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  • Stockholm, a paradise for the curious

    I feel great in the company of food bloggers, probably because I like to cook myself, always trying out new combinations of ingredients. One of my favorite blog is ‘Na tanjiru’ and I just adore Milica’s tasty recipes and food suggestions. Although the two of us have have never met in person, through her posts I felt that we have similar sense of food, and I guessed we might have similar sensibilities for some other things as well. Milica is writing about those things in her article about the city she currently resides and from which she takes the best – the diversity, cosmopolitanism and openness. She is also writing a new blog about home remodeling, where you can find this.

    8453-stokholm-stari-grad-detalj

    The impact of a city on life, emotions and culinary interest of a food and travel enthusiast

    At the very beginning I want to thank Ivana with all my heart, not only for the invitation to appear on her beautiful, gentle blog that is very dear to me, but also for the fact that, while browsing through the photos, I relived some precious moments in places that I could call my own.

    I chose to tell you about a nice, very modern, cultural, preserved, chic and cosmopolitan city. This city is almost equally divided into water, parks and urban areas, whose archipelago has about thirty thousand islands, of which the city itself extends to fourteen! As you have already seen the title of this post, you know that the city is Stockholm or, as some call it, the Venice of the North.

    9154-stokholm-gamla-stan

    I am one of those who would say they were born to travel, eat and cook. Whenever we talk about other countries, I imagine streets, markets, people, sounds, and I instantly think about what kind of food I might find there – what spices they use or what is the taste of their best cheese. Within five minutes I am on my feet, inspired and on the way to the kitchen. As far as I’m concerned, journeys cannot be separated from food, and I am glad I can practice those two in a package. I had the opportunity to try out life in several countries, and that allowed me to learn more deeply about their culinary traditions.

    Kolaz

    Some of these places have taught me to value and appreciate homemade things, while the others gave me a close insight into the world’s diversity. The first ones foster the familiar, local, what would be considered Mediterranean food or ‘family cooking’. The others are the ones that reveal the world as a mix of varieties, twisted together and presented in a relatively accessible manner. I could say that the second ones are closer to my soul and that Stockholm is surely one of them!

    Stockholm is a nice, modern, tidy and cosmopolitan city where you can do, see, try and buy everything you can think of! I do really mean that and I am using a bunch of opportunities this city offers, although I know not everybody would agree. Is it cold and dark in the winter, and bright, green and spectacular in the summer? It is! These extremes really exist and complement each other.

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    Sometimes I feel like a tourist, sometimes as a local. I catch myself photographing the same buildings and monuments, and, on the other hand, it seems to me that I could make a guide for those who want to experience the city as “insiders”. Different streets, corners, parks, benches, stairs, windows, cafes and restaurants bind me to different moods and atmosphere I felt while living here.

    In the terms of gastronomy Stockholm is a very open city. I am often positively surprised when I discover places where you can sample the dishes from various, very distant countries. In addition to European and other familiar cuisines, here I tasted Indian, Chinese, Thai, Lebanese, Pakistani, Ethiopian and Chilean cuisine. Swedish cuisine sounds slightly less exotic, but it’s pretty interesting, although the ingredients and spices are mostly familiar to the rest of us Europeans.

    For example, through the Swedish cuisine I learned that the sweet fruit sauces and jams are the perfect complement to meat. I started to love sourdough bread, traditional Swedish crisp bread, herring in many ways, a combination of salmon with sour cream and dill, traditional desserts based on cream and marzipan, different kinds of baked goods with cardamom and cinnamon, marzipan and much more!

    stokholm-zimi

    However, because of the extreme openness and mixture of various influences, the ‘typically Swedish’ food is not easy to find. Of course, Swedes use quite of Scandinavian ingredients, but often combined with spices, vegetables or fruits that come from distant places. Diversity in Stockholm has become a way of life and eating.

    Although Swedish cuisine does not have a strong impact on my cooking, my life in this city has definitely expanded my culinary and cultural horizons. It overloaded my cupboards with numerous spices, oils and flours. It made me constantly search for new ingredients that I have absolutely no idea how to prepare. It inspired me to learn about food more than ever before. Although not a gastronomical paradise that I experienced while living in Italy, Stockholm could be considered a paradise for the curious!

