Sunday, October 30, 2011

Where to make a baby eat (or at least try to)...

Being Isabella around 6 months, we thought it was big time to buy her an high chair where she could sit and eat. Or at least, thinking of eating at least, since that is not the easiest step ever...(and different astral conjunctions haven't helped us at all, so far).

Here in Sweden, THE high chair is the Tripp Trapp - Stokke, which had almost seduced us as well. However, we resisted such expensive temptation, since we thought (clearly) that it was quite expensive (did I say already that it was expensive?) and it didn't have one of the most important features (in our little world): the brick. Yeah. We know that for a *little* sum you can get a plastic fancy tray to put on your table. But our table is too fancy for such a fancy item and we decided to save that little sum of money (not so little, if you think that that is just a piece of plastic).

We almost fell for Italian design. But we betrayed my motherland for the simple reason that the whole chair was a big, clumsy, piece of extremely-washable plastic. Probably practical, it could be also folded so it would take relatively less space. However, each of those chairs looked enormous and I was seeing already my agile husband tripping two hundred times on the extended legs.
Chicco, and its Polly 2 in 1 (Mattias had hard time to understand what was the 2 in 1 applied concept) was one of the possible candidates. However, it didn't convince me at all (and yes, it was me taking control over the operation).

Then. I decided to at least search for the high chair that my sister-in-law purchased. She said "it is like the Stokke, but with the brick". Thank God, despite being a mother and breastfeeding, I still have some glimmer of a working memory. The brand was Svan and incredibly enough, it is Swedish.
We look at the main chair, but I saw again Mattias stumbling around or me, lifting the chair up and moving it with the grace of an elephant, in order to make Isabella see her mother in her obsessive-compulsive cleaning mode.
However, exploring the website, we found the perfect chair for us: High Chair Colorline Anka, that is duck-shaped. Or at least, resembling a duck.

Having wonderful experiences of purchasing "blindly" from the internet, we really wanted to see real-life this chair. Unfortunately, it was not possible.
After some extra thinking (a couple of seconds), I decided that it was worthy a try. The chair was relatively cheap, the shipping cost included in the price, it was in wood as we wanted, washable as the obsessive-cleaning-freak behavior required and with the holy brick.

What can I say? The chair arrived, the package was lighter than I thought, once opened there was very little to mount (a strange Swedish product, if I may say so...) and it is very very compact. Isabella seems liking it very much and, even though it is not as fancy as the (in our opinion) overrated Tripp Trapp (yeah, it is overrated also when bought through Blocket and repainted!), it suits all our extremely peculiar wishes.
I am actually astonished that Swedish people are not up to a Swedish product and do prefer a Norwegian one?! What happened to the world???? :)

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Monday, October 24, 2011

Char cartouche

I must say that the Google translation of the name of this dish sounds incredibly fancy. I had no idea how to say this before today! Anyway, the dish consists simply of cooking a fish from the trout family, in the oven, sealed in aluminum foil. The specific fish here is what I would have called simply salmerino, in italian, and röding, in swedish.

The dish in itself doesn't require too much preparation, but is quite tasty and has a "built-int" nice presentation.
The trick consists in buying the right fish, that is, it has to be fresh enough or the result will be miserable.


  • a fish of the desired size, headless and cleaned
  • a bunch of rosemary
  • a bunch of fennel seeds
  • half a lemon
  • a spoon of olive oil
  • black pepper & salt

After cleaning and drying very well the fish, I put it on the aluminum foil. I cover it with the spoon of olive oil and I start to season it with fennel, rosemary, pepper and salt, putting them both in the inside of the fish as well as the outside.
I squeeze the lemon juice on the fish and I slice a couple of slices from the half-lemon. The slices can be put both on the fish and inside the fish, I think inside the fish gives more taste.

After the fish is properly seasoned, I close carefully the aluminum foil and I put it  in an oven pan, in the warm oven, previously heated to 180 degrees. I let it cook for 20 minutes, then I switch the oven settings to grill and let the fish grill for 10 more minutes.

Once the fish is ready I take it out of the oven and open the foil.
It is now time to clean the fish. Since it is cooked, it is quite easy to remove both the bones and the skin, although with this type of fish it is almost impossible to have it bone-free.
Once that is done, the fish is ready to serve!

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