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How to better understand Scandinavians this Christmas

December 1, 2016 | Leave a comment

How to better understand Scandinavians this Christmas

Most Scandinavians really, really like Christmas. Even if they say they don’t, they probably hum jingle bells in secret and wraps presents when nobody’s looking. We’re really good at Christmas and we find joy in even the darkest days of the year.

Jule-Hygge

Call it what you want – we have many names for it: Hygge, Koselig, Mysigt. That state of mind where you relax with people you care about and time doesn’t exist. Christmas is high season for hygge. No, you can’t buy it. You have to create it and BE in it.

snow and winter Sweden

We enjoy this kind of snow.

Fluffy, beautiful, delicious, cotton wool snow.

unknown man with frosty beard

Cold?

We’re not cold! It’s warm inside and cold outside. We have heating, log fires, stillongs and kärlek.

24-forskellige-pakker

Advent Calendars

Little chocolates every day? Pah! Do it like a Dane and give a present for each day in December. Now THAT’S an advent calendar. For both kids and adults. Yes, it’s a thing: One present every single day.

advent

Sundays in Advent

The last four Sundays before Christmas, Scandinavians meet up for glögg (mulled wine) parties, eat ginger biscuits and get red ears and cheeks from the mulled wine. It’s a real thing and it’s important. Christmas begins the first Sunday in advent. One candle is lit every Sunday.  

xmas candles

Candles in the windows. ALL the windows.

Let’s face it: It’s dark. Very dark. Can’t see a darn thing anywhere. Most people have big stars or 7-candle bridges in the windows.

We have Christmas Beers and they are delicious.

The Danish Tuborg Julebryg is only available for 10 weeks out of the year and it is the 4th best selling beer in Denmark. Also, you get to wear blue hats and stuff. Usually served at all the…

Christmas Parties…

Going home drunk in the snow after the office do is awful. Watching someone else trying to get home and failing? Great.

St.-Lucys-Day-Procession

Feast of St Lucia

13th December, every year – this happens all over the Nordic countries. In the dark, hundreds of candles and song, so sing in the light. Drink more mulled wine.

no no no

Real tree

Nobody has fake trees in Scandinavia. Just don’t go there. It’s a quick sure fire way to pure Scandi disbelief. We love our trees, our real trees.

In Denmark, they even dance around the tree and sing songs. Oh, and yes, they light real candles on the trees.


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No tinsel

Does it require batteries, light up and sing a merry tune? We don’t want it. Does it sparkle in seven different colours? No thanks. Give us simple decorations. No tinsel. Add Christmas elves.

We get to celebrate the big day a day early

Our Christmas happens on Christmas eve 24th December (NOT on the 25th) – dinner, drink, tree, sing-song, presents.

Under no circumstances do we want to go to the pub on the 24th, or to a party, or to anywhere not involving people we really, really like. No. We won’t go.

Donald Duck (Kalle Anka)

At 3 pm, every year, especially in Sweden: Watch the Donald Duck Christmas Show from 1972. Cry when Jiminy Cricket sings ‘When you wish upon a star’ and feel blessed.

julemad_kam--co

Tyrkey? No thanks.

Fed up with Turkey? Join us – in Scandinavia, Christmas dinners range from ham to roast pork, roast duck, sugar fried potatoes, smoked racks of lamb and, eh, cod steeped in lye (ehhh, yes, some do).

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[who the hell invited the pineapple?!]

Christmas Smörgåsbord

For Swedes, it’s Christmas Eve… For Danes and the rest, its all the other days: Bring out the herring, the aquavit, the left overs, the everything-you-can-think-of-table. Add beer. Aquavit.

glogg

Red noses, red cheeks, sneaky kisses under the mistletoe.

It’s also our thing. No, not mulled wine. We don’t add drabs of left over stuff to our glögg, nor do we add half a litre of orange juice. No. We carefully blend spices, sugar and red wine… heat it up and add secret yuletide cheer to every pot. Why is Glögg so much better than mulled wine? Cardamom, dried Seville orange peel, cinnamon, cloves and ginger are the scents of a truly Scandinavian Christmas. It makes us feel all warm and happy inside.

Things flavoured with saffron

Swedes and Norwegians eat Saffron buns. Actually, the Swedes will to flavour almost anything with saffron (drinks, biscuits, Semlor, cakes… ). The Danes eat little pancake balls called Æbleskiver. Over 100 million of those are eaten every year in Denmark (they really, really like them). Æbleskiver means apple slicers, although, oddly, rarely contain any apple.

