Monday, August 31, 2009

Kalkon, Take me Away! Okay, you have to be an American who knows about the "Calgon, Take me Away! " bath bubble ads to get that. And to know Kalkon means turkey in Swedish. But here we are, letting Kalkon take us away.

Birthday week included a visit with Farmor, and we went to the Ingeststa Kalkon Trädgård (link) for lunch. The food was delicious. Not prepared the way Americans serve turkey, though, it was definitely distinctly Swedish. I think I expected to see Thanksgiving style roast turkey with gravy and mashed potatoes on the menu, but not here in Sweden! I had a turkey 'steak' with brown mushroom sauce, and little spiced potatoes. Swededaddy had a variation of the same, but dark meat and darker mushrooms. SwedeGirl had Turkey Swedish meatballs with potatoes and a side of lignon jam, of course, the standard kids meal at restaurants. There was a really cool playground with a zip line. Super fun, but just a wee bit to big and awkward for Swede girl to wrestle back to the starting line herself, which made it an activity requiring a high level of adult interaction, which is not really what you want for a lunch with grandma when you want to sit and talk. But it was fun anyway.

Really, the rainbows seem to show up in pictures of HER

I was excited to go to this turkey farm because it has recently become my turkey source. When we moved to Sweden, I missed turkey sandwiches dearly. I was pregnant, needed protein, and missed the foods of home. I do not usually eat nitrates, as they give me bad headaches. All the lunch meat here has nitrates. But after year of avoiding nitrates andlots of great foods, I gave up and had some yummy spanish chorizo at a tapas dinner. I got no headache, so I decided to ignore the nitrate issue and started looking out for turkey. I found Ingelsta Kalkon's smoked turkey was most like what I liked from home. Being able to make the (almost) perfect turkey sandwich in Sweden has been an important part of me feeling at home here. The Real Perfect Turkey Sandwich from Home is Alverado Street Sprouted Whole Wheat bread, Sliced Nitrate Free Smoked Turkey, half a ripe California avocado mashed sprinkled with Dr. Vogel's herb salt, and a slice of ripe tomato. Here it is Turkey on toasted Pågen Njuta bread, Ingelsta Kalkon Sliced Smoked Turkey with spices, and a slice of Prast Cheese warmed until the cheese is melty. Not the same, but like the turkey meal at the restaurant, good in it's own right.
Swedebaby Sporting her from Afar!
The swedish gårdsbutik is a concept worth mentioning though. In Sweden, there are farmers markets, but one way to buy local is to go to the small farms themselves called Trädgårds, which seems to mean both yard, like your own lawn and garden area at your home, or a farmer's home with the associated farm. The farmer's homes often have open stores where they sell what they grow and few other farm items, or have restaurants like the one we went to at Ingelsta Kalkon. Ingelsta Kalkon also has a chain of restaurants in the cities, but went to the Turkey Farm and the restaurant. it is obscured by the bushes when you drive by, and thinking they are a huge supplier of Turkey in Sweden, I was thinking it would be enormous. But it was about 5 building that house turkeys, a hay stack and hay field, a barn, a smoke house, some business offices, and the gårdsbutik. Very Swedish in that it was just nice and well kept, and small. In Sweden there is the idea of 'lagom', which means roughly good enough. And this was representative of that concept in a business- there was no sense they are trying to dominate the world turkey market by housing more and more turkeys until they are torturing them in inhuman condition for the sake of increasing production. They are just raising, cooking, and selling some good turkeys. It was nice to be able to know where my almost perfect turkey sandwich starts.

The red roofed building houses turkeys

Feeling at home abroad means making compromises, and finding acceptable substitutes. And finding the uniqueness and beauty in the new place, until you finding yourself referring to it as home.


lornadoone1972 said...

Mmm - your perfect Turkey sarnie sounds delicious... I LOVE Camille's knit outfit - who made that for her? x

Liquid Pen said...

This makes me think...will you be home for Thanksgiving? I think so...we must make turkey, gravy and mashed potatoes together while hearing football off in the distance somewhere. Your good dose of home will be here before you know it!

Mama Bird said...

That's a lot of turkey talk, mama! Ha ha. I too have an affinity for the turkey sandwich, and it sounds like you found a pretty good substitute.

Is SwedeBaby wearing the outfit I sent you? It made my heart skip a beat when I saw it, knowing that, if it is in fact the one I sent, I once wore it myself. She looks beautiful!

And when did SwedeGirl get so big?!?

Rose said...

It makes me sad to hear that you can't get an honest turkey sandwich over there! Wishing I could send you some Whole Foods.

Please tell me you can get avocados.

Andy said...

Sounds like a fabulous visit, and a good philosophy! Being far from home is hard work. your visits home help, but you are simply bound to miss some stuff. Make sure you keep your friends in the loop, and let us help you get some of the missing items out your way. Choc. chips are on their way, btw!!

SwedeLife said...

Yep, that was from you Liz! :) Thanks. Worthy of grandma visit!