it provides a fantastic opportunity to meet with new traders with new expertise and experiences to share. The fair’s Kitchen School that informs the public on food processes, best recipes and best methods of cooking was progressing at full speed when we arrived on scene, where the crowd looked genuinely interested and enthusiastic. Making our rounds, this post brings you some pictures and highlights of Passion för Mat 2017.

Continue reading “Passion för Mat 2017, Gothenburg, Sweden”

(Visited 108 times, 1 visits today)

Kafferostare Per Nordby, Passion för Mat 2017, Gothenburg, Sweden

http://www.cmariec.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2017/02/DM1A9885-800500.jpg http://www.cmariec.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2017/02/DM1A9885-800500.jpg
http://www.cmariec.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2017/02/IMG_5248-800500.jpg http://www.cmariec.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2017/02/IMG_5248-800500.jpg
http://www.cmariec.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2017/02/IMG_5229-800500.jpg http://www.cmariec.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2017/02/IMG_5229-800500.jpg
http://www.cmariec.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2017/02/IMG_5215-800500.jpg http://www.cmariec.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2017/02/IMG_5215-800500.jpg

Kafferostare Per Nordby, Passion för Mat 2017.
Text & Photo © JE Nilsson, CM Cordeiro 2017

A fox, with a pipe attached to its mouth. It was by far one of the more sophisticated logos hanging upon an exhibition stand at the expansive Erikbergshallen food fair, Passion för Mat 2017. For the love of clean lines, grey tones and empty space in the midst of a Saturday evening crowd at Gothenburg’s annual culinary trade fair, I approached the stall to find Per Nordby, owner and entrepreneur to globally sourced single coffee bean plantations, grinding some coffee beans. A couple of minutes later, he turned around and grinned broadly in our direction. Anything we wanted? Coffee perhaps? Sure.

Continue reading “Kafferostare Per Nordby, Passion för Mat 2017, Gothenburg, Sweden”

(Visited 92 times, 1 visits today)

Lambrini Theodossiou, Togora, Passion för Mat 2013-2017

Lambrini Theodossiou at Passion för Mat 2017

The lady with the brightest of smiles! Lambrini Theodossiou, producer of Togora olive oil.
Text & Photo © JE Nilsson, CM Cordeiro 2017

Togora olive oil is still one of my favourite olive oils. And this lady, with the brightest of smiles is certainly one of the rare souls that bring warmth to this trade fair. Continue reading “Lambrini Theodossiou, Togora, Passion för Mat 2013-2017”

(Visited 251 times, 1 visits today)

Torggummans Ägg, Passion för Mat 2014-2017

Passion för Mat 2017

The chickens that laid these eggs have a mandatory company rule to follow – they must spend half of their time in a year roaming free, outdoors.
Text & Photo © JE Nilsson, CM Cordeiro E Jacobsson 2017

Fettisdagen is just about two days away, which means, a long way to Easter yet. Still, these eggs sitting so happy in the basket as they were couldn’t help but make me put shades of striped pastels and polka dots on them in view of Easter. Continue reading “Torggummans Ägg, Passion för Mat 2014-2017”

(Visited 203 times, 1 visits today)

Modeling a Heideggerian Valentine’s

http://www.cmariec.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2017/02/DM1A9649-800500.jpg http://www.cmariec.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2017/02/DM1A9649-800500.jpg
http://www.cmariec.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2017/02/DM1A9698-800500.jpg http://www.cmariec.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2017/02/DM1A9698-800500.jpg
http://www.cmariec.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2017/02/DM1A9718-800500.jpg http://www.cmariec.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2017/02/DM1A9718-800500.jpg

Anemone, roses, and two pinkfluffers on a carrot cake. St. Valentine’s Day 2017.
Text & Photo © JE Nilsson, CM Cordeiro, Sweden 2017

For philosopher Martin Heidegger (1889-1976), human capacity to think cannot be the most central quality of being, since the very act of thinking is in itself but a reflection of what in essence is. For Heidegger, the human being is intrinsically structured by Time and our relationship with Time [1]. Human beings are in essence existing at the edge of possibilities-for-being. If considered in that light, humans tend to exist in a mode of constant intersubjectivity [2], between tending to the pressures of the external world and of other minds, and of themselves experiencing tending to the external world and other minds. In my view, the essence of Heideggerian philosophy resonates much with J.A. Wheeler’s one particle theory, and Werner Heisenberg’s uncertainty principle. And it is this constant play of intersubjectivity in Heideggerian perspective, that forms the spacetime fabric of the possibilities-of-being.

