Semla and brighter times セムラと明るい時

DSC_7008Although spring is still far away the speed with which it gets brighter every day really lighten things up. Today it was even bright outside when I left work at 5 pm – amazing really, just like the fact that it was bright when I woke up. It’s almost surreal, was it really ever this bright?, I catch myself thinking…

The increasing light is not the only thing that feels so typical about Swedish late winter. There is also the Semla. The awesome cake eaten from around January to Easter. Sweet bread stuffed with almond paste and cream. I made these and brought to work the other week, they were appreciated :)
でも、いいことの仲明るさだけじゃなくて、セムラもあるね。アーモンドペーストとクリームが入ってる甘いパンのスウェーデンの伝統的な長美味しいケーキだ。この間作って仕事に持っていった。喜んでくれた、同僚は:) DSC_7010Some weekends ago we took a walk around the bay some kilometer from our apartment. Pretty nice – I imagine it must be even nicer in spring and summer. I can’t stop getting surprised by the amount of water bodies in Stockholm. The water really is everywhere.
この間アパートの近くにある湾で散歩した。景色結構良かったし、春や夏になったらもっといいんだろう。ストックホルムに本当に湖や海どこにもあるぐらい。まだびっくりする。DSC_7042 DSC_7043Besides the occasional promenade, I do what I always do. Work and cook and bake. And to be frank I really enjoy work at the moment. It’s really fun and great and challenging. Only add some spring to this and things will be great :) 散歩以外、いつもの通りの生活だね。仕事、料理、ベーキング。仕事は今超面白い。楽しいし、やりがいがあるし。ただ春が着たらいいな!
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Covered in snow, eating homemade tortillas 雪で覆われる、手作りトルティーヤを食べる。

DSC_6895Now, when we enter February winter decides to come for real. The world is covered in a thick white blanket and it doesn’t seem to want to stop snowing. Meanwhile, life continues as usual, only that public transport moves a bit slower due to the weather conditions. Oh, and I learnt how to make tortillas. I don’t know if it’s the traditional way to make them, but they are incredibly tasty and soft and surprisingly easy to make! Here’s the recipe!

 Around 12-15 tortillas 12-15枚分:
– 600 ml wheat flour 600ミリ小麦粉
– 70 ml olive oil 70ミリオリーブオイル
– 200 ml warm water 200温かい水
– 1 teaspoon salt 1茶さじ塩
– 1 teaspoon baking powder 1茶さじベーキングパウダー

Mix all the ingredients in a large bowl, combine and knead until the dough is smooth and shiny, around 3 minutes. Let the dough rest for 15 minutes, covered. Make little balls of the dough and shape into tortillas using a rolling pin. Make them as thin as possible. Thanks to the olive oil it’s easy to shape the tortillas, they don’t break despite made really thin. When done shaping the first tortilla, bake it straight away in a frying pan on medium heat, 1 minute on each side. While baking, start shaping the next tortilla and so on. Keep them warm on a plate in the oven, on 100 degrees Celsius.

DSC_6937This weekend I spent at my parents’ place again. The snow and the silence of the countryside is really nice and relaxing. Which is good, because work is really busy. Yup, it’s almost bedtime already, gotta go!
今週末また実家に行った。田舎の雪、静かさ気持ちいいリラックスできる雰囲気だ。最近仕事忙しいから丁度良かった。そうな、もう寝る時間、またね!DSC_6993DSC_6983 DSC_6991 DSC_6992 DSC_6789

Things for my home bought in Japan 日本でしたインテリア買い物

DSC_6870So, I’m back on track, back after the holidays and back to work in Sweden. It felt good to be back to work. My colleagues are nice, the work tasks are interesting and we got a new coffee machine. What more to ask for? The only thing lacking now is a better apartment. I’m slowly realizing that I will have to do what everybody else in Stockholm does, save loads of cash to buy an over priced apartment. The goal is to buy one in a year or so. And as I’ve been talking about previously I’ve sort of been lacking a goal in my life. Now I found a new one, and it feels good. But I don’t know, at the same time it feels sort of messed up to spend millions on an apartment in Stockholm, where the price is 3 times higher than in for example Malmö. Do I really want to spend my life here? I’m not sure… Anyhow, saving money will get me an apartment anywhere, so at least I can continue with that goal without knowing for sure where to live.

