Tag Archives: danish

Things Scandinavians obsess about

June 20, 2018 | Leave a comment

 

Things Scandinavians obsess about

We have our little ways and our ways are not to be changed. Sometimes, we may even get a bit obsessive.

Having set days for things
– Taco Friday – it’s a thing
– Cosy Crisp Friday evening – it’s a thing
– Saturday sweets – it’s a thing.

If it can be assigned a day, it can work in Scandinavia. You are no longer allowed to do that thing on other days, because, well, rules.

Obsession rating: 7/10

Coffee

It keeps us awake for six months of the year – and it makes us happy the other six. We drink more of it than anyone else in the whole world. We’re wired at all times.

In recent years, we’ve started to drink fancy coffee too – and not just at home. A latte in Denmark is pronounced ‘Laddie’ and costs the same as a small boat. In Sweden, it’s known as a Latt-tè and always said with a grimace, caffeinated smile.

Obsession rating 10/10

How the cheese is sliced

Use a slicer like a proper Scandinavian. Steel planer for hard cheese, plastic for softer cheese – and a string slicer for softer, Danish style cheeses. Under no circumstances may you 1) cut the nose off the cheese 2) make a hill or ski slope 3) Grate from an odd angle.

Obsession rating: 8/10

Getting fresh air

“No such thing as bad weather, only bad clothes” – for this reason, you must be one with nature at least once a day. Frisk Luft means fresh air. Rain, shine, snow, hurricane…

If you are Norwegian, you add a ‘tur’ – a long walk – usually on Sundays. With no destination or purpose other than the walk itself (bring a thermo flask of strong coffee and wear an all-weather coat).

Obsession rating: 7/10 (Norway 10/10)

Shoes

Do not wear shoes indoors. No. Do not.

Obsession rating 8/10

Butter knives

Thou shalt never use your own knife in the butter. Thou shalt use the butter knife, usually carved out of wood.

Obsession rating 9/10 (you’ll get the disapproval eye if you don’t)

“Tak for sidst”

We may not have an actual word for please, but being polite is essential. Seeing someone after you went for dinner at their house last week? You say ‘Tak for sidst/senast’ (Thanks for last time). Bumping into Kalle and Frida 3 months after spending New Years with them? Tak for sidst. There is no expiration date of saying ‘thanks for last time’, except you only say it once (best keep scores).

Obsession rating 8/10 (for the older generation).

Flags

If you can add a flag, add a flag. Have a flag pole in your garden. Put cocktail flags on your food. Flags are essential.

Obsession rating: 5/10 (rising to 10/10 on any national days or event)

Never being cold

Even if it is -20c outside, thou shalt never be cold. So, keep the indoor temperature at a steady 24c at all times and walk around in your long johns. See also: Under floor heating obsessions and winter clothes that is essentially like covering your body in 15 tog duvets.

Obsession rating: 8/10

Time keeping

Why agree a time if you’re not going to stick to it? Scandinavians are always on time.

Dinner at 7 pm means turn up at 7 pm, be seated by 7:05pm. Turn up late, you miss out on the starter.

Obsession rating: 9/10

Thou shalt eat meatballs once a week.

Obsession rating 2/10 (when in Scandinavia)
Obsession rating 8/10 (When living outside Scandinavia – on Saturdays, stray Swedes can be found in ikea’s the world over, crying with joy)

Queues

If one person must suffer, we will all suffer. Therefore, queues must be ordered. Grab a ticket on your way in to the bakery/car hire place/pharmacy/hardware store and eventually, your number will be called. Fair is fair. No ticket, no service.

This is especially applicable in Sweden, where fairness and lagom rules all.

(Also, never talk to anyone in a queue, ever).

Obsession rating: 6/10

Crisp-dipping

Take some magic powder (made by elves; it’s called dip-mix). Mix with sour cream or similar. Leave it to develop the flavours for 20 minutes in the fridge. Empty your massive 200g crisp bag into a bowl on the table and proceed to dip each individual crisp in the dip before eating it.

Best flavours: Anything that adds extra dill flavour or has exotic sounding names such as ‘holiday flavour’ (no, it does not taste like your holiday to Malaga)

Obsession rating 7/10

Salty liquorice

The salty black stuff. You might not like it, but it’s elixir of life to us. Once we realise we can’t get it (i.e. when we are outside Scandinavia), it becomes a food group all on its own and we must have some on our person at all times.

