Wednesday, December 30, 2009

six ways from sunday: blue moon

When the clock strikes twelve, the second of December's full moons will illuminate the way to the millennium's second decade. Whether you're in Times Square watching the ball drop or quietly counting down the seconds miles from anywhere, be sure to enjoy it. Once in a blue moon ... and who knows when we'll be back this way again.

Happy New Year. Happy New Decade.

See you, in 2010.

Once in a blue moon. Bjärred, Sweden. (2009).

Six Ways from Sunday is felix's daily starfish and waffles' resident music column. Your mix tape with a theme, clicking on the active links below lead you to full-length, third-party, tracks of the day's musical selections.

As always, happy listening.

1. See the World :: Gomez :: How We Operate (2006). There are still roads left in these shoes - and how about you? In 2010, see the world. "See the world / Find an old-fashioned girl / And when all's been said and done / It's the things that are given, not won / Are the things that you've earned."

2. Insomnia :: Electric President :: Electric President (2006). One of these sleepless nights, maybe a light turns on. "I hope you're learning to listen / And I hope you’re learning to stay / And I hope you find what you're missing / And I hope that you're making you're way."

3. Your Rocky Spine :: Great Lake Swimmers :: Ongiara (2007). Pine-gazing, sparse and jangly, starfish float me away lakeside in that north country folk. "I was moving across your frozen veneer / The sky was dark but you were clear / Could you feel my footsteps / And would you shatter, would you shatter, would you?"

4. It's Not True :: William Fitzsimmons :: Goodnight (2006). New year, new chances. "Should I decide it's true / That you would leave if given half the chance to go and / I'd be left here on my own / To find myself in bed / Wishing everything that changed would be the same."

5. If You Would Come Back Home :: William Fitzsimmons :: The Sparrow And The Crow (2008). No pretentiousness here. Just one wish. "If you would come back home / We could start all over / If you would come back home / I swear it would be better."

6. An Anniversary Away :: Reverie Sound Revue :: Reverie Sound Revue LP (2009). It's getting late; I can't remember the proper analogy now. Something about drifting away to distant shores. Something about the freckles on your face. Something about next year. "Start murmured hearts, and amplify the marks / From questions left to scar, the patterns I depart. / For beds better made, in a city to be named / By the one with the face; I tried to escape ... / I tried to escape."

Thursday, December 24, 2009


'Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the house,
There were bears and ... a pineapple?
Yes, the greatest holiday tradition of them all!

Happy Christmas, from all of the mammals here at felix's daily starfish and waffles. May the season be bright and the pineapple rings juicy.

The dedicated staff of felix's daily starfish and waffles, a couple of whom are pictured here with the blessed 2009 Christmas Pineapple, wish you the very best of the holiday season.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

go fish

It's been awhile since we've developed anything new for the menu of the starfish and waffles café. Time to get back to work in the dingobear kitchen.

Atlantic Laxfilé in a Maple-Pear Cider Glaze, another original recipe from the dingobear kitchen.

This is a gross oversimplification, but in my (simple) mind, most traditional Swedish cuisine can more or less be classified into two separate categories. First, there's the unpretentious, everyman kind of food like ubiquitous meatballs, boiled potatoes in brown gravy, and lingonberry sauce. Then, there's the taste-acquired, dare-you-to-eat-it-fare, like pickled herring, tangy beets, and cabbages in adventurous sauces. Yummy!

I suppose exactly where one chooses to file salmon fillets in my be-all, end-all, Swedish food classification system is largely a matter of taste. What is indisputable, however, is that salmon became something of a staple for me and the editor during our two year, Viking-land stay ... and one of the original recipes we came up with is listed here below.

Atlantic Laxfilé in a Maple-Pear Cider Glaze
2 small Atlantic salmon fillets
500mL Swedish-style, sweet sparkling pear cider
1 Anjou pear, diced
1 splash Canadian maple syrup
extra virgin olive oil
freshly ground black pepper
sea salt

Preheat oven to 400F (200C). Lightly grease the bottom of a baking dish with olive oil and place the salmon fillets and diced pears in the dish. Pour about 350mL of pear cider into the dish up to, but not over, the height of the salmon fillets. The diced pears should be completely submerged, but the tops of the salmon should be open to seasoning with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper. Season, cover the dish with aluminum foil, poke several holes in said foil with a fork, and pop everything in the oven, middle rack. If the fillets are starting from frozen, baking time should be approximately 30-35 minutes.

In the meantime, make the simple maple-pear cider glaze on the stove top. In a small pot over medium heat, pour in the remaining pear cider and add a splash of maple syrup. Stirring regularly, evaporate the liquid until only a thick, deliciously brown and caramelized, glaze remains.

Plate the salmon fillets alongside fresh spring greens or, better yet, some Swedish Bearberry Salad with Cashew Nuts (click here, for the recipe). Spoon the diced pears over the fish, carefully pour a bit of glaze (a little goes a long way) on top of the pears, serve, and enjoy.

Mmmm ... now that's some good eatin'!

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

Friday, December 11, 2009

cold fusion

Icy deep freeze. Edmonton, Canada. (2009).

Freshly fallen snow fills space in the western Canadian deep freeze, now 30 below and still sliding. It's night. But then again, here, it's always night. Days are short as office hours are long, and sun comes at a premium - in any context, really.

Catalyzing energy from this icy empty is a bit like cold fusion, trying to make something out of nothing. Anyone have a spark? If so, please apply within.

Wintertime in the city. Edmonton, Canada. (2009).

Sunday, December 06, 2009

line of best fit

Out of focus and out-of-sorts, early in the morning on 100 Avenue in Edmonton, Canada. (2009).

Winter roars in like a lion, plunging the mercury off a cliff. In more ways than one, December is 2009's aphelion - cold, dark, and far away from where things were ... and where we could be. All told, it's just another point in life's grand, bewildering scatterplot.

I draw a line of best fit and reflect.

Tomorrow, is another day.

Line of best fit. Edmonton, Canada. (2009).

Cold December. Edmonton, Canada. (2009).