Continue reading “Modeling a Heideggerian Valentine’s”

(Visited 107 times, 1 visits today)

Ayutthaya, the coastal-hinterland kingdom of Siam 1351-1767

http://www.cmariec.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2017/02/IMG_5507-800500.jpg http://www.cmariec.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2017/02/IMG_5507-800500.jpg
http://www.cmariec.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2017/02/1O4P2574-800500.jpg http://www.cmariec.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2017/02/1O4P2574-800500.jpg
http://www.cmariec.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2017/02/1O4P2551-800500.jpg http://www.cmariec.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2017/02/1O4P2551-800500.jpg
http://www.cmariec.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2017/02/1O4P2586-800500.jpg http://www.cmariec.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2017/02/1O4P2586-800500.jpg
http://www.cmariec.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2017/02/1O4P2483-800500.jpg http://www.cmariec.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2017/02/1O4P2483-800500.jpg
http://www.cmariec.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2017/02/1O4P2504-800500.jpg http://www.cmariec.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2017/02/1O4P2504-800500.jpg
http://www.cmariec.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2017/02/1O4P2506-800500.jpg http://www.cmariec.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2017/02/1O4P2506-800500.jpg

Ayutthaya, Thailand.
Text & Photo © JE Nilsson, CM Cordeiro, Sweden 2017

In the swelter of the tropical heat, I stood watching two women carefully position themselves by a banana tree. Placing their arms around the clusters of unripened bananas growing low tipped with a blossom, they readied themselves for a wefie. “Are you Thai?” came the high-pitched holler in my direction from the lady sitting behind the ticketing booth at the entrance of an ancient-modern park in Ayutthaya. I turned to look at her, my expression blank. “Are you Thai?” she repeated. Within two seconds of capturing my continued state of lack of expression, “Fifty baht please!”, was the clubbed reply to the final, full entrance fee to be paid. I stepped up to the ticketing booth and handed over fifty baht and thanked her. It seemed almost everywhere I went in Bangkok, Thailand, people thought I was Thai, except on the occasions of paying for entrance fees.

Continue reading “Ayutthaya, the coastal-hinterland kingdom of Siam 1351-1767”

(Visited 172 times, 1 visits today)

The Swedish semla, an evolving culinary semiosis

http://www.cmariec.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2017/02/IMG_4980-800500.jpg http://www.cmariec.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2017/02/IMG_4980-800500.jpg
http://www.cmariec.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2017/02/IMG_4996-800500.jpg http://www.cmariec.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2017/02/IMG_4996-800500.jpg
http://www.cmariec.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2017/02/IMG_4926-800500.jpg http://www.cmariec.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2017/02/IMG_4926-800500.jpg
http://www.cmariec.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2017/02/IMG_4948-800500.jpg http://www.cmariec.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2017/02/IMG_4948-800500.jpg
http://www.cmariec.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2017/02/IMG_5026-800500.jpg http://www.cmariec.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2017/02/IMG_5026-800500.jpg
http://www.cmariec.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2017/02/IMG_5029-800500.jpg http://www.cmariec.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2017/02/IMG_5029-800500.jpg

A Swedish semla, a creamy marzipan filled cardamom bun, topped with…more cream.
Text & Photo © JE Nilsson, CM Cordeiro, Sweden 2017

I was halfway to the grocery shop located on Donsö, the adjacent island to Styrsö connected by a bridge. Propped unglamorously on a flakmoped huddling from the Nordic winds in clashing block colours of a black puffer jacket, a cobalt boy’s soft-shell ski pants and a Christmas red pair of Timberland gloves that did nothing to protect my fingers from the winds that swept right through its thermal threads, I peeked from under the fringes of my furred hat to view the coastal outlines of the island. To my left, as the flakmoped sped past the beach at a cool 8 km/h, I saw that the tides were low. The sea was lightly frozen over, the movement of the breaking of the waves over seaweed just before hitting rounded pebbles captured in an instantaneous frame of time. A murder of crows were merrily pecking away at the seabed, seemingly oblivious to the wintry temperatures.

Continue reading “The Swedish semla, an evolving culinary semiosis”

(Visited 83 times, 1 visits today)

On a Swedish winters day, Styrsö Halsvik

http://www.cmariec.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2017/01/1DS_0160-800500.jpg http://www.cmariec.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2017/01/1DS_0160-800500.jpg
http://www.cmariec.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2017/01/1DS_0244-800.jpg http://www.cmariec.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2017/01/1DS_0244-800.jpg
http://www.cmariec.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2017/01/1DS_0182-800500.jpg http://www.cmariec.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2017/01/1DS_0182-800500.jpg
http://www.cmariec.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2017/01/1DS_0172-800500.jpg http://www.cmariec.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2017/01/1DS_0172-800500.jpg
http://www.cmariec.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2017/01/1DS_0166-800500.jpg http://www.cmariec.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2017/01/1DS_0166-800500.jpg
http://www.cmariec.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2017/01/1DS_0158-800500.jpg http://www.cmariec.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2017/01/1DS_0158-800500.jpg
http://www.cmariec.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2017/01/1DS_0206-800500.jpg http://www.cmariec.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2017/01/1DS_0206-800500.jpg

