Even if I don't exactly thrive in hot weather, I don't dislike it either. But preferably in moderation. And my brain obviously doesn't feel very blog post inspired in this hot, hot, hot weather. Like today. And yesterday. And the day before that. And...
I've never understood why there's such a fuss about Swedish strawberries, that the quality of Swedish strawberries far surpass any other countries (at least as far as Swedes are concerned). Because honestly, I've had far better, juicier, sweeter strawberries abroad.
Hence my only reason for eating Swedish strawberries (when in Sweden) is that they are (reasonably) locally produced. Swedish strawberries (as in "svenska jordgubbar") will be late Saturday dinner. Not as good as rhubarb cream, according to my palate, but rather close. At least in the realm of proper Swedish summerish thingstoeat.
This could quite possibly be the best Greek salad I've ever had. Minus the (awful as always) sun dried tomatoes it was remarkably lovely in all its simplicity. Capers usually fall into the sun dried-tomatoes-category but they actually added something pleasing to this dish made with fresh lettuce, cucumber, tomatoes, red onion, red paprika, leek add some special and very tasty oil based dressing. The bread were perfect pieces of chewy loveliness. Mustn't forget that the way the salad was displayed was quite a work of art too ~
Summer café Vasaslätten, in Hagaparken, is otherwise best known for its wonderful cardamom-nut buns "Hagabullen" (the Haga bun). I only enjoyed a bite of this one, but it was freshly made cardamom heaven, with a perfect consistency of chewiness and succulence.
A large Hagabulle 25 sek, coffee or tea with refill 25 sek. And this is my overall impression of the place;
Food - 4/5 Service - 3/5 Ambiance - 4/5 (at least on a warm summer day with the sun through the foliage) Value for money - 4/5
Café Vasaslätten, in the south part of Hagaparken, Stockholm open all days during summer 11-17 (11 am-5 pm) closed during bad weather since the place is all about outdoor seating tel 08 - 30 46 60
I think one can safely say that there's no need to be a semi earring addict to appreciate the true beauty of these earrings that caught my eye on Etsy (where else). The stunning loveliness of peacock feathers (cruelty free) has been turned into a couple of wonderfully simple yet bold earrings by Franky at valentinoink.
It was (earring) love at first jumbo bumblebee sight when browsing talented silversmith Beth Millner's shop. They are quirky adorable (which is a combination that of course never fails to impress and delight me), creative and finely handmade in a not too flawless way. An extra interesting and appealing feature of her jewellery is that she uses a lot of recycled material for her silver and copper pieces.
Beware of having a peek in her shop though, there are a whole lot of amazing looking things. Apart from these bumblebees must-haves my favourites are the sweet bird and tree pieces (earrings, pendants, bracelets).
When possible I like to keep food simple, with few and good ingredients. This version of rhubarb cream is just the no fuss best! Everything you need is
:: rhubarb :: sugar (or sweetener) :: water :: cardamom (a dash)
Rinse and dice rhubarb, put in pot with a not-a-lot amount of water. Let to boil, then let simmer until rhubarb melts - my favorite part of the making rhubarb cream procedure, I'm amazed at it simply melting every time - add as much sugar (sweetener) as your tastebuds like. Rhubarb is so acid that it requires quite a lot of it, but you still want to get a decent hint of that refreshing sour rhubarb loveliness. Dash of cardamom is nice too.
I know some add potato flour during the melting part to make cream firmer, myself I do so prefer to keep it as a soft, silky, hint of watery cream. Serve with milk in a bowl. The perfect unpretentious, bestest of summer meals - with a couple of nice sandwiches for lunch or dinner - as far as I'm concerned ~
One can never have too much Malte on the wall. What can I say, I just thought the easy to make canvas art was such a neat way to give original gifts - here's another piece of Malte that will adorn someone else's wall in a few weeks time. This time as a red-white stripy sweetie.
the sweetheart stray dog outside the hotel, one of far too many...
