Mururin – The St. Magnus Cathedral at the Færoe Islands, 2019

About an hour´s drive to the south west of Tórshavn, the capital of the Færoe Islands is the village of Kirkjubøur. The road there is mystic when swept in the mist, giving you a strange feeling of traveling in time as well as place. Here, a surreal encounter with some Færoese geese, who seem to actively contemplate their options/chances with the oncoming truck. No geese were harmed in this incident. The Færoese goose is likely to be the oldest form of tame goose in Europe, brought by Icelandic people during the Medieval period.
Text & Photo © JE Nilsson & CM Cordeiro 2019

St. Magnus Cathedral is a cathedral ruin located in the village of Kirkjubøur on the island of Streymoy in the Færoe Islands. The ruins are the largest medieval building in the Færoe Islands.

The building was initiated by Bishop Erlendur around the year 1300. The building appears as never having been completed but it is unclear how close to completion the project come. During recent investigation pieces of a roof vault and some fragments of paint have been found. It also appears as if details of the interior might have migrated between various churches on the Islands making it difficult to tell what was actually intended to be where.

What is interesting is naturally to which extent the material ruin can help us understand the earliest history of the Færoe Islands and thus, the earliest history of all North Atlantic tribes and cultures.

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Roykstovan at Kirkjubøur, Færoe Islands 2019

On our way to Kirkjubøur, or ‘The Church Village’, about an hours drive to the south west of Tórshavn, the capital of the Færoe Islands.
Text & Photo © JE Nilsson & CM Cordeiro 2019

The small village had its largest economical importance in the Middle Ages. At that time it was the episcopal residence for the Diocese of the Færoe Islands and as such, was the spiritual centre of the society. In those days the village is said to have had around 50 houses that unfortunately were washed away by a fierce storm in the 16th century. This storm traditionally created an islet that contains ruins from that time. It is speculated that the church located the diocese here to establish a christian stronghold to block off the nearby heathens up the coast to the north west.

This area holds three main ancient memorial points. The oldest is the white Saint Olav’s Church. It is now rebuilt and renovated to some kind of mid 19th century style but its origin date to the 12th century, which makes it the oldest still used church of the Færoese people.

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At Art Café Tromsø: Connections by Ivonne Wilken

Cheryl Marie Cordeiro and Ivonne Wilken, Art Café, Tromsø, Norway 2019

At Art Café with Ivonne Wilken in Tromsø, Norway. Ivonne is a writer and artist. Her sculpture exhibition titled “Connections” is currently on display at Art Café, Richard Withs plass 2, 9008 Tromsø, through the months of August and September 2019.
Text & Photo © Art Café, T. Altintzoglou, JE Nilsson & CM Cordeiro 2019

I met Ivonne Wilken about a year ago, not long after I moved to Tromsø. Born in Emmen, Netherlands, Ivonne studied journalism in Zwolle and anthropology/criminology in Utrecht. She’s a writer, writing in both Dutch and English. You can find her book published in English titled VIS-A-VIS available in Kindle version. She’s also an artist. Her sculpture collection currently on display at Art Café is titled Connections, and it’s a personal exploration and expression of relationships.

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Seven flowers from seven fields – Midsummer’s Eve along the Swedish west coast 2013

Cheryl Marie Cordeiro 3502 500

“Seven flowers from seven fields”.
Text & Photo © JE Nilsson, CM Cordeiro 2013

Even as I write this, I can hear the laughter and music coming from several neighbouring parties, the sounds of people chatting from near and far made possible only because the islands to the southern Swedish west coast archipelago allows no vehicles save bicycles, mopeds and electric golf carts.

Swedish Midsummer’s Eve celebrations run like clockwork, come rain or shine. This year’s rain was intermittent, giving just enough sunshine and time to the children to have their dance around the Midsummer pole.
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Barcelona revisited – Sunday sopa de llenties

Spanish lentil soup, a keepsake from Barcelona.
Text and Photo © JE Nilsson and CM Cordeiro 2012

My favorite souvenir to bring back from places I have visited is actually the food.

Not only all the local specialties I can fit into my luggage and hope will survive the trip back, but the smell, the flavours and that particular piece of memory and history they contain, that could so easily be revived over and over again at the stove back home.

This weekend I was thinking about Barcelona, that will always have a special place in my heart.

If you walk down La Rambla from the Placa de Catalunya and resist the temptation to turn left into the Barri Gótic just for once, to get lost in the myriads of picturesque back alleys and squares that endlessly lead you round and around in the search for the perfect xocolata you had yesterday, just somewhere around here … and instead carry on, down past the familiar facade of La Boqueria wet market, and turn right, about there, you will soon find yourself inside the bohemian turned pretty posh quarters of El Raval.