Styrsö Halsvik 2017
Text & Photo © JE Nilsson, CM Cordeiro, Sweden 2017

“A thing is right when it embraces the stability and beauty of the total ecosystem. It is wrong when it damages it.” Marjorie Kelly, quoting Stephan Harding (Kelly in Capra & Luisi 2014:402). Continue reading “On a Swedish winters day, Styrsö Halsvik”

(Visited 82 times, 1 visits today)

The little chocolate shop, Kronhusgården, Göteborg 2016

http://www.cmariec.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2017/01/1DS_0116-800500.jpg http://www.cmariec.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2017/01/1DS_0116-800500.jpg
http://www.cmariec.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2017/01/1DS_0093-800500.jpg http://www.cmariec.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2017/01/1DS_0093-800500.jpg
http://www.cmariec.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2017/01/1DS_0095-800500.jpg http://www.cmariec.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2017/01/1DS_0095-800500.jpg
http://www.cmariec.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2017/01/1DS_0112-800500.jpg http://www.cmariec.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2017/01/1DS_0112-800500.jpg
http://www.cmariec.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2017/01/1DS_0120-800500.jpg http://www.cmariec.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2017/01/1DS_0120-800500.jpg
http://www.cmariec.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2017/01/1DS_0099-800500.jpg http://www.cmariec.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2017/01/1DS_0099-800500.jpg
http://www.cmariec.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2017/01/1DS_0100-800500.jpg http://www.cmariec.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2017/01/1DS_0100-800500.jpg
http://www.cmariec.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2017/01/1DS_0109-800500.jpg http://www.cmariec.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2017/01/1DS_0109-800500.jpg
http://www.cmariec.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2017/01/1DS_0098-800500.jpg http://www.cmariec.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2017/01/1DS_0098-800500.jpg

Inside the little shop Göteborgs Choklad & Karamellfabrik, 2016.
Text & Photo © JE Nilsson, CM Cordeiro, Sweden 2016

Part of the fun of the winter’s festive season in Sweden, is to make time to visit the various Christmas markets. Located in a corner of Kronhusgården at Kronhuset, the city of Gothenburg’s oldest secular building designed by royal architect Simon de la Vallée and built from 1643 to 1654, sits Gothenburg’s Chocolate and Caramel Factory. It’s the kind of a small chocolate shop that reminds me of some scenes described in Enid Blyton’s stories that I read from when I was a little girl. With old fashioned wallpapers and the numerous clocks that adorn the wall, this shop is a little magic come winter evenings. Place chocolate concoctions of different sorts in the middle of it all and you have a place that even I might find difficult to walk out of even after acquiring what I want packaged and bowed in a brown paper bag. Continue reading “The little chocolate shop, Kronhusgården, Göteborg 2016”

(Visited 182 times, 1 visits today)

Tjolöholm Christmas 2016

At Tjolöholm Castle for a Swedish yuletide table sitting, 2016.
Text & Photo © JE Nilsson, CM Cordeiro, Sweden 2016

“Upon first reading A Christmas Carol there appears little evidence of anxiety. The protagonist, Ebenezer Scrooge would seem to be the least anxious person imaginable. A belligerent, spiteful man, he seems strikingly sure of himself. However, a closer reading of the text from an existential standpoint shows that this is hardly the case. Scrooge, from the outset, is a cold, nasty and mean-spirited character. As the story opens, he turns down his nephew’s invitation to Christmas dinner; begrudges his clerk’s only holiday in the year; refuses to contribute to charity; frightens a carol singer; and violently claims that “every idiot who goes about with ‘Merry Christmas’ on his lips should be boiled with his own pudding, and buried with a stake of holly through his heart” (48). Where is anxiety to be found in such a stance? Everywhere, I suggest.” [1:744]

A Christmas Carol is a story I grew up with, having first watched Walt Disney’s version Mickey’s Christmas Carol in 1983. The Charles Dickens read came later. A characteristic of narratives by Dickens is how I’ve found to be able to revisit protagonists and characters presented in his novels from various perspectives. Continue reading “Tjolöholm Christmas 2016”

(Visited 70 times, 1 visits today)

Gravad lax Christmas tradition 2016

Regardless of how inventive and creative we usually feel during the year, come Christmas and long evenings while approaching the winter solstice in Sweden, you start wanting those old-fashioned dishes. There is something comforting with the very routines in the traditional preparations that you for sure know goes back into the earliest recesses of Nordic history. You can almost see the Vikings sitting in the long boats out at sea, sharing a piece of pickled (gravad) salmon and saying things like -Pass the Mjöd, Sven … and, well, who wouldn’t have wanted to be there with them on their way to pursue their peaceful trading traditions of olden days.

