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  • I Love Swedes

    Post #1 - May 25th, 2006, 12:05 pm
    Post #1 - May 25th, 2006, 12:05 pm Post #1 - May 25th, 2006, 12:05 pm
    ____________

    I Love Swedes
    ____________

    Among the several peoples and cultures by which I am fascinated and of which I am enamoured, those of Sweden hold a prominent position and it is therefore perhaps not surprising that I married a Swede. Neither time nor space permit me to offer here a comprehensive appreciation of Swedes and Swedish culture, which would necessarily start back in the remote heroic age of the Germanic peoples and proceed methodically through the following two millennia, and so I will just touch on a couple of points involving figures from the proximate past and present.

    Since childhood I have loved hockey and the Swedes are remarkable hockey players. One of the first Swedish players who made a splash in North America was the great Håkan Loob...
    Image
    ... and all students of the game agree that Peter “the Great” Forsberg is one of the most gifted players of all time...
    Image
    But aside from stars, there has always been a kind of Swedish hockey player that I really admired, players who are skilled but are especially valuable on account of their intelligent play, their consistency, their gritty determination; here I think of some of the quiet but key defensemen of teams that I particularly loved, such as the 4-time champion Islanders’ Stefan Persson...
    Image
    ...and Anders Kallur....
    Image
    ... or the Jersey Devils’ Tommy Albelin...
    Image
    A wealth in such steady and intelligent players, with the leadership of real stars such as Forsberg or Mats Sundin, shown below, has allowed the Swedish national team to accomplish something truly remarkable this year, namely, the winning both of an Olympic gold medal and a World Championship...
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    But of course, as the above picture reminds us, the Swedes excel at sports other than hockey. Some of you may remember the remarkable Björn Borg...
    Image
    ... and still in the prime of her career is Anneke Sorenstam...
    Image
    But I must admit that I am also rather taken with the beauty of Swedish women, some famous examples of which are Greta Garbo...
    Image
    ... the inimitable Ingrid Bergman...
    Image
    ... Even America’s own “sex kitten” was, as perhaps some of you know, born in Sweden, the vivacious Ann-Margret Olsson...
    Image
    Now, since LTHForum is a culinary chat site, it is high time I get around to the topic of food. Sweden, along with the other Scandinavian countries, does not enjoy a particularly great reputation with regard to its cuisine and I must confess that from a personal standpoint, I am inclined to agree that Swedish cuisine is not one of the great cuisines of the world. But in saying that, I do not mean at all to go along with the sort of snide (and generally ignorant) blanket dismissals of Swedish cuisine. There are quite a few fine dishes and food products in the traditional Swedish repertoire and, who knows, thanks to the efforts of the rising star of Scandinavian cookery, Ms. Tina Nordström, there may yet come to be a broader appreciation of Swedish products and flavour combinations...
    Image
    And I hate to touch on an old bone of contention here, but I find Ms. Nordström’s PBS show more interesting and infinitely more intelligent than those of her Food Network analogues, the guffawing Raychill and the frighteningly ill-informed Giada.
    Image
    Ja, ja, Tina, det var riktig godt, men nu ska vi bli allvarlig...


    ******************************************************

    But now, to what I really wanted to talk about: Swedes:
    Image
    ... the slightly mysterious cross of cabbage and turnip* that is known to some by its Swedish (dialect) name, rutabaga†, to the Scots as the ‘neep’, and to others as the ‘Swede’.

    There are quite a few ways to use this remarkably flavourful root vegetable and, when they come back into season in a few months, I will hopefully have a chance to post on some more of them, but for today I just call attention to the following simple version of Flemish stoemp of mine that I’m wont to make:
    • cut up a Swede in small blocks.
    • cut up some potatoes in blocks a bit bigger than the blocks of Swede, with the potatoes being roughly equal in amount to the Swede.
    • place them in cold, salted water; bring to a boil, turn down to a simmer and cook until both the pieces of Swede and pieces of potato and cooked and easy to mash.
    • mash the Swede and potatoes together, using as liquid either warm milk, cooking water from the boiling of the vegetables, or some combination thereof. In addition, one may add either butter or high quality olive oil. I also often add some minced parsley, as well as salt. pepper and freshly ground nutmeg. On occasion, I also mix in some very slowly browned shallots (cooked in butter or olive oil, depending on the broader context):
    Image

