I am talking about my first ever experience with eating and preparing oysters, which I had a few weeks ago. It became an exhausting, and rather emotional, event when I realized that in order to be able to eat the oysters - I would first have to kill them. Yikes! Certainly not my cup of tea. But I did it, though with a very guilty conscience...
The French oysters, still alive. We actually have oysters in Sweden too, but they are round in shape. And the Swedish oysters are more expensive than the French ones, which was why I chose the French.
I ate them raw with a squeeze of lemon because I wanted my first experience of eating oysters to be as natural and true to their original taste as possible. The oysters were fresh and nice, but just not entirely my kind of flavour or texture. They actually tasted like what I imagine a bite of the ocean would taste like (if you could take one), cold and salty. The texture was a bit slimy, but firm at the same time. And, though it was not gag warning, I would not say that they tasted that delicious either.
So, even if I cannot imagine myself sitting down and eating a bunch of oysters the same way I eat crawfish or shrimp for instance, if I was offered an oyster in the future I would not be completely against the idea of eating it. But I will most likely never buy and/or prepare oysters myself again. Mainly of course because they are in fact alive until they get cracked open, an emotional twist I am not prepared to add to my possible future oyster experiences.
Man, I had no idea trying some oysters for the first time in my life would turn into such an exhausting and emotionel event. P-h-e-w!
Something I can certainly vouch for. In fact, I read in the news recently that in Sweden we eat about 11.5 liters of ice cream per person per year. Only Finns eat more ice cream than us in Europe. On the other hand, we only eat half as much ice cream as the Americans. Either way, I must admit that I can indeed relate to these statistics, because I do love ice cream! Especially during warm lovely summer days, like today. Which is why I, instead of lunch today, went into town here in Karlskrona and got in line to buy ice cream from our most popular ice cream shop here in Karlskrona in Sweden, Glassiären.
Here I am in line to buy ice cream at Glassiären today.
Now the ice cream shop Glassiären is only open during the summer season and is popular mainly because of the HUGE ice cream's they serve. One scoop there is actually about four scoops. Which is why you don't order "one scoop" but "one flavor" of ice cream.
The ice cream menu at Glassiären.
The ice cream flavors at Galssiären.
And my ice cream!!! Flavors I chose: salt licorice, caramel/marshmallow and pistachio, topped with soft ice cream. However, I did not eat that monster ice cream myself though. I shared it with my lovely mum. :p
I also thought I share a few other facts about Sweden and ice cream:
Sweden's first ice cream factory was founded in 1934 by the Milk Central in Stockholm. However, the big breakthrough for ice cream on a stick in Sweden came during the hot summer of 1955.
- The total Swedish ice cream sales were estimated to reach 97.9 million liters in 2010, according to Swedish Board of Agriculture.
- And below are stats over how much ice cream some other European countries eat every year. The stats are in terms of liters per capita per year (2009):
Now, it is a good thing for me that I have only started to work on my estimated ice cream quota per year. Because that means that I have many more delicious cold treats to look forward to devour this summer. Yuuuummm!!! I can't wait to continue to represent these statistics. :p
I saw this sign in a garden store today and could not believe my eyes, you can now grow white strawberries that taste like pineapple in your garden. Huh!?
So when I got home I Googled it. And according to Wikipedia, these white strawberries are known as Pineberries and are a hybrid between the two modern garden strawberries Fragaria chiloensis, originating in South America and Fragaria virginiana, originating in North America. Ah, ok. A concoction, that made sense. And I must say that they do not look at all as appealing as neither strawberries nor pineapple. Though I did get curious about whether they actually taste like pineapple. Hehe. So I hope I can buy some this summer somewhere here in Sweden, just to see if they really do. :p
I LOVE langos! Langos? Langos is a Hungarian dish that consists of fried bread with different toppings, sort of like a mini pizza. Unfortunately the only time of the year langos are available to buy here in Karlskrona in Sweden is during summer time at markets and festivals. This of course means that I basically only get the opportunity to eat langos a few times per year... until now!
Because recently I noticed (on my Facebook wall) that people actually make langos at home - huh!? I thought langos were very complicated to make? Turns out that they are not though. So a few weekends ago I gave it a go for the first time. And below are some photos, recipe and my attempt to explain how I made my first ever homemade langos.
