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Happy Easter From Sweden
April 7, 2012 10:09 PM



It is Easter Eve today here in Sweden, which to me nowadays means eating eggs, lamb steak dinner and lots of candy. All of which I have done today. So it has been a pretty successful Easter Eve so far I think.

Happy Easter From Sweden
Easter Eve dinner table at my mum's.

Happy Easter From Sweden
Peekaboo.

Happy Easter From Sweden
Yummy eggs.

Easter Eve Dinner
And the rest of our Easter Eve dinner today. My mum is from Iran so she likes to mix in a bit of Persian cooking here and there. So besides lamb steak we also had some Persian food on the table today. From the left in the photo above: eggs, root vegetable gratin, Persian veggie omelet, lamb steak, two sauces, salmon and rice from a Persian rice cooker.

Easter Eve Dessert
We finished off this lovely meal with my mum's homemade orange cheese cake. :p

Now it is still a few hours left of Easter Eve here in Sweden, and I am sure I can find some more candy to enjoy the evening with. Hehe. By the way, I have written more about the origin of our Easter celebration and why we eat so much eggs during Easter in Sweden at --> Swedish Easter Eve Traditions.

Happy Easter everyone! :-)

/A.L


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Celebrating Fat Tuesday With
A Non Traditional Lenten Bun

February 21, 2012 7:26 PM



Today we celebrate Fat Tuesday, also known as Fettisdagen in Swedish. This means that we eat a special pastry called Semla, or Lenten Bun, all across Sweden. Now a traditional Semla is made out of a cake of light wheat bread with a sweet filling of almond paste and cream and is very tasty. However instead of eating a traditional Semla this year I decided to try a different version where the bun was made out of Danish pastry dough and filled with a mixture of cream and almond paste, like in the photo below.

Celebrating Fat Tuesday With A Non Traditional Lenten Bun
So this is how the non traditional Semla I ate this year looked.

This non traditional version was actually very tasty. The Danish pastry dough made the bun very light and fluffy and the cream and almond paste mixture was a great idea on how to change up the traditional simple filling. So all in all it was an excellent version of the Semla and I did indeed enjoy to eat it on this lovely Fat Tuesday.

To see what an original Semla looks like and to find out why we celebrate Fat Tuesday in Sweden feel free to check out my page --> Swedish Fat Tuesday Traditions

Happy Fat Tuesday Everyone! :p

/A.L


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Happy Lucia
December 13, 2011 7:48 PM



Today we celebrate Lucia here in Sweden. Which means that we eat saffron buns and listen to Lucia and her lovely entourage sing carols all across Sweden.

Happy Lucia
Which I did in front of the TV this year, I just did not feel like going in to town and watch Lucia outside in the wind and rain..
. Much more warm a cozy inside. :p

Happy Lucia
And while I listened to Lucia I stuffed myself with saffron buns and gingerbread. Yummy!! :p

Now originally our Lucia celebration is based on the saint Lucia, a holy virgin of the 200's who lived in Syracuse, Sicily. However her destiny to be killed for her Christian faith has nothing to do with our Swedish Lucia tradition. Actually our current Lucia tradition did not emerge until the late 1800s.

To read more about why we celebrate Lucia and why we eat saffron buns in Sweden check out my page - Lucia in Sweden. Where I also have a video of last years Lucia singing carols in Karlskrona.

Happy Lucia Everyone! :p

/A.L


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Today we celebrate Cinnamon Bun Day in Sweden. Yay!
October 4, 2011 4:40 PM



Which really only means that you can eat Cinnamon Buns all day and say you are doing it because it is Cinnamon Bun Day, works for me! :p

Cinnamon Bun Day in Sweden

Now the Cinnamon Bun was first introduced in Swedish households in the 1920s. Because that was when the availability of ingredients increased after the First World War. The main ingredients in Cinnamon Buns are; wheat flour, milk, yeast, sugar and butter. The dough is also often seasoned with cardamom. The classic Cinnamon Bun filling consists of butter, sugar and cinnamon. Of course you can fill this sort of bun with other types of fillings as well.

But why on earth do we celebrate Cinnamon Bun Day in Sweden? Well, Cinnamon Bun Day was first instituted by the Council of Home Baking in Sweden on October 4th in 1999. The Council of Home Baking in turn was created in 1959 by some Swedish food companies with the intention to inform and inspire home baking in Sweden.(Although I suspect they also love to inspire people who bake to buy their products, hehe.)

