Friday, October 21, 2005

Saying goodbye is hard to do

Yesterday I took two of my little darlings (cats) to their, hopefully, new home. It certainly was with mixed feelings I did that journey... I never planned to keep them, they are cousins from my two latest litters and I haven't found any suitable new homes for them, until now. And now they are 1,5 and 1 years old. Kittens usually leave home when they are at least 12 weeks old...

Especially one of them (daughter of my big, red sire and looking just like a miniature of her dad) had found her place in our gang of four- and two-legged creatures. She's such a cool cat, with lots of style and personality. She's also a great friend of my dog (as seen on a photo below). Her cousin, who also moved now, is a more quiet and if not shy at least a bit wait and seeish kind of cat. But really sweet, and those two are great friends so I thought it was a good move if they got a new home together. I do have plenty of cats to take care of and these two I hadn't planned to keep as breeding queens or anything, but still having lived with them for over a year it's a bit sad to see them go...

Ah well, I know they'll have a good new home were they are now, and I do hope everything will turn out as their owners-to-be (after having these darlings as a test for the next two weeks to come) plan for.

In the pictures above you can see little blacktortie Qlara Quarter in the ever popular kitten basket with her black brother Quirk Quiech. And in the other picture a 3 weeks old Prunella Penshurst, even then she was stylish....

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

A girl's best best friend...


....doesn't have to be diamonds but with a piece of jewellery you can never go wrong.

Monday, October 17, 2005

better late than never, here comes the dog

My cutie loafie, newly trimmed Norfolk terrier boy. Happy, energetic, cuddly, stubborn and super-friendly - Malte, 2 years old.

Chaikhana teahouse

Following an interesting recommendation at the website Matlust iFokus, I visited the Chaikhana teahouse for the first time today. The teahouse opened in 2004 and is situated in Gamla Sta'n (Old Town) in Stockholm. The café has a very calming atmosphere, the interior decoration clean and with no frills. The menu isn't very extensive, but nevertheless very mouthwatering.

My friend and I decided to share some things, one being the English Afternoon tea menu (140-170 SEK depending of the type of tea) which included a pot of tea, 3 miniature sandwiches, 2 scones with jam and whipped cream and a cake from the cake-trolley. The other being a Florentina warm toast with smoked salmon and spinach plus another pot of tea.

Everything was just so lovely (and English-like!), the salmon-spinach toast delicios, the cream tea scones yummy in my tummy (although I would have preferred strawberry jam instead of the orange we got) and the cake just wonderful; a raspberry and white chocolate mousse cheesecake with a lovely, creamy texture and just perfectly sweetened to match the crispy raspberry flavour.

And the tea tasted fantastic (with milk of course!), one pot of an orange pekoe and the other with flavoured vanilla tea.

The teahouse also, of course, sell lots and lots of teas in an extensive price-range. I bought a, for me, new sort of strong tea that I'll taste this evening. And I'm already looking forward to my next visit to Chaikhana teahouse - then I'll try a pot of the luxurious white tea, that costs up to 350 SEK per hectogram...

Their website with a great design you'll find att

The photo show a newly trimmed, super-intelligent (?) Norfolk terrier - my 2 year old Malte who can't wait for me to get down to the important things in life i e to play with him...

Earrings from dusk til' dawn part II


Friday, October 14, 2005

I don't know why...

...but updating this blog mostly involve grading food-experiences...
This time around I'll comment on a few new places visited and tasted recently. First out is Restaurant Sjöjungfrun (Mermaid) by the sea in Hammarby dockside.

The reason we ended up there for lunch was that Coffeeclub café in Hammarby sjöstad was closed for unknown reasons that day. We also wanted to eat outdoors since the weather for a day in Stockholm in the middle of October was absolutely fantastic!

My mum choose perch with couscous, vegetables and creamy mint-sauce. I tasted the sauce and found it really good and with lots of flavour - not for the ones who don't like strong flavours and spicy food though!

I choose vegetarian pasta with spicy red tomatoe sauce and parmesan. It was quite ok in taste, and really hot, especially for a lunch alternative! But since tomatoe sauces aren't one of my favourites (not counting in the fantastic one I got at Carrabba's Italian Grill in Fort Lauderdale...heavenly!) maybe I'm not the right person to comment on this dish really...
One thing I really appreciated though, was the strong flavours and not the bland, non-salted dishes you usually get at lunch-time in restaurants.