Dill, an essential to gravad lax.
Text & Photo © JE Nilsson, CM Cordeiro, Sweden 2016

The recipe is very simple. One part salt and one part sugar and an handful of chopped up dill. Put under pressure for a couple of days. Done. Traditionally a 6lbs canon ball is fine. Continue reading “Gravad lax Christmas tradition 2016”

(Visited 64 times, 1 visits today)

Lussestjärna, Lucia in Sweden 2016

A Lussestjärna to Lucia day in Sweden 2016.
Text & Photo © JE Nilsson, CM Cordeiro, Sweden 2016

It occurred to me that I was much more enthusiastic last year about lussekatter and had by end of November 2015, already baked a batch in their traditional shapes. This year, I am rather, on the day itself for baking Lucia saffron buns, though keeping my sight pegged a little farther ahead in the week. In seven days on 21 December at 10:44 UTC, the winter solstice will be here and so the globe turns. It’s something I’m looking forward to, and thought to celebrate the day of St. Lucia in Sweden, with a traditional saffron bun, baked in the shape of a star.

While I do have a favourite recipe for a saffron bun that doesn’t dry out too soon over the counter, this time around, I followed a recipe from a cookbook that called for adding the butter and saffron mixture after the dough had risen once over. It was labelled ‘grandmother’s lussekatter recipe’, I trusted it. The striations are done by first placing four pieces of thinly rolled dough in disk shape over each other, where the layers (stacked like pancakes) are buttered and dusted over with cocoa power in between. Nutella will work beautifully here too. Continue reading “Lussestjärna, Lucia in Sweden 2016”

(Visited 86 times, 1 visits today)

Milo-kopi espoir

Singapore east in the heartlands, 2016.
Text & Photo © JE Nilsson, CM Cordeiro, Sweden 2016

It was a moment to look forward to, and an opportunity only to be had when Janice was back in Singapore. The quality of the food at the eatery was certainly consistent, the reason so many natives and tourists alike, have fallen in love with just the culinary creations served at the eatery, especially before mid-morning. It was a place to recommend on detour. After surveying the eatery, Janice took her seat at the given table, at the far end of the eatery, diagonally across the dining hall from the eatery’s reception counter. She had placed orders for the eatery’s most famous dishes and was not surprised at how promptly her orders had arrived. Consistent timeliness in service was a much appreciated factor at the eatery.

Janice had ordered two dishes to begin with and she surveyed the dishes as they were presented at the table. On one small red dish, the culinary creation was stacked and neatly sliced. On another likewise small red dish, the even tones of the rounded ovals of the eggs was something to be marvelled at – such a feat of nature! Janice was awestruck at how the culinary creations were presented as bonsai works of art, each creation having its own signature small dish, the food meticulously arranged. The food looked beautiful and tempting. Continue reading “Milo-kopi espoir”

(Visited 71 times, 1 visits today)

Ellenborough Market Café and a narrative of a prestiged banquet, Singapore 2016

At the Ellenborough Market Café at Swissotel Merchant Court, Singapore, 2016.
Text & Photo © JE Nilsson, CM Cordeiro, Sweden 2016

[narrative of a prestiged banquet]

In a white resplendent European designed wedding gown that emphasised her tiny waist, the gown’s flowing hemline trimmed with delicate lace imported from France, Gina Chen, now Mrs Gina Phua strode arm in arm with her husband, Mr Tom Phua, as they entered the dining hall to their wedding dinner banquet. The hall was decked out in various shades of red and gold, symbolising prosperity and happiness for the newlyweds. Mrs Phua’s eyes swept the room and noted with pride that all other eyes were on her that evening. The French lace trimming to her gown that she had insisted Mr Phua pay for, is now paying off. She felt rich, and more than beautiful. Her father’s country club membership application, where members of the club were mostly Europeans living in Singapore for work purposes, finally came through two days prior to the wedding day. The Chen family had waited more than a month for the club membership approval and Mrs Phua felt that she finally belonged to the European inner circle that her father had tried so hard to place her. With the country club membership approved, and with the newfound freedom of marriage of not having to be under constant watch by her own mother, Mrs Phua looked forward to lazier afternoons. She was also in the position of having the Chen family fortune behind her, ensuring that she need not stay with her in-laws. She sighed a small breath Continue reading “Ellenborough Market Café and a narrative of a prestiged banquet, Singapore 2016”

(Visited 87 times, 1 visits today)

Circle Market, east Singapore 2016

Cheryl Marie Cordeiro, Circle Market, east Singapore 2016.

