Monday, December 29

My Little Sister's Port Wine Gravy

One of the tastiest things I ate this Christmas was a Port wine gravy that my little sister made. I made her write down the recipe so I could share it.

Try it, it tastes great with both veggie steaks and roasted potatoes.

You'll need;
One cube of vegetable stock
4 dl of water
1 ½ to 2 dl of Port wine
A few tablespoons of creme fraiche
A few tablespoons of currant jelly
Maizena (Cornstarch)
soy sacue, preferrably chinese
salt and back pepper

Pour water and Port wine in a saucepan and add the vegetable stock. Bring it to the boil and add a little Maizena.
When the gravy starts to thicken add creme fraiche, currant jelly and soy sauce untill the gravy has a nice brown colour. Reduce it or add more Maizena if needed.
Season with salt and black pepper to taste.

A variation is to start with a handfull of chopped fresh mushrooms and a smaller amount of port. That way you'll end up with mushroom gravy.

Tuesday, December 23

Bowie and Bing

Here's a slightly more traditional Christmas song than "Oi To The World"; David Bowie and Bing Crosby singing "Peace On Earth/Little Drummer Boy".

This duet was recorded for a Christmas special and aired in 1977. It's kinda funny to see an old school crooner like Bing singing with Bowie.

Bing Crosby starred in White Christmas (1954) with Danny Kaye, Vera-Ellen and Rosemary Clooney. It's one of my favourite Christmas movies, alongside The Nightmare Before Christmas.

I've always had a soft spot for Danny Kaye. He was a great comedian, could sing, dance and conduct an orchestra. Here he performs with Louis Armstrong.

Mini Gingerbread Cupcakes

I haven't had much time for cooking or baking lately, but yesterday I managed to make mini gingerbread cupcakes. The hearts are made of simple frosting; confectioner's sugar, water and lemon juice.
Please excuse the shoddy cell phone photos.

Monday, December 22

Oi To The World

It's almost time for Christmas and what better way to spread the message of peace than through punk rock? I give you "Oi To The World" by The Vandals.
If you're not used to keeping up with singers who deliver the lyrics at the speed of punk, you can find the words here.

No Doubt covered this song back in 1997. I tried to find that clip on YouTube but I kept getting an annoying message that the video was not available in my country. I really don't see the point of restrictions like those.
We're living in a global world and if YouTube won't show it than someone else will.

Wednesday, December 17

Another Hazardous Day

We're on the frontline of journalism here at Helltowns newsdesk and after yesterdays earthquake everyone is preparing for the next disaster. Hard hats and gas masks may become mandatory.

Yesterday morning we experienced the strongest earthquake in Sweden since 1904. It was a 4.7 on the Richter scale and lasted about 30 seconds.

I woke up when my bed started to shake and for a moment there I thought the house was falling apart.
According to local newspapers the damages include a broken gingerbread house, a few cracks in a staircase and one or two traumatized cats.

Tuesday, December 16

Listmania 2008

I was asked to list my top five things about music in 2008 by Sörling who runs the Swedish punk blog Turist i tillvaron. You can find my list here.

For those who don't speak Swedish, my number one is Flogging Molly in Lund. I wrote about that gig here.
Number two is the book "New Brunswick, New Jersey, Goodbye" by Ronen Kauffman, which I wrote about in May.

J.Tex and the Volunteers are third, followed by H2O releasing "Nothing To Prove". Number five is Mindless Self Indulgence.

Saturday, December 13

Outta My Way, Christmas Shoppers!

I was fighting my way through the crowds of people shopping for Christmas when this song popped into my head.

If you didn't watch Jem during your formative years, you missed out. I wrote about Jem and other great cartoons from my childhood here.

So far I've managed to stay away from the malls and have done most of my Christmas shopping online, at local independent stores or at farmer's markets.

Tuesday, December 9

Dragostea Din Tei, times infinity?

Dragostea Din Tei by the Moldavian pop group O-zone is one of those songs that seems to have a life of it's own. The song is in Romanian and the title means something like "Love in the linden trees" according to wikipedia. The original was released in 2004.

So far I've heard versions sung by a Japanese guy in drag, three Indonesian guys, a group of Chinese schoolgirls, a Korean Britney Spears and even an opera version.
The song has also been covered by a former Miss Bucharest who goes by the stage name Haiducii. And for some reason the Hebrew version takes place in a pink hair salon.

American alternative rock band The Bloodhound Gang have played the song live, and it is sampled in Live Your Life by T.I. and Rhianna.

Whoever is doing the cover seems to rewrite the words completely and just re-use the catchy music. Bizarre and yet utterly fascinating.

My favourite is the Vietnamese version, sung by Vu Ha who looks like he's trying to channel Elvis Presley but got stuck somewhere between a 90's eurodisco video and Austin Powers.
At least he got a nice car and some splendid flashing lights.

Thursday, December 4

Spending Time With The Girls

I'm recovering from my cold with the help of green tea, vitamin c and technicolor movies. At the moment I'm getting a dose of glamour from Marilyn, Betty and Lauren.
According to Chris Hale's post on the word blog, I guess that makes me a Blogart, even if "How To Marry A Millionaire" is from 1953.

(Blogart - Either (i) the pretty pictures on your blog; or (ii) an online aficionado of 1940s films.)

Being sick gets old really quick, so I'm doing everything I can think of to get better. I wouldn't wanna miss the Retro Blaster Xmas Bash this Saturday.

Wednesday, December 3

Let It Snow

It's snowing again. I'm indoors with a cold, so I've been passing the time with Spotify, a new music service that allows you to stream thousands of songs for free. So far it's only a beta version that requires an invite.

The Spotify client is a program that you download and then you're good to go. So far I like it. But as a fan of music that is released on smaller idependent labels I miss a lot of artists, such as NOFX and Groovie Ghoulies.

But it's legal and a great way to listen to new music. The downside is that everything is streamed so you need to be online to use it.