Wednesday, December 24, 2008

God Jul !
I liked the Pickled Herring

So Christmas Eve, the Swedish Christmas big day, was celebrated with dinner at SIL's house with a Swedish 'Jul bord'. Daytime was calm, less festive, but eventful none the less.

I missed Kalle Anka- the big Disney/ Donald Duck show everyone in Sweden watches thanks to my car over heating when I made a quick trip to the store to find something that would suffice for southern style sausage for a cornbread- sausage stuffing recipe for our Christmas Day American style holiday meal . I could not complain too much as at least I got the store and bought the extra food BEFORE the car overheated, and since I ran out the door with out socks, a coat, or a cell phone (or the ability to recall accurately my husbands cell or my own home phone number) at the exact time there are no cars on the road in Sweden, as everyone is glued to the TV watching Kalle Anka, I was lucky to be able use the grocery store facilities to make my call for help. So it was a Christmas Miracle, if nothing else, that it was an easy to handle break down.

So the Jul Bord- smorgas means sandwich in Swedish, so this was it- the Jul Bord is the original smorgasbord, fellow English speakers. There is a tradition of eating seven courses at the Jul Bord, that progress from cold fish to dessert. I think I made three trips- cold fish and warm food, a tad more cold fish and tad more warm food, followed by a heap of Jansen' fresetelse/ gratin potatoes to cure the lingering salty taste lingering after all the salty food! Then there were chocolates, and the relatives said for some reason they always, always have a box of Maribou chocolate's with a little map of what is what- the type of Chocolates we give for Valentine's Day. Later we had ris a al malta, or rice pudding in whipped cream with jam for dessert. We also drank JulMust....

As mentioned above, I tried the pickled herring, and I liked it! It was vinegary, sweet, and protein-y, not too fishy and just fine. I was only offered it thus far once, when we first arrived and I was still in the first trimester. I thought it wisest to avoid, considering the ability of food to nauseate in the first trimester, and the life long aversion that can follow. I waited till now to give it an honest shot, and it was good. Not anything I'll run out and stock up on, but I'll not starve if it is served to me again.
Here are some photos of our Jul Bord spread:
The infamous Swedish Meatballs/ köttbullar, nestled next to the PinceKorv sausages, Jannsen's Frestelse, and brown cabbage sauerkraut-ish stuff
The cold fish section, with cold salmon (like what we know as lax), which I love, esp with the special Swedish dill and mustard sauce. This is one of the best foods Sweden has to offer, in my opinion, and as a matter of fact I should remember to eat it more often...There was cold herring salad in loads of may sauce with caviar, eggs you eat with a dab of caviar, and sill- the pickled herring!

The ham, with sesame paste and little cloves stuck in it ala the SwedeAunt...
The Ris a la Malta eaten topped with Hjörtron jam, lingon, or fresh clementines. You should have seen the quAlign Centerantity of whipped cream that goes into this- it is half whipped cream and half rice pudding. No wonder the SwedeDaddy thinks whipped cream is a food group!

It was great to be with the SwedFamily this holiday after being in the States and missing out on what the Swedes were doing this time of year. You get to know something special about kids when you know what they want and got for Christmas, and to just hang out near by, in the spirit of things together.

The teenage cousins, almost 13 almost 16....

Hanging out....

The Tree at the SwedeSister's


Stephanie said...

Hello! From your blog list it looks like you read a lot of my blog pals' and I'm surprised we haven't run into each other on cyber-space! I'm an American married to a Dane and living in Lund where I attend graduate school. I'll add your blog to my favorites, it looks fun!

MermaidLilli said...

Heidi, I enjoy reading your blog. How wonderful, Sweden.
Now about all the fish you are eating.... no doubt the people of Scandinavia are getting their fair share of Omega 3s. Good for you and your baby, eh??
Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, a lovely 2009 and yay, the sun returns!!
Love from a warmish Christmas week in Tallahassee