 

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Like a weirdly flat coke mixed with root beer. It’s available all through Christmas and outsells CocoCola by a mile. Do not attempt to separate a Swede from his Julmust drink

Julebrus

Like a raspberry fizzy soft drink. It’s available all through Christmas and outsells CocoCola by a mile. Do not attempt to separate a Norwegian from his Julebrus drink.

Also, don’t give Julmust to a Norwegian and don’t give Julebrus to a Swede. And the Danes only want the beer.

santascoming

Father Christmas

We can’t agree on where he lives. The Danes are sure he lives on Greenland, the rest knows it is in the North Pole. Or in Finland. Or he doesn’t exist at all because we believe in the Christmas gnomes, not Santa (and then he is called Tomten or Nissen). It gets confusing. Anyway, he wears a red hat. He often visits the house in the afternoon and he looks like Uncle Björn.

90th Birthday – every year

We watch this clip every single New Year. Every single year – on the telly, over and over. Since the beginning of time, we have done this and we will continue. Same procedure as last year, James, same procedure as last year.

God Jul!

from all of us at www.Scandikitchen.co.uk

x

tinkerbell

Pimp My Gingerbread House 2016

November 24, 2016 | Leave a comment

Pimp My Gingerbread House 2016

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It’s beginning to smell like Gingerbread.. That’s right, it’s that time of year again – it’s time for our annual Pimp My gingerbread House competition!

Every year in the run up to Christmas we run a competition – who can go crazy with a standard gingerbread house kit?

The rules;

Take one basic Gingerbread house kit from Annas and pimp it up to the best of your abilities. Think outside the box: be as creative, crazy and elaborate as you want. Whatever your strong side, put it into the house.

When you are done, send us a picture and we will put the best ones up on Instagram and Facebook and the blog during December.

We have four categories:

Adult – Beautiful: This is the main award. The most beautiful house you can make from a very basic kit of gingerbread house.

Adult – Super Creative.   This is the crazy house – like the house eaten by dragons, murder scenes, brothels, discos – whatever you can do to pimp up your house to silly standards with great use of imagination.

Child – up to 7 years old. It’s okay that your Mum and Dad help out, but here we do want to see real kids efforts. We know what seven year olds can do with a ginger bread kit – we want to see kids being allowed to unleash creativity. It’s fine to add Lego men and other toys to the mix or make a gingerbread house for your favourite dolls.

Young person 8-16 – We want to see your imagination run wild here. Make the house your own.

THIS YEAR’S PRIZES:

First prize this year in category ‘beautiful’ is £50 online OR in-store voucher for ScandiKitchen, a signed copy of our new baking book ‘Fika & Hygge’ and one of our fancy new mugs.

Adult – Creative – A hamper full of goodies and treats plus a signed baking book.

Children under 7: Sweeties. And more Sweeties. So many sweeties your Mum will be quite annoyed with us all the way through till January.

Young person 8-16 prize: Sweets. And more Sweets. So many sweeties your Mum will be quite annoyed with us and also a little jealous that it is all for you.

The rules:

      • All entries MUST be made from a basic Gingerbread House kit. We stock the one from Anna’s, which is the preferred one, but if you use the IKEA version that is also fine (they are similar in shape and size). Basically, the basic shape of the house must be the same so we can see just how creative you can be with a pre-fab kit. Any entries not made from the similar in size and shape to the Ikea and Anna’s kit will not be accepted, sorry.
      • When you submit photos, you need to state what category you are entering into.
      • Only one entry per person
      • If more than one person submits the same entry, the prize will be shared.
      • No alternative prize, no cash prizes, no exchanges.
      • Entries must be received before 16th December 2016 at noon to iloveherring@scandikitchen.co.uk
      • Employees of ScandiKitchen ltd not eligible to enter (Rebekka, we’re talking to you)
      • Winners will be picked by a jury of lovely people (most likely a selection of our customers – we usually pick 5 judges from Twitter to help us out).
      • The judges decisions are final.
      • Prizes can be sent to UK address only.

Send your photos to iloveherring@scandikitchen.co.uk before 16th December at noon to enter the competition. We look forward to seeing your creations.

Love

The Kitchen People x

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WIN! The Sleigh Ride DVD & Winter Sweet Treats

November 22, 2016 | Leave a comment

WIN! The Sleigh Ride DVD & Winter Sweet Treats

A few years ago, a mini trend kicked off in Norway – slow TV.

The concept of slow TV is simple and can be summed up as enjoying a journey in real time. No cutting, fast forwarding, music or commentary – just beautiful scenery and the sounds of the scene. The sleigh ride follows an ancient Sami postal route with no sounds except the crunching of snow and twinkling of reindeer bells.