    Here’s a meal we recently had which was comprised of a whole roasted chicken (flavoured with garlic, onion, lemon, tarragon) and a gravy made from the roasting juices with some roasted garlic and fresh tarragon, some escarole (made Italian-style with a little dried red chile and a slight touch of tomato), and a nice heap of mashed neep and tatties, that is, Swede and potatoes:
    Image

    Another recent appearance of this version of stoemp was alongside a Carbonade-like beef stew:
    Image
    For discussion of the stew, see:
    La Carbonade à la Flamande / Stoofvlees op Vlaamse wijze (Flemish beef stew)
    http://lthforum.com/bb/viewtopic.php?p=52295#52295

    If you've never tried Swedes a.k.a.rutabagas, do so. They're really quite delicious.

    Antonius

    * Here is a serviceable background discussion:
    http://plantanswers.tamu.edu/publicatio ... urnip.html

    Rotabagge. Explained on a web-page thus: «Detsamma som kålrot. Bagge betyder här klump eller säck och är faktiskt släkt med engelskans bag. En klump med rot, alltså! Exporterades till Frankrike som rutabaga redan på 1700-talet. Ingen succé bland franska gourmeter som nu använder den som djurfoder.»



    Links to other recipes and cooking notes by this writer: http://lthforum.com/bb/viewtopic.php?p=55649#55649
    Alle Nerven exzitiert von dem gewürzten Wein -- Anwandlung von Todesahndungen -- Doppeltgänger --
    - aus dem Tagebuch E.T.A. Hoffmanns, 6. Januar 1804.
    ________
    Na sir is na seachain an cath.
  • Post #2 - May 25th, 2006, 12:56 pm
    Post #2 - May 25th, 2006, 12:56 pm Post #2 - May 25th, 2006, 12:56 pm
    Great post (and sentiments!).

    I positedhere that if people used Swede instead of rhutabaga, they might eat them more often.

    Still, will you get in season :wink: :wink: :roll: :twisted:

    PS
    Your not the only Tina Nordstrom fan :)
    Think Yiddish, Dress British - Advice of Evil Ronnie to me.
  • Post #3 - May 25th, 2006, 1:20 pm
    Post #3 - May 25th, 2006, 1:20 pm Post #3 - May 25th, 2006, 1:20 pm
    Vital Information wrote:Great post (and sentiments!).

    I positedhere that if people used Swede instead of rhutabaga, they might eat them more often.


    Many thanks... You might be right about the name... Of course, there is also the Scots' neep... Do you think that would be better than 'rutabaga'?

    Still, will you get in season :wink: :wink: :roll: :twisted:


    I have a garden related post that might get you off my case at least a little bit... I should get to it soon and it involves something relatively exotic in the home garden...

    On the other hand, I'm also going to start posting regularly on things out of season, just to be contrary... :P

    PS Your not the only Tina Nordstrom fan :)


    She's pretty good, I think, and by that I mean especially that I think she knows what she's doing and for the most part makes things that I'd want to eat. The Norwegian fellow isn't bad either, though on some of the occasions I've seen him, I thought what he made was more interesting than enticing. I find both of them far more sympa than their FN analogues... more natural, better spoken, and actually serious about cooking to a reasonable degree.

    Anyway, Swedes / rutabagas are great and have a very long season, from what I've read, all but the main part of summer, depending on certain variables...

    A
    Alle Nerven exzitiert von dem gewürzten Wein -- Anwandlung von Todesahndungen -- Doppeltgänger --
    - aus dem Tagebuch E.T.A. Hoffmanns, 6. Januar 1804.
    ________
    Na sir is na seachain an cath.
  • Post #4 - May 25th, 2006, 1:29 pm
    Post #4 - May 25th, 2006, 1:29 pm Post #4 - May 25th, 2006, 1:29 pm
    :) :) :) :)

    Antonius, thanks for making me laugh with this post. Gee, I feel like going shopping... at IKEA, H & M, and Nordstrom's... oh, and Wikstrom's Deli, too.

    But I have a question, Antonius: are you going to start wearing one of those manly floral headdresses with your Swedish hockey jersey?