the dionysos theatre and the new acropolis museum
the propylaea gate to acropolis
two brown skirts queuing
the erechtheion temple with the supporting
caryatids statues, acropolis
the parthenon, acropolis
not surprisingly acropolis was brimming with tourist hoards - as this was low season due to greek easter i can only imagine how many visitors there are during hign season... - still i can't help but feeling quite disappointed about the loads of visitor factor. that always put quite a damp on my expectations and the ambiance. what should have been an amazing experience in theory was sadly so very less than interesting and satisfactory.
the national library. with stray dog
oh what a joy to be able to study in such a beautiful building
too, too sweet icecream
corner shop, monastiraki
taking an afternoon sun nap near the tower of the winds
I so enjoy stepping into a Whittard's shop whenever in England, the whiffs of tea, coffee and chocolate always noticeable, the decor, the ambiance, the goodies for sale and yes, the prices which aren't half bad. Lots of "sales" and "3 for 2" offers going on most of the time. Or at least every time I pop by.
It's kind of a paradise for gift shopping I think, two large mugs, some tea and possibly a box of shortbread, what gift receiver could ask for more?
My favourite treat for myself, as well as for gift giving purposes, are the instant teas. I'm not so much a fan of having them during the cold time of the year - apart from the mulled one of course - but they're just perfect for making simple and quick ice tea's in the summer. And it sure doesn't hurt that the tins are so pretty. My favourite flavours so far are cranberry & raspberry, English fruits and mango & passion fruit.
My least favourite buy at Whittard's were the instant hot chocolates, they tasted completely artificial and weirdly dusty.
I love the shop's somewhat eclectic mix of rustic colourful as well as refined china (with or without logo), my super sized colourful plastic bowler glasses are one of my most treasured kitchen wares actually. They're so useful all year around, for smoothies, ice teas or when you're just very thirsty.
It was quite sad to hear about Whittard's financial problems (was it last year, or early this year, memory fails me) and the rather imminent danger of the chain closing down completely. But luckily one of my favourite pop-bys when on the British isles was rescued by a new owner.
Now I think I'll go and enjoy a glass of ice tea, summer in a glass ~
With true and endless love for colours and inspiration from garden's flowery delights, here are a couple of summery choker necklaces created from the cotton yarnspreviously foundin squares. Teamed up with handmade silk ribbons I think they're quite a lovely summery feminine piece to adorn the neckline.
Above already embracing the world cress in flower bed (yellow, mandarin and relaxing green), below daisies against a blue sky (yellow, eggshell white and denim blue). Both listed in Etsy shop ~
And as I just can't stop crocheting and try out new colour combinations - but truly loath the Sisyphean challenge of fixing every silly loose yarn end, I so wish one could hire a loose yarn end fixer for the never ending task - there'll be more, much more where these came from, and not only chokers of course. Green tulips, marigolds, cornflowers, pansies and forget-me-nots to mention but a few...
There are some signs, some things that are nothing less than complete (Swedish) summer to me. One of them being, rhubarb cream - served with milk, one of the easiest, most rewarding meals I know. Summer in a bowl ~
A second sign is rose shrubs heavy of sweet fragrant bloom with an overload of promising little buds. Summer in a delicate scent ~
As we've (very less than) enjoyed a couple or *rather* rainy and chilly weeks here and now supposedly we have (only) a couple of days to enjoy a dash of sun, a tad of blue skies before it all begins pouring down in rain again, I thought I'd give a wee homage to (Swedish) blue skies. As I believe they are awe inspiring, amazing ~
my very own honeysuckle shrub against an amazing sky
one pretty tower house under a smashing sky in falun, dalecarlia
who knew cement works could be this beautiful?
well at least under a bluer than blue sky in dalecarlia
not exactly blue skies, but very lovely blue just the same,
and more about this blue coloured stage performance in dalecarlia later
vidablick view tower in dalecarlia
the lake siljan view from vidablick above
the (infamous for its ugliness) norrtälje harbour silo.