Thursday, February 21, 2008

yes, I am a college student

I've started booking flights and making travel plans! It's great! It also costs money, like, about 60 containers of swedish ice cream per trip. Yeah, I've adjusted my budget, allocated funds, and changed my diet.
I eat potatoes (mashed, baked, fried, hashed). I eat spaghetti. And not the whole grain type I would get in the states. I eat