    Image
  • Post #5 - May 25th, 2006, 2:16 pm
    Post #5 - May 25th, 2006, 2:16 pm Post #5 - May 25th, 2006, 2:16 pm
    Amata wrote::)
    But I have a question, Antonius: are you going to start wearing one of those manly floral headdresses with your Swedish hockey jersey?

    Amata, you know your husband best, but I think he'd be much happier in one of these. I bought one at Wickstrom's for a prize at the Midsommer party I gave a couple of years ago. I recently learned that my friend's husband (winner of the Swedish trivia and agility contests) still keeps his on his office desk. Kind of keeps the staff in line, I'd imagine.
    Man : I can't understand how a poet like you can eat that stuff.
    T. S. Eliot: Ah, but you're not a poet.
  • Post #6 - May 25th, 2006, 2:53 pm
    Post #6 - May 25th, 2006, 2:53 pm Post #6 - May 25th, 2006, 2:53 pm
    Josephine wrote:
    Amata wrote::)
    But I have a question, Antonius: are you going to start wearing one of those manly floral headdresses with your Swedish hockey jersey?

    Amata, you know your husband best, but I think he'd be much happier in one of these. I bought one at Wickstrom's for a prize at the Midsommer party I gave a couple of years ago. I recently learned that my friend's husband (winner of the Swedish trivia and agility contests) still keeps his on his office desk. Kind of keeps the staff in line, I'd imagine.


    Headgear like that would, indeed, present a fierce image on the ice.

    I hardly ever eat Swedish -- the last time was at Tre Kroner (with you and crew) and I really dug it a lot -- though I realize a julebord is not perhaps typical. Nordic food seems so wholesome, somehow, and as I think about it, some of the less healthy food prep techniques (e.g., deep fat frying) do not seem to be common in Scandinavian cooking (gross generalization perpetrated by one with only passing familiarity with this “not great” world cuisine – and I got to believe A will take heat for that off-handed comment :lol: ).

    Waiting for MikeG, the Great Enemy of the Swedes, to chime in on this thread,

    Hammond
    “Nobody exists on purpose. Nobody belongs anywhere. Everybody’s gonna die. Come watch TV?”
  • Post #7 - May 25th, 2006, 3:03 pm
    Post #7 - May 25th, 2006, 3:03 pm Post #7 - May 25th, 2006, 3:03 pm
    Waiting for MikeG, the Great Enemy of the Swedes, to chime in on this thread


    Funny you should mention it, as I was just catching up on the films of Mauritz Stiller this week.

    One must fully understand one's nemesis.
    Watch Sky Full of Bacon, the Chicago food HD podcast!
    New episode: Soil, Corn, Cows and Cheese
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  • Post #8 - May 25th, 2006, 3:11 pm
    Post #8 - May 25th, 2006, 3:11 pm Post #8 - May 25th, 2006, 3:11 pm
    David Hammond wrote:Waiting for MikeG, the Great Enemy of the Swedes, to chime in on this thread

    Great minds think alike, David. I was just thinking that I could really see MikeG inthis.* And weren't theresimilar helmets in the Klas mural? Or was it only wimples?

    *No sh**.
    Man : I can't understand how a poet like you can eat that stuff.
    T. S. Eliot: Ah, but you're not a poet.
  • Post #9 - May 25th, 2006, 8:55 pm
    Post #9 - May 25th, 2006, 8:55 pm Post #9 - May 25th, 2006, 8:55 pm
    I could go on about rutabaga, but why, when I can direct your attention to this fine demonstration of Swedish athleticism instead?
  • Post #10 - May 25th, 2006, 9:39 pm
    Post #10 - May 25th, 2006, 9:39 pm Post #10 - May 25th, 2006, 9:39 pm
    Ann Fisher wrote:I could go on about rutabaga, but why, when I can direct your attention to this fine demonstration of Swedish athleticism instead?


    I can't tell if this is an indication of a slow newsday or a BIG newsday on Swedish television. :)

    Hammond
    “Nobody exists on purpose. Nobody belongs anywhere. Everybody’s gonna die. Come watch TV?”
  • Post #11 - May 28th, 2006, 12:51 am
    Post #11 - May 28th, 2006, 12:51 am Post #11 - May 28th, 2006, 12:51 am
    How could I possibly have missed this!?!

