March 22, 2018 | Leave a comment
7 random facts about Easter in Scandinavia
March 22, 2018 | Leave a comment
7 random facts about Easter in Scandinavia
March 14, 2018 | Leave a comment
Things that happen when you live with a Scandinavian
Maybe you’ve already moved in and you’re Googling “strange things that happen when you live with a Scandinavian” – don’t worry, you’ve come to the right place for answers. Or maybe you’re thinking “Should I start sharing my home with Agneta or Henrik?” Here, we give you a heads up what things might be like in your home, if you choose to go ahead. You’ve been warned.
They make you leave your shoes in the hallway.
Everything off in the hallway – and on with a nice pair of slippers. It’s a hygiene thing (although in Denmark you can sometimes get away with it). In Sweden, they’ll make you ask your guests to take their shoes off, too. This is how it will be from now on.
Announce when it is pee-pee time
“I think I’ll go for a pee now” will become a staple sentence. Eventually, you’ll start to adopt this habit too and find yourself doing it during a meeting at your fancy non-Scandinavian office.
The heating is maxed
Despite what people think, Scandinavians hate to be cold. Your house will now be a comfortable 23-24 degrees all year around. Any less and there will be complaints.
Also, you will air the room before bed. Yes, open bedroom windows, even at minus 20c.
Re-decorating & furniture
Living with a Scandi, decorating is easy: There is only one colour to choose from (white). This colour is also applied to skirting, radiators, ceilings and floorboards. Also you probably won’t need curtains any more (at least if you live with a Dane). If you don’t have a sofa table, one will appear within a week of the move because not having a sofa table in unheard of (where will we put our coffee?!)
Also, you no longer need carpets: Start your goodbyes now.
No more nick-nacks
One by one, those little cute things you own will be replaced by stylish candle holders and sleek things. No more souvenirs from Tenerife, no more ornate fireplace clocks. Eventually, you’ll find them all in a box in the attic. Good bye.
Is it a cult?
They burn day and evenings, sometimes entire packets of tealight in one room. Don’t fear, this is not a cult; it’s just cosy. Also, you may find that 4-5 small lamps are added to each room. Because, hygge.
Your double duvet is replaced by two single ones.
This is not a declaration that the love is dead, merely that nobody will steal your duvet again and you will keep your cold feet to yourself. And wait for an invite. THIS is true love.
Specialist equipment starts to appear in your kitchen:
Exhibit 1: OSTHYVEL
For slicing cheese. What is important to know is 1) You must NEVER make a ski slope and 2) you will never again be allowed to hack away at the cheddar with a blunt knife. Ever.
Exhibit 2: Filter Coffee Machine
Scandinavians drink more coffee than anyone else in the world. If you live with an ultra Scandi, you’ll have a MochaMaster (these brew the fastest). But any filter machine works. From now on, your coffee will be so strong you’ll be awake 19 hours a day. Coffee before bedtime (around 9 pm) becomes normal. Milk in coffee is for wimps.
Exhibit 3: Smörkniv
For butter. Never use your own, only use the designated knife for butter.
Look, it’s a body. It’s not anything Scandinavians think is sexual: It’s skin. We don’t care. There will be nakedness. If there is a sauna, there will be nakedness there, too. You may sit next to your new Father in Law, naked. On a small flannel. Get used to it and let it all hang out.
You will have sandwiches for breakfast. And probably sour milk. But definitely sandwiches – with cheese – and jam. Together. And coffee, a lot of coffee. There will be crispy bread – and it will re-appear at lunch. And for snacks. It never, ever ends.
Dinner is at 6
Dinner is at 6. Not 6:05, but 6 pm. Except, when you invite people over, the invite might be for 6, so therefore people must arrive at 6 pm. By 6:05 food is served. DO NOT BE LATE. for anything, ever again.
Before you eat, say ‘Velbekomme’. When you’ve finished your food, say ‘Takk for maten’ (thanks for dinner). Fail on this and you will sleep with the fishes. Also, shots of 40% alcohol with some meals will eventually become the normal (always look people in the eye when you say ‘skål’, or you’re just rude.)
Fridays will become cosy Fridays. You will start to share big bags of crisps (dip each chip in dip mix). There will be darkness, 117 candles and Nordic Noir. After a while, they will start to add the dreaded….
Because: Tacos are Scandinavian, everyone knows that. Tacos = burritos, nachos, quesadillas, enchilada, chimichanga… It’s all just Tacos. All of it. But only on Fridays.
Don’t be surprise if you after a while of living with a Scandinavian you start to consume around 550 grams of sweets every Saturday (the average). Only uncivilised people eat sweets the other six days).
Also, salty liquorice.