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    As an author of a food blog, I am giving you a recipe that represents what I told you about Stockholm – a blend of tradition and cosmopolitanism. It’s a very simple, yet delicious sandwich, akin to those you may find in a typical cafe or restaurant in Stockholm.

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    Smoked Salmon & Sour Cream Spread Sandwich

    Makes 2 sandwiches

    Ingredients:

    4 slices bread of your choice

    1 teaspoon butter

    80-100g smoked salmon

    25-30g rucola (arugula)

    For sour cream spread:

     80-100g full-fat sour cream or crème fraîche

    ½ teaspoon Dijon mustard

    2 tablespoons finely minced fresh herbs (dill and chives)

    ½ teaspoon olive oil

    pepper to taste

    1 ripe avocado

    1 teaspoon lemon or lime juice

    olive oil

    flaky sea salt and red chili pepper to sprinkle

     Instructions:

    Wash rucola leaves thoroughly and pat dry with paper towels.

    In a small bowl stir sour cream, mustard, olive oil and herbs until smooth. If you prefer, add a few drops of lemon or lime juice and season with sea salt and pepper.

    Butter one side of each bread slice (exterior side of sandwiches-to-be). Place bread, butter side down, on a heated pan and cook until golden (2-3 minutes). Spread the other sides of two slices with sour cream spread. Top with two thin slices of smoked salmon and rucola.

    You can simply cut and arrange avocado over, and season it with olive oil, lemon or lime juice, salt and minced red chili pepper. Alternatively, make an avocado spread by mashing it with a fork, and then add the rest of the ingredients. Optionally sprinkle with toasted pine nuts.

    Top with another slice of bread and serve immediately.

     Enjoy!

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    As you can conclude so far, I feel Stockholm as one of “my places”. I often get so overwhelmed by its beauty that I declare it my love very loudly, while walking down the well-known streets that always hide new surprises, just for me. Maybe it’s up to the city, or maybe it’s up to me, who has this habit of falling in love with places, just like Ivana does.

    I wish you many new streets and corners, new loves, wonderful discoveries and, of course, good food!

    Milica

  • As if it never happened or A lesson on emancipation in New York

    Panorama

    Statue of LibertyThis is a story that really happened, but it lasted for too short period of time that today it resembles a dream. So that’s how I remember it – dreamlike and unreal.

    It was in New York that I decided to wear shorts for the first time. In public. The real shorts, sporty and very short. Such shorts I would never put on in my home town, the part of me that was self-conscious and was still stuck in the age of puberty was telling me I was too fat and prevented me from even considering such a thing. And I never did, I was feeling good in pants, long skirts and those of knee-lenght.

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  • When everything turns out perfect

    Photo: Predrag Stanković and Jelena Jureša

    SunceIt happened spontaneously – they asked, “Shall we go?” And we simply said, “Let’s go”.

    We clicked straightaway, the people who had been complete strangers to each other met. As I recall, there was a moment of distinct sense of recognition after the very first sentence. And after that everything felt as if we had known each other for a long time, as if during all that time we had been planning and realizing our common travel journeys simultaneously.

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  • A story about bread or how I learned patience

    hlebicaI could say about myself that I can be extremely impatient sometimes, and sometimes I’m just impatient. This is why it has been very difficult for me to find a girlfriend, I am going to try a new dating site like http://www.nudebeaches.tv/ to see if I get lucky. In fact, I usually dread anything which seems to take too much time and requires special conditions. So, the idea of ​​making bread from this “magical creature” called starter (hereinafter “Startie”) used to sound rather repulsive to me for a long time, and even the thought of it used to make me feel flustered and really impatient.

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  • Our house on wheels

    ivana 4

    When I was a kid my family used to spend summer vacations in a mobile yellowish-orange tent placed on the top of our car. Also I remember we spent a whole summer on the tent because we were remodeling our home, having the foundation repaired from http://www.midwaycinema7.com/. I just loved the moment when I would climb the stairs and reach it – this moment always reminded me of the bunk bed I always wished to have. The tent was all made of linen, it had wooden “floor” and windows made of mesh. I remember the weird smell it used to have, for me it was its typical smell – a mixture of wood, metal and attic where we kept it during the winter.

