Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Fenomenal Klubb went to Sea

Photo from Janne Tavares's Instagram @jannetavares

This last Saturday my band Jannes Fenomenala Orkester (Janne's Phenomenal Orchestra) performed at the season finale of our club: Fenomenal Klubb (Phenomenal Club (I didn't really need to translate that, did I?)). Here are some pictures from the evening  (if nothing is mentioned, all the photos are taken from our Facebook site):

Our lovely horn section

The amazing Conny Thimander, straight from the Royal Opera House in Stockholm
If you want to hear something mind-bogglingly beautiful listen to our version of E Lucevan Estelle (from the opera Tosca), with Conny Thimander singing, HERE. It's a rehearsal recording so the quality is not quite up to par, but it gives you an idea and it gives me the shivers. In the most fabulous way.

Full band

Horn Section; such lovely buoys (pun intended)

Yours truly, signing off!

Monday, April 29, 2013

Zucchini + Cucumber

Zucchini flowerbuds

Zucchini plant

 Cucumber plant with little tiny to-be-cucumbers (I love the squiggly "tentacles" that help the plant climb!)

Today is a product of yesterday

I went thrifting yesterday. It was not at all planned, and in fact it was with some reluctance that I entered the garage at Liljeholmsgallerian because the last couple of times I'm visited the Car Boot Flea Market which is hosted there I found nothing. Well, I guess I got lucky this time. You'll be seeing some of my finds in a couple of posts the next few days (disguised as outfit posts, as this one), I'm sure. I'm spreading my graces over a couple of days...

Circle skirt from the 70s with heaps of summer flowers. The seller told me she bought it to wear to someone's wedding and that she felt prettier than the bride!

Darling pumps, brand new from La Radoute. The seller told me she broke her toe right after buying them, so she never got to wear them as they hurt too much after the toe healed... They are a lovely red and greeinsh blue. With tassles! I love tassles!

This litter joker I found a couple of weeks ago at a second hand store in Södertälje. Just found a matching chain the other week at Stadsmissionen.

...Along with this darling little brooch, also at Stadsmissionen.

Worked from home today (love it!) because the trains were superdelayed, so I simply went back home and logged on in the home office. Hooray for flexible workplaces!

Were you at the Car Boot Flea Market this weekend? Or did you thrift somewhere else?

Friday, April 26, 2013

Help Spring Remember

Let’s be real for a moment.

It’s Friday afternoon and the sun is only barely shining.We’ve had one sickeningly long winter. It’s been dark, it’s been cold, and it’s been one heck of a journey to get to spring. And still, it may not be entirely here. But for our own good can we at least work real hard at pretending?

Don your colorful coat, even though you think it makes you stick out too much. Order drinks with fruit in them (the mini parasol is optional). Treat your boots to a little polish now that the gravel is cleaned off the streets of the city. Wear a flower in your hair. And it’s totally ok to wear sunglasses in the kind-of-but-not-really-presence of the sun.

It’s time to face reality with a little dreaming and make believe.

Help spring remember how to move forward.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Wild Chives

I was out walking with Miriam during the weekend when I happened to see some mysterious looking grass. Curious as I was, I picked up a leaf of "grass" to smell it, only to notice it smelled distinctly of Midsummer. Chives! That delightful leek that goes so well with sour cream and pickled herring! Well, this was great I thought and I planned to harvest some chive-bulbs to have on my balcony. Today I did it!

I had to dig deep so as to not just cut off the stems from the bulb, which proved difficult as there were a lot of pine roots to dig around and the earth was very heavy and clay like. But eventually I got the little bulbies:

They're already spreading a lot of roots so I don't know if they'll survive the move, but one can always hope, yes?

 More digging and in the background your can see our house! The Holmair Residence is on the floor one below the top floor! The view is In-cre-di-ble!

Have you ever harvested wild bulbs? Have any tips? Ever cooked with wild chives? Let me know in the comment section!

See you around!


I treat myself from time to time. Usually with megasized portions of black, salty licorice. But since I am on a strictly no candy diet my favorite means of treating myself are not available to me.

Hence the great joy discovering a new favorite herbal tea flavor: Pukka Peppermint & Licorice!

Organic, fair trade, and disturbingly delicious!

Monday, April 22, 2013

Bibim Naengmyeon - Cold Buckwheat Noodles

Some people argue that cold pizza is by far better than the warm variety. While I'm not of that (clinically insane) disposition, I will argue that cold is better that warm when it comes to noodles. At least in summer. And while I'm aware it is in fact not summer - yet - I am still allowed to dream, am I not?