25 grams of yeast
3 deciliters of water
1 large boiled potato
1 teaspoon of salt
8 deciliters of flour
1 liter of oil for deep frying
1. First I mixed in the yeast in lukewarm water. Then I mixed in about 7 deciliters of flour, the grated boiled potato and salt. Once I had mixed this into a dough I let it rest for about 45 minutes in the bowl under a kitchen towel.
2. After 45 minutes I worked the dough with some more flour, cut it into small pieces, rolled out the pieces and let those rest again under a kitchen towel for about 10 minutes.
This is how the langos looked after they had rested for 10 minutes.
3. Then it was time to start the frying, a few minutes on each side in hot oil.
As soon as each lango came out of the fryer I spread homemade garlic butter on them.
Then it was time to add some yummy toppings, each person added their own toppings.
Basic lango. Toppings here are: sour cream and cheese. Simple and super delicious!
A Swedish twist. Toppings here are: sour cream, cheese, Swedish raw Falukorv and red onions.
Salty and delicious. Toppings here are: sour cream, cheese, red onions and whitefish roe.
Seafood lango. Toppings here are: sour cream, cheese, shrimps, red onions, I also added some whitefish roe after I took this photo. This is my personal favourite, although I had a bit too much red onions here.
All in all it was not complicated at all to make homemade langos, the part that took the longest was the frying. But it was so worth it! And I am so glad I now know how to make langos and I will most certainly make it many,many more times in the future. I actually made it again just a few days after my homemade langos premiere. Hehe. It is just sooo goood!!! :p
One of the things I wanted to taste when I traveled to the US this time was a piece of Red Velvet Cake. This was of course because I had never tasted one ever in my life, I would have liked to but I do not know of any bakery or store that sell any kind of Red Velvet Cake in Sweden. And although I waited until one of my last days in the US to try some, I finally bought a Red Velvet Cupcake.
This is the Red Velvet Cupcake I bought, so pretty.
And even more tasty! :p
Now the red part did not really taste that much of anything I must say, instead it was the frosting which made the whole thing insanely delicious. I also bought a box of Red Velvet Cake Mix as a present to my sister so she could try, and bake, some back home in Sweden. And a few days ago she made the cake from the cake mix.
This is how it turned out, Red Velvet Cake made from cake mix.
Although it was tasty I must say that it did look a bit gruesome, like a bloody cake. Lol. But of course the color was one of the reasons I wanted to try this cake, it is very weirdly intruiging.
The cake basically tasted the same as the Red Velvet Cupcake, and once again it was the frosting that made the cake so yummy. Which makes me wonder what the red stuff actually is? And why it is called Red Velvet Cake? Hm? Anyway, I have now tasted some (twice) and I truly hope I get a chance to try more in the future. :p
I LOVE bagels! But it is not easy to find decent bagels here in Karlskrona in Sweden! In fact the best way I know how to get a hold of good bagels is by begging my sister to make some. Lol! I guess I could try to make some myself, but it just seem so complicated... Because not only do you have to make the dough, shape the bagels and let them rest. You have to boil the bagels too.
Like this. (I took these photos while my sister was making bagels a while back.)
And then let them rest again before they can finally be put in the oven.
So I am definitely glad to have a nice sister who enjoy to bake. Because home made bagels are extremely delicious too! I also like to eat them like in the photo above, fresh out of the oven with butter. Yum!
But this is how real bagels should look. And they are also the type of bagels which are impossible to find here in Karlskrona. The bagel in the photo is one of many I ate when I was in Las Vegas in 2007.
Although I had my first real American bagel when I was in the US in 2005. Which is when I got hooked on them. Sooo goooood!!! However I was surprised over how much cream cheese they put on them. But I quickly learned to love it and now my favourite way to eat bagels is toasted with lots of cream cheese and strawberry marmalade. So if only someone, somewhere within a reasonable distance of Karlskrona could start to sell some great bagels, I would be one of their most loyal customers for sure! AND I could finally stop nagging on my sister to make bagels. :-)
Today I turned 29 years old. A day that has pretty much felt like any other day though. Except for a family birthday dinner and reflection over the past year in my life. The conclusion I made through my little reflection was that I am happy with where I am in my life right now, and I look forward with great anticipation to the rest of it. And my birthday dinner was awesome, so of course I ate way too much! Lol!
