“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!