Anyhow, while saving up for an apartment I’m still improving the small one we live in temporarily at the moment. I bought quite alot of stuff in Japan, especially kitchenware. The kitchen is the best place in this apartment and I love cooking, so it sort of goes without saying that I’m always on the lookout for kitchenware. The other week my sweet cousin said to me “Sara can’t you post pictures of what you bought in Japan on your blog?”. She is very fond of Japan and shopping and especially shopping in Japan. Well why not?, I thought. Maybe someone else might also like to get some inspiration or whatever from Japanese interior goods.
とにかく新しいアパートのお金をためる間現在住んでる小さいアパートを出来るだけ心地よくしないと。日本でインテリアのものを結構買った。このアパートの一番良いポイントはキチンで私が料理するのが大好きだから、キチンようのものをいっぱい買ってしまったことが仕方ない。いつもキチンで使えるものを探し中。この間従姉妹が面白いお願いを行った:”サーラ、ボルグで日本で買ったものの写真を載せてくれない?”だって。従姉妹も買い物と日本が大好きで特に日本の買い物が進めだ。まあ、良いんじゃない?と私が思って、今日日本でした買い物について少し書く予定。もしかして、ほかの読者にも少しインスピレーションとかになるかな。DSC_6863Everytime I go to Japan I buy plenty of bowls and little plates. They are so convenient for everything, from oatmeal to rice and soup and I use them on a daily basis. This time I found Mt. Fuji plates, in a 100 yen shop! (100 yen = 0,7 euros or 1 USD approx). So, each plate was really cheap, but aren’t the cute? Also, I’m sort of hooked on wooden kitchenware lately, which is why I got wooden bowls and utensils and also a couple of nice trays.
日本に行くと必ず小皿と茶碗を買う。 オートミールからご飯やスープなど何でもに使えてとても便利な毎日使うものだ。今回超可愛い富士山の皿を見つけた。しかも百円ショップで!後、最近木製食器に少しはまったからボールやフォーク、スプーン、トレーを買ってきた。DSC_6859Yesterday’s dinner was traditional Japanese food. Salad, rice, miso soup, salmon, salmon roe and pumpkin. Using the new tray and some new bowls :)
昨日のディナーは定食だった。サラダ、ご飯、味噌汁、焼きサーモン、いくら、南瓜。新しいトレーと茶碗を使って:)。DSC_6872Also I love teapots. And this one was just too simple and user friendly not to buy. Right now I’m drinking Hojicha from this teapot. I also bought this tea jar in Kagurazaka. In traditional Japanese fashion, covered in paper. But yet the pattern is a bit special, kind of modern ish and I just fell for it. I have way too many teapots and tea jars but it can’t be helped.
DSC_6882One of my favorite Japanese foods is Nabe. Which just means pot, basically. It’s a simple dish, you use some kind of broth or soup and boil vegetables and meat in it. The shape of the pot is a bit special though and you can’t really find in Sweden. Hence, we got a metallic one in Japan and we used it already to make sesame soy milk nabe with mushrooms, cabbage and tofu. Seriously, so tasty!
日本の食べ物の中一番好きなものの一つは鍋だ。シンプルで美味しい。土鍋の形が少し特別でスウェーデンでは買えない。だから日本で金属土鍋を買った。すでに使って、この間キノコと豆腐入り豆乳ゴマ鍋を作った。美味しかった!DSC_6876DSC_6747DSC_6873I’ve stepped up my Japanese cooking skills this winter. I got a couple of cookbooks and especially the left one, The basics of Japanese food, has taught me a lot about finding those great fundamental subtle Japanese flavors. Like how to make the perfect miso soup. It’s not hard, but you need to do it right and use the right ingredients. The right book is about noodles, I’m yet to try the recipes, maybe tomorrow!

Last but not least, we also bought a steam vaporizer. Or rather my boyfriend did. The air in Sweden is very dry and he says it messes his throat up. This vaporizer is kind of cute and also has the function of a lamp so I don’t mind. In the water you can also add some discrete perfume oil so that the room smells nice and fresh. Yes, this little machine is an accepted friend in our household.