Formal Parties

The Formal Dinner or Luncheon served by the houshold staff will be found thoroughly discussed on pages 64 to 82. (From the American Woman’s cookbook, 1947).

Yup, those were the days. 18 pages in all with half a page dedicated to five different kinds of tumblers. Further including how to measure for monogramming, how to spread the table cloth, and noting that hot food should be served hot on heated dishes. I knew that!


The very first evening in Sardinia, in the still summer like warmth in October, we had dinner at a pizza place. As one should in Italy. As one should in Alghero.

Right then and there it felt like they served the world’s best tasting pizza! And, of course, the world’s best tasting spaghetti!

The spaghetti with mussels, cooked with white wine, garlic, olive oil, parsley, shallots and tomatos, topped off with – not with what you’re thinking the grated Parmigiano-Reggiano – but with grated Bottarga. Completely new experience for me!

Bottarga is a Sardinian specialty; a kind of roe powder that works like a salty spice.

It is not exactly the way the locals describe it…Rather like “one of the best known Sardinian gastronomic excellences” and “the taste is natural and genuine and give your dishes a Mediterranean feeling.”

In Sardinia the Bottarga is made with roe from flathead grey mullet (Mugil Cephalus): Bottarga di Muggine macinata. It has a very intense flavor. The fish roe is salted and dried, pressed to a paste and aged for at least 90 days – a process making this product unique in the world. It is only produced in a few areas in Italy, like Alghero and Stintino in Sardinia, Trapani in Sicily and the island Favignana near Sicily, as well as in a few coastal towns in Calabria at the tip of the Boot, and in Toscana further north.

You can buy Bottarga in this compact form, it looks a bit like a salami sausage, or you can buy the golden colored Bottarga already grated.

The most common way to consume Bottarga is to grate it directly onto food, as is regularly done with cheese, or it can be enjoyed sliced very thin with EVOO along a piece of toast.

It may not be cooked, so just add a pinch right before the food is served.

Photo by Daria Shevtsova on

Pão de queijo

2 cups whole milk

8 tablespoons butter

½ cup vegetable oil

4 1/4 cups tapioca flour

4 eggs

2 cups grated farmer’s cheese, or other firm, fresh cows milk cheese

1/4 cup grated cheddar cheese


Mix milk, salt, vegetable oil and butter in a large pot, and bring to a boil, then remove from the heat.

Stir in tapioca flour into the milk and butter mixture.

Stir in the eggs and the cheese, and mix well.

Let mixture cool for 15 – 30 minutes, so it can be handled. (or chill in the fridge for 10 – 15 minutes)

Turn on oven to 350 degrees (175 C)

With tapioca floured hands, shape dough into golf ball size balls and place on lined baking sheet.

Bake rolls for about 25 minutes, until they are puffed up and are golden. They will rise slowly and puff up mostly in the last 5 or 10 minutes.

Serve warm with parsley/cilantri vinaigrette

Photo by Athena on

Tyst november

Jardin des Tuileries bjöd på regntunga moln i en annars ganska mild novemberdag. Men molnen höll kvar regnet inom sig.

Jeu de Paume bjöd på Braque. Fast efter en entréavgift förstås.

Han kom från upstate New York. Hon kom från söder om Söder. Båda trodde den andre var lokalinvånare.

Runt, runt gick hon på kanten till den tömda bassängen. Ingen fontän i november; inte ens i Paris.

Till slut såg han henne, på avstånd. Mötte upp när hon nådde hans plats vid cirkeln. Han bjöd henne sin hand.

Det kom att bli en lång, tyst promenad, hand i hand, genom Jardin des Tuileries.


4 portioner


800 g potatis

200 g sparris

150 g rädisor

2 – 3 salladslökar, 50 g

2 -3 tomater, 150 g



1 msk dill, färsk

75 g smör

2 msk italiensk olivolja

½ msk ättika (24%)

1 msk honung

1 – 2 vitlöksklyftor

Skala potatisen och dela om de är stora. Koka potatisen. Skär sparrisen och rädisorna i små bitar. Finstrimla salladslökarna och grovhacka tomaterna. . Lägg allt i en skål. Salta och peppra.  Hacka dillen fint och strö över salladen.

Skala och pressa eller finhacka vitlöken. I en liten kastrull, smält smör tillsammans med resten av ingredienserna. Häll över salladen och blanda försiktigt.

Skor på två Kontinenter:


Skillnad mellan CA och Sthlm: ”Nu går jag in här” annonserar alla som går in i mitt hus med skorna på. I Kalifornien säger folk ”hej” och kliver in. Med skor. Utan att speciellt påpeka det. Jag plockade undan lite i hallen och räknade till 58 par i klädkammaren. Åke hade dessutom minst tre par där också.