Obsession rating: 7/10

Hygge

At any given opportunity, Scandinavians will mention the hygge/koseligt/mysigt. Because when you mention that we’re going to have a hyggelig time, you increase the chances of it happening.

Pick up your ipad/phone during the event and you’re out.

Obsession rating 9/10

Candles

Think about it: Ikea has an entire hall dedicated to candles and candle paraphernalia.

It’s dark for six months, we need to try and increase the hygge feelings while we hibernate in our wooden huts. A space is not a hyggeligt home unless it is lit by a million candles. Real candles only: they are not scented (and only buy candles that contain stearin or you can’t be a real Scandi)

Obsession rating: 10/10

Singing little songs

Every time we drink aquavit, songs must be sung. And in Denmark, every time someone has a big birthday or wedding or anniversary (aquavit or not), random Danish home penned lyrics will be put over the tunes of ‘My Bonnie is over the ocean’ and sung by all people present in the room.

Obsession rating: 5/10

The weather

Think the British are obsessed about the weather? Most Scandinavians have a thermometer in each room – measuring both inside and out. Also, most Scandi people know the only weather app that matters is YR.NO.

Obsession rating: 6/10

Fairness

Everyone is equal. We pay into the system so we can all aim to get the same out of the system. You have more, you pay more. You have less, you get more. Men and women getting shared parental leave. Everyone driving the same cars. Fair is fair and equal is equal. For the greater good of the whole group. Lagom and amen.

Obsession rating: 8/10

Midsummer in Scandinavia

June 19, 2018 | Leave a comment

 

Midsummer in Scandinavia

Midsummer, to Swedes especially, is one of the biggest celebrations of the year. In Sweden, the date moves each year, as it is an official holiday – and it is always celebrated on a Friday. With the official midsummer day of the year being 23 June, it is always moved to the closest Friday (for 2018, this is 22 June and 21 June for 2019). In Denmark and Norway, the date doesn’t move – it is always celebrated on the evening of 23 June.

In Sweden, Midsommar is simply known as that, whereas in Denmark and Norway
the name has changed to St Hans Aften (‘St John’s Eve’). That’s the official name, although it’s also known as Midsommer.

As the longest day of the year, midsummer was a very important day in the pagan
calendar. The Vikings used this night to visit healing water wells and had huge bonfires to ward off evil spirits. These celebrations go back to Freyia and Freyr, the Norse gods of fertility. The Vikings worshipped fertility on this day – and hoped for a rich harvest.

Today, you see the remains of these old traditions both in Sweden and Denmark.
Sweden’s midsummer symbol is now a midsummer pole, Midsommarstång, decorated with flowers. (It was originally a Maypole, likely brought over from Germany, but there weren’t enough flowers to decorate it in May so it is now used in June instead.) In Denmark and Norway (and parts of Finland), the bonfires won out and are still the main symbol of midsummer.

In Sweden, schools and offices close and it is the time for friends and families to get together. People wear flower garlands in their hair; some wear traditional dresses or just long, light-coloured dresses. Younger men wear traditional accepted Stockholm clothing for Swedish dudes: light-coloured, tight trousers, pointy shoes, fashionable sunglasses and slicked-back hair. Maybe a crown of flowers.

The flower garlands are a major part of the outfit. Most people make their own while
sitting in a field, waiting to celebrate and for someone to crack open the aquavit. People gather wild flowers and the garlands are made for grown-ups as well as children. This adds to the picture-perfect setting – everything becomes wonderfully colourful and happy, as people sit in nature and enjoy the lightest day of the year.

Thus properly attired, they gather to raise the midsummer pole, which is decorated with more flowers and leaves and can be anything from small poles in private
gardens to massive poles in the town centers.

Where food is concerned, everybody brings a picnic or has a midsummer lunch together. Lunch always consists of pickled herring, new potatoes with dill, meatballs, cheese… Not dissimilar to food at other Swedish celebrations, but with a lot more strawberries, as these are usually just in season when midsummer comes around. This is also a big day for smörgåstårta – a popular dish for high seasons. Essentially, this is a massive sandwich made with white bread, covered in a litre of mayonnaise and decorated in the best 1980’s style. Then eaten like a cake, by the slice. With this, people enjoy aquavit, in shots (nubbe). Roughly one shot to every two beers and Bjørn will be playing footsie with Gunhilde before you know it.

