Tag Archives: summer

‘Små Grodorna’ Lyrics – Swedish Midsummer

June 18, 2018 | Leave a comment

picture credit: talldungen.se

 


 

Dance like a frog and celebrate Swedish midsummer

No, we don’t know why either – but dancing around the beautiful midsummer pole like little frogs is a thing. There is no escaping it, when you celebrate Swedish midsummer, you dance around pretending to be a frog. So there. You might as well embrace it and learn the lyrics! First, the Swedish – second a commonly used (well…commonly is relative) English version.

 

Swedish:

Små grodorna, små grodorna är lustiga att se.
Små grodorna, små grodorna är lustiga att se.
Ej öron, ej öron, ej svansar hava de.
Ej öron, ej öron, ej svansar hava de.
Kou ack ack ack, kou ack ack ack,
kou ack ack ack ack kaa.
Kou ack ack ack, kou ack ack ack,
kou ack ack ack ack kaa.

 


 

English:

The little frogs, the little frogs are funny to observe.
The little frogs, the little frogs are funny to observe.
No ears, no ears, no tails do they possess.
No ears, no ears, no tails do they possess.
Kou ack ack ack, kou ack ack ack,
kou ack ack ack ack kaa.
Kou ack ack ack, kou ack ack ack,
kou ack ack ack ack kaa.

 

Happy Midsummer!

Celebrating? Check out our ready to go Picnic box to bring to the park – or our huge selection of Swedish midsummer foods from herring and aquavit to meatballs and cinnamon buns.

Lyrics found all over the internet – we are merely repeating them from wikipedia which has lots of translations should you want them.

How to do a Scandi Midsummer at Home

June 12, 2018 | Leave a comment

How to do a Scandi Midsummer at Home

Midsummer is one of the most important days in the Nordic calendar – especially for the Swedes where it is a huge holiday (and hangover).

Here’s a guide on how to make your own Swedish Midsummer Buffet and celebrations at home.

When to celebrate

Swedes always move Midsummer to the nearest Friday for Summer Solistice. This year that means Friday 22nd June. This day is a holiday in Sweden and everybody will be out all day celebrating in the sunshine (read: rain). When celebrating abroad, most move it to the Saturday (23rd June in 2018) so we can benefit from a full day of sitting outside, hoping it will not rain.

How to set the scene

Flowers and green stuff. Everywhere. Outside is preferable – in a park, in your garden, by a lake or even on your balcony if you have no outside space. Midsummer is all about the outdoors.

What to wear

Something light in colour, flowers in your hair. Real flower garlands are a must for all! Be at one with nature (avoid walking around naked – that’s too much. Especially before the first bottle of aquavit has been opened).

What to eat

Make a Smörgåsbord buffet or a picnic (Smörgåsbord just means ‘laid out table – a buffet). Both will contain the same sort of foods. We have added ** for things that are essential – the other stuff are fillers: add as many as you fancy or have time to do.

• Pickled herring** (Mustard herring and Matjes Herring are two solid choices). Recipe for Mustard herring is here or get it ready to serve here. Arrange in bowls, decorate with onions rings on top and dill sprigs.

• Gubbröra – boiled egg with pickled sprats. Eat with crispbread. Find the recipe in our first cookbook.

• Gravad Lax cured salmon and Dill & Mustard Sauce ** (goes well with rye bread)

Västerbotten Quiche – a beautiful Swedish cheese pie, perfect eaten cold. Top with caviar sauce (red lumpfish roe mixed with a few large spoonsfuls of crème fraiche or sour cream). If you can’t be bothered to make the quiche, just serve the cheese on its own with a dollop of cloudberry jam. Or, like us – do both! Cheese pie with a side of cheese.

• New potatoes ** – Cook and cool down, dress with melted butter and fresh dill. When you serve them, you do so with a bowl of what Swedes call Gräddfill on the side – it’s similar to crème fraiche – but lighter. You can get the exact same thing by mixing half natural yoghurt and half crème fraiche (or simply buy your gräddfill from us here). Add lots of chopped chives with the gräddfill, too – essential. A great match for Matjes herring. Here is a recipe for a simple potato and dill salad.

• Swedish Meatballs**. Well, you didn’t think you could avoid meatballs, did you? You can find a recipe on how to make your own here. We stock some really delicious ones, too – very meaty and with just the right spice from a slow food producer called Per I Viken (budget 2-3 meatballs per person of these – they are quite filling). If you use the smaller supermarket variety, budget about 120g per person.

• Beetroot Salad** It wouldn’t be Midsummer without a good beetroot salad. You can find a recipe here – or get your hands on our own version here. If you pop by the café, we’ll usually be able to sell some of our homemade salad to you by the kilo, also, if you ask nicely.