Below are some photos of the reasons why I am so stuffed right now. :-)
Fried salmon with boiled potatoes and lemon sauce. Simple and so tasty!!!
Fabulous New York Cheesecake my amazing sister made for me. Thanks sis! :p
My piece. Yuuummy!!!
Now I do not even want to think about how many calories I have eaten today. Yikes! But hey, it is my birthday. I mean, if that is not a great excuse to over indulge then I do not know what is? :p
I love sushi! Although it took some time before I attempted to make it on my own. Because for some reason I had gotten the idea that sushi would be complicated to make. But it turns out it does not have to be, in fact sushi can be pretty simple to make. Actually I think you can pretty much eat anything with sushi rice and call it sushi. :p
So when I made "My Simple Sushi" a few days ago I used sushi rice, rice vinegar, sugar, cold-smoked salmon, cucumber and soy sauce. (This photo was taken after I had eaten all cucumber, hence no cucumber in photo...)
I followed the quantity instructions on the sushi rice bag on to how measure and cook the sushi rice. Which was basically done in 4 steps.
1. Rinse rice in cold water.
2. Cover rice with cold water and let rice rest for about 20 minutes.
3. Bring to a boil then let simmer on low heat for about 10 minutes.
4. Rest again for about 10 minutes.
Once the cooking of rice procedure was completed I spread the rice on a tray to cool a bit. I then heated rice vinegar and sugar until sugar melted. After that I poured the mixture onto the rice and stirred gently. This is what gives the rice a bit of a sweet flavor. After that, to speed up the cooling process, I put the rice in the fridge. After about 45 minutes I started to assemble my sushi bits. I grabbed some rice, formed it into an (sort of) oval shape and put a bit of cold smoked salmon on it.
Voila! My simple sushi completed. With the sushi I had cucumber sticks and soy sauce. Not too complicated right?
I don't eat junk food too often, but today I just had such a craving for it! And I thought, why not!? Hehe. So off I went to Max, a Swedish hamburger chain - my favourite, to buy a juicy hamburger meal. It was sooo good! Except that it was quite a lot of black pepper on my hamburger today... But besides that, yummy! :p
Yesterday I cooked and ate duck for the first time ever in my life. I have wanted to taste it for quite some time now. Mainly because it seem to be very popular in all cooking shows on TV. Hehe.
And when it comes to the cooking part, well it was not that difficult. But even though I fried the duck breast in a frying pan, skin down, before and after its visit in the oven. I did not like the fatty skin. Something they always claim is so tasty when they eat it on TV. On the other hand, I don't like to eat fat on any kind of meat. I always cut it off.
So here it is, my duck dinner. I served the duck breast with a red wine sauce, plums, onions, boiled potatoes and boiled vegetables. With that I had a glass of red wine. And I must say, it was very, very delicious indeed! I will definitely eat duck again! Yum! :-p
I made this little dessert thingy one evening when I had an intense craving for something sweet. It's one sliced banana, some crushed gingerbread, whipped cream and chocolate sauce. I made it in like a minute, hehe. Yuuuummy! And sweet, with a taste of Christmas.
Yesterday I helped my mum bake Lucia cats - lussekatter, also known as saffron buns or Saint Lucia buns. It's a tradition to eat them on December 13th in Sweden, when we celebrate Lucia. (You can read more about how we celebrate Lucia and the origin of this tradition on my Christmas page.) Now, I'm not a big fan of baking, I prefer cooking, so I would never make these on my own. But they do taste best when they are home made! So in order for me to grab a few from mum with a good conscience, I decided to help her bake them (well, roll them into shapes), anyway :-) Here are some pics.
The dough, unfortunately not too tasty raw :-(
Different shapes, the classic shape is S. My mum likes to fill them with either almond paste or lingonberry. But I prefer "normal" ones, with just raisins, though the other two alternatives taste great as well.
And here we have the finito productio. With an almond paste filled classically shaped Lucia cat on top of the pile. Yuuummyyy :-p