Weekend: Hiking days
The weekends will become 48h opportunities to get outside. Seeing as there is ‘No such thing as bad weather, only bad clothes”, every weekend will be a selection of hikes, walks, runs, bikes etc. Outside, with your backpack and your “all weather jacket”. If your chosen Scandinavian is a Norwegian, he or she will make sure to pack an Orange and a bar of Kvikklunsj chocolate.
Any snow and you will hear the words: “Snow? Really? You think this is snow? When I lived in Denmark/Norway/Sweden/Finland…. “ etc.
Mid-May is Eurovision
You can try to fight it, but at some point, your Scandinavian will be found in front of the telly, Pina Colada in hand, with a score sheet and dismay when Sweden doesn’t give Denmark 12 points as planned.
Flags are now for every occasion, but only on occasions. Birthdays = flags. Flags in cakes. Flags on sandwiches. Picking up someone at the airport = flags. Eurovision = flags. Midsummer = flags. National day = flags.
Everything. Always: Rinse and recycle. You will start to make trips to the recycling stations together. Awww.
You may start to see strange things in tubes appear in the fridge. Or things that look like plastacine. You will start to add remoulade on every meal once the Danes are done with you.
What other things do you think might happen when you live with a Scandinavian? Add your comments below!
PSST: Want to surprise your sweetheart with the aforementioned salty liquorice or dreaded things in tubes (you may earn yourself an extra cosy Friday)? Pop by or visit our webshop if you can’t make it in.
November 23, 2017 | Leave a comment
Danish Christmas Pancakes (æbleskiver)
Danes love eating Æbleskiver on Sundays in advent – this recipe is from our cookbook ‘Fika & Hygge’
Danish Christmas Pancakes (æbleskiver)
3 eggs, separated
You need: an ‘æbleskive’ pan, Japanese takoyaki pan. If you use a frying pan, they will look like mini pancakes instead.
Mix together the egg yolks, buttermilk, double cream and vanilla extract in a large mixing bowl. In a separate bowl, sift together all the dry ingredients including the cardamom.
In another clean bowl, whisk the egg whites until stiff using a handheld electric whisk on high speed.
Add the egg and cream mixture to the dry ingredients, then carefully fold in the beaten egg whites and lemon zest. Leave to rest for 30 minutes in the refrigerator before using.
Place the pan over high heat to warm through and add a little melted butter to the pan to stop the pancakes from sticking. If you are using an æbleskive pan, carefully add enough batter to each hole so that it reaches about 0.25 cm from the top. If you are using a normal frying pan, add spoonfuls of batter as you would if making normal small pancakes. Leave to cook for a few minutes until the edges become firm then, using a fork or knitting needle (knitting needle is easier!), gently turn the pancakes over to cook on the other side. If you have filled the holes too much, this can be tricky – you’ll get the hang of it after a few.
Once browned on both sides (3–4 minutes per batch), keep the cooked æbleskiver warm in the oven until you have finished frying.
Serve dusted with icing sugar and a little pot of raspberry jam for dipping.
Recipe from Fika & Hygge published by Ryland Peters Small – priced £16.99. Photo by the amazing @PeteCassidy.
November 2, 2017 | Leave a comment
13 brilliant Scandinavian insults
Feeling a bit annoyed, need to let some steam off? How about you do so with these rather wonderful Scandinavian insults – many of which are under used thanks to the influx of English – but they sound oh so lovely. These are just a handful from a loooong list, we had to stop somewhere. Give it a go and tell us if there are any of these you use, or any we have missed.
October 18, 2017 | Leave a comment
How to Autumn like a Scandi
Or what we think about when it is biting cold, rainy and dark. It is the little things. From the smell of your coffee in the morning, to the fact that you can wear your old bright knitted socks that grandma made and perhaps spend some hours in the kitchen baking with cinnamon. Let’s go on…
What else do you like about autumn? Anything we missed, pop it in the comments please.
October 6, 2017 | Leave a comment
How to give your apartment the ‘Copenhagen’ look
September 27, 2017 | 6 Comments
Vanilla buns, six ways
Once you are bored with cinnamon buns, where do you go?
Vanilla is where it’s at. This week, we decided to make a few different versions using the same base dough and basic filling.
There are as many recipes for buns in Sweden as there are people who bake them. We like this one: it’s simple, it’s straightforward and it just works. It forms a great base from which to experiment with your own flavours and fillings. The addition of egg to the dough makes the dough richer than usual. We’ve upped the butter, too – again, you can reduce it but we think it works well with the vanilla.
This recipe makes about 36 Vanilla buns of medium size.
50g fresh yeast
500ml whole milk, luke warm
200g very soft butter (melted also fine)
80g caster sugar
1000 g plain bread flour (or between 800-1000g, depending on the flour) – we always use Swedish Vetemjol flour for perfect results.