    As LTHForum's resident Sweden resident and perhaps the instigator (catalyst?) to MikeG's coming out in regards to his true feelings about Sweden, I was truly tickled to see Antonius' ode this morning.

    What can I add to this already glorious discussion? Hmm...

    1) "Tre Kronor" (the name of a Chicagoland restaurant previously named in these postings) is also the nickname for the Swedish national hockey team. Believe it or not!

    2) The wonderful mash that Antonious has highlighted is known as "rotmos" in Swedish - literally "root mush". While combined with several popular dishes, it's most common partner-in-crime is brined and boiled pork hocks. Not really springtime food in these parts but perhaps I can work it into this week's dinner plans... If we do - I'll post some pictures as it's truly Swedish soul food ("husmanskost") at its best.

    3) Spring has been slow in coming to Stockholm this year (our lilacs just bloomed yesterday and our tulips are still proudly shining) but I finally managed to harvest enough of this year's first rhubarb to make "saft" or, I guess, syrup. Not much more than chopped rhubarb (about 4 pounds), a quart of water boiled to mush and strained. Add about 2 cups sugar per quart of this liquid and bring to a boil. Skim and bottle. Serve by diluting with water to taste. Swedes will do this with many fruits (strawberries, raspberries, lingonberries, black and/or red currents) but nothing quenches thirst quite like rhubarb. And the color!

    Image
  • Post #12 - May 28th, 2006, 2:21 pm
    Post #12 - May 28th, 2006, 2:21 pm Post #12 - May 28th, 2006, 2:21 pm
    Careful, Tina's from Skåne, so according to some revanchists I know she's really a Dane, the Treaty of Roskilde notwithstanding.

    But I like your idea and will have to make the Swede and Potatoes.
  • Post #13 - May 30th, 2006, 8:03 am
    Post #13 - May 30th, 2006, 8:03 am Post #13 - May 30th, 2006, 8:03 am
    Amata wrote:But I have a question, Antonius: are you going to start wearing one of those manly floral headdresses with your Swedish hockey jersey?


    Yes, and also whenever I cook; I might even wear one when I play hockey (though it would only be partially visible under the helmet).

    *

    Josephine,

    Thanks for the links. I wish I had had one of those helmets back when I was regularly teaching Old Norse language and literature! We used to organise a field trip each spring and sack and pillage a small town in one of the neighbouring states. Great fun and very instructive for the students and, best of all, law enforcement never caught on to who was behind it. Of course, the helmets might have been a more obvious clue for them than the blood eagles.

    :shock: :P :wink:

    (Just kidding, J. Edgar.)

    *

    Ann,

    Wow. But note, that lad is clearly not ethnically a Swede. Is his athleticism then a result of the environment (including the rotmos)?

    *

    Hiuggu thêr hælfings millum han, en î hafn thæssi thêr mæn hioggu rûnar at Horsa, bônda gôthan, â wâg. Rêthu Swîar thætta â lênu...

    Antonius
    Alle Nerven exzitiert von dem gewürzten Wein -- Anwandlung von Todesahndungen -- Doppeltgänger --
    - aus dem Tagebuch E.T.A. Hoffmanns, 6. Januar 1804.
    ________
    Na sir is na seachain an cath.
  • Post #14 - May 31st, 2006, 12:47 pm
    Post #14 - May 31st, 2006, 12:47 pm Post #14 - May 31st, 2006, 12:47 pm
    Bridgestone wrote:..."rotmos" in Swedish - literally "root mush"... combined with ... it's most common partner-in-crime is brined and boiled pork hocks... it's truly Swedish soul food ("husmanskost") at its best.


    Sounds like a winning combo to me! And I really like that term husmanskost -- tak!

    3) Spring has been slow in coming to Stockholm this year (our lilacs just bloomed yesterday and our tulips are still proudly shining) but I finally managed to harvest enough of this year's first rhubarb to make "saft"... nothing quenches thirst quite like rhubarb. And the color!
    Image


    Great picture... Indeed, that colour is really beautiful. Please post some more pics and discussions of such treats as spring and summer unfold!

