My culinary tour

If you’ve followed me on Facebook before you know that I enjoy cooking (understatement!) and like to post pictures of whatever food I make. In the RV it’s a little bit more challenging to go on any culinary adventures. I try my best but work space is limited as well as cupboard space and having lived in this thing for about two months I’m not quite stocked up on spices and tools either. We’re also on a budget whereas at home we almost never got around to eating those leftovers.

But as someone said – musicians tend to find each other everywhere, so it seems foodies do too. On this tour so far we’ve been invited for some lovely meals, both in people’s homes and to restaurants – something that we starving artists always appreciate. In Tampa we happened to meet the chef/ owners of the hot new restaurant The Refinery which has been written about in fancy publications such as Cond√© Nast Traveller. They invited us for dinner, the day after my gig at the great beer bar The Independent, and by chance their neighbor had dropped off a couple of pheasants which they prepared for us.

In Birmingham, AL I visited the radio show Oh Brother and the owner of MIX, a very nice bakery/restaurant in downtown wrote on my facebook wall and invited us for lunch. We had some great gumbo but was most impressed by the gorgeous sour dough breads that they had for sale. Good bread is something that’s very hard to find here in the US I think. I might be spoiled though because back in Sweden the bakery of the Swedish champion in bread baking is just next doors to my apartment.

When lunching at MIX the chef and co-owner Phil Dupont came out to say hi and all of a sudden we were invited to his upscale restaurant Cafe Dupont for dinner. We were totally blown away by the beauty and atmosphere at Cafe Dupont but even more so by the food. My favorite was the tuna starter (I’m a sucker for good tuna and Asian flavors) and Jonas favorite was the veal starter. And don’t get me started on the Cosmo!!!

In New Orleans we’ve been taken out to experience the best of the city by our newfound friend photographer Marc Pagani, who not only showed us the Hi Ho Lounge, made us the strongest drink ever but also took us for a culinary tour at La Petite Grocery on Magazine street. Food and ambience was great and I’d go back anytime if I could.

We ended our last night in NOLA with a visit to Lola’s, an unpretentious little Spanish restaurant in Mid-city which was also very enjoyable. We really had our mind set on the authentic kitchen of Liuzza’s by the track but unfortunately they were closed on Sunday’s. Good thing we already had the catfish po-boys and beignets the days before.

But as enjoyable restaurants are the most satisfying is a really good meal you’ve cooked yourself. I never thought I’d do the Swedish cabbage rolls in the RV (the best kind of comfort food) but that’s what I did the other day. And people who think you have to live off microwave meals and eat off paper plates are either too lazy to use their kitchen or just not creative enough. I even made a quick version of beef teriyaki the other day. Or how about some Vietnamese salad wraps?

If I’d just have some more space and would be able to find fresh yeast I’d be baking too. Actually it’s probably just the lack of yeast that stops me ūüėČ

Living your dream

Ten years ago my mind was set on attending Fabrica Design school in Italy. The application papers were sitting on my desk in my apartment when I met the love of my life here in Sweden and the dream of going to design school in Italy was permanently put on the shelf. But somewhere deep inside a longing of seeing something else, being somewhere else and experience something else kept living in me.Over the years I lived it out in small portions through starting my label, releasing a bunch of records and traveling through Asia and the USA many times. Every time I did something like this I felt more alive, and every time I came home to my apartment in Stockholm I felt like I had left a little part of myself behind.

A year ago I started thinking that I could maybe get a job in New York. In my mind it would be a way of supporting myself and at the same time do shows and be closer to my US fans. It was an excuse to go over and pursue my music career, something which I soon discovered was a total paradox. Having a job in New York wouldn’t mean a lot of free time which I could use writing songs and doing shows. If anything it would be the other way around. Taking a job in the US would mean having less time to pursue my music career than I did now. Not to mention my husband was asking the question; and what would he do for a living? So one night when we were talking about this urge I had of leading a more adventurous life, preferably somewhere else than Sweden, I told him “wouldn’t it be great to go over and just tour, to just work with music and nothing else. And he looked at me and said “Why don’t we? That’s what I want too”.

It was like a veil fell from my eyes. Here’s what I had longed for all these years without ever quite realizing what it was. And after that the preparations began. It was all very slow and unorganized from the start. I started looking into ways to do concerts in a different way from the old pub show thing, checking out how it works with house concerts, having ideas of Library concerts and small intimate shows at art galleries. I got in touch with a company who helps artists apply for artist visas and filed an application. It’s now been 9 months and I still have a long way to go and a lot of stuff to work out before I can even say this has begun. Right now I’m not living in the now at all. I’m living in the future where I see myself living in the moment – every moment.

I’m still not quite sure how we will manage financially but I will just have to “make it work” like Tim Gunn would have said. Because what does money matter when you have the chance to be living your dream.