In my culinary home country, that is South Korea, the most common cold noodle dish is called Naengmyeon (냉면), which basically means..."cold noodles". This dish can be divided into the "with-broth" variety (Mul Naengmyeon, 물 냉면) and the "mixed-with-wickedly-spicy-sauce" option (Bibim Naengmyeon, 비빔 냉면). Since I am a fan of the wickedly-spicy option as a general rule of thumb this is what I'll be serving up!

As with most asian cuisine you might be seeing some (probably) unfamiliar ingredients. Fear not, all of the "strange" ingredients can be found in most well-stocked asian supermarkets. I'll be sure to post adresses to my favorite places at the end of the post. Oh, also, this is my take on Bibim Naengmyeon; the way I like it. You can easily change the ratios of the ingredients to make it sweeter, less spicy, more or less saucy, etc. I basically never follow recipies to the dot, so you don't need to either!

First off: some cruel honesty: Are you handy with your kitchen knife, feel confident chopping up half a cucmber into pretty, thin strips in less than, say, 5 minutes without chopping off fingers? If yes, then you can start with bringing a fairly large saucepot of water to a boil and placing the buckwheat/arrowroot noodles in the boiling water, giving them a little stir so they don't stick to the bottom of the pot. They only need to boil for about 3 minutes as they are mighty thin (though, your variety could differ, so always read the cooking directions on the package!) so you need to chop quick! Once the noodles are nice and soft but deliciously chewy you want to strain them in a sieve while cooling them down with cold cold water. While the noodles are boiling you can do these following steps:

First you want to Julienne some cucumber (and try hard not to just eat it all from the chopping board). I usually slice oblong slices and then slice them again to make long thin strips. Put them in a medium sized mixing bowl. (By the way, cucumber is my all time favorite vegetable. I'm hoping to harvest my own homegrown mini-cucumbers later this summer! Oh delish!)

Now to make the sauce: These are approximations: From the left: 1 teaspoon sesame oil, 1 tablespoon Korean soy sauce (Japanese works too!) and a big (huge if you like it hot!) dollop of Korean chili paste (Gochujang, 고추장). Put into mixing bowl with the cucumber and mix it up real good. Sprinkle some white vinegar on there and something sweet to taste; could be sugar, could be honey, I used my favorite syrup: Lyle's Golden Syrup. I sprinkled some ground black pepper on there too. Mix it, mix it, mix it!

Now, if you are not a cooking knife ninja, this is where you'd boil the water, cook the noodles and strain them in a sieve with cold cold water. Once done and you have the noodles as per the picture below, put them into the bowl with the cucumber-chili-sauce-mix and stir to combine, real good. I used a latex gloved hand. Who said you ought not to play with your food? I say play!

Once well combined, serve in bowl, sprinkle some toased sesame seeds on top and a twig of coriander for prettiness and enjoy!

Bibim Naengmyeon - Cold noodles with spicy sauce (serves two normally hungry persons)

1 tight handgrip* of thin buckwheat/arrowroot noodles
½ organic** cucumber
1 teaspoon roasted sesame oil (not the extra virgin sesame oil)
1 tablespoon Korean (or Japanese) soy sauce
1 big dollop (2-3 tablespoons) Korean chili paste (Gochujang)
1 teaspoon sugar or honey or syrup
1 teaspoon white vinegar
5 turns on the pepper grinder
roasted sesame seeds
(a couple of twigs of fresh coriander to make food look pretty enough for Instragram)

1 saucepan
1 fine mesh sieve
1 chopping board
1 kitchen knife (SHARP!)
1 medium sized mixing bowl
1 measuring cup set
1 latex glove or a ladel or a spoon to mix with
2 bowls for serving
2 pairs of chopsticks
(2 forks when you give up on the chopsticks)

Cooking Instructions
(0. For kitchen knife ninjas: Bring water to boil, place noodles in water.)

1. Julienne cucumber, place in medium sized mixing bowl. Combine with sesame oil, soy sauce, chili paste, sugar/honey/syrup, vinegar, pepper and mix it up with your latex gloved hand or your ladel or your spoon. Set aside

(1½. For not-so-much kitchen knife ninjas: Bring water to boil, place noodles in water.)