Drinking songs, such as ‘Helan går’, are sung, shots are enjoyed and after a few of those, almost everybody will feel ready to dance. Don’t worry if you can’t sing songs in Swedish, after two or three nubbar, people automatically develop a peculiar singsong fluency in Swedish. The party then gathers around the midsummer pole to hold hands and starts to run around in circles, pretending to be little frogs with no ears and tail. This is the traditional Swedish song – sung at every party – called ‘Små grodarna’ (the ‘Little Frogs’). If you are ever invited to join in, you must oblige. It would be rude not to and nobody feels embarrassed about this dance. Once it’s over, you’ll be allowed to get back to more food and aquavit.

The afternoon is usually spent playing games, such as Kubb (Viking chess) and an odd version of rounders called Bränball. When people have finished eating and playing, the dancing continues – as does the drinking. The party will go on until last man standing, with darkness never setting on this lightest day of the year.

On this night, it is also tradition to pick seven different kinds of wild flowers. Put them under your pillow before going to bed and you will dream of the person you will marry. This makes Tinder-swiping a whole lot easier as you will now know what he or she looks like.

In Denmark and Norway, people are a little more controlled in their midsummer celebrations. It is not a public holiday and, while it is still a big celebration, it is by no means as big as in Sweden. The celebrations centre around big bonfires, usually by the shore or in town centres. Bonfires, originally intended to ward off evil spirits, have become slightly warped in Denmark over the years. Nowadays, they signify the burning of witches. Each bonfire has a witch made out of straw, dressed in old ladies’ clothing and stuffed with whistle crackers. The fire is lit and everybody waits for the witch to catch fire, the whistles signifying her screams. Legend has it that, by doing this, you send the witch off to the Brocken mountain in Germany to dance with the Devil.

As they watch the witch burn, people sing songs about how much they love Denmark. There is usually a guy with a guitar and no socks. He plays songs slowly, with his eyes closed. There may or may not be skinny dipping. At midsummer in Denmark, kids will usually be making snobrød (‘twist bread’) – its bread dough wrapped around .a twig and baked on the fire. Except it never bakes, so you everyone ends up with a stomach ache from eating raw dough covered in jam. The fire ends and people go home. Unlike Sweden, this isn’t a massive party, but a much calmer affair (save the burning of witches, of course; some may find this rather sinister).

From the dancing and the ancient traditions to the seasonal food and togetherness, Midsummer in Scandinavia is an enchanted time and writing about it doesn’t do it full justice. The light is entirely spellbinding – and it’s something to be experienced. The day after Midsummer in Sweden, in particular, is a whole different ball game – and it’s yours alone to deal with. The ‘where are my shoes?’ questions will inevitably start to be pondered on. Who are you? Who am I?

For anyone who has partaken of a traditional Swedish Midsummer, the day after is likely to be long – and very slow. But you’ll always have the memories.

Or not.

ScandiKitchen is celebrating Midsummer – we even have a Midsummer pole and every year, we have to stop drunken Swedes from trying to walk off with it. All part of the fun. Stock up on your Midsummer foods in our London grocery store open every week day until 19:00 and Saturday until 18:00. Online here www.scandikitchen.co.uk

Extract MIDSUMMER taken from our Bronte’s best selling book Nørth: how to live Scandinavian, published by Aurum, with stunning photography by Anna Jacobsen. Get your copy on Amazon – it has everything you need to know to live a Scandi life, from Hygge to Lagom to how to wear a Norwegian jumper.

Available in Italian here
Available in German here
Available in French here

In America? Get it here.

In Canada? Get it here?

Get it signed here (or pop by the cafe in London, Bronte will be super happy to sign it for you and have a chit chat if she is around. She is not at all scary)

Koldskål & Kammerjunker – Danish buttermilk dessert

May 7, 2018 | Leave a comment

 

Koldskål & Kammerjunker – Danish buttermilk dessert

Ask any Danes and they’ll agree this dessert signifies the height of summer.