We’ve teamed up with our friends at Nordic Noir again and have 4 copies to hand out – 1 winner will receive the DVD and a selection of sweet treats, 3 others the DVDs. Yay!
All Aboard! The Sleigh Ride’ was released on DVD  Monday 21st November by Nordic Noir & Beyond.

The Sleigh Ride - ScandiKitchen commpetition

 

To win – just answer this simple question;

What do the moomins do at Christmas?

  1. Celebrate it with a big feast for all of moomin valley
  2. Go on holiday to the south
  3. Sleep – they’re hibernating, like bears.

Send your response to martina@scandikitchen.co.uk before Wednesday the 23rd November.

Winner will be drawn from all correct entries.

The usual rules apply. UK residents only. No cheating. One main winner and three DVD winners. No alternative prize and no cash alternative.

Good luck!

Recipe: Rödbetsallad Apple and Beetroot Salad

December 11, 2014 | Leave a comment

This dish is a must on most Scandi Christmas Smorgasbord tables. Mostly in Sweden, where it is absolutely essential. No beetroot salad = no Christmas.

It’s super easy to make it – have a go at home, but please do try to use a Scandinavian pickled beetroot for the best result. It just works better.

Recipe: Rödbetsallad Apple and Beetroot Salad
 
Prep time
Total time
 
Author:
Serves: 4
Ingredients
  • 1 jar of pickled beetroot 300g (drained weight approx. 280g)
  • ½ apple
  • 50g Mayonnaise
  • 50g Crème fraiche
  • Squeeze of lemon juice
  • Salt, pepper
  • 1 tbs chopped chives (optional)
Instructions
  1. Drain the beetroot well and cut into bitesized pieces. Peel and cut apple into similar sized pieces.
  2. Mix the beetroot and apple in a bowl, add mayonnaise and crème fraiche and stir. You are looking for a good creamy consistency and a medium pink colour (if the beetroot is not drained properly, you will get a runny consistency).
  3. Season to taste (add sugar if using a tart variety of pickled beetroot). Add more mayo and crème fraiche, if a creamier salad is desired.
  4. The colour of the salad will go darker once it sets. Leave to set in the fridge for a few hours or even overnight. If it goes too dark, just add a bit more crème fraiche or mayonnaise just before serving. If using chives, add chopped on top before serving.

Shop our full range of Scandi food here 

Recipe: Make Nordic ‘Glogg’ mulled wine at home

December 9, 2014 | 2 Comments

Shop our full range of Scandi food here 

Glögg is an essential part of Christmas all over Scandinavia. This is recipe was created by my sister-in-law Annika in her Gothenburg kitchen. It’s so very easy to make glögg at home – give it a go. You can reduce or increase the sugar to your liking – and do play around with adding and taking some spices away to make your own signature mulled wine.

Serve Nordic ‘Glögg’ mulled wine warm in smaller glasses with raisins and almonds.

Make your own 'Glögg' mulled wine at home
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Recipe type: Drink
Serves: 4
Ingredients
  • 1 bottle red wine (quality doesn’t matter)
  • 1-2 sticks cinnamon
  • 5g dried root ginger
  • 5g dried Seville orange peel (or other orange if you can't get Seville)
  • 7 green cardamom pods
  • 15-16 whole cloves
  • 80g/3oz sugar
  • To serve: flaked almonds and raisins
  • Splash of either vodka, aquavit, rum or cognac (optional)
Instructions
  1. Pour the wine into a pan, add the spices and heat to around 80C/176F, stirring to dissolve the sugar.
  2. Remove from the heat and leave to infuse for at least an hour.
  3. Strain the mixture and return the mulled wine to the bottle - use a funnel to make life easier for yourself. The wine can be kept for around a week.
  4. To serve, pour the wine into a saucepan and heat it.
  5. Place a few flaked almonds and raisins in the bottom of your serving cups, and pour the glögg over the mixture.
  6. If you want to give your glögg a kick, add a splash of either vodka, aquavit, rum or cognac just after you’ve reheated the wine.

 

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Glögg party – how to do it the Scandinavian way

December 4, 2014 | Leave a comment

It’s December, it’s the weekend – this can only mean one thing: Glögg party.

We Scandinavians do love any excuse to pop over to each other’s house and have a tipple and some homemade cake or biscuit. Those dark December days are just perfect for this: Spend time with lovely people, letting them know you care – and serve delicious mulled wine to give everybody rosy cheeks before they head back into the cold air.

