The winter part of the WRC is in Sweden this weekend. Luckily for them the roads are frozen (for the most part) there is even some snow in the northern region of the area they drive in.
Glad (pronounced with a long a as in armour) Påsk (the å is pronounced a bit like the O in lock)
During Easter Swedes eat a lot of eggs (a newspaper wrote 2000 tons, and the total population is only around 9,3 millions….). But not only ordinary eggs are common, a very common gift is an Easter egg which is a paper or plastic egg filled with candy (the sizes vary from 3 inches to 2 feet).
Other common food is cured salmon, roasted lamb, pickled herring (or any other food you will find on a normal Swedish buffet, just like on Midsummer). The big difference is that you find painted/colorful eggs and a lot of yellow (i.e. yellow marzipan on the cake etc).
There is also a tradition to have decorated Easter twigs with feathers and eggs or small witches.
For children it is all about dressing up (often like a witch or monster), walk around the neighborhood to give away paintings called Easter letters and receive candy (a bit like trick-or-treating).
Easter is mostly about having a few days off from work (the holiday is from Friday to Monday) and spending it with your family. Some visit church to attend mass, not many (but a few more than just a regular Sunday).
I pimped the twigs this Easter by spraying copper paint on them.
Filet of beef
A traditional Swedish cake (made with whipped cream and strawberries)
At 12 we look at TV and see the traditional New Year’s toast from Skansen (an outdoor museum for folk history in Stockholm) and we toast in the new year with champagne. After that we have some fireworks and as the first thing we eat in the new year we have lobster (I guess that is just my family’s tradition).
Tomorrow we have an other tradition in my family to eat roast turkey 🙂 but I know that very few Swedes have that particular tradition.
In Sweden Christmas Eve is the day of celebration, today families and close friends gather to eat, watch Disney at three pm, eat, drink, unwrap gifts and eat some more;-)
Three o’clock is a magic time 🙂 then everyone (all ages) sit around the television for an hour to watch a medley of Disney clips (i.e. Snow White, Ferdinand, Robin Hood, Micky mouse, Cinderella etc.)
For dinner most people eat a buffet with pickled herring, egg, ham, many types of cold meat and salmon, meatballs, potato gratin with anchovies, salads etc (many of the dishes are the same as on Midsummer).
Merry Christmas everyone!!!!!!
A day filled with Christmas spirit, and baking 😉
Today I’ve made gingerbread cookies and saffron buns (the type is called “lussekatt”, “lusse” comes from the Lucia celebration and “katt” is cat).
Lucia is celebrated the 13th of December and then a girl (usually with long hair) dresses up in a white dress (like a nightgown) with a red satin belt and on her head she has a crown with candles. (She is not alone, there’s a whole procession with people dressed in white and tinsel garlands, but only one Lucia, they sing and “bring light” to people). From this date and until Christmas saffron bread and gingerbread cookies are eaten (frequently).
1 cup melted butter
2 cups full milk
0,5 tsp salt
Mix milk, butter and the yeast, add the egg and saffron. Work in the flour and add the salt after the dough has been worked for approximately ten minutes.
Prove it for about 30 minutes, cut the dough in 35-40 pieces make small rolls and form them in a curly S-like shape. Let them prove another 30 minutes. Put a raisin I each swirl and brush it with some lightly beaten egg. Bake in 437F approximately 5 minutes (until golden brown).
Enjoy with a glass of milk!!
Today, the second of advent, is the perfect day for candy making. Here is the recipe for a very Swedish Christmas treat called “knäck” (a bit like a chewy toffee with bits of almonds, you can skip the almonds).
1 cup full cream
1 cup syrup
1 cup sugar
Mix the ingredients in a pan and heat it on the stove. Make sure the mixture boils gently for about 30 min. to one hour, but do not stir too much (in that case the end result will be like a sugary fudge and not smooth toffee). Chop a handful of almonds (more/less depending on how much you want), or buy finely chopped almonds.
The toffee mixture is finished when you can form a small ball from it after you have poured a teaspoon in a glass filled with cold water.
Put the chopped almonds in the mixture and give it a gentle stir.
Fill small paper moulds (I use a spoon to fill), and let the candy cool down and set.
In the north of Sweden the moose hunting started a few weeks ago , but for the rest of the country it starts tomorrow. This week is “holy” for many and on the countryside it is common to save a vacation week or at least som days for this. To hunt you need a hunting licence and pay a fee to the hunting team (if you want to shoot you also need a weapons licence and have a hunting exam certificate).
Summer is almost over and autum is coming, the temperature now is between 60-70 F and some trees are slowly turning yellow. Everyone is going back to work or school again and the evening light is visably shorter from week to week.
This weekend I think I will go for a walk in the woods to see if I can find some mushrooms (preferably chantarellas) 🙂