At the Circle Market located in the east of Singapore, 2016.
Text & Photo © JE Nilsson, CM Cordeiro, Sweden 2016

I love marketing. From Barcelona, Spain to Bali, Indonesia and in in this post, the east of Singapore, I think having time to market is a privilege. Often times, the market place is combined with places for eating, where one can sample the people’s street foods. Located in the eastern part of Singapore in Tampines neighbourhood is the Circle Market (Tampines Round Market and Food Centre). This place comes alive from the break of dawn and winds down just at about noon each day, with its most festive days being the weekends. On weekends, marketers are greeted by a flea market carrying an array of eclectic goods in makeshift stalls that frill the outmost circle of the market place. The combined amenities of eateries, market stalls and flea market activities resonate as a heartbeat of the neighbourhood. If cooking at home, one is most likely to be able to bag most ingredients to grandmother’s dishes here.

The wet markets in Singapore are attractive socio-economic spaces for the community. On a recent visit (2 Dec. 2016) to Singapore by Myanmar state counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi toured Ghim Moh Market and Food Centre the morning, hosted by Foreign Minister Vivian Balakrishnan [1]. Continue reading “Circle Market, east Singapore 2016”

(Visited 99 times, 1 visits today)

Enclave Catalunya, Sentosa, Singapore 2016

http://www.cmariec.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2017/01/DM1A8007-800500.jpg http://www.cmariec.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2017/01/DM1A8007-800500.jpg
http://www.cmariec.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2017/01/DM1A8031-800500.jpg http://www.cmariec.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2017/01/DM1A8031-800500.jpg
http://www.cmariec.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2017/01/DM1A7916-800500.jpg http://www.cmariec.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2017/01/DM1A7916-800500.jpg
http://www.cmariec.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2017/01/DM1A8018-800500.jpg http://www.cmariec.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2017/01/DM1A8018-800500.jpg
http://www.cmariec.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2017/01/DM1A7955-800500.jpg http://www.cmariec.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2017/01/DM1A7955-800500.jpg
http://www.cmariec.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2017/01/DM1A7965-800500.jpg http://www.cmariec.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2017/01/DM1A7965-800500.jpg
http://www.cmariec.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2017/01/DM1A8053-800500.jpg http://www.cmariec.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2017/01/DM1A8053-800500.jpg

At FOC Sentosa, Tanjong Beach, Sentosa, Singapore 2016.
Text & Photo © JE Nilsson, CM Cordeiro, Sweden 2016

I had planned to visit Palawan Beach at Sentosa, and when in a car, it was only to follow the road signs. Turning mostly left when on Sentosa, we were greeted by a female peacock crossing the street. She looked pretty in mid-morning, just doing her own thing. Turning into the carpark to what I thought was Palawan Beach, I hesitated getting out of the car when greeted by what seemed to be an ongoing student orientation activity taking place by the beach. Crowded and loud, I wanted away from crowd. But I got out of the car in either case, and walked further on, farthest I could from the noise and activities. Continue reading “Enclave Catalunya, Sentosa, Singapore 2016”

(Visited 326 times, 1 visits today)

Raindance Godiva

Pluviophile, Singapore 2016.

Tropical raindance, a pluviophile’s dream. November, in Singapore 2016.
Text & Photo © JE Nilsson, CM Cordeiro, Sweden 2016

A tropical storm raged just out from under the hawker centre night shades. Within the compounds of the hawker centre in a small enough area, an elderly male busker had put on the most upbeat of ’80s dance tunes. He stood just beside a flattened cap he had placed on the ground, moving energetically to the beat.

“You should go out in the rain, and dance!” said a voice that stood to my right.

I looked to my right, caught a pair of sparkling eyes that belonged to that familiar voice, and smiled. I wanted to. I’d be soaked through to the skin in warm rain, something I could never do in the Nordics.

“This is your kind of weather” the voice encouraged, “go dance!”

Looking at the elderly male busker grooving to his own chosen ’80s dance tracks, he had by now asked his female companion to join him in the show. I shook my head in reply. “It’s not polite if I outdid them.” I said. “Worse still is if people just stared at me, and didn’t throw me any money… Continue reading “Raindance Godiva”

(Visited 51 times, 1 visits today)

Personalised kampong spaces, Singapore 2016

Cheryl Marie Cordeiro, Singapore 2016

In a 1970s design crochet bell-sleeved top made by my mother, Rita Yong Cordeiro. A small, high-gloss finish wood table with two accompanying chairs standing in the lift landing area of this HDB corridor was what caught my eye. On the table, a tiny glass vase filled with plastic carnations in red.
Text & Photo © JE Nilsson, CM Cordeiro, Sweden 2016

I remember his hands firmly gripping me around my ribcage, under my arms, then lifting me decidedly over two square tiles. He landed me unceremoniously unto a tidied space in the apartment and then went about working again. I was about four years old, and wondered how come he could not just have asked me to hop over two square tiles. The man was a construction worker who was at the time, halfway through tiling the floor to the living room. That was one of the earliest memories I have of watching my parents’ new home, their first Singapore government built HDB (Housing and Development Board) flat come to life. Although not literally the “final stage of [their] housing ladder” [1:195] it was however, a confirmation of a fairly secure economic status reached for our small family, Continue reading “Personalised kampong spaces, Singapore 2016”