Anyway, according to the website for the Council of Home Baking they started the Cinnamon Bun Day tradition to celebrate their 40th anniversary. As well as to celebrate the tradition of home baking in Sweden. They chose to highlight the Cinnamon Bun because it has become such a beloved and traditional pastry in Swedish households. Which is true.

Because I have a lot of lovely childhood memories of helping my mum bake Cinnamon Buns in the kitchen. And of course I also have memories of secretly eating as much delicious Cinnamon Bun filling as possible. Lol! Which is why any excuse to eat Cinnamon Buns sounds good to me! :p

So Hipp Hipp Hurray for Cinnamon Bun Day!


Source: kanelbullensdag.se

/A.L


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My Midsummer food pics
June 28, 2011 7:09 PM



This Friday we celebrated Midsummer Eve in Sweden. So I thought I'd share some pics and info about what we traditionally eat and drink at Midsummer Eve.


Matjessill - Matie Herring is a given at the table and the most common type of pickled herring to eat at Midsummer Eve in Sweden. Although I prefer to eat "normal" pickled herring, the ones in jars. The difference between pickled Matie herring and "normal" pickled herring is that Matie herring is caught in early autumn just before the herring becomes mature to mate. This is when the fish has the right fat content, size and has eaten the type of food which gives it its special Matie herring flavour.


To wash down the pickled herring we drink snaps - shots. Preferably OP Anderson Aquavit. And you are supposed to sing snapsvisor - special booze songs before you drink each snaps, but I just drink. Lol!


Besides pickled herring at our Midsummer Eve table we have; smoked salmon, eggs, new potatoes, sour cream with chives and Västerbottenpaj - West Botnia cheese pie. Actually, West Botnia cheese pie is very Swedish food indeed. This is because its main ingredient is Västerbottenost - West Botnia cheese, a strong, hard, aged cheese which is only made in Burträsk in Northern Sweden. We also had veggie "meat balls" this year. :p


My Midsummer plate and drinks.


Finally, my favourite part, a Midsummer Eve MUST and classic dessert - Strawberry cake with Swedish strawberries!

In short, a traditional Midsummer food menu (in my opinion) should include some form of pickled herring, aquavit and strawberry cake. Simple and summery. :p

Read more about why and how we celebrate Midsummer in Sweden in my post: Midsummer Eve



A.L


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Walpurgis Eve in Sweden
Valborgsmässoafton
April 30, 2011 12:42 PM



Today is Walpurgis Eve in Sweden, known in Swedish as Valborgsmässoafton. On this day we have big bonfires all across the country. Before the fire is lit somebody usually make a speak and after that a choir sings in spring. Then we burn up the past years junk, which is what the bonfire consist of, and say hello to spring time. :-)

Unfortunately this year all bonfires in the Karlskrona area (which includes Lyckeby) are cancelled. And this is because the ground is so dry right now. Actually, I can't even remember the last time it rained... But I'm not complaining. I love this amazing weather, even though it means no bonfire on Walpurgis Eve for me this year.


So this is the view from my balcony of last years bonfire in Ekebacken, Lyckeby.



And this is this years bonfire collection in Ekebacken (pic from this morning). Which will remain unlit a while longer.

Originally this was a German tradition. Germans believed that witches had witches' sabbath on Walpurgis Night and therefore they used to lit bonfires to keep witches away. But fires were also lit to chase away predators and supernatural beings before animals were placed on pasture for the first time. People around the fires enhanced their intentions by beating on drums, rattling pot lids, screaming and shouting. It was during the 1800s the custom to celebrate Walpurgis night started to spread through Sweden.

And the name Valborgsmässoafton - Walpurgis Eve originates from Saint Valborg (Walpurgis), who has name day on May 1st. She was an Anglo-Saxon prince's daughter who did missionary work in Germany in the 700's, where she eventually became an abbess.

Source: nordiskamuseet.se

/A.L


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Maundy Thursday in Sweden
April 20, 2011 4:10 PM



Tomorrow is Maundy Thursday - Skärtorsdagen in Sweden. On this day many children dress up like Easter witches - påskkärringar and knock on doors for candy. Although it's uncertain when this particular Easter tradition began in Sweden, the practice was widespread in western Sweden in the mid-1800s.

