Gotland: going south


Our second full day on Gotland we wanted to cover as much of the remaining half of the island as we could. We drove south and the first stop was near Djupvik to try to get a glimpse of the two islands called Karlsöarna. The large one is barely visible to the left but the small one you can see very well to the right in the photo.


The coast here is gorgeous with wild flowers and clear water. It was too cold for a dip, sadly, but still enjoyable.


We got back into the car and drove further south, stopping when a photo opportunity presented itself (which it did quite often). The roads here are quite small so it’s easy to stop and get out with the camera.


Eventually we made our way down to Burgsvik and got out for a walk around the little harbour.


The local smokehouse had a food truck there, so we bought some lunch to take with us to our next stop.


Which was Hoburg, on the south-west corner of the island. There are large stone formations here, just by the waterfront. One of the large rocks is shaped like the face of a man and so the rock is called Hoburgsgubben (the old man from Hoburg).


I struggled to see it though, but apparently this is him, but from the wrong angle.


It was lovely to just walk around here, though. And grab one of the picnic tables and eat our lunch. We had smoked prawns (they are SO delicious!), aioli and fresh crusty bread from a bakery. So lovely!


Next we stopped at Folhammar to look at more raukar (the unusual stone formations local to Gotland). It’s so cool to see and so different to the part of Sweden where I grew up.



Seafood feast at home


Me coming home to visit is usually a good enough reason in my family to break out the bubbly and have a seafood feast! It’s important to celebrate the times we’re all together and make them special so we take every opportunity we get.

It may not be seafood every time we have a feast, but it’s quite often the case. We had this fabulous meal in December when I last visited and it was just wonderful, and the type of food we enjoy cooking, and eating, together.

We started with oysters, that were quite difficult to shuck without an oyster knife (we’d left it in the summer house), so we all did a few each. Good team effort, they’re quite strong the little molluscs. We had the oysters in the most simple, and our preferred, way with just lemon juice and Tabasco. What a treat!



Our second course (although that sounds too fancy for peeling prawns) was smoked Atlantic prawns with home-made mayonnaise (a team effort by dad and me), which I just love. The taste is much more complex than fresh prawns and although it may sound strange to smoke prawns, it really works.


We had a really nice bottle of bubbly, to drink, a Marquis de Haux Cremant de Bordeaux. It’s not readily available in Sweden, but shouldn’t be hard to find in the UK or the rest of Europe.


For the main event, we had lobster. Something we usually only have as a starter, but I love it as a main course too. Again it was a team effort getting the food ready. I made the skin-on oven fries (that turned out great by the way), and was also in charge of picking the lobsters apart while mum made the lovely sauce. Good effort, team!


This is our family version of lobster Thermidor with mushrooms, mustard. cognac and matured cheese and we all find it divine. When we think of something special to eat at home, this is always a contender. Most often we have it as a starter, rather than as a main, but after this meal I find it quite likely we’ll have it as a main-course more often than not.

As these were fresh lobster it was almost (but only almost) a sacrilege to coat them in a creamy sauce, so we all had a claw au natural with a dollop of mayonnaise to really taste the lobster.


We had a lot of lovely food over the Christmas break, but this was my absolute favourite meal. We just had such a good time cooking together and dining together.

Homemade mayonnaise, serves 3-4

1 egg yolk, at room temperature 

1 tsp dijon mustard

1 tsp white wine vinegar

approx 200 ml vegetable oil

1/2 lemon

salt, white pepper

Most important when making your own mayonnaise: 

  1. All ingredients (especially the egg and the oil) should be at room temperature 
  2. Whisk by hand, usng a balloon whisk (gives a better texture)
  3. Season to taste

Mix egg yolk, dijon and vinegar in a bowl. Whisk it together using a balloon whisk and add the oil drop by drop while whisking. Once the mixture has thickened you can add the oil in a little trickle, whisking continuously. Whisk until you have a thick and pale mayonnaise. Season to taste with lemon, white pepper and plenty of salt. Sprinkle a little paprika on top (to decorate) before serving. 