(Visited 127 times, 1 visits today)

Food along the east coast, Singapore

Cheryl Marie Cordeiro, Singapore 2016

At the East Coast Lagoon Food Village, Singapore.
Text & Photo © JE Nilsson, CM Cordeiro, Sweden 2016

I had not known that sun ripened fresh cut fruits served with ice drizzled over them was a concept dish until I had moved out of Singapore to live in Sweden. In the nordic countries, a ‘fruit salad’ was what you might find as a type of side dish to the cheese platter, by which the fruit bit might be cut pears and/or green grapes. Perhaps marmalade as the fruit bit is also possible. So you’ll end up with having a fruit salad of different tiny jars of artisan marmalades, to the cheese platter. Different.

But it would be a day of any weather that living in the east of Singapore close to the beach, I would find myself encountering a mixed fruit platter as part of my favourite things to eat at the hawker centres located in this area. I liked in particular, to have a fruit platter at the East Coast Lagoon Food Village, which I had only all my life known as Lagoon. Continue reading “Food along the east coast, Singapore”

(Visited 113 times, 1 visits today)

Case number 17V17XIII1.1.1.1.

Illustration by Michael Whelan for Robert A. Heinlein's "The Cat Who Walked Through Walls" (1985)

Illustration by Michael Whelan for Robert A. Heinlein’s “The Cat Who Walked Through Walls” (1985)
Text © JE Nilsson, CM Cordeiro, Sweden 2016

In 4170s where Time is iffy, in a R.A. Heinlein world, Madame Pixel attends a court hearing regarding her filing for divorce. Due to that she is of the constellation of Andromeda whose mother tongue is Triangulum, and Mister Pixel is of Barnard 33 of the constellation of Orion whose mother tongue is Flamean, the divorce petition in the Third Way Galaxy Court were filed in both languages, plus a third language, a more formal version of the Third Way Galaxy lingua franca known as Standard Galactic English.

Judge: I am here referring to case number 17V17XIII1.1.1.1. Madame Pixel? In view that Mister Pixel is time travelling, I understand you are attending alone?

MPixel: Yes, your honour.

Judge: Your divorce request has been evaluated. Due to the condition of Quantum Entanglement, in an undisclosed clausal agreement between you and Mister Pixel, I regret to inform that this falls outside the jurisdiction of the Court. Continue reading “Case number 17V17XIII1.1.1.1.”

(Visited 42 times, 1 visits today)

Street food, Bangkok, Thailand 2016

Bangkok, Thailand 2016

Chinatown at after five, Bangkok, Thailand.
Text & Photo © JE Nilsson, CM Cordeiro, Sweden 2016

I had not often come across a decline in request to a destination, especially one in which tourists are encouraged to visit, but the tuk-tuk driver absolutely declined to drop us off at Chinatown in mid-morning in Bangkok, Thailand. “There is nothing there to see now. After five p.m. okay. But if you really want to go, I can drop you off at the corner 7-11 shop and you can walk from there.” He spoke to us through the rear view mirror of the tuk-tuk, his eyes meeting ours. After some contemplation, I asked, “Where would you recommend we go now? What is open?” His eyes lit up with a smile, “I bring you river tour! But first, I bring you to tailor shop? Very good suits for you, Sir!” He had already brought us to two other tailor shops, plus a jewellery outlet. So we kindly agreed to the river tour, but we didn’t want any more tailor visits. It was our turn to decline. “Only five minutes!” he intervened, “Very fast! You just go in spend five minutes, and then I get free petrol. Free petrol. You help me?” he said, unabashedly, with a big smile. He was already off to his designated shop. I turned to look at Sir and said, “I’ll probably find another cheongsam to tailor with Thai silk.” Continue reading “Street food, Bangkok, Thailand 2016”

(Visited 115 times, 1 visits today)

On the slopes of Mount Vesuvius

Azienda Vinicola Sorrentino, Mount Vesuvius, Naples, Italy 2016

A commanding view that belongs to Mount Vesuvius.
Text & Photo © JE Nilsson, CM Cordeiro, Sweden 2016

Lush, with a hint of aridity in the air, is what I would describe the climate that surrounds the undulating lands around Mount Vesuvius just about this time of year. That, and a certain solemnity and silence that blankets the surroundings. But this solemnity is permeating, because I have felt this sense of quiet even in the heart of the city of Naples when walking along the Gulf of Naples. We walk around the vineyard with our guide who knows the grounds well. The landscape reminds me somewhat of the landscape found in southeastern France.