For dessert we walked to Nytorget and 7 knop café. We had great caffee lattes and a lovely raspberry-toffee pie with whipped cream. The sweet toffee mixed perfectly with the sort of sour raspberries - yum! We sat outdoors in the sun and chatted some time away.

BIG WARNING for this café though, if you're not a fan of screaming babies in huge prams with parents who don't really know the word "consideration"...

In that case you should visit the 7 Knop at S:t Eriksgatan instead, the cakes being equally good, sadly not the coffee though...

The other day we ended up at Café Kladdkakan (in lack of a better word, Café Sticky-cake) in Gamla Sta'n (Old Town, the beautiful very center of Stockholm), Stora Nygatan 32.
It was a mixed experience, but mostly a positive one I think. I didn't find anything appealing vegetarian food-like, so to accompany our jumbo latte (served in a huge pink or lightblue ceramic mug, yummy!) and smoothie (lovely, creamy, icy raspberry) we shared a cinnamon bun (a bit dry and too sweet for my taste) and a raspberry pie (lovely home-made looking, but with with a strange bitter tang). They had so many appealing cakes, pies and puddings, so maybe something else would have tasted better... Amicable staff and a nice interior I might add.

Today is the first really chilly Autumn day here, and what fits better than a picture of some colourful, warming hats. Time to put the thinking-caps on!

Friday, October 07, 2005

Sturekatten & other cats

I finally got to meet my friend Anne the other day, and we headed to the old classic café Sturekatten (Riddargatan 4, Östermalm, Stockholm).

The place has been a favourite of mine since my high school days. The establishment is situated in two floors, with many small rooms on each floor. Each room filled with old furniture and paintings like an old granny's home. In order to get there you have to climb some steep staircases from the street.

So when you order your lovely tea and cakes or whatever you feel like, you think you've really earned that burning some calories on the way up anyway. You keep filling your teacup over and over again, chatting away and perhaps feeling like something more to eat after a while. They do serve baked potatoes and grilled sandwiches etc too.

This time I took the applepie with custard and it was as usual lovely. Accompanied by several cups of tea as it should be. We had a nice time chatting away and she actually left quite happy with one of my one-of-a-kind necklaces/bracelets, a sort of misty pink-grey number with Brazilian agate flowers, rosequartz and rodonite. One of my personal favourites I might add.

Ending with something cat-ish too, in a couple of weeks I hope to have such little darlings in my household once again, can't hardly wait!

More on Café Sturekatten here

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

Outings on a sunny October Monday

After my regular Monday morning appointment the other day I met my mum for lunch. We thought about Seaside café in Hammarby Sjöstad, but since we've been there quite a lot we opted for another, new place this time.

- I can really recommend a visit to "the Seaside" though, especially if the weather is good and you can enjoy your coffee and generous feta-cheese sandwich outdoors. Take the bus or the Tvärbanan and get off at the end station, then walk about 500 metres. -

So we took the Saltsjöbanan to the end station Saltsjöbaden.

- and at the same time I re-lived some of my high-school memories taking that train. I used to attend the Nacka high school and travel that way with either Saltsjöbanan or buses 5 days a week for 3 years - in the stone ages... -

There we headed for conveniently situated Stationshuset (The Stationhouse) restaurant/café/shop, owned by the well-known Swedish chef Renée Voltaire. On offer was many interesting ingredients and food "solutions" and it was difficult to choose what to have...

But in the end I took the broccoli and lentil soap, with sallad and bread. The soup in itself was very tasty and creamy, though it looked like something in a baby's nappy... The bread too was very good, though the hoummus on top was so strange and tasted like grass. The sallad was very ordinary and it tasted of far too much lemonjuice.

For dessert we shared a cinnamon bun with pistachio nuts and a banana-chocolate cake, unfortunately non of them can be recommended. The bun was very small, tasted of yeast, had no sweet cinnamon flavour at all and hadn't been in the oven the proper time. The cake looked very tasty but was very doughy (and no, a banana cake doesn't HAVE to be like this!) and the dark chocolate was very bitter and all of it lay in the bottom of the cake strangely enough. The caffe latte was nice though. The prices were very high and even if the atmosphere and personnel was nice I don't really recommend a visit.

A pity when flashy ideas and innovative thinking just end up with: "what meets the eye isn't matched with what meets the palate...."

No blog without a Pia K-photo - and what can be better than a lovely, warming mohair shawl now when the chilly Autumn has begun creeping up on us here in northern Europe?!