We stock this in our online shop and our café deli in London (get your stash right here), but if you fancy having a go at making it at home, here’s a great recipe that tastes ‘just right’.

This recipe requires the simple buttermilk usually sold in litres. You can find fresh buttermilk in larger supermarkets and in a lot of Eastern European shops, too. We prefer the Polish buttermilk that comes in one litre – some of the UK types can be a bit too thick.

‘Kammerjunker’ biscuits are crisp, but sweet, biscuits, lightly crushed or added whole to the soup. They need to be super crispy to carry the lightness of the soup, hence why they are returned to the oven after the initial first baking to ‘dry out’ and bake twice. If you cant be bothered to make the biscuits, fresh strawberries work really well too.

Ingredients

For the soup:
1 litre buttermilk
150ml Greek or natural yoghurt
2 egg yolks (this dessert contains raw egg yolk)
60g caster sugar
Seeds from 1 vanilla pod
Zest from ½ lemon
Juice from ¼ lemon

For the ‘Kammerjunker’ biscuits
150g flour
1 tsp baking powder
50g caster sugar
50g butter
1 egg
1 tsp good vanilla sugar or extract w seeds – or seeds from one vanilla pod
½ tsp ground cardamom (optional)
Zest from ½ lemon
2 tbsp cream

To serve
Seasonal fruit – strawberries, quartered

Method

To make the biscuits
Combine the baking powder with the flour. Add the cold butter, cubed, and mix in until you have grainy result. Add the sugar, then the other ingredients and mix again until you have an even dough.

Leave to chill for 20 minutes before rolling the dough.

Turn the oven to 200 degrees C

Roll the dough out and cut 35-40 small pieces, roll them and place them on a lined baking tray.

Bake for 7-10 minutes (depending on your oven). Remove from oven and cut each biscuit across the middle so you end up with two flat halves. Return to the warm oven and leave them to finish baking, at 170 degrees, for 8-10 more minutes OR until golden and crisp.

To make the soup/dessert

On high speed using a mixer with the whisk attachment, whisk egg yolk and sugar until white. Add the vanilla and lemon zest, then the yoghurt and start to add the buttermilk whilst continuously whisking.

Add lemon juice to taste – the soup should be sweet but have a good punch of lemon flavour coming through.

Serve the cold soup in bowls, topped with strawberries and biscuits.

This soup should really be eaten on day of making it as it contains raw egg.

13 Useful Scandinavian Insults

April 27, 2018 | 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 – like the wonderful ‘Suppegjøk’ (Norwegian) . Lit. Soup cuckoo – Someone ditsy and silly. ‘You’ve lost your wallet AGAIN? You soup cuckoo!’

    1. Klossmajor (Danish, Norwegian) – Lit. Brick major – Someone super clumsy.
      klossmajor
    2. Juksemaker pipelort (Norwegian) – Lit. Cheat maker pipe poo – Someone who cheats. The second half usually only added on by children.
    3. Snuskhummer (Swedish) – Lit. dirty lobster – used about dirty (old?) men staring at girls.
      snuskhummer
    4. Snoronga (Swedish, has Danish and Norwegian equivalents) – Lit. Snot child – someone snotty and spoilt; a brat.
      Snoronga
    5. Klaptorsk (Danish) – Lit. Clapping cod – Someone doing something very stupid; much like a cod attempting to clap .
      Klaptorsk
    6. Vatnisse (Danish, Norwegian) – Lit. cotton gnome – someone silly (with cottonwool for brains, perhaps). EDIT: also used about person that never stands up for anything or anyone, but always gives in (thank you Fredd!)
    7. Narhat (Danish) – Lit. Fool’s hat – someone so stupid they’re not even worthy being called a fool, just the fool’s hat.
      Narhat
    8. Skitstövel (Swedish) – Lit. Shit boot – someone full of shit.
      Skitstovel
    9. Kronidiot (Norwegian) – Lit. Crown idiot – As stupid as you can get. The leader of the idiots.
      kronidiot
    10. Korkad (Swedish) – Lit. Corked – Someone stupid.
      korkad
    11. Bytting (Norwegian) – Lit. Swapee (ie. Being swapped) – someone so stupid or evil you think they have been swapped for someone from the underworld.
      bytting
    12. Dumbom (Swedish) – Lit. Stupid barrier – Barriers are, in general, stupid because they are blocking the way, right? So a stupid-barrier is an insult you do not want thrown after you.
      dumbom barrier
    13. Mehe (Norwegian) – Lit. from Medhenger, meaning ‘with-hanger’ – someone who just follows and can’t think for themselves.Followers Mehe