• Extra salads – if you fancy making a more elaborate spread, try the Courgette & Västerbotten salad here or the Curried cauliflower with rye grain for something different? Or even a nice fresh kale salad with apple here – or how about a lovely slaw?

• This Beetroot Tart is a fab veggie option that both tastes and looks stunning.

• Bread **. Make a bread basket of lovely crispbread, rye bread and crusty bread so there is something for everyone.

• Cheeses – if you want to add a cheese selection, we recommend Västerbotten (truly a phenomenal cheese, especially with Cloudberry jam on top), and then an Åseda – a mild, super creamy cheese that everyone loves. You can also perhaps add a bit of Danish cheese – the Riberhus with caraway is lovely and has a good bite to it. Don’t forget you need cheese slicers.

• Dessert has to incorporate strawberries** – that’s the law. The more strawberries the better. In Sweden, most people will make a strawberry layer cake – 3 sponge or genoise sponge layers, with half pastry cream half whipped cream in the middle. Add chopped strawberries in side in the layers, and cover the whole thing in more strawberries. An easier option of Strawberries and cream also works! Here’s the cheat’s version for the cake and the full recipe.

What to drink

Aquavit** is needed for your cheering and singing – for Midsummer, the delicious light Elderflower aquavit is great (Hallands Fläder) or try the most traditional OP Andersson. Serve slightly chilled in shot glasses. Be warned, it gets you drunk from the waist down.

Here’s a link to the songs you need to know for the aquavit cheering:

Aquavit Songs (Snapsvisor) for Midsummer

Also, serve nice beers (God Lager, Tuborg, Lapin Kulta etc) – and wine, if preferred, but this is less traditional (and doesn’t work so well with aquavit, so do be careful of who you’re playing footsie with under the table).

A nice non-alcoholic drink is Elderflower or Lingonberry Cordial – great both with still and sparkling water.

How to arrange the table and buffet if you’re having the party at home and not in a park:

If arranging on a separate Smörgåsbord buffet table (recommended for 10 people or more), always arrange the fish at one end, starting with the herring, followed by any other fish dishes. Follow it with cold meats, then warm meats, side dishes and finally bread and butter. Cheese can be placed by the bread section or served separately at the end as a cheese board. Dessert is not usually brought out until the main smörgåsbord has been eaten.

Always start with herring and a shot of aquavit (butter some rye bread or crisp bread, add a few slices of herring on top, eat with a knife and fork, drink a shot of aquavit, and everybody cheers together). After a few sing songs, tuck into the rest of the meal.

Glad Midsommar!

PS if you’re still in doubt on what to do, here’s a Midsummer for Dummies guide:

Easy Västerbotten Cheese Quiche

June 7, 2018 | Leave a comment

Easy Västerbotten Cheese Quiche

A great side dish for a crayfish party – this traditional cheese tart is really lovely served with caviar dressing.

For the pastry:
125g cold butter
200g plain flour
pinch of salt
1 egg (plus water, if needed – add a few drops if dough is not coming together)

For the filling:
250g Västerbotten cheese, grated
3 eggs
100ml whole milk
250ml double cream
½ tsp paprika, salt and pepper

You’ll need a tart tin (25-28cm diameter) with a loose base.

Method:

  1. Blitz your pastry ingredients in a food processor (egg and water at the end only) to form a dough, then leave to chill for about 30 minutes in the fridge.
  2. Heat the oven to 180°C.
  3. Roll out the chilled dough and line the pastry tin. Prick the base with a fork and blind bake using baking beans for 10-12 minutes. Remove the beans and bake for a further 5-6 minutes.
  4. For the filling, mix together everything except the Västerbotten cheese.
  5. Scatter the cheese on the base of the pastry, evenly all over – then pour over the egg mixture.
  6. Return it to the oven for about 15-20 minutes. It’ll puff up quite a bit towards the end, but will turn golden on top. It’s done when it is ‘set’ so do keep an eye on it.

Leave it to cool before slicing. Serve cold or lukewarm.

Västerbottenpaj goes well with romsås, a caviar sauce. Alternatively, if you can get real bleak roe (Löjrom), serve the tart with a spoonful of this, some crème fraîche and finely chopped red onion.

Romsås Caivar Sauce:

In a bowl, mix together 3 large tbsp. crème fraiche and one jar of red lumpfish roe (80g). Leave to set in the fridge, then stir again just before serving.