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  • The eternal Plan B

    Kuca, livada

    Instead of going to Tuscany we are going to Zlatibor*. The unexpected combination of circumstances led us to postpone our long-planned trip from dreams. The plan B will be the one to be realized. This is the plan which you never want to think about, the plan that is there just for precautious reasons, a possible option, more like some kind of a please-god-don’t-let-it-come-true option. I mean, of course I’ve heard many people have this Plan B for various things in their lives, it’s just that I’ve never heard that it really came true for any of them.

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  • Souporaba, what a magnificent word!

    Photos: David Lotrič (Kaloop) i Slovenia Coworking

    Naslovna

    “What a wonderful terrace” I said to Eva as we were riding bikes through Ljubljana when I suddenly spotted a beautiful terrace overlooking the Ljubljanica river – simple, clean, on it a swinging net hammock stretched between two pillars. “Yes, it is Ulay’s apartment,” said Eva simply as if it was the most common thing that ‘The Ulay’ lived right there, in this very particular apartment of the all apartments in the world. “Wait, it’s Marina’s Ulay, right?’ I asked dumbfounded. Namely, I still had quite clear picture of the two of them shaking hands and bursting into tears, Marina and Ulay meeting after a long time – friends, lovers, soul-mates that were not meant to be together, two people that will forever love each other without being together (Marina and Ulay short film). “Yes, yes, that Ulay, he’s a wonderful man, so cooperative and full of ideas, we also did a project together, it was great,” said Eva calmly and spontaneously, as if there was nothing special about that. Unfortunately, you won’t be provided the photo of  the terrace here (which, I guess, you’d probably like to see right now) since I forgot to take a picture. The reason – I was too mesmerized by the moment, my mind wandered off, and so, there you go.

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  • Fooled by the summer

    Paprike

    We haven’t been looking for it, especially not on the last day of October. I started using pumpkin in my kitchen several weeks ago. It’s my favorite autumn-winter vegetable, and an eggplant in olive oil as my only “winter food” has already been placed neatly in the cupboard. I have brought in the wicker chairs from the terrace, so that now they can remind me of summer. The leaves have been falling down very slowly, one by one it seems, and if one gets outside of the town and drives through the fields he can see the mist that appears early in the morning and before the sunset.

    This morning it was rather windy and chilly as well, and the summer hasn’t given us any clue that it might ever come back again this year. My mom and I went to Sombor. We turned the heating in the car just to warm us up a little. We were both wearing a sweater and a jackets, and a pair of warm boots, just in case.

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  • Searching for the right city at the right time

    At the beginning I told you that you are all welcome at My places. I am happy to inform you that my first guest has arrived. He is my best friend Pedja with whom I’ve long been searching for places, some of which have become ours. We have a similar sense in choosing the ambience, music or atmosphere, similar people inspire us. Pedja has a lot of characteristics, I would single out the following – sincere friend, a hedonist and a man that creates a good atmosphere. This text is only a sneak peek to his personality.

    Pedja 3

    Somewhere on the Danube ‘on this side of the bridge’ I am coming to an arranged family dinner. Parents are approaching me with a man who gives me the generous embrace addressing me with the words ‘Here’s our Zemun man’. I accept the geographical reference, followed by the joke at my own expense heading with the parents and the native of Zemun towards three hot brandys, two vituperative glances from my mother and a hot pepper that goes fine with the veal.

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  • Vladivostok is far away – a story about a man from my memories

    Atlas, Igorovo pisanjeIt is a long way from Vladivostok to Samarkand, and the way to Tehran is even longer. The longest way that Igor had passed was from Stockholm to Yugoslavia. Throughout my whole childhood the words like Persia, Tehran, Tashkent, Bukhara used to echo in my mind, usually in half-whisper since these were the things that were “not spoken about aloud”. Well, his entire childhood Igor traveled with his parents and a brother while carrying a secret about their origins. Namely, these people were thrown thousands of miles away from where their lives began by mere flow of history.

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