If you are in Scandinavian, you may attend 2 or even 3 of these parties in a weekend, because everybody hosts Glogg parties. You will find that the ‘Glögg’ mulled wine tends to be served in smaller cups in Scandinavia, mainly because we would otherwise be hammered by the time we reach Auntie Agneta’s house and we would, inevitably, end up making a comment about her slightly weird collection of garden gnomes. However, if you are outside Scandiland, you will probably just attend one or two a weekend, so feel free to go for it. Jut be warned: Glögg mulled wine will make your nose red like Rudolf and your ears will feel very warm. Basically, you turn into Elf if you overdo it. You’ve been warned.

Here’s how to host your own Scandinavian Glögg party this Christmas

Set the scene.

Think lots of candles, simple decorations… Hearts, spruce. No tinsel, just nice, stylish cosy Christmas decorations. Maybe a tree – but if you are going to do a tree, make it a real one. Scandinavians don’t ‘do’ fake trees. It’s better to have no tree than a fake tree. Did we mention candles? We did? Get some more. We over-do candles. Have you never seen the candle section in Ikea? Made for us and our candle obsession. If in doubt, buy some more.

Music

Think less Wham, more ABBA. Michael Buble becomes an honorary Scandi at this time a year before we put him back in the cupboard on the 28th December. Use spotify and search ‘Scandinavian Christmas’ and you should be fine. Expect a few cringe additions. Blame Spotify.

Drink

Offer your guests ‘Glögg’ mulled wine. Glögg is not the same as British mulled wine. We will claim it is infinitely better (it is) – and this is because we use cardamom, cinnamon, ginger, dried Seville orange and cloves.

You can get the spices you need at our shop – or you can buy ready-made good stuff online. Swedes swear by all Glögg from Blossa. The red top is 10%, standard and works for all. The orange top is 15% and gives you a even redder nose.  The see-through ‘Rum’ and ‘Cognac’ Blossas are 21% and you drink these in bigger glasses, in your arm chair front of the log fire. The purple bottle ‘14’ is the annual exciting new flavour – this year, it is Lavender (it’s nice, but nicer drunk a bit colder than normal Glögg).

For the kids and non alcohol drinkers, try the Glögg concentrate. We also do a Saturnus glögg at 2.2%.

To serve you glögg, heat it up so it is warm (not boiling, or the alcohol will evaporate) – and serve in little mugs of thick glasses. Add almonds and raisins.

Food

If you are doing a Danish Gløgg party, you need to make or get your hand on some Æbleskiver. These are little doughballs, made from a pancake like batter. Serve warm with jam and icing sugar.

Biscuit wise, Danes favour ‘Brunkager’ (as do Norwegians) – and Pebernødder. Both are variations of ginger biscuits.

Swedes will expect you to serve Saffron buns. Delicious yellow wheat buns. We sell them at the café but you should have a go at making some at home – they are not hard to make and they taste amazing when just fresh out of the oven.

Pepparkakor’ are the Swedish chosen biscuits – we sell them in the shop. There are many different brands, but Anna’s is the one we stock and prefer. At Christmas, they are heart shaped.

Want to make your own ginger biscuits? Get the dough and simply shape and bake. Easy peasy.

Other foods

Want to fill up the fika table? Add other buns and biscuits. Swedes like to make ‘knäck’ toffee and the Danes love to make little marzipan and nougat petit fours. You can also make ‘Chockladbollar’ or ‘Romkugler’ no-bake treats. Find the recipe on our blog.

Savoury

If you want to add a bit of a savoury element, maybe serve cheeses and crispbread. In particular, get hold of some really nice blue cheese and serve this with ginger biscuits: It’s a really, really nice combination.

Lastly, these events are usually in the afternoons, not evenings. After lunch, usually lasting a few hours, no more. Just so you can fit in 2-3 in the same day if you need to.

Happy Advent

x

 

    Annika’s Glöggmix – Mulled Wine Spices 24g
    £2.49
    - +
    Annas Pepparkakor Original – Ginger Thins 300g
    £2.90
    - +
    Blossa Vinglögg 10% – Mulled Wine 750 ml
    £11.95
    - +

 

 

 

 

Pimp My Gingerbread House 2014

November 27, 2014 | Leave a comment

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It’s that time of year again…. Time to get super creative with the Gingerbread House Kits from Anna’s.

Every year we run a great competition:

Take one basic Gingerbread house kit and pimp it up to the best of your abilities. Think outside the box – be creative, be crazy, be super attentive to detail: Whatever is your strong side, put that into the little house.

