Two weeks in Sweden!

“Dig where you stand” is a popular saying in Sweden, and that’s how I’m trying to get back into the groove of writing on here after my very much unplanned (and rather long) hiatus.

So I thought I would start by looking back at my two weeks in Sweden. Show you what I got up to, and more importantly, ate!

My first supper in Sweden was a simple one, but I had craved proper (smoked) Swedish sausages for a long time, so sausages with buns and mamma’s homemade mash was perfect!

Christmas 2020, when I was in Sweden for a month (first isolating then staying with my parents) my parents and I ate so much we tried to dial it down this time, with some regular food in between the celebration dinners. And we felt much better for it! Case in point: homemade Jerusalem artichoke soup with crispy prosciutto crumbs and mamma’s homemade bread.

But we also indulged in the foods we love, like bleak roe toast and prawns! And pudding!

Our tree this year was probably the best we’ve ever had! So tall and handsome (and a lot bigger than our little London tree!).

I introduced my mamma to mince pies as I made them for the first time (on request) for our mini Christmas party in London. It’s not something I love, but this recipe with frangipane is excellent and they’re fun to make. I made them both regular size (here) and canapé sized for the party.

We had our traditional Christmas food on the 23rd, which we in Sweden call Lillejul (it translates to little Christmas) and it’s a day we’ve always celebrated in some ways. We usually see friends for glögg and when I was little we celebrated the 23rd with the same family friends every year and us children got to open a few presents (that we gave each other) early! It was really special. But these days we eat the traditional Christmas food (our favourites) that evening and have more a more festive dinner on Christmas Eve. It just suits us better.

We actually had a white Christmas this year! (Not a common thing in southern Sweden at all). It was really beautiful actually. This is the view from my bedroom and I just love it.

We opened our stockings (we only do it for fun, it’s not actually a Swedish tradition) before we had eggs, herring and other Christmassy things for lunch.

In the evening we had some nibbles and pink champagne to start off the evening.

Our Christmas Eve table!

This year we celebrated Christmas with fillet of beef, Hasselbacks potatoes (they’re Swedish you know) and homemade bearnaise sauce and for a little Christmas touch, brussels sprouts with butter and bacon.

Our pudding was very traditional, ris a’la Malta, which is basically a rice porridge (a bit looser than a rice pudding) served cold and with lots of lightly whipped cream mixed in. It’s delicious but SO heavy, I can only manage a small bowl.

Christmas Day was gorgeous so we drove to the beach for a lovely walk.

And by the time we came back home the sun was setting and the views were beautiful.

I made very decadent hot cocoas for pappa and I when we got back. With milk, real chocolate, whipped cream a plenty and marshmallows. So yummy!

We had turbot for dinner, cooked whole in the oven, with potatoes, the most delicious sauce, peas and mange tout.

One of the days after Christmas we used the leftovers to make Danish smørrebrød. It’s basically an open-faced sandwich with a small piece of bread and a lot of toppings (so you can eat more than one). It was so yummy and a genius idea as Christmas leftovers are always a bit tricky to use up (at least for us).

I had a lot of lovely family time but also met up with some friends. Sadly not as many as I had planned due to illnesses (Covid and others) but I was grateful for the ones I got to see. I had a few lovely walks (and fika) in the woods with friends, and I can’t believe I haven’t done that before. It’s so lovely to walk and talk (I always struggle to exercise when I’m home as most of my time is spent socialising and eating with friends and family), get fresh air, look at the scenery and such an easy way to see a friend. No need to book anything, dress up etc. Hope to do this more even post-pandemic!

Happy New Year!

Hello! Hope you’re all well and have a lovely break over Christmas and New Year!

I had two lovely weeks in Sweden over Christmas and really enjoyed a slightly slower pace than I have managed there before. I had more dinners at home with my dear parents than I usually do, and loved it. Every year is trial and error as I try to work out the best way of seeing my friends, spending time with family AND having some time to relax after a busy autumn. I definitely haven’t cracked it yet, but this trip was more restoring than usual, which is great.

As I got back to London I quickly repacked to go to Norfolk for New Year’s Eve. It was so lovely with a little break; no snow, and walks by the beach.

This week has mainly been about getting back into the work groove, pack away our Christmas decorations and tick things off the to-do list.

I hope you all got off to a lovely start of the year. Have you got any new year’s resolutions. I haven’t other than that I will try to write on here more regularly. I have so many recipes to post but have lacked both the time and inspiration to write, but I hope that will change.