    Norrmejerier Västerbottensost – Mature Cheese 33% 450g
    £9.99 £7.49
    - +
    Norrmejerier Vasterbottensost Rökt – Smoked Mature Cheese 165g
    £4.29 £3.69
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    Norrmejerier Vasterbottensost – Gourmet Piece 165g – Midsummer Special *
    £4.99 £2.00
    - +

Recipe: A Simple Potato Salad

July 24, 2017 | Leave a comment

A Simple Potato Salad

This is the simplest and loveliest potato salad we know. It tastes of summer and picnics – and we pair it with anything from salmon to meatballs.

The best thing is that it takes only a few minutes to prepare after the potatoes have been boiled – and you can enjoy it hot or cold.

Cook the potatoes in their skin (new potatoes or salad potatoes). You can use slightly warm potatoes for this, or cooled ones straight out of the fridge. The most important part is to dress them just before serving.

Prepare the dressing:

• 75ml sunflower oil or other light oil

• 25ml white wine vinegar

• 1 tbsp Dijon mustard

• 1 tbsp caster sugar

• 1 medium shallot, very finely chopped

• 1 bunch of dill, finely chopped (around 30g)

• Salt and pepper to taste

Whisk the liquids, mustard and sugar until the sugar has dissolved, then fold in the chopped shallot and dill. Pour the dressing over the potatoes and make sure each potato is coated.

Enjoy.

Swedish Crayfish Party – How To Celebrate – Roxanne’s Way

August 4, 2016 | Leave a comment

Swedish Crayfish Party – How I Celebrate

Swedes all over Love their crayfish party and there are many ways to host this type of party, and this week, our People’s Hero Roxanne shares her way of celebrating through a few simple questions.

Where do we usually find you during the crayfish festivities and what are the essentials?

This is a tradition I usually celebrate back home in Sweden. You would probably find me at my friend’s house sitting in their garden (warning the neighbors beforehand about the loud singing that might occur throughout the night)

One of the essentials – except for the actual crayfish – is of course the aquavit (snaps). And it is law amongst my friends to sing a ‘snapsvisa’ called ‘helan går’ (everything goes) before we take a shot of Skåne aquavit.

crayfish-party garlandWhat do you eat at the crayfish party?

Crayfish of course –a lot of them. We usually also have a lot of other sea food such as prawns as everyone don’t like crayfish. To our crayfishes we serve a variety of other food that goes really well with the sea food.

We always have Vasterbotten quiche, different types of bread (crispbread of course), cheese with caraway or with cloves and many different styles of nibbles (sour cream and onion crisps being my favourite to snack on throughout the night).

crayfiah

 

Is there any essential that is a must have?

Snapsglas! (shot glasses) how would you drink all the snaps otherwise?

What is your advice for the crayfish rookies that want to host the festivities?

Well – don’t go dressed as you were going to meet the queen – when eating crayfish you have to be ready for the mess.

 

To read more about crayfish parties and how you could host one – click here. 

To visit our crayfish shop click here. 

 

It Is Time For Summer Fika

July 14, 2016 | Leave a comment

It Is Time For Summer Fika

Scandinavian people love their coffee. Norwegians are in the top of coffee consumption but Sweden and Finland consume the most cups of coffee per day in the world. So to say the least – Scandinavians are well caffeinated!

coffee drinking gif

But when having a Fika in the summer it is sometimes nice to cool down with a cold drink. If there is no ice coffee available Scandinavians love to make a jug of ‘saft’ – cordial. This cold drink matches any favourite nibbles such as cookies, pastries or cinnamon buns. What Fika truly stand for and what you need to have to create the best Fika moment you can find here. And here you can find 10 ways to Fika so that you can find your new favourite.

jordgubbssaft

Now we want to brew some coffee and make a jug of ‘saft’ – don’t you?

It Is Waffle Weekend

June 30, 2016 | Leave a comment

It Is Waffle Weekend – Scandinavian Waffles (again)

We love waffles, we love to talk about them a lot –  and we are going to talk about them some more. Here are some tips for how you can eat them this summer.

Waffle maker with toppings

 

Nothing implies summer more than warm newly made waffles – topped with whipped cream and jam. But there are a variety of different toppings that can go on a waffle – here you can read more about the different ways to eat waffles.

Waffles with whipped cream and jam

And here is a lovely recipe for our favourite waffles.

Yummy, this make us want to have some waffles now – don’t you?

Midsummer in Norway – Celebrating St. Hans Eve

June 16, 2016 | Leave a comment

Midsummer in Norway – Celebrating St. Hans (St. John’s)

Midsummer is usually not called midsummer in Norway, but St. Hans after the evangelist John (called Johannes in Norwegian; Hans is the shortened form). Originally two separate celebrations, they have now – for most people – merged into one.