    ***

    Choey,

    I wasn't aware of the fact that Ms. Nordström is a skånska until Bridgestone informed me of that a few weeks back. Unfortunately, on the handful of PBS show episodes that I've seen, pretty much whenever she and her friends speak Swedish, they play music and quickly turn it up so that it's hard to hear much of the speaking at all. My Swedish these days is very rusty but back in the day, it wasn't too bad and, true to my general preference for colourful accents, I cultivated as much as I could a Skånsk accent (Bridgestone -- ever hear of the late '70's / 80's rock group Gyllene Tider? From Malmö, I believe -- they were my original models for the southern accent :) ).

    I doubt that there are many folks in Skåneland these days who care much for the idea of being under Danish authority again but there is a little bit of a 'separatist' movement... well, certainly a number of people who are interested in seeing the regional language and culture reinforced and supported -- all of which fits into a wider context of New-European regionalist movements and could easily find some real if limited success with sufficient popular interest. (After incorporation into Sweden, a process of Swedification was undertaken and carried out at first with a certain vicious rigour and ultimately considerable success starting back in the late 17th/ early 18th century.) Of course, the New-Europe conditions that allow more breathing room for local languages and cultures come hand-in-hand with trends that are dangerous not just for the regional languages but for the smaller national languages as well. Interesting stuff but not directly food related...

    By the way, here is the flag of 'Skåneland' -- a nice blend of Danish and Swedish colours.

    Image

    To get back to food, and picking up on Bridgestone's post, allow me to add that the Swedish for 'Swede, rutabaga' (the latter from a Gotlandish dialect form rotabagga) is kålrot (see final note to o.p. above); the Skånsk word is, however, rabba and the mashed version is logically enough rabbemos. In the Skånsk dialects it seems there also appears a cognate of the 'Flemish' term I used in my o.p. above for 'mash', Brabants stoemp, namely stamp (e.g. pährestamp 'mashed potatoes'), though I have no idea what the distribution is or whether the term was formerly the more common one.

    Bridgestone: Any idea whether Ms. Nordström actually knows Skånsk or is she just a Swedish speaker with a Skånsk accent?

    Anyway, dialect diversty is a good thing.*

    Antonius

    * I borrow the expression from a personage who goes to great lengths to hide her dialectal background.
    Alle Nerven exzitiert von dem gewürzten Wein -- Anwandlung von Todesahndungen -- Doppeltgänger --
    - aus dem Tagebuch E.T.A. Hoffmanns, 6. Januar 1804.
    ________
    Na sir is na seachain an cath.
  • Post #15 - May 31st, 2006, 1:26 pm
    Post #15 - May 31st, 2006, 1:26 pm Post #15 - May 31st, 2006, 1:26 pm
    Ms. Nordström was born and bred in Skåne (southern Sweden). Her actual town of birth, though, is Välluv (a thriving metropolis of about 3000 inhabitants) which is closer to the university town of Lund than Malmö.

    Coming from where she does, I can answer with certainty that Tina both speaks Skånska and speaks Swedish with a southern accent. As most southerners (and, for that matter, any other Swedes with a dialect), they clean up their Swedish when speaking to non-locals. So, in T.V., Tina speaks with a pleasant accent while replacing any local, Skånsk words that may automatically pop into her mind with "clean" Swedish.

    Antonius - one truly cannot live or even visit Sweden with hearing Gyllene Tider ("Golden times"). I believe that they actually are from Halmstad which actually lies a little north of Skåne. But, believe me, only Swedes hear these fine differences in dialect (it's said that people in Skåne can tell which village a Skånish visitor is from simply from their dialect - villages usually seperated by only a number of miles). For you non-Gyllene Tider fans, the initiator to that band went on to form Roxette* (the guy, not the girl).

    Now I've got a sinking feeling that this thread is bordering the shut-down zone if I don't get some food in here quickly. I sadly don't have too much more to offer than a promise to try to document this year's spring celebrations (Midsommar with its herring, new potatoes and snaps) as well as a few upcoming meals of husmanskost. One way or another, thanks all for what's been, for me, another fun thread!

    *Thanks Sundevilpeg!
    Last edited by Bridgestone on May 31st, 2006, 10:37 pm, edited 1 time in total.
  • Post #16 - May 31st, 2006, 1:59 pm
    Post #16 - May 31st, 2006, 1:59 pm Post #16 - May 31st, 2006, 1:59 pm
    Bridgestone wrote:Now I've got a sinking feeling that this thread is bordering the shut-down zone if I don't get some food in here quickly.