Sunday, October 02, 2005

Fresh from the garden

Without no fancy layout - and I wonder why the pictures aren't in the order I upload them... I really hate the technical part of the computer... - I bring you some freshly taken pictures of the feline & doggy adventures in the garden on a lovely, sunny Sunday afternoon.

From top left you can see:

- my oldest cat, isn't he adorable?! His name is "Emil" (IP & CH S*Solfläcken's My True Lollipop) and he is a colourpoint Persian 14,5 years old.

- some flowers in a second bloom. Amazing, this being October in Sweden!

- S*Luddkolt's Prunella Penshurst, redspotted British shorthair girl 1,5 years old, and her friend gargoyle Gollum.

- "Malte", Norfolk terrier 2 years old, inspecting the work of the garden gargoyle mower.

- Agnes (GIC S*Rövarligan Agnes), blue-tortie and white BSH girl 2,5 years old, joining him with the inspection.

- Agnes with flower pots.

- Eulalia (IP & EC S*Luddkolt's Eulalia Eilean Donan), cream BSH 7 years old girl, with little Pelle (S*Javeliner's Pelle Svensson), creamspotted BSH boy 5 months old, enjoying eachothers company.

- And finally, Malte not being really satisfied with the gargoyle mower's work, he decides to water him...

autumn driving

Yesterday we had a little drive around a lovely autumnal part of Sweden called Södermanland. First stop was the tiny little place - and rather boring I might add... - of Flen.

I've heard about a second hand store in Flen - from my hairdresser who's a real expert on second hand/vintage findings - that's suppose to be so good. A place for great findings like old designer bags - how about an authentic Gucci bag for around 50 sek? - etc.

Unfortunately I must say it was quite a disappointment. I suppose that since it has been written about in magazines, more people have found it and if you don't live close to Flen - about 2 hrs drive southwest from Stockholm - there's no chance you can visit the store regularly for those "amazing findings".

We had lunch at a rather nice restaurant/motel in Flen called Loftet (The Loft). The vegetarian selection of food is reasonably good, their complimentary salad buffet is even better and also the home-made breads. So I opted, like I tend to, for a herbal vegetarian steak with vegetables and (as it happened, overcooked) potatoes.

We then made our way through really lovely little villages, countryside and lakeside in Södermanland. We toyed with the idea ofpopping by the so called cake-castle of Taxinge. In my humble opinion more than a tad overrated, for a really good meal (with dessert) I so do prefer the small, cosy, family-run establishment of Taxinge Krog (Taxinge Inn) close to the castle.

Instead we made a quick stop at the shop/café Mångfaldens hus (The House of Multiplicity) in Turinge. It's a big two-storey house absolutely crammed with interior decoration stuff, many niceties but also a lot of cheap looking stuff with a pricey price-tag. The café unfortuntaely didn't offer anything interesting. Was is to be a Saturday afternoon without coffee and cake? Ah, the disappointment!

When we came to the southern outskirts of Stockholm M suddenly had the bright idea of café Lyran. A fantastic looking old wooden villa from 1867 in the suburb of Bredäng - where I actually spent most of my childhood, ah in those days when it was actually idyllic to live in Bredäng... - originally built as a summer house. The villa is situated on a cliff overlooking a gorgeous view of the lake Mälaren and sitting on the veranda you can see the whole way to Stockholm city! It's just so. very. lovely...

When I was a child we often came there with my old aunties, grand-parents and so forth and I remember THE thing to eat then was either the shrimp sandwich or the yummy apple cake with custard, or perhaps both if it was a special occasion.

I also used to visit the place regularly with friends when in high school - it was in those days my inclination for afternoon tea was born - but I hadn't been there for many years now. It was really very nice to come back to that charming place, and now you're also allowed up in the old tower which has of course an amazing view!

Though, unfortunately, the cake I chose (Tosca pear cake with custard) very tasty; too sweet and it sure would have benefited from a little more toffee tasting Tosca-topping. M's big slice of the old time Swedish favourite Princess cake was really good though. And being spoiled with a big slice is always nice!

My tummy didn't act up too bad during all this eating, which I'm so grateful of. So I hope I'll be able to meet a friend for coffee/tea this week to come. I've actually having had to cancel on her twice as lately due to these problems...

And talking about this issue, the gastroscopy tests turned out to show nothing strange. Sigh. I suppose I just have to live with this and have my good days and my bad days and do the best I can with food.

The photo above has absolutely nothing to do with the autumn drive or cakes at Lyran, it's (once upon a time) three weeks old sweetie S*Luddkolt's Quintus Quex, red spotted British shorthair. Picture taken by Åke Sandström.
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