 

 

Scandinavian Easter: 7 random things

March 22, 2018 | Leave a comment

 

7 random facts about Easter in Scandinavia

  1. In Sweden, the children dress up as little Easter Witches on Easter Sunday and go door to door, asking for sweets and treats.
  2. Norwegians are obsessed with reading who-dunnit-crime novels at Easter – sales triple all over Norway in the run up to the holidays. Norwegians like to go to their hytter (cabins) for Easter – and there, they read crime novels when they are not skiing. So obsessed are they there are even little crime stories printed on milk cartons over Easter so they never have to stop reading. Solving crime over breakfast? So very Norwegian, it seems.

    paskekrim melkekartong norwegian Easter milk carton
  3. Scandinavian Easter Egg traditions are people buying an empty cardboard shell and filling it with their favourite sweets, rather than just a huge chocolate egg. We like a mix of everything – sweet, sour, salty, liquorice, chocolate, marshmallow, and perhaps and extra Kvikk Lunsj, Kexchoklad or marzipan eggs for good measure.

    Easter eggs
  4. The Easter lunch is usually a huge Smorgasbord (with various regional variations and names). There will be pickled herring, every sandwich topping your mother and grandmother combined can think of, and lots of egg things. Maybe dyed, maybe scrambled, fried or boiled.

    Picture: TT via dn.se

     

  5. Easter in Scandinavia is called Påsk (Sweden), Påske (Denmark, Norway). An Easter egg is known as a Påskägg / påskeæg / påskeegg – and is gifted on Easter morning. We also like decorating with little chickens – usually slightly deformed with a leg out their head or an eye on their bum. They are, of course, called ‘påsk-kycklinger’ / ‘påskekyllinger’ – Easter chickens.
    Easter egg chicken decorations
  6. You’ll see many places with decorated twigs – feathers and other types of decorations, depending on area. This is a Påskris – Easter Twigs – to signify Christ’s suffering – originally used to lash out at people as a tease – and in some areas, get people out of bed on Good Friday morning. Nowadays, used mainly as decorations.
  7. Easter is the absolute last time you will see Semlor anywhere in Sweden. Most of these lovely luscious Lent buns are already gone at this time of the year, but for those still clinging on, Easter marks the final hurrah, signalising the end of the season. No more semlor until next year.
    skarsgaard semlor

Things that happen when you live with a Scandi

March 14, 2018 | 1 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.

Increased Nakedness

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.

Breakfast changes

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.

Manners

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.)

Cosy days

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….

…Friday Tacos

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.

Saturday Sweets

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.
It’s normal. You WILL like it eventually, don’t fight it, we’re only doing it for your own good, you know… Go on, just try this little Jungle Scream, it’s not too bad…

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 everywhere.

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.

Recycle hand-in-hand

Everything. Always: Rinse and recycle. You will start to make trips to the recycling stations together. Awww.

The fridge

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.

Danish Æbleskiver (little Christmas pancake treats)

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
300 ml buttermilk
100 ml double cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon caster sugar
½ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
1 teaspoon ground cardamom
250 g plain flour
grated zest of 1 medium lemon (or to taste)
50g butter, melted for frying
icing sugar, for dusting
raspberry jam, for dipping (optional)

You need: an ‘æbleskive’ pan, Japanese takoyaki pan. If you use a frying pan, they will look like mini pancakes instead.

MAKES 30

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.