1⁄2 tsp salt
2 tsp ground cardamom
Filling for Vanilla buns (filling #1, used also in 2-5)
175g butter (soft, spreadable)
4-5 tsp vanilla sugar (we prefer torslefs vanilla sugar)
Seeds from one vanilla pod
150g normal sugar
1 egg for brushing
100-150g of pearl sugar to decorate
Heat the milk to 36-41 degrees and add in a bowl with the yeast, stir until dissolved. Add the butter, sugar, salt, cardamom, egg and enough flour to make the dough combine. You’ll need about 700-800g of flour – but add a little at the time, keeping the mixer on continuously (using the dough hook). Keep the rest of the flour back for kneading. Work the dough until it almost stops sticking and has a shiny surface – about 6-7 minutes with a mixer, longer by hand (add more flour if you need to). The dough should only just reach the point of not being sticky.
While the dough is rising, whisk butter and vanilla together until smooth and spreadable.
Leave dough to rise until it’s doubled in size (30-40 mins). Work through with more flour until dough stops sticking and can be shaped, then cut the dough in half and roll out the first piece in a rectangular shape (around 45cm x 35cm). Spread a generous amount of the vanilla butter evenly, then roll the piece lengthways so you end up with a long, tight thin roll. Cut 18 slices of the dough and place each swirl onto your baking tray – a good space apart from each other as they will rise again.
Repeat with second half of dough. Leave to rise for 20 minutes.
To make buns with the rest of the the dough:
Turn the oven to 220 degrees (a bit less if using a fan oven).
Brush all buns gently with remaining egg (you may need a bit more egg) and sprinkle a bit of pearl sugar on each bun. Bake at 220°C for about 8-10 minutes (turn the heat down a bit midway if you feel they’re getting too brown) for the buns – but for the longer rolls, turn the heat down slightly and bake nearer the bottom of the oven for around 20 minutes – take care not to burn them. As this dough contains sugar, the buns can go dark brown in a split second, so keep an eye on them.
As soon as the buns come out of the oven, cool down under a damp, clean tea towel to stop them going dry. If you prefer a stickier surface, brush with a light sugar syrup or normal light syrup as soon as they are baked.
The buns freeze well (freeze in plastic bags as soon as they have cooled).
Filling option #2
Vanilla and Crème Patisserie
Either make a batch of crème patisserie or simply make a portion of instant vanilla creme – whisk 400ml whole milk with 1 sachet of power, leave to stand for 15 minutes and its ready to use.
Follow recipe as above – but before rolling the buns tight, spread a thin layer of vanilla cream across the dough, then roll and proceed as recipe.
Filling option #3
With or without the vanilla crème, add fresh or frozen blueberries to the dough before rolling. Simply scatter a handful of blueberries and then roll and slice.
Filling option #4
With out without the vanilla crème, add fresh cloudberries (or frozen) to the dough before rolling. Simply scatter a small amount of berries across, roll and slice.
Filling option #5
Marzipan & Vanilla knots
Roll dough out and in the recipe. Take half a packet of Mandelmasse, marzipan (or similar graded marzipan) and grate about 100g across the dough. (after you have added the vanilla sugar)
Instead of rolling the dough, simply fold it in half lengthways – then cut into 18 strips and make bun ‘knots’. You can check out this video for hints of how to make bun knots – it’s surprisingly easy and it distributes the filling well.
Filling option #6
‘Skoleboller’ – School buns.
Most popular in Norway, these buns are super lovely. For this version, you do not need the vanilla sugar – but you do need the crème patisserie.
Shape the dough into 36 round balls and place on baking trays. Press each ball a bit flat and make an indent in the middle. Add a large teaspoon of vanilla crème patisserie to each bun and leave to rise for about 15 minutes. Bake as directed in recipe.
Once removed from oven, let cool for a bit then pipe out some icing (icing sugar mixed with a teeny bit of warm water) on each bun. Place your desiccated coconut in a soup bowl and dip the bun, icing side down, into the coconut.
September 21, 2017 | Leave a comment
10 Culinary Delights From Our Scandi Childhoods
Sometimes, when we were little, this is all we wanted to eat. (Still is, sometimes). Recognise any of these, for yourself or your children? Let us know in the comments.
Remember these or have anything to add? Let us know and we’ll update the list.
We know what we’re having for dinner today!
September 7, 2017 | 19 Comments
|The best untranslatable Scandi words you need to include in your everyday use from now on and forever
Image: The utterly brilliant satwcomic.com
We have some great words that deserve to be used outside their humble Scandi origins. Thank you to everybody who wrote in with suggestions – we got far too many words to use them all, but we have included our best ones here.
Any we have missed out? Feel free to add more in the comments.
August 30, 2017 | Leave a comment
You know you’re Scandi when..