Merry Christmas & Happy New Year Bookmark and Share

Thursday, December 24, 2009


Or should that be “God Jul och Gott Nytt År” now I’m living in Sweden.

Well at last, here it is, Christmas has arrived. At least here in Sweden anyway. You guys in the UK have one more day to wait. I can’t find a reasonable explanation why, but it seems the Swedes do their Christmas celebrations and gift giving on the 24th December, as opposed to the 25th. So, I think that gives me a good excuse to have two Christmas’ this year… one the Swedish way, and then a traditional English one. GREAT!

Today I’ll be off to Dave’s families farm to join all his extended family for a very traditional Swedish Christmas meal… which if memory serves me correct from a couple of years ago when I was last in Sweden for Christmas, will involve hours and hours of eating! First a huge table of cold dishes, which I think includes several herring dishes (in various mayonnaises and pickles), crispbreads, and other cold meats. Then a selection of warm dishes such as potatoes, Swedish meatballs, and various cabbages. It’s all served buffet style, and you just keep going back and getting more and more until you cannot physically squeeze anything else in. Then you chat for a while, and out comes a choice of several rich deserts which somehow you manage to also shovel in.

I could be wrong here, but I think that’s about how it went last time I was here. So in preparation for the day, I’ve not eaten anything since my birthday… June 18th. So I think I should just about manage to eat everything at the table this Christmas.

I took this little excerpt from which describes some other Swedish classic Christmas dishes….

Abundance of food
Christmas presents are under the lighted tree, candles shine brightly and the smörgåsbord has been prepared with all the classic dishes: Christmas ham, pork sausage, an egg and anchovy mixture (gubbröra), herring salad, pickled herring, home-made liver patty, wort-flavoured rye bread (vörtbröd), potatoes and a special fish dish, lutfisk. The ham is first boiled, then painted and glazed with a mixture of egg, breadcrumbs and mustard. Lutfisk is dried ling or sathe soaked in water and lye to swell before it is cooked.

Once all have eaten their fill, Santa Claus himself arrives to wish the gathering a Merry Christmas and distribute the presents.

I will miss the traditional Great British Christmas very much. There’s nothing like roasties cooked in goose fat and succulent turkey dripping in rich gravy. Making me want to get the next plane back home now… yum yum. Unfortunately until my kitchen has been completely ripped out and renovated, I’ll be unable to cook a proper Turkey dinner here, but, hopefully next year it might be ready and I can possibly treat some Swedes to a Christmas table UK-style!

Speaking of missing things… most importantly I’d like to take this time to say that I do miss my friends and family very much. And at Christmas / New Year especially this seems most obvious. But, I shall continue to keep myself busy here, and think of everyone back at home and what you’ll all be up to… and look forward to seeing each of you either here in Sweden, or when I come back for a holiday to the UK in 2010.

I hope 2010 brings you all good health, fortune, and most of all happiness.


Happy New Year!

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Category: Food & drink, Misc.

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