How to Enjoy Autumn like a Scandi

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…

  1. Autumn is the perfect time to go full fledged HYGGE. Candles EVERYWHERE.
  2. We can finally wear all the knitted socks we own…

  3. …and our (Christmas) jumpers
  4. We can eat lovely traditional food such as Fårikål (lit. Mutton in cabbage – Norway’s national dish; mutton or lamb stewed with cabbage and peppercorns and not much else) and Korv Stroganoff (the Swedish sausage version of the stew named after a 19th century Russian count).
  5. ..and cover everything in cinnamon. Buns, apple cakes, porridge, crispbread..yum! 
    cinnamon buns - cinnamon rolls - skillingsboller
  6. We can go hiking like a Norwegian in bright, weatherproof jackets, with a Kvikk Lunsj to match. They taste best when enjoyed outside in the fresh air, you know (and on the inside, contains the Norwegian rules of the mountain to help you stay safe. If you can read Norwegian, that is).

  7. We can FINALLY wear our Sydvests (sou’westerns).

  8. And we finally don’t have to defend our multiple-cups-of-coffee-by-9am habit – the colder dark mornings being the perfect excuse.  
  9. Fredagsmys is back on the agenda; It is, year round – but in summer sometimes UTEPILS takes precedent (Utepils = the Norwegian concept of enjoying a beer outside whenever there is a sliver of sunshine and warmth in the air (read; warmer than 4 degrees)

    Fredagsmys fredagskos 
  10. And, some say it is a bit early, but it still makes us happy to start planning our Glögg parties…

  11. …and our gingerbread baking competitions..

    Just your casual Scandi gingerbread house production.

    (We know, we KNOW! The last two are strictly for The season that shall not yet be named. But when autumn is grey, dark and cold it is nice to let yourself be just a teeny bit excited about the next thing. We can almost smell the glögg! No, it is not too soon – we have some already..)

What else do you like about autumn? Anything we missed, pop it in the comments please.

How to give your apartment the ‘Copenhagen’ look

October 6, 2017 | Leave a comment

 

How to give your apartment the ‘Copenhagen’ look

When you first go to Copenhagen and you visit someone’s apartment, you usually end up in awe … ‘Are they interior designers?’ you ask yourself. ‘What style!’ you exclaim, tearing up your insides as you try to forget about your own bedsit hovel with magnolia coloured walls. Then you visit someone else, and you think ‘Oh, this place looks quite like Søren and Sofie’s’. Third time around, you know: there is a ‘style’. It’s a thing.

Ten ways to make your apartment instantly look ‘Copenhagen’ fab:

1. Rip up all carpets and sand your floors. Then paint them white.

2. Paint all your walls white. Yes, all of them, white. If there is a shade of white called ‘Scandinavian white’ or ‘Ringsted white’ or ‘Vesterbro white’, go for that, it’s probably whiter and better with even more white added, so go for that.

3. Paint all your skirting boards and doors white.

4. Remove all curtains and traces of curtains, because you no longer need them. If you can’t live without window coverings, add some (white or neutral) stylish blinds, but make sure that, when they are rolled up, you can’t see them.
 It must look like you have no curtains. Curtains are bad.

5. Get one colourful statement chair, ideally by a designer from Denmark. Anything with the word Jacobsen or Wegner is good. It will cost the same as a remote village, but it will be worth it because it’s just so beautiful and perfect. Buy a woolly sheepskin from a remote farm in Sweden and add this to said statement chair.

6. Have one normal chair next to your sofa where you add a stack of books or magazines with pictures of bearded men. Leave them there, in an ordered unordered fashion.

7. Put just one green plant in the window.

8. Your sofa must be a tasteful colour or stick to black. It must also be simple – none of this ‘all the way to the floor’ business. Legs – and nothing underneath. People must be able to see you have nothing stored under there and that your stylish white floors are also stylish and white under the sofa. Thou shalt not add too many cushions.

9. Add all or some of the following: one rug (can be colourful), one or two designer posters of designer things (drawings of chairs or statues). One standing lamp (tasteful, sleek). The coffee table must be in front of the sofa and it must have thin legs. Two candle holders (the metal kind, from Illums Bolighus) OR one Lassen candle holder, one Lyngby Vase and one Kähler vase. The bookshelf is allowed to be from IKEA, but must be ‘Is it really from IKEA or not?’

10. Hide your TV in a sleek hideaway “I never watch it anyway” place, or even better, don’t have one.

This is an extract from Bronte’s book Nørth – How to live Scandinavian, now all in all good bookshops – and also available in our shop and online. Photo by Anna Jacobsen.

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