Skin-on oven fries, serves 4

800 g firm potatoes (Maris Piper is great)

2-3 tbsp vegetable oil

salt and pepper

Preheat the oven to 180-200C, with the fan on. Wash the potatoes and then cut into sticks. Rinse away the starch. Pour the oil into a large oven-proof tray and add the potato sticks. Add plenty of salt and pepper. Massage the oil into the potato sticks using your hands and spread them out on the tray. Bake in the oven for approx 35 minutes or until crispy, golden and blistery on the outside and cooked through. 

Seafood feast!


No, this is not what we eat every day in Sweden but I so wish it was! My first evening at the summer house (a Saturday) my parents and I had a proper seafood feast to celebrate being together again and my birthday the week before.

We love girolles almost as much as we love seafood and as they’re in season we started off with a proper girolle toast (fry the bread in butter, fry the girolles in more butter with garlic, add parsley) and bubbly and then got serious about the seafood. We had langoustines with garlic butter, fresh Swedish crayfish (such a treat!), crab claws and smoked prawns. Smoked prawns may sound weird but they are oh so delicious!


It was such a wonderful meal with amazing seafood, great company and the accompaniment of bread, cheese and home made mayonnaise.




1 egg yolk, at room temperature

1/2 – 1 tsp dijon mustard

1/2 tsp white wine vinegar

ca 200 ml neutral oil (I used rapeseed oil) 

1 lemon, juice only

salt, white pepper

Mix the egg yolk with mustard and vinegar. Beat the egg mixture while adding the oil drop by drop. When the mixture has thickened you can add the oil in a thin spurt. Season to taste with lemon juice, salt and pepper.

Seafood feast, Swedish caviar and girolle toast

IMG_8610In my family, we don’t need much of an excuse to have an extravagant dinner, but celebrating my belated birthday with my parents we went all out on the stuff we love – seafood.


Girolles are usually in abundance in August, although the first little ‘shrooms can be found in the woods as early as June. In Sweden we worship girolles as their season coincide with the crayfish parties. The first ones I eat every late summer has to be served like this; fried in butter with garlic and parsley, served on bread also fried in butter (or at least toasted). So delicious!


Then we went outside to the barbecue to grill some oysters. I love oysters regardless of how they are prepared but my parents prefer them warm.


Simply place the opened shells on live coal until the juices start to bubble. Remove with a thick glove as they heat up quickly. Add lemon juice and tabasco and eat.


After that exercise we had löjrom (Swedish caviar; vendace roe from Kalix) served in the classic manner with butter-fried toast, creme fraiche and chopped red onions.


After that we got started on the seafood. We had smoked cold-water prawns, Swedish crayfish, langoustines and crab claws. All washed down with Taittinger Brut Réserve. Needless to say we did not need any pudding after all that…

Seafood feast in Gothenburg

The reason I went to Gothenburg the weekend before last was to keep my friend Laura company and show her around town as she hadn’t been to Sweden before. And the reason she went was to run the half marathon that was on that weekend, Göteborgsvarvet. One of the biggest half marathons in Europe apparently.

While she did the race I went food shopping to give her a nice feast to celebrate her efforts. Gothenburg is situated on the west coast of Sweden and that area is known for its excellent sea food so what could be better than fresh seafood and bubbly to celebrate?!

We had oysters with lemon, langoustines au gratin, radishes and avocado, cold smoked salmon, smoked prawns and fresh prawns (the cold water kind), a quiche with mushrooms and leek and bread.

Langoustines au gratin with garlic, serves 2 as a starter or for a buffet

2 fresh, raw, langoustines

3 tbsp butter

1 large garlic clove, minced

salt and pepper

Mix butter and garlic. Cut the langoustines in half lengthways and rinse. Place shell side down on a baking tray and place dollops of butter on the flesh. Put in 200C oven for about 10 minutes. Serve immediately.

Leek and mushroom quiche, serves 4-6


120 g softened butter

300 ml plain flour

1 pinch salt

1/2 beaten egg


200 g chestnut mushrooms, quartered, fried in butter and perhaps garlic

3/4 leek, finely sliced

3 eggs + 1/2 left over from making the crust

350 ml milk

200 ml grated cheese

salt and pepper

Mix the ingredients for the crust and knead together. Press it into a quiche dish and pierce it with a fork. Pre-bake for 10 minutes in 180/200 C oven. Place the leek and fried mushrooms in the crust and put the grated cheese on top. Beat eggs and milk and season. Pour it into the crust and bake for 30-40 mins until golden brown and set.