Let Me Take You Down

the streets of Montreal in October.

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How to Spend Sunday Evening

You know how Bob Dylan is “music for the mind?”

Of course you do.

Well, if you are a lover of Dylan music, poetry, and/or voice, then I am guessing you (would) also love Thomas Fersen. I know I do. Just like Bob Dylan can take on a trip on his magic swirlin’ ship of genius, I think this album for Fersen has come close to leaving me in the same state of positive stupor.

qu4tre1

My recommended unwinding activity for a Sunday evening at home while the washing machine is tumbling, the neighbors making love, and the autumn wind blowing away the last standing  leaves? Turn off all lights, sit or lie down in a mediation position and let either Dylan or Fersen take you on a trip.

 

Rice With Shrimp, Red Pepper and Sweet Peas

How I miss rice! I have no dietary restrictions and I can eat rice every day if I want to, but for some reason, I forget about the little guy and always go for pasta. Bad bad bad! Here’s a rich and colorful rice dish to celebrate my reunion with Arborio rice specifically.

ricewithshrimp

Now the photo isn’t very appetizing (we were very hungry, I didn’t have time to take out my equipment), but take my word when I say it’s a delicious and easy rice dish to prepare.

Ingredients (serves 4)

– 1.5 cups of Arborio rice
– A bag of frozen shrimp
– 1/2 red bell pepper, finely chopped
– 1.5 cups of sweet peas (I used frozen)
– 1 small Spanish onion, finely chopped
– 3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
– Olive oil
– A generous pinch of saffron (soak in a few Tbsp of warm water until you need to add them in the recipe)
– 1/2 tsp of cumin
– 1/2 tsp of paprika
– Salt

Method:

1. Heat some olive oil in a pot and stir fry the shrimp for ten minutes. Add the water needed for 1.5 cups of Arborio rice (check the packet for instructions) and bring it to boil, cover, simmer for 10 minutes.

2. In another  larger pot, heat 2 Tbsp of olive oil to fry the onions and garlic. After 5 minutes, add the chopped red bell pepper and the sweet peas. Stir and cook for another 5 to 10 minutes.

3. Add the rice and give everything a good  mix together. Add the spices and salt.

4. Add the shrimps and the liquid that they were boiling in. We sort of have shrimp broth now. Bring everything to boil. Cover, simmer, and leave it to slowly cook for a a good half hour. Don’t turn off the heat until you make sure that the rice is fluffy and has absorbed all the liquid.

5. When it’s ready, give it a good mix and ENJOY! Delizioso!

 

Boston, MA

If you have 8 to 9 hours to kill and you don’t know what do, hop on a bus to Boston! Actually you need to have 18 hours to kill if you plan to come back to Montreal. It won’t be a pleasant or warm ride (the bus was freezing!), but the destination will definitely be worth it.

I took an overnight bus and by some magical miracle, I was able to sleep most of the way. We stopped at the borders for an hour, I was drugged by sleep, so I didn’t care. I just waited for my turn between involuntary standing-up naps. It is amazing how one hour can feel as long as ten when you’re waiting for a stamp on your passport at 1am, and how fast it is when you’re whatsapping on your phone!

Needless to say, Boston was fantastic. But 3 days is surely not enough. I was barely able to get the feel of the city, or visit any museums or all of its parks and neighborhoods. But I did go on a bicycle ride across the river from the Prudential Center (which was a rip off to see the view from top) to Cambridge. Breathtaking bicycle ride. I will let the photos speak for themselves, albeit a brief album. But before I leave you, hamburgers and beers is all I ate and drank that weekend! Life was sweet then.