Typisk Svensk

January 13, 2015

When life hands you a coffee crisis, you make tea.

At first I was a little put out by the empty jar of beans (like I somehow did not see this coming?). But we have a shelf-full of teas (something one drinks in the afternoons only, I might add, never as that first cuppa in the morning, unless you’re desperate), so got the idea to prepare myself a Swedish-style smorgasbord to go with that tea, because tea is actually something you might drink in the morning in Sweden and I had most of what I’d need for a typiskt svenskt frukost (typical Swedish breakfast), all organized around and perfectly complemented by the tea.

So that’s what I did.

From left to right: 1) ginger, orange butter that we got from Bill and Sabrina this year (not really a typical Swedish thing, but nice); 2) knackebrod (rye crispbread); 3) pastej lax (salmon spread); 4) smorgaskaviar (fish roe spread); 5) lingon sylt (lingonberry jam); 6) swiss cheese (now, this would have been a lot better if I’d had some havarti with dill or, better yet, some mesmor (sweet brown spreadable goat cheese) or gjetost (hard brown goat cheese), but at the moment, swiss, cheddar and parmesan were all we had (how Amurican); 7) organic, fair trade, peach ginger black tea, which should have been English Breakfast tea or Earl Grey or something simpler, but was great. IMG_4571

Doesn’t everybody have this stuff around? In fact, we do because Jim’s Uncle Dean, knowing of my having lived in Sweden, gives us a big basket of IKEA stuff every year, which I get such a kick out of, especially at times like this.

This is the caviar:


And this is what it looks like on your knackebrod:


Immediately transported.

This is absolutely the way they eat. At breakfast or dinner (because the big meal is at lunch), they haul out and put on the table (bord) a variety of breads (hard and soft), cheeses (hards, that you self-slice, and spreadables), vegetables (in particular, cucumber or tomato), spreads in a tube (shrimp, salmon, caviar) and jams.  Oh, and herring! I forgot the pickled herring this morning, which I had… darn. And other things like hard boiled eggs, dill, and I can’t remember what else. Then people just make smorgas after smorgas, whatever appeals, and eat them with tea. Then they put it all away until the next day. And haul it all out again. And again.

At least that’s the way it was in 1976-1978.

Completely unrelated to the impromptu Swedish smorgasbord this morning, I bought Swedish filjmolk (like kefir or buttermilk) and currants yesterday because I’d already planned to have my favorite Swedish snack (of… currants in filjmolk, definitely not a typical Swedish combo, but something I ate a lot of while there, not sure why)… so that’s on tap for this afternoon.

Mycket glad.

(Very happy.)