When you are done, send us a picture of our house and we will put the best ones up on Instagram and Facebook and the blog during December.

This year, we once again have 4 categories:

Adult – Beautiful: This is the main award. The most beautiful house you can make from a very basic kit of gingerbread house.

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Adult – Super Creative.   This is the crazy house – like the house eaten by dragons, murder scenes, brothels, discos – whatever you can do to pimp up your house to silly standards with great use of imagination.

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Child – up to 7 years old. It’s okay that you Mum and Dad help out, but here we do want to see real kids efforts. We know what seven year olds can do with a ginger bread kit – we want to see kids being allowed to unleash creativity. It’s fine to add Lego men and other toys to the mix or make a gingerbread house for your favourite dolls.

Young person 8-16 – We want to see your imagination run wild here. Make the house your own.

THIS YEAR’S PRIZES:

First prize this year is an amazing T Tab Table Lamp donated by Skadium Design Shop in London (worth £239) – it is an amazing piece of design and will make any desk look super stylish.

We’ve also got a selection of great products from ISAK Design as the second prize for the Create Adult winner. ISAK are the people who make those great mugs we use at ScandiKitchen – see more about them here

Children under 7 prize: Sweeties. And more Sweeties. So many sweeties your Mum will be quite annoyed with us all the way through till January.

Young person 8-16 prize: Sweeties. And more Sweeties. So many sweeties your Mum will be quite annoyed with us all the way through till January, probably.

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The rules:

  1. All entries MUST be made from a basic Gingerbread House kit. We stock the one from Anna’s, which is the preferred one, but if you use the IKEA version that is also fine (they are similar in shape and size). Basically, the basic shape of the house must be the same so we can see just how creative you can be with a pre-fab kit. Any entries not made from the similar in size and shape to the Ikea and Anna’s kit will not be accepted, sorry.
  2. When you submit photos, you need to state what category you are entering into.
  3. Only one entry per person
  4. If more than one person submits the same entry, the prize will be shared (if you win the lamp, you will have to fight).
  5. No alternative prize, no cash prizes, no exchanges.
  6. Entries must be received before 18th December 2014 at noon to iloveherring@scandikitchen.co.uk
  7. Employees of ScandiKitchen ltd not eligible to enter (No, Rebekka, you can’t…)
  8. Winners will be picked by a jury of lovely people (most likely a selection of our customers – we usually pick 5 judges from Twitter to help us out).
  9. The judges decisions are final.
  10. Prizes for pick up from café store

Send your photos to iloveherring@scandikitchen.co.uk before 18th December at noon to enter the competition. We look forward to seeing your creations.

Love

The Kitchen People x

 

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    Pick’n’Mix Without Liquorice 200g
    £2.50
    - +
    Marabou Non Stop – Chocolate Buttons 100g
    £2.20
    - +

 

 

 

Time for Blossa Glögg Mulled wine

November 18, 2014 | Leave a comment

Every year, Swedish mulled wine makers Blossa come up with a new an exciting flavour. This year’s annual Blossa 2014 glögg is Lavender and comes in a beautiful light purple bottle.

We’ve also now got stock of all the usual ‘Glögg’ mulled wines from Blossa, so do pop by and stock up both in the cafe store and online as well.

To serve Blossa Glogg mulled wine, simply heat gently and serve up in little mugs – with almonds and raisins either in or on the side.

The difference between the Blossa mulled wines:

The red one: Standard Blossa amazingness. 10% alcohol. This is the most popular one.

Green label: Light mulled wine at 2,2% alcohol – but same great taste

Orange label – strong mulled wine, 15% alcohol.

Clear bottles – flavoured with either Cognac or Rum, these are a lot stronger and you do not need very much of it – but a log fire and a cottage in the snow helps to bring out the full ambiance.

Shop for our full range of Glögg online or in our shop in London

    Blossa Lätt vinglögg – Low Alcohol Mulled Wine 2.2% ABV 750ml
    £5.50
    - +
    Blossa Vinglögg Box 10% – Mulled Wine BiB 2000ml
    £27.00
    - +
    Blossa Vinglögg 10% – Mulled Wine 750 ml
    £11.95
    - +
    Blossa Starkvinsglögg 15% – Strong Mulled Wine 750ml
    £15.45
    - +
    Blossa Starkvinsglögg Cognac 21% – Mulled Wine Cognac 500ml
    £14.30
    - +
    Blossa Starkvinsglögg Rom 21% – Mulled Wine Rum 500ml
    £13.95
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