The origin of this tradition lies in the 1600's belief in witches and witch trips to the Brocken - Blåkulla. It was believed that all witches flew off to the Brocken on their brooms to socialize with the devil on Maundy Thursday. And it was because this trip took place around Easter that the witches often were referred to as Easter witches.

Even though we celebrate Maundy Thursday in a playful manner today, there is no doubt that the history behind this tradition also has a dark side. Because it was during the 1600's witch trials flared up across Europe, due to the fear of witches. And in Sweden it was during the 1660's and 1670's that the witch trials were at their worst. In fact the Swedish name for this day - Skärtorsdagen, comes from the verb cut - skär in the sense of clean - rena, meaning forgiveness of sin days.


That being said, me and Lisen cannot help but to take a little trip ourselves on this day. ;-)

Happy Easter everyone!

Source: Wikipedia, Fotoakuten


A.L


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Waffle Day in Sweden - yum, yum!
March 25, 2011 7:05 PM





Today is another delicious day in Sweden, called Waffle Day - Våffeldagen. Man I love all of these days that are devoted to different foods or bakery, hehe. Now the reason we celebrate Waffle Day, and eat waffles in Sweden on this day, is actually said to be caused by a simple hearing mistake.

Well, this day is also named Marie bebådelsedag - Annunciation Day in our calender, originally known as Vårfrudagen - Lady Day in Sweden. And because the Swedish word Vårfru and the Swedish word våffla (waffle) sound almost the same, with time Vårfrudagen slowly changed into Våffeldagen.


And in these special waffle irons we make our waffles.



They are then served thin and crispy with jam and whipped cream. The waffle in the pic is now resting in my stomach. Hehe. :p

/A.L


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Today is Fat Tuesday in Sweden, yay!
March 8, 2011 7:37 PM




On this Fat Tuesday, also known as Fettisdagen in Swedish, we eat semlor all around Sweden. A semla (in the pic) is a cake of light wheat bread with a sweet filling of almond paste and cream. Sooo tasty!!! :p

Originally a semla was something you ate before the Christian Lent started, a last opportunity to gloat in food. The semla has been eaten in many different ways through time and it was not until the 1900s we started to eat them in the way we do today.

There are also quite a few other celebrations that take place today. Like Mardi Gras, Shrove Tuesday and of course International Women's Day. So there is definitely plenty of opportunities to have some extra treats today. :-)

/A.L

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Valentines Day in Sweden
February 14, 2011 0:22 AM



I'm not sure how many countries that celebrate Valentines Day around the world? A day which in Swedish is called Alla hjärtans dag - All Hearts Day (literal translation). Actually, Valentines Day has not been celebrated in Sweden for too many years. I myself only have a few vague memories of celebrating it while growing up.

In fact the first attempt to adopt this Valentine Day celebration in Sweden was in 1956. A department store displayed Valentines Day for the first time, but no one cared much about it. Therefore Valentines Day remained a foreign tradition up until the 1990s. It was then it became a part of the Swedish festival calendar. Something which instantly boosted the interest for this celebration. And today most Swedes know about and celebrate Valentines Day in some form.

But who was Valentine then? Well there is no certain explanation, but the most famous story tells the tale of a Christian man named Valentine. He lived during the 200s and was imprisoned and martyred in Rome around 269. The crime he was convicted for - ordaining young couples. Something which was strictly against emperor Claudius II orders.

During Valentines time in prison he was in contact with the jailer's daughter, who brought him food and messages. And prior to Valentines execution, on February 14th, he wrote a farewell letter to her signed by "your Valentine". This is said to be the first Valentine card and the start of the tradition of sending each other cards on this date.

Even though I'm not a huge celebrant of this day. I do like the sentiment and story behind it. So I wish everyone a lovely Valentines Day. And I send you all lots of <3 from Sweden. :-)

Sources: Wikipedia, Nordiska museet


/A.L

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Swedish days
Page 1 2 3
Happy Easter From Sweden
Celebrating Fat Tuesday With A Non Traditional Lenten Bun
Happy Lucia
Today we celebrate Cinnamon Bun Day in Sweden. Yay!
My Midsummer food pics
Walpurgis Eve in Sweden
Maundy Thursday in Sweden
Waffle Day in Sweden - yum, yum!
Today is Fat Tuesday in Sweden, yay!
Valentines Day in Sweden
 
   
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