    Bridgestone,

    Not bordering the shut-down zone, but LTHForum's flashlight, as opposed to laser, focus seems to have become Moon-Glow focus.

    LTHForum is, after all, a Culinary Chat Site.

    Enjoy,
    Gary
    One minute to Wapner.
    Raymond Babbitt

    Low & Slow
  • Post #17 - May 31st, 2006, 10:06 pm
    Post #17 - May 31st, 2006, 10:06 pm Post #17 - May 31st, 2006, 10:06 pm
    For you non-Gyllene Tider fans, the initiator to that band went on to form Roxanne....


    The band was called Roxette, not Roxanne, if memory serves...
  • Post #18 - May 31st, 2006, 10:47 pm
    Post #18 - May 31st, 2006, 10:47 pm Post #18 - May 31st, 2006, 10:47 pm
    LTHForum is, after all, a Culinary Chat Site.


    Agreed, appreciated and adored!

    I'll admit to having a dirty feeling in my heart during the entire process of posting a non-food post. I'll do my best to resist any urges to add to this thread until I have some hot rutabagga news to share!
  • Post #19 - June 10th, 2006, 8:37 am
    Post #19 - June 10th, 2006, 8:37 am Post #19 - June 10th, 2006, 8:37 am
    The recipes I've seen for "bashed neeps" or "neeps and tatties" from England/Scotland call for rutabagas, a.k.a. Swedish turnips, which are shortened to "neeps" but are also apparently commonly called "swedes."

    The resulting directions are, serendiptously, hilarious:

    "Boil the swede for 15 minutes, or until tender . . . . "

    "Bash the swede . . . . "

    Think there's anything subconscious/unconscious going on there?

    Cheers,
    Wade
    "Remember the Alamo? I do, with the very last swallow."
  • Post #20 - June 15th, 2006, 2:49 pm
    Post #20 - June 15th, 2006, 2:49 pm Post #20 - June 15th, 2006, 2:49 pm
    After many years I happened to visit that bastion of Swedish design – Ikea. Not a particularly productive trip furniturewise, but the food section on the way out offered some temptations.
    Image
    A2Fay and I both remembered the Elderberry drink from a dinner at Bucovina (though there's no mention in the linked thread). This is an excellent drink, especially in warm weather. The label advises one part syrup to four water, but that is rather sweet and my preferred way is one part syrup to six or even eight parts club soda.
    Cloudberry. I had no idea such a thing existed, so of course I had to get that. Now if I can finish one of the four open preserves in my fridge I'll even be able to open it to tell what it tastes like. Fish – I am a sucker for fish in all forms – from the smoked riga sprats to pickled fish. I will say I enjoyed the pictured Abba herring – better that the Vita products.

    Antonius, I will try mashing a swede with potatoes sometime. My favorite way to have them though is in meat dishes (specifically a goat curry) where they are simmered in the sauce/curry.

    Ikea (Pittsburgh)
    See here for a store near you


    PS: Finally they scored! :)
    Last edited by sazerac on June 15th, 2006, 3:23 pm, edited 1 time in total.
  • Post #21 - June 15th, 2006, 3:19 pm
    Post #21 - June 15th, 2006, 3:19 pm Post #21 - June 15th, 2006, 3:19 pm
    Ciao Sazerac!

    sazerac wrote:Antonius, I will try mashing a swede with potatoes sometime. My favorite way to have them though is in meat dishes (specifically a goat curry) where they are simmered in the sauce/curry.


    The goat curry with Swedes sounds like an interesting application. I would guess that this is something you make at home but I'll ask just in case: is it available anywhere around here?

    Greetings; I hope life in Fort Duquesne is treating you well!

    A

    PS: Finally they scored! :)


    And a very nice goal it was!
    Alle Nerven exzitiert von dem gewürzten Wein -- Anwandlung von Todesahndungen -- Doppeltgänger --
    - aus dem Tagebuch E.T.A. Hoffmanns, 6. Januar 1804.
    ________
    Na sir is na seachain an cath.
  • Post #22 - June 15th, 2006, 3:33 pm
    Post #22 - June 15th, 2006, 3:33 pm Post #22 - June 15th, 2006, 3:33 pm
    Antonius wrote:Ciao Sazerac!
    The goat curry with Swedes sounds like an interesting application. I would guess that this is something you make at home but I'll ask just in case: is it available anywhere around here?