Change

Although this is first and foremost a food blog, I still want to highlight a few other things going forwards, to more reflect me; the person behind the blog. I love to eat, think about food and cook. But I also like fashion and beauty, travel, interiors, books and films (as you can see on my instagram). I will incorporate a little of these side interests when I get inspired, but I will also try to address some other topics that I think need to be highlighted.

At the moment, the topic most at the forefront is of course the Black Lives Matter movement. Like so many other people I have read and listened a lot in the past week. I want to learn. Do better. Be more inclusive.

I don’t have a big platform, but I still want to use it in the best way I can. I don’t know how yet (as the blog is a side interest for me; my main focus is my job) but I have a few ideas.

So for now, I just want to show that I stand with the movement. For a positive change.

Happy New Year!

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Dear readers,

Happy New Year!

Hope you all had a wonderful Christmas and a great start to the new year! As much as I am excited about a new year, a clean slate and a bit more free time, this is also my least favourite time of year. There I said it!

I’m not a fan of the cold and darker months but it’s OK as long as there is something to look forward to, like Christmas. But this stretch after the Christmas break is the worst with long dark January and cold February ahead.

I will try to battle it with good books, lots of sleep and seeing friends. But please, Spring, hurry up!

I also hope I will have more time for the blog and instagram these slower months. And I will try to embrace the slow; I definitely need more of that!

Hope you’re all having a good week! And if, like me, this isn’t your favourite time of year either, it’s OK. It doesn’t have to be.

A weekend in Skåne, Sweden

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Last weekend I went home to Sweden to attend my friends Helena and Johan’s wedding. It was a great weekend and even the weather was great (mostly) and although it was a flying visit it was so worth being tired on Monday morning after a weekend like this.

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Apart from the fun wedding with the wedding ceremony, drinks reception, dinner and dancing I also got to spend time with my dear parents, enjoy my their garden – and the sunshine and have a nice Sunday lunch with them.

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We barbecued some steaks with Jack Daniel’s glaze and served them with roasted new potatoes, salad and bearnaise sauce (not homemade this time, I didn’t have the energy after dancing all night).

 

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And for pudding we had a real treat; homegrown wild strawberries with cream and a little sugar.

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It is now less than two months to go until I go home to Skåne in August for a whole ten days. The countdown has begun.

Midsummer

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Traditionally, if I was in Sweden today, I would most likely have the day off work and would have started the bypicking flowers from the fields; mainly cornflowers, poppies and cow parsley so I could tie myself a headband.

Then in the afternoon there would be cake, most likely a strawberry gateau. And in the evening there would be a smorgasbord of pickled herring, smoked salmon or gravadlax, new potatoes with dill, meatballs, sourcream and chives, maybe a matjes cheesecake and so on. To finish strawberries and cream.

Quite a lot of people have the traditional food for lunch and a barbecue in the evening, but although I’m not a huge fan of herring, that is not how I roll. There will of course also be plenty of snaps going around and we would sing snaps songs.

At some point during the afternoon or evening you would also dance around the may pole silly style singing children’s songs. And then party until really late as it is the shortest day of the year and the sun barely sets in Sweden.

This year, I’m in the UK and won’t really celebrate midsummer at all. Instead I’m going to an army ball in London, complete with chocolate fountains, fireworks and The Great Gatsby theme. Tomorrow and Sunday I have a hen do down in Kent where we will be glamping, playing silly games and drinking plenty of wine (I hope).

So regardless of what you’re up to, I wish you a Happy Midsummer!

To Skåne, Sweden!

blom4 I’m flying home to Skåne, Sweden tonight (well, technically I land in Denmark but a short jump across the bridge and I will be in Sweden) to attend my dear friends Helena and Johan’s wedding tomorrow. It will be lovely to share their special day with them, see some friends and spend time with my dear parents. And eat some of my mummy’s food. Needless to say I will be too tired to cook on Sunday after the wedding festivities the day before…

Have a nice weekend you too!

Weekend update!

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 A happy Maria at the pub last night

It’s been a long work week (for me at least) but Friday is finally upon us. The sun is shining and I have friends from home visiting. When they arrived last night we dropped off their bags at the hotel and went to my local pub for (delicious) food, wine and a catch-up. Today while I’m at work Maria, Daniel and little Otto are enjoying the sunshine in Hyde Park and shopping a bit.

Tonight we’re going to chill out at home and I’m planning the menu as we speak. Since it’s great weather today I think the right thing to do is to fire up the barbecue and eat lots of nibbles while waiting for the meat to cook.

Tomorrow we’re probably going shopping on the Kings Road and having dinner in Chelsea at this child-friendly restaurant and I am sure we will have a nice lunch somewhere on Sunday before they leave for the airport.

Fingers crossed the amazing weather will hold. Bon weekend!