St. Hans day is the 24th of June every year, and the celebrations are held on St. Hans’ eve – the 23rd. It is not a national holiday – but most people mark it in some way or another. Traditionally celebrated with a huge bonfire, or out on the fjord if you’re lucky enough to have a boat or know someone who does.

sthans-norge-midsummer-norway


 

Bonfires are set up in many neighbourhoods, and is usually accompanied by a barbecue feast and beers – hot dogs in lompe, with ketchup, mustard and crispy onions.

    Bähncke Ristede Løg – Crispy Onions 100g
    £1.79
    - +

 

Ice cream for afters (often, the inaccurately named Kroneis (Norway’s cornetto – name translated to 10p-ice cream, but it costs the equivalent to £2).

kroneis midsummer norway

 


 

 

A typical St. Hans celebrations often includes playing games – here are some of our favourites:

Egg-racing; race each other whilst balancing an egg on a spoon held in your mouth (hardboiling the egg beforehand makes it easier – but it’s more fun when you risk it with a raw one!)

Egg race Norway

Helmet and protective glasses optional.


Sack-race, individual and in relay teams – 
Racing each other by attempting to jump a (straight) distance in sacks. Also popular on 17. mai;

Sack race - sekkelop norway

A LOT harder than it looks. Face-plant almost guaranteed.


Three-legged race – 
We’re not sure exactly how popular this is (outside yours truly’s childhood neighbourhood) – but nevertheless super fun.
Rules: Find a partner. Tie your right leg to their left leg (or the other way around) so you have to move as if you were one person with three legs. Confused? Good. Race against others with the same set-up. It is fun, we promise.
Three-legged race Noreway midsummer

A Scandinavian Barbecue

May 26, 2016 | Leave a comment

 

Let’s Have a Barbecue – Scandi Style!

Warmer weather and glimpses of sun can only mean one thing – barbecue season is here.

Here’s what you need for a Scandi barbecue.

The nibbles:

Nibbles are important – everyone without a gas barbecue knows this. It always takes about 5 hours to get hot enough to cook anything on so nibbles are crucial to avoid eating each other during the wait.
We like crisps – especially dill chips and sour cream and onion. They’re especially nice with a refreshing dip – such as Estrella Dill dip mix or Holiday.

The barbecue bit:

Unless you have a gas barbecue, sausages are the way to go. They cook in less than an hour, are easy to eat standing up, can hold most toppings – and crucially – they taste good even when they’re a bit burnt.
We LOVE the barbecue range from Per I Viken – which includes spicy chorizo, herby Salsiccia and the super savoury Bratwurst. For kids, red hot dogs or classic wienerkorv always go down a treat.

The bready bits:

Classic sausage buns are a must – the softer sweeter bun contrasts oh so well with the meaty sausages. Norwegians are partial to a thin potato flatbread; lompe, which also works a treat.
Not traditional, but very nice, is Swedish soft flatbread. Take it easy on the toppings, though, as this tends to be more fragile than the other two.

The condiments:

A barbecue needs a good range of condiments. Ketchup, several types of mustard, pickles, remoulade, mayonnaise, skagenrora (if you’re from Gothenburg), and crispy onions are absolutely non-negotiable; we like everything at once, but if you fancy a slightly lighter version we recommend you try one of the following combos:

The Swede: Ketchup, mustard, bostongurka and crispy onions. In a bun.
The Dane: Remoulade. Other bits, optional.
The Norwegian: Ketchup, mustard, crispy onions. In lompe.

Drinks;

Cold beers and soft drinks.

Other bits; An umbrella. A kitchen ready to take over the cooking should the barbecue fail you. More snacks, something sweet to finish with – such as pick and mix and gifflar.

To view our Barbecue corner – click here. Happy barbecuing!

Summer Salad: Courgette & Västerbotten cheese

July 24, 2014 | Leave a comment

Need a delicious salad for lunch? Look no further. This simple salad has bags of flavour and takes only a few minutes to make.

Serves 2-3

What you need:

2 medium sized courgettes

1 small bunch of rocket (you can add a bit of baby spinach, too, if you want a more leafy salad)

50g shaved Västerbotten cheese (or mature Präst cheese if you can’t get Västerbotten).

50g flaked almonds

Dressing:

1 tbsp red wine vinegar

1 tbsp balsamic vinegar

3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

Salt, pepper

How to:

Shave the courgettes into thin strips length ways – this is best done using a mandolin (the slicer, not the musical instrument) or even a flat metal cheese slicer. The strips need to be quite thin.

Add the courgette to a big bowl, add the salad leaves and mix. Then add the cheese and fold again.

Make the dressing by combining the vinegars and oil in a bowl, whisk well, season with salt and pepper. Dress the salad (you will have too much dressing, you can reserve the rest for next time).

Arrange on a serving plate, scatter with toasted almonds and serve immediately.

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