It was about lunch hour when we strolled about the grounds where we were introduced to the various grape varieties planted, as well as other friendly vegetables complementing. Walking with a few steps between us in distance, our guide suddenly turned to us and said, “You know, I’m training running”, with a nod in the direction of Vesuvius. Continue reading “On the slopes of Mount Vesuvius”

(Visited 135 times, 1 visits today)

Pompeii, Campania, Italy 2016

Cheryl Marie Cordeiro, Pompeii, Campania, Italy 2016

At the Forum, the central area in the ancient ruins of the city of Pompeii, Campania, Italy 2016.
Text & Photo © JE Nilsson, CM Cordeiro, Sweden 2016

I developed an interest in archaeology as a hobby read from when I was about fourteen years old. Having read about Pompeii, and followed its archaeological uncoverings through my teenage years since the early 1990s, I visit this UNESCO World Heritage site in 2016 with mixed feelings.

Located across the Bay from the city of Naples in southern Italy, you seem never allowed to lose your bearing to Mount Vesuvius. Gaping at the top where in ancient paintings it was once capped, Vesuvius dominates the horizon. It stands in statement of the events that took place in 79 AD. As a reminder of its last large outbreak in 1944, it is still 95 centigrade warm a few meters under the ground. That is a hair’s breath from boiling. But for now, on the surface, the fire mountain slumbers.

The region around Vesuvius today hosts some three million inhabitants that would need to be evacuated immediately when, not if, Vesuvius wakes up again. Inhabiting the area could possibly be human optimism, else, more pragmatically, the fertile soils of the land afforded by the very fire mountain itself gives the possibility of good trade (thus good living), especially in wine. Continue reading “Pompeii, Campania, Italy 2016”

(Visited 103 times, 1 visits today)

Gelato, gelato, gelato

Cheryl Marie Cordeiro, Capri, Italy 2016.

Bar Corallo, Capri, Italy 2016.
Text & Photo © JE Nilsson, CM Cordeiro, Sweden 2016

Just a few days prior to landing in southern Italy, I walked out of a little gelateria, Gelato Da Luca, in Gothenburg, Sweden. Newly located in the heart of Gothenburg’s older marketing district where cobbled streets were set out in grid format, I had in hand from this gelateria, a paper cup of two generous scoops of Italian made ice-cream. Caffè and cioccolato fondente (extra dark chocolate).

I could always do gelato, the sequence being caffè and cioccolato fondente, then cioccolato fondente and pistacchio. If there was no caffè or pistacchio, then it will be nocciola. I was only too happy to know that the owner, who had come to Sweden from Rome, had decided to open a second outlet in Gothenburg, both outlets being equidistant to the Business School at the University of Gothenburg.

Already then, I had decided that when in southern Italy, or Italy at all, I would gelato.

And that, I did. That, and cioccolata calda, a smooth, thick hot chocolate concoction that rivals Granja M. Viader xocolata calenta in Barcelona, Spain.

Swapping different types of cobbled stones from Gothenburg to southern Italy, I was beyond delighted to once again, gelato. Continue reading “Gelato, gelato, gelato”

(Visited 86 times, 1 visits today)

Stream of consciousness: An evolution

Cheryl Marie Cordeiro, T-back crochet dress by Rita Yong Cordeiro

In a crochet halterneck T-back dress made by my mother, Rita Yong Cordeiro.
The dress was made in mid-1990s.

Text & Photo © JE Nilsson, CM Cordeiro, Sweden 2016

For as long as I can remember, my mother crocheted. Well, yes. She had made her own wedding dress a whole two years before I was born. Thing is, having handcrafted frills of dresses since baby in arm, I never really thought about the rarity of the skill of the producer or rarity of product/s as such. That I had access to these time-consuming handcrafted clothing made by my working mother from the time of my Christening till when I graduated with a doctoral degree was something I had quite taken for granted.

I read in Richard Feynman’s 1985 self-biography [1] that whilst at MIT, he had to take mandatory humanities courses, of which one of them was philosophy. He got deathly bored during philosophy classes that having happened to be in possession of a small drill, about one-sixteenth-inch, he made holes in the soles of his shoes by twisting this tool into the sole of his shoes, week after week. Continue reading “Stream of consciousness: An evolution”

(Visited 229 times, 1 visits today)

Styrsö Sandvik, 2016

Mermaid in distress

Styrsö Sandvik guest harbour [1], Sweden, summer 2016.
Text & Photo © JE Nilsson, CM Cordeiro, Sweden 2016

Styrsö Sandvik was one of the best sandy beaches that the old summer resort Styrsö ever had in the 19th century. But landscapes evolve and eventually, modern times caught up with even this small part of the world when the local fishing fleet decided they needed a current and better protected harbour. So it was that the long sandy beach so much appreciated by the locals as well as the city slanker* (as they were called at the time by the locals in local dialect), were no more.

