Blog

Mon
28
Nov
Catherine's picture

The first sign of Christmas

Yesterday was the first Advent and here in Sweden that's the start of Christmas season. When you have one foot in two different cultures you cherry pick; so the Christmas boxes came out after Thanksgiving.

Little more than a year ago I had a small stroke, so I'm not comfortable flying yet. It's strange not spending Thanksgiving in Dallas and I miss family and friends. I miss the warmth of Texas winter too, especially when I look outside the window; the snow is still falling and the ground is covered in a white blanket.

On the other hand it's fun to take some time off and do the Christmas decorations. In Sweden the Christmas tree goes up just a few days before Christmas Eve and stays throughout January. So in our cherry-picking-culture-thingy-Christmas-tradition it goes up after Thanksgiving and stays throughout January.

Wed
19
Oct
Catherine's picture

Enemy number one

I hate mice, I guess most of us do. We live in the countryside and there are mice here; a fact of life. They usually don’t get into the house because we have a very good hunter; Tasso the cat. 

He might not be the most clever cat in the world, but he is a hard working cat. This is a 6100 sq ft house built in 1886 and it's nooks and crannies are probably an open invitation for a mouse. It’s almost impossible to keep them out, if it wasn’t for our great hunter. 

Every day Tasso makes 4-5 patrol rounds through out the house. Even if he is sound at sleep he always goes up and makes his rounds. Every floor, every window, every little cranny . There isn’t a part he doesn’t patrol and there hasn't been one single mouse in the house. 

Mon
10
Oct
Catherine's picture

Apples, apples and I can’t eat them

We have a small orchard, which is very beautiful in the spring and great fun during the summer. At least if you can eat apples. I can’t because I am allergic. If I eat a raw apple, my throat starts to swallow and I can’t breath after a while. 

I can eat apple pies, jam and other types of cooked apples. I just can’t eat them raw. I have a food allergy and fruits are one of the most difficult ones. Take grapes for example; depending on the type of grape and its skin, I can sometimes eat them. Same thing with tomatoes and bananas, I can eat some of them, but most of the affects my breathing. Over the years my husband have learned an interesting skill; he can distinguish which grapes I can and can not eat. A few times, when he is unsure: it usually means that I can’t eat them.

Yes I do try to eat stuff, even though I know it might not work. And yes, the allergy medication is close by just in case. Any way, back to apples.

Fri
20
Nov
Catherine's picture

Live tree vs artificial.

Should a Christmas tree be real or artificial? There are plenty of aspects on the issue. In or home it’s a very easy answer; it has to be artificial since we have allergy problems against real trees. A real Christmas tree and the holidays will be spent at the emergency room. So there is no contest between them.

If you don’t have any allergies the issue becomes more complex and there are a lot of scary information out there about the subject. The most common opinion on the internet seems to be that the artificial tree loses the battle because of its transportation from Asia and difficulties with the disposal of the tree.

It’s not that simple. A study from the international sustainability firm PE Americas found that the carbon footprint from an artificial tree used more than 10 years is much better than the footprint from live trees over the same period. Mostly it’s because the fossil fuel consumption for transporting the live tree.

Tue
20
Oct
Catherine's picture

How dangerous is food?

Recently I thought a lot about the food we eat. How dangerous is it? Things that was good for us a few years back, are suddenly disastrous and vice versa.

Now the mighty antioxidants have fallen. These miraculous little things that could save us from everything dangerous have a back side; they also boost cancer cells.

I have a friend who used to drink large quantities of green tea, just for the antioxidants; she doesn’t even like it. She drinks it because she believes in its benefits. She is battling cancer, it has spread twice and I can’t help thinking if the antioxidants play a part of it.

A cousin of mine recently had a heart attack. He doesn’t eat sugar or red meat. He always exercises and he hasn’t an ounce of fat on his body. He doesn’t drink and he have never smoked, but he ended up with a heart attack. He told me afterwards that the only thought he had in the ambulance was; How could this happen to me? I don’t do anything wrong?

Wed
12
Aug
Catherine's picture

What about sizes

I read an interesting article in Washington Post yesterday. It was about women dress sizes and how they have changed during the last decades. The key point was that the average American woman today weighs about as much as the average 1960s man. This fact has changed the standards for dress sizes. What was a size 12 in 1958 is equal to a size 6 today.

That’s actually very interesting, especially since the generation that was young in the 58s still buys dresses. My mother has always regarded herself as a little on the chubby side and she has a tendency to buy cloth that’s at least one size to big, sometimes even worse. If you ask her, she will tell you that she is a size 12 and when she walks into a store, that’s where she’s headed.

Wed
22
Oct
Catherine's picture

The last barbecue of the year.

One more picture from my new cookbook that will be out the week before Thanksgiving. The weather is getting cold, but that didn’t stop me from doing a nice barbeque yesterday and of course I need a picture.

My husband claims that most food we eat right now goes cold before we can dig into it, since it has to be photographed. I don’t like food to go to waste so we have eaten everything I made for Christmas Magic, though sometimes a little colder that intended.

It’s not easy to take pictures of food, especially when it smells delicious and the smell spreads out into the house. If you’re not hungry before, you will be after a few minutes starring at a plate through a camera.

Tue
07
Oct
Catherine's picture

Our dinner

Right know I’m working on a Christmas cook book, the first book in a new series called “The Ultimate Christmas Handbook.”

The first book is called Christmas Magic and is all about Christmas traditions and where they come from. This is just a small sneak peek at one of the pictures in the book.

This is what we ate for dinner tonight, a fried beef with cranberry jelly on a salad. Delicious if I may say so myself.

More about my books

Imagine the day when your life is turned upside-down, you can also call it a life altering event. Something completely unexpected, that alters the life you are used to, which can only be restored by intense determination and a strong will to survive. This is my story. I had a stroke, and it... more

Did you know that your Christmas tree can look smaller or larger depending on how you decorate it? Or that the color of your Santa Claus can change from orange to dark red depending on where you place him? Have you ever bought a gorgeous Christmas decoration and brought it home just to realize that... more

Unexpected Journeys is a heartwarming novel about Helena, a young widow trying to find a new life for herself and her little boy. Helena thought that her marriage would last forever, that life would give her happy ever after – it came to an abrupt end. Could she ever love again, trust another... more

Let me show you my Christmas. Make yourself a cup of hot chocolate, sit down at my kitchen table and let me tell you why I love Christmas, how it has influenced me and what it means to me. Christmas Magic includes more than two dozen of holiday recipes, all beautifully illustrated with large full-... more
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