    Not that I know of. It is a Bengali dish - Mangsho-r jhol literally 'meat gravy/curry/sauce'. Usually with potatoes, but sometimes with turnips as well. Wonderful the next day - like most meat curries - as the flavour fully penetrates the starch.

    Still adjusting to my new environs . Food is good, but the World Cup has kept me busy :)
  • Post #23 - June 16th, 2006, 5:24 am
    Post #23 - June 16th, 2006, 5:24 am Post #23 - June 16th, 2006, 5:24 am
    Interesting to see what IKEA is marketing foodwise in the States!

    I'm actually planning on making a batch of elderberry ("fläder")syrup/"juice concentrate" myself. I'm just waiting a few more days for the elderberry blossoms to start opening up. It's made essentially the same way as the rhubarb syrup I described earlier in this thread only it's steeped instead of boiled. I'll take a few pics if/when I manage to find an elderberry tree to pluck!

    Cloudberries ("hjortron") grow in the marshes of northern Sweden/Scandinavia. They are, as raspberries, part of the rose family. Swedes are crazy about them and always try to push them off on visitors. I hate to sound negative but find them a little one-sided. Sweet but without too much berry flavor... The preferred method of serving cloudberry preserves over here is either with Swedish pancakes/waffles and whipped cream or heated and served on vanilla ice cream.

    While I don't recognize the brand your concentrate and berries are marketed as, that jar of sill looks exactly like the one I have sitting in my refridgerator here in Stockholm. If you can't make it yourself, Abba's is the best!

    (Trust me, the National Mood has lifted considerably after last night's goal! Mål!!!!)
  • Post #24 - June 16th, 2006, 7:58 am
    Post #24 - June 16th, 2006, 7:58 am Post #24 - June 16th, 2006, 7:58 am
    HI,

    The first time I had a homemade Elderflower drink was in Zagreb, Croatia twelve years ago. I found it to be a refreshing, thirst quenching drink.

    I got the recipe, then had to wait for the following year to find the elderberry bushes, which once you know what to look for are everywhere. Once you find them, then you know where to go back later to find elderberries; if you beat out the birds.

    While I still have a couple quarts of elderflower drink from that burst of enthusiasm. I am no longer certain about the recipe. I remember steeping the flowers in water for at least 24 hours, but I don't remember the portion of sugar. Since this is really just sugar water, I preserved it via the water bath method.

    The saft drinks you referred to earlier are also traditional in Germany. I remember watching my Opa mix himbersaft (raspberry) into his beer when I was a little girl. Interestingly most of the saft concentrates in Chicago come from Croatia and Slovenia.

    Regards,
    Cathy2

    "You'll be remembered long after you're dead if you make good gravy, mashed potatoes and biscuits." -- Nathalie Dupree
    Facebook, Twitter, Greater Midwest Foodways, Road Food 2012: Podcast
  • Post #25 - June 30th, 2006, 2:06 am
    Post #25 - June 30th, 2006, 2:06 am Post #25 - June 30th, 2006, 2:06 am
    I finally got a chance to make some elderberry syrup and thought I'd share the process.

    True elderberry normally blooms in the Stockholm region at the end of June. It's pretty important not to pick the wrong type of elderberry. What you want is Sambucus nigra and not the poisonous cousins Sambucus racemosa and Sambucus ebulus. However, true elderberry is pretty distinctive (creamy white, flattish blossoms) and doesn't bloom exactly at the same time as the other two types.

    You want about 30-40 of these blossoms:

    Image

    Rinse them off and gather the rest of your ingredients. You'll need about 4 lemons, about one 5 pound bag of sugar, about 2 ounces of citric acid and about 1 1/2 quarts of water.

    Put the blossoms in a large glass or otherwise non-reactive pot:

    Image

    Carefully wash the lemons in warm water (or, even better, use organic lemons), slice them and add them to the pot.

    Bring the water to a boil and add the sugar and the citric acid:

    Image

    Heat/simmer until the sugar and acid dissolve.