There, immediately before you hit the open area of Rambla del Raval, you will find Casa Leopoldo.
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Pizza Rustica


A traditional Italian dish also known as Pizza Ripiena, usually eaten on Ash Wednesday and then again on Easter.
Photo: J E Nilsson and C M Cordeiro-Nilsson © 2011

It was an article in the New York Times that I came across Pizza Rustica. I’ve always been a fan of quiche, so I could not stop myself from trying my hands at creating a version of this typical Italian Easter dish. There are so many things that seem more fun when the sun finally arrives back after a long cold winter up here in the North of Europe. Cooking is one of them.
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Tagliatelle with pork fillet medallions and Parmaggiano sause


Tagliatelle with pork fillet medallions and bacon crisps
with rosemary and whisky flavoured parmaggiano sause.

J E Nilsson and C M Cordeiro-Nilsson © 2010

This is long time favourite of mine. It is quick and easy to make, not that expensive, and can make up a the main course of a really nice home cooked dinner for quite a number of guests with no big effort.

Water for the pasta

All in all it takes about half an hour to make, provided that you have the ingredients prepared and at home of course. If so, the first thing to do is to get the water for the pasta started.

Getting the sauce going

Next is actually the sauce since it will need a little while to mature. This will take about thirty minutes, so we estimate the time on this. Basically you just make a white sauce with butter, wheat flour, milk and a few tbs of full cream for flavour. Add freshly ground white pepper and stir in a teaspoon (tsp) of sea salt flakes. Now stir and slow cook this for at least a quarter of an hour while adding milk and cream as needed so that you arrive at the thickness you want. Then add about a cup of loosely ground parmaggiano cheese and melt in while stirring.
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Sneak preview of the Gothenburg table, before the Luxembourg Culinary World Cup 2010

Team leader and Cheryl, the finer details of Chocolate sculpture and desserts

Gothenburg Culinary Team Leader, Johan, pointing out the finer details of the chocolate sculpture and desserts.
Photo © J E Nilsson and C M Cordeiro-Nilsson for CMC 2010

In preparation of the upcoming Culinary World Cup held in Luxembourg in November 2010, the Gothenburg Culinary Team was doing a ‘dry run’ of the competition dishes. As luck would have it I was invited to take a sneak preview of their efforts if I could make it to Uddevalla, just north of Gothenburg, Sweden and of course I’d love to.

Meeting with the whole team.

Meeting with the whole team.

At this point in time, the team is already in the later stages in their preparation for the international competition and had set up a complete display table that resembled the one to be judged in Luxembourg. This entire exhibition was a team exercise that acted as a show-case plus brainstorm session for the team members, showing in detail how things right now would look like when put together.

Even if their food display already looked thoroughly breathtaking and appetizing, the fact was that all dishes would still be improved upon before the final design that would go into the competition was set.

This event was rather nondescript for their efforts, a showing mainly for themselves, friends and colleagues. It was hysterical to observe that all visitors to the display table were frustrated that entire set meals, plus breads and desserts were strictly for display only. There would be no touching, no tasting, no licking, no eating of any crumb on the table as the crumbs would most likely be part of the dish display and most carefully placed where they should be.
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Entrecôte a la Suede


My take on a Swedish meat classic, in Nordic summer’s evening light.
Photo © Jan-Erik Nilsson for CMC 2010

Strangely enough the most common meat dinner in Sweden – at least in the mind of the Swedes themselves – would be a French slice of beef or an entrecôte, with fries on the side. But how did it come to be like this in the land of elks and the Midnight Sun?

Well contrary to Singapore, Sweden does not really have a tradition of eating out on a daily basis. In Singapore one would eat out three times in a day (and then some inbetween) without thinking about it, but in Sweden eating out has always been a little bit of an event where people are more likely than not to dress up a bit and expect something out of the ordinary. The up side of this is that this attitude from bygone days until now had helped create a ready market for gourmet cooking and fine dining, which in turn, had helped skyrocket Swedish culinary art to world fame. 

However in 1954 the ‘French Bistro’ was introduced into the Swedish food scene by Chef Yves Fitoussy at the newly opened restaurant Cassi in Stockholm. Here the open bar kitchen was introduced where steaks could be fried very quickly in front of the guests and served instantly over the counter, and with French Fries – also a novelty at the time – on the side. The impact was tremendous.
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Cufflinks – a perfectly smart finish

Cufflinks in gold and white gold, set with mother of pearl and 2 brilliant cut diamonds, c. 0.10 cts. Stamped GD & Co (G Dahlgren & Co.), Malmö 1940, Sweden. These are to be auctioned this coming weekend, at W.A. Bolin.

In a crowded room to any formal event, one could well sweep over the hall and indulge in the general sight of people well dressed. But as the evening draws on and conversations are engaged, it is most often that one cannot help but notice details in a person’s dress. Women for example, might notice details in men’s dressing such as the colour of his tie as in contrast to his shirt, the cut of his jacket or the pockets on his coat, his tie pin if he’s wearing one and then most interestingly, his cufflinks. Every bit of clothing on a person contains information about personality, and a pair of cufflinks might just well tell if he has a sense of humour. Continue reading “Cufflinks – a perfectly smart finish”