Sweden is very dark in the wintertime, but the tradition of Lucia, brings back the light come and from now on, it´s only getting lighter.
Today is the Nobel Banquet and the eyes of the academic world are on Stockholm, Sweden. Women in beautiful dresses. Men i tuxidos, a lot of intelligent people and 1316 plates of food x 3 to serv. It´s impressive!
An old tradition in Sweden, and Scandinavia, is to slow cook meat for hours until it becomes so tender that it almost falls apart. We put a big piece of meat in a pot, ad a few root crops, maybe some beef or veal stock and sometimes wine and let it slow cook for hours. We call it “långkok”.
To pickle herring is a favorite activity of mine before Christmas. As I´ve said before, I don’t do it often enough and when I do, I do the same old recipes as always. Herring from Brantevik for example is always part of my Christmas dinner, but this year I feel like experiment a bit….go wild and crazy if you will.
My moms maiden name was Jansson and therefore Jansson’s temptation always is associated with her. She made the most delicious Jansson one could eat and I think the secret was butter and whipped cream. And anchovies, of course.
I am a huge fan of herring. I could easily eat only the herring at Easter, Midsummer and Christmas Eve celebrations …
I must admit … it is the pickled herring that does it. The christmas ham and meatballs may excuse me, but it is the salty little fish with its spicy pickling, vinegar and sugar that sweeps the floor with most of the delicacies on my Christmas table.
I´m so lucky! In my cabin in the woods, we have an old woodstove and I have, since we bought the house, worked hard to get the fire working. It has resulted in several fire warning alarms, smoke-filled kitchen and coughing attacks, but since my boyfriend bought some fantastic little stearic rolls and we chopped up some decent dry birch firewood, it works like a dream.
Salmon is the Madonna of Christmas. A changeble fish that can be made in many ways. You can eat it raw, poached, fried, grilled, baked, hot smoked, cold smoked, marinated … Yes there is as many ways as Madonna’s image has changed during her career.
I have fallen in love with pike-perch. And because my cabin is near a big lake called Ringsjön in the south of Sweden (Skåne), I can easily get fresh pike-perch from our lake. But not always.