I have been having computer and internet problems lately; yesterday the new[ish] computer didn’t want to start and I am so happy that we have a few backup laptops to use when that happens. I was (and still am) worried though about all work I have on the computer I use most of the time – most specifically a photobook I worked on for many hours last week, and a family tree that took me two days to fill out 😦 Fingers crossed that I manage to access them – the computer has started up but seems to still have a few issues for the programmes to work…
Anyway, despite all the problems, I would really like to share a recipe and some etiquette thoughts with you since it has been weeks since my last Wednesday post! First of all, a fish soup recipe:
Petchie’s Fish & Spinach Soup
600 – 700 grams of fish – I used cod and mahi-mahi
a handful of shrimp
2 chopped onions (1 if “American size”)
3 garlic cloves
1 fennel (I didn’t have fennel at home so it is optional), cut into strips
1 carrot, cut into strips
5 (2 if “American size”) peeled and cubed raw potatoes
1-1,2 litre water
2-3 cubes of fish stock
1 tablespoon thyme
1 can chopped or whole tomatoes
2 deci-litres dry white wine
a handful of fresh spinach leaves
fresh parsley and / or thyme
olive oil, salt & pepper
Prepare the vegetables, and sauté the onion and garlic in some olive oil. Add the carrot, (fennel) and potatoes + water, stock and thyme. Cut the whole canned tomatoes with a pair of scissors and add. Add more salt if needed and pepper. Boil for about 30 minutes.
Cut the fish in large pieces and boil in the soup for 3-6 minutes, then add the shrimp and spinach. Sprinkle some fresh thyme or parsley and serve.
(Inspired by Svenskfransk fisksoppa from the book “Kärlek, oliver och timjan” by Anna & Fanny Bergenström)
I have a photo of the soup but I can’t find the camera memory thingie to transfer the photos to the old laptop!
The Etiquette question:
A few weeks ago I saw on NBC’s (?) New York-edition* of the news that you can get fined if you take up two seats (for example with your bag(s)) in the NYC subway, which I found very interesting! Around the same time I read a few etiquette questions / debates in the Swedish newspaper about how to behave on public transport (this particular question rendered 162 comments!). And then Anna in Stockholm published a funny list of the worst behaviour on public transport…
So here’s my question for you (since men hardly ever comment on my blog posts, I just assume that you all are WOMEN – but men are very welcome to prove me wrong!):
(NB. (again) I assume that most of my readers are women in this case, but men are of course most welcome to comment and vote as well!)
And let me tell you a few anecdotes on public transport politeness:
- Two of our Belgian friends moved to Stockholm around the time we moved to Puerto Rico. The guy S (with a VERY Swedish name!) told me that he thought Swedes very extremely impolite on public transport. Every morning he takes the bus from Nacka to Slussen and then the metro / subway to T-centralen to get to work. It is a constant pushing and shoving getting off the bus, doors slammed in his face when entering the metro station and on top of it all he has been yelled at for attempting to give up his seat to women!
- In Puerto Rico it is common practise to give up your seat to the elderly and to women in the guaguas (buses). I have seen young, cool guys with bling-bling and baggy pants give up their seats to middle-aged women! As a Swede I always feel a little embarrassed when asking older people if they want my seat since I am afraid that they will yell “I am not that old!!”** (not unlikely to happen in Sweden but has of course never happened to me in Puerto Rico!)
- When we were in Spain last year in February; O, his brother J-I and I took the bus downtown in Zaragoza. At a bus stop two older women (70+) got on and looked for seats. J-I and I automatically stood up and they sat down, while we stood by the doors. The women looked over at us and then started apologising profusely for having taken our seats!! They said that they had thought that we were getting off, and how rude of them to “take our seats”! We explained that no, no, we had done it voluntarily (we didn’t say “because you are old”, of course, ha ha) and eventually they accepted and thanked us. I was very surprised to see that apparently it isn’t common practise in Spain either to give up the seat to your elders!?
- In Brussels, what I can recall, it is a mix of politeness and indifference. Nobody would start shouting at you if you attempted to give your seat to somebody, and people usually remove their bags if you want to sit down next to them.
*) We get the New York edition of the news here in PR since they don’t have a special news programme for our island
**) Just today there was another etiquette question in the Swedish newspaper – a young girl who usually tries to offer her seat to the elderly passengers and often gets rudeness back (read more here). What is wrong with the Swedes???