Now in the current millennium the tide is turning again and the tourist, service and “experience” industry is reclaiming territory. The novelty and charm of harbours such as this for visitors for the moment is to get to experience first hand, island life and island living. Docked in this harbour are larger fishing boats, and in neat piles by dockside are lobster and crab nets for when it is season.

The fish harbour shares its space as guest harbour for pleasure yachts complete with harbour café, neat bathing facilities, a children’s playground and a barbecue pit for the occasional older children who might want spare ribs and a beer. Continue reading “Styrsö Sandvik, 2016”

(Visited 312 times, 1 visits today)

Skärhamn – A Swedish west coast fishing village in the 21st century, Sweden 2016

Flying into Sweden on an aerial view before landing, I continue to marvel at how green the country is. More green than I have ever seen before even if I was born in equatorial tropical rainforest region, this Scandinavian landscape far north of the globe has its green interspersed with water fills of varying dimensions. The first few years of my being here which is now more than a decade ago, I thought nothing much of it. There was nothing to see, just green. Today, the sight of the Nordic tree tops interspersed with water, as far as the eye takes you, is a treasured moment of aerial encounter. And contrary to my initial impression, there is a lot to see.

Skärhamn, Tjörn, Sweden 2016

Skärhamn, Tjörn, Sweden, summer 2016.
Text & Photo © JE Nilsson, CM Cordeiro, Sweden 2016

Most of Sweden is very scenic. The panoramic terrains from Skåne in the South of Sweden to Lappland, way north of the arctic circle, is distinct and different.

The west coast of Sweden is the country’s own riviera. Besides facing the North Sea and the Atlantic, it is kept warmer than the rest of Sweden by the Gulf Stream that passes just outside its coast. The west coast goes from long sandy beaches in the South until you hit the old Viking territories, around Gothenburg. From there and up north, the terrain becomes rocky and the coast is cut into hundreds of large and small islands, separated by steep cliffs and deep fjords.

Cheryl Marie Cordeiro, Skärhamn, Tjörn, Sweden 2016 Continue reading “Skärhamn – A Swedish west coast fishing village in the 21st century, Sweden 2016”

(Visited 216 times, 1 visits today)

Chocolate in seasons

IMG_2570 598

A chocolate cake based on a brownie recipe.
Text & Photo © JE Nilsson, CM Cordeiro, Sweden 2016

Foods are seasonal. There was a time when growing up in Singapore, I would have prawn noodle soup everyday after school hours at the hawker centre at the bus terminal. The bus terminal was the interval stop between the Convent where I went to school (located in walking proximity to the Singapore’s east coast beach), and the government built housing apartment farther inland north-east, that was home. Prior to hopping on to a loop feeder bus service, I would drop my school bag and files on a stool at a table at the hawker centre and go order lunch. There were at least five different variations of this dish you could order. After a year or so, the owners of the stall knew me by name and knew my order. I only had to wave and smile in their direction and they would come with a bowl of prawn noodles with the type of noodles I preferred. The prawn noodle soup season lasted three years, after which it never seemed to ever come back in season for me. Last I had a bowl of prawn noodle soup that was in season in the manner I preferred was more than twenty eight years ago.

Chocolate however, seems to be in season all year round, and has been so for more than thirty five years. I remember a photograph of me from when I was age seven or eight living in the east of Singapore. I had a broad grin with a mouthful of melted chocolate. It must’ve been chocolate cake I was eating at someone’s birthday, because that was the only time we had such decadent cakes filled with buttercream between and over layers of sponge cakes. Continue reading “Chocolate in seasons”

(Visited 66 times, 1 visits today)

Latticework for little gherkins

Cheryl Marie Cordeiro

Latticing cucumbers in the garden patch, summer 2016.
Text & Photo © JE Nilsson, CM Cordeiro, Sweden 2016

One of the fun things to discover in Sweden is that small cucumbers, originally an Asian fruit, are easy to grow here once you have some land available in a warm corner of the garden. They do like warm weather and are actually very picky with that. Below 15 degrees centigrade in the soil and you can as well save yourself the trouble of even planting them.

Swedish summers are not always tropical warm. You can likewise experience 10 degrees centigrade at Midsummer’s as on New Year’s Eve. So usually, it is from middle (to late) in the summer season here that the gherkins suddenly decide life is worth living after all and start growing leaves. They stretch upwards and throw out small lassos to use for climbing. You know that they’re doing fine when small star-shaped flowers that are a vibrant yellow begin to light up the spaces among all the large green leaves.

Looking at the tiny tendrils, you’ll also know when it is time to give them a little direction in life – upwards – or they will end up in a big entangled mass. We have noticed that they have no qualms using each other for climb support, so given enough space they might probably be fine growing directly on the ground. But we prefer that each has its own climb support and giving them a string each skywards enables you to see them in their full sunny disposition once they start bearing fruit. Continue reading “Latticework for little gherkins”

(Visited 73 times, 1 visits today)