Monday, December 24, 2007

a pineapple for every stocking

Last year, starfish and waffles brought you the Christmas Pineapple, a new holiday tradition. This year, we have ... another Christmas Pineapple! (After all, it's tradition).

The dedicated staff of felix's daily starfish and waffles wish you a very Merry Christmas topped with the juiciest pineapple rings of the season. Hallelujah!


The illustrious Editor-in-Chief of felix's daily starfish and waffles (pictured, middle) and the rest of the distinguished Board of Directors wish you the best of the 2007 holiday season. Merry Christmas!

Saturday, December 22, 2007

berry good

Salad. Let's face it. Without a little creativity, it's just rabbit food ... and unless you've been lying to me all this time and you're actually a rabbit(!) ... well, basic salad simply won't cut it. At least not in the dingobear kitchen, and certainly not for the menu we're developing for the starfish and waffles café. So here's a novel idea: how about putting berries in your salad?


Never eaten a salad with blackberries in it? You disgust me and I'm embarrassed to know you. Fortunately, our original Swedish Bearberry Salad with Cashew Nuts can make you socially acceptable again. I think you owe it to yourself to give it a try - it's really berry good. HAHAHAHAHA - sometimes, I'm so funny, it hurts.

But not just any kind of berries. We want blackberries. Or as the Swedes here call them: björnbär. The direct translation of björnbär into English? Bearberry. Now you see why the editor is so enthusiastic about blackberries in salads.

Below is the recipe for our original Swedish Bearberry Salad with Cashew Nuts. A hit on the Lund University student potluck dinner circuit, it's not just rabbit food - it's bear food. (Also popular with humans).

Swedish Bearberry Salad with Cashew Nuts
350 grams of prepackaged, pre-washed, baby salad greens (arugula, romaine, radiccio)
250 grams of blackberries (fresh or frozen), whole
200 grams of strawberries (fresh or frozen), sliced
75 grams of cashews, toasted and salted
1 part balsamic vinegar
1 part honey

When using prepackaged salad mix, it's always still a good idea to run them under the faucet for a rinse even if they're already pre-washed. Evenly mix in the blackberries, sliced strawberries, and cashews, in a nice salad bowl. It doesn't get any easier than this.

A sweet vinaigrette works best with this salad and I always make my own with only two ingredients: balsamic vinegar and honey. I never measure, but I roughly aim for a one-to-one ratio when pouring the two condiments into a large measuring cup. Whisk until thoroughly blended.

If you follow the amounts listed in the ingredients, you'll end up with a lot of salad, easily feeding 8 to 10 people. Adjust quantities as required.

So there you have it: the Swedish Bearberry Salad with Cashew Nuts ... the cure for all the (salad) that ills you.

'Ttil next time, bears and rabbits!

***
For more original recipes from the dingobear kitchen, check out the corresponding links on the the left side of this webpage.

Friday, December 21, 2007

candlehead

Every December 13, the Feast Day of Sankta Lucia (St. Lucy) is celebrated here in Sweden. I didn't know the story, but they promised me free glögg, pepparkakor, and a girl with a crown of candles on her head. Now this, I had to see.


The invitation-only Lucia procession we crashed at the Lund University Juridicum (law school). They weren't joking about the girl with a crown of candles on her head.


Partners-in-crime Sébastien and Josefine give the thumbs-up to the December 13 Lucia celebrations here in Sweden.

Sunday, December 09, 2007

the domestic life

I do have to apologize for the string of truly uninspiring posts here lately. As I look through the starfish and waffles archives for this year, I suppose I've worn quite a bit of mileage on the tread ... and I'm tired. Because when it feels like life has been in play for an extended while without sight of peaceful equilibrium in the offing, it's simply exhausting.

But what to do except cast another line and keep on starfishin'? We'll see what 2008 brings.

***
Not sure how the above really introduces any the following photos - because it probably doesn't. Anyway, a few shots of people who are a part of my domestic life here in Sweden. By no means is this an exhaustive list.


Josefine.


Annica. Marc. Hanna.


Sébastien. Josefine. Marc.


Elinor. Stephanie.


Jessica.

Saturday, December 08, 2007

spork


Spot the standout flower. Then look again.

***
Snap, take a picture.
Frame it. Forget. Look again;
Didn't see that before.

Squint your eyes closer;
Squeeze the scene into focus;
Truth and clarity. Sharpness.

Five, four, three, two ... one.
Time delimited, until
Next spork in the road.

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

scourge of the information age

Advancements in communications technology make it easier than ever for the globetrotting traveler to stay connected and keep in touch. However, the shortening product lifecycles of the latest cell phones, PDAs, and notebook computers translate directly into increasing amounts of obsolete electronics piling up in a landfill near you.


The editor's new cellphone is not only slick and very orange - it's also full of lead and mercury. Will recycling it at the end of its useful life ensure that such toxins won't leach into the environment?

The consequences aren't pretty. So-called electronic waste or e-waste - which features copious amounts of notorious contaminants such as lead, mercury, and beryllium - is the scourge of the Information Age. Dumped e-waste becomes nothing less than a slow-release conglomeration of toxins and carcinogens, affecting both human and environmental health.

In response, many Western jurisdictions have stepped up efforts to encourage the recycling of e-waste. Although this seems to be a positive development, there is a dark side, too.

Click here, for the full story at ethicaltraveler.org.

***
Felix, when not dating married women or gambling at the dogtrack, writes for the Ethical Traveler news team. Ethical Traveler is a project of the California-based Earth Island Institute.