2. When noodles are soft but plenty chewy: Strain noodles and cool them down by pouring cold water over them while stirring around. Press away excess water.

3. Place noodles in mixing bowl with cucumbers and sauce, mix well.

4. Serve in bowls with sprinkles of roasted sesame seeds (and a coriander twig if you're posting on Insta)

5. Enjoy!

*Handgrip: the amount of noodles that you can grip (tightly) with one hand and have your thumb and index finger touch.
**You guys, whenever you can, buy organic. It's so much nicer on the environment and it really does taste better.


My two favorite asian supermarkets in Stockholm:

1. Oriental Supermarket in the Hötorget subway station has almost everything. Chinese, Thai, Malaysian, Korean, Japanese (and more!) ingredients.
2. Korean Food on Luntmakargatan 76 has the slightly more obscure Korean things and the best home made Kimchi in Stockholm.

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Gifts in Spring

The best part about growing my own plants for summer is that I have a bunch of extra perfectly healthy plants. I will by no means be able to keep all of them as my space is limited. However, these extra seedlings are a great gift for a hostess with the mostest! Plant them in little terracotta pot or if you lack the terracotta pot, do as I did: put the little seedling in a plastic bag, wrap it around the roots and tape it together with some decorative washi tape: Tada! Instant great gift! And who doesn't like presents that get greater and greater with just the addition of soil water and some TLC?

Friday, April 19, 2013

Today was a doodle day. 
It's been a busy week of important meetings with important decision makers (always a little intimidating!) and when Friday comes around after such a week it is nice to let loose a little and let the mind wander for a bit.

Days like these teleconference-meetings are you friend.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Tussilago Farfara

A sure sign of spring in Sweden is that little baby-suns start popping up in ditches and along roads. Tiny little, really quite inconspicuous yellow flowers that almost resemble those pain-in-the-rear-weeds we all know and love (I'm speakin' dandelions, you know what I'm talkin' bout, hmm?). But since we experience such long winters in our neck of the woods, and such short, short days during winter that we almost feel enveloped in eternal darkness, those little darling sprinkles of sunshine that contrast against the melting spring soil are a song telling us we have been born again. Life comes back to us and that's why I feel so happy today; I saw my first Tussilago Farfara (Coltsfoot) of this season on my way from a work meeting. Such a little darling dash of sunshine, such a big, big message of rebirth.

Mannen som slutade röka

This song is the main theme from the film "The man who quit smoking" (Mannen som slutade röka) with Gösta Ekman in the lead role.
The film is based on a book (with the same title as the film) by multi talented performance legend Tage Danielsson.
The man who wrote music is jazz musician and composer Gunnar Svensson who collaborated several times with Tage Danielsson and Hans Alfredson.

Monday, April 15, 2013

Plants & Dreams

I had the strangest stress dream last night. For me, stress dreams usually have something to do with work. I need to deliver something for work, I forgot something at work, someone at work gets superduper angry at me, etc. This night I dreamt I had to deliver a presentation to a very significant person and in my dream I was trying to create this presentation (in PowerPoint, I hate PowerPoint) but all the little aspects of my flow charts turned into thoughts about plants, and seedlings and growing things. I could literally think of nothing other than plants. Plants plants plants. Perhaps I'm engrossing myself a little too much in this growing green things thing...

Bought the most amazing climbing lily yesterday. It is honestly one of the prettiest things I've seen, ever. The only thing making it not-my-totally-favorite-flower-ever-but-almost is the fact that it does not smell. I love scented flowers. I mean l o v e. Seriously. Obsessed. I might spray it with Heliotrope perfume just to make it better, because LOOK at it. Uh-may-zing.

Want to see more of my greenery? Follow me on Insta! (@littleego)

Thursday, April 11, 2013

A new green inkling

My mother has always been a passionate gardener. She’s always grown gardens that, it suffices to say, make the neighbors green with envy. Ceaseless blooming, succulent crops and the most intense green you could imagine (in her garden, not on their faces!).

I am not. Good with plants that is. I do not paint my neighbors faces green with envy. I do not do the ceaseless blooming and succulent crops. And “the most intense green” soon turns the ever boring yellowing of dead crops at the touch of my hands.

But, alas, a weakness is a weakness until it is not. I have now managed to get two following seeds to grow:

Tomato x2

It is just about the best thing ever when things start popping up from the earth. It is like magic. Green magic that’ll make my neighbors green with envy.