    Carefully add the warm simple syrup to the lemons and elderberry blossoms (go slowly - you don't want the hot liquid to cause the container to shatter!).

    Image

    Cover and let sit. 4 days in a cool location is just about perfect.

    After it's steeped you'll need to strain the syrup:

    Image

    Finally, bottle in sterilized containers.

    Image

    That's only one bottle. This recipe makes about 4 quarts of syrup.

    To use, simply dilute in water (say 7 parts water to 1 syrup) and enjoy! The syrup itself can also be frozen and scraped with a fork to make a simple granita or flavored ice.

    All this, of course, begs the question: "Can you find Sambucus nigra in Chicago?

    http://www.chicagobotanic.org/bloom/InBloomOutlying.html

    Can you sneak into the Chicago Botanic Garden?
  • Post #26 - June 30th, 2006, 4:55 am
    Post #26 - June 30th, 2006, 4:55 am Post #26 - June 30th, 2006, 4:55 am
    The syrup sounds good--I love elderberry--I throw in a couple blossoms when I cook gooseberries--but where can I get one of those jelly bags!
  • Post #27 - June 30th, 2006, 5:01 am
    Post #27 - June 30th, 2006, 5:01 am Post #27 - June 30th, 2006, 5:01 am
    Good question, annieb!

    Mine's a hand-me-down from my mother-in-law and judging by the looks of it, it's original, pre-International Ikea.
  • Post #28 - June 30th, 2006, 7:02 am
    Post #28 - June 30th, 2006, 7:02 am Post #28 - June 30th, 2006, 7:02 am
    HI,

    Elderberry grows wild in this area. They are blooming just this moment. I was driving to a meeting in Chicago the other evening showing my passenger how to look for Elderberries. They grow along railroad lines, edges of roads, highway plantings and such.

    I just had someone design my yard with two Elderberry bushes in the plan: the classic (for the fruit and flower) and a black or purple leafed with pink flowers (for show). The trick for keeping them in the home landscape is pruning them back. Otherwise they stretch out and take over.

    Whenever I locate the recipe I got in Zagreb, Croatia, I'll advise what it was. It seemed very close to yours as I recall.

    Regards,
    Cathy2

    "You'll be remembered long after you're dead if you make good gravy, mashed potatoes and biscuits." -- Nathalie Dupree
    Facebook, Twitter, Greater Midwest Foodways, Road Food 2012: Podcast
  • Post #29 - June 30th, 2006, 9:10 am
    Post #29 - June 30th, 2006, 9:10 am Post #29 - June 30th, 2006, 9:10 am
    As some of you know, I'm a winegrower and winemaker, have been for some time. One of the many things I've experimented with are elderberries. In fact, even as we speak, I am girding my loins to go out into my back 40 (a *very* large mid-town back yard) to do battle with elderberry seedlings and sprouts.

    What happened is this. Silly me, I thought I'd grow some of the now-available named selections (there are roughly six or seven) developed by USDA and AgCanada, in order to make wine. These new cultivars are enormously more productive than the wild plants, with huge clusters of blossoms and berries (truly amazing in Springtime: vast clouds of white flowers all over the bushes/small trees).

    It only took a year or two for the plants--4 different ones--to begin to produce fruit for my wines. But I began to notice that the plants not only were expansive, they were downright aggressive: they were tunnelling into my vineyard, and I wasn't having that.

    Well. 5 yrs after supposedly ripping out the three main agressors, I'm *still* fighting them--Cathy2, you'll know what I'm saying! That's what I'm going to do in a few minutes, slash, cut, dig....

    But I have to say this: if you've got the space, these new elderberries are wonderous. And their flavor is much richer than the wild berries. If anyone would like to know where to find the plants, just give me a PM and I'll tell you some nurseries. They're wonderful wonderful plants, but you have to be very strict with them.

    Geo
    Sooo, you like wine and are looking for something good to read? Maybe *this* will do the trick! :)
  • Post #30 - June 30th, 2006, 9:14 am
    Post #30 - June 30th, 2006, 9:14 am Post #30 - June 30th, 2006, 9:14 am
    Oh, btw, any good wine-making store has nylon mesh bags designed to work like the jellybag Brigestone shows us.

    Geo
    Sooo, you like wine and are looking for something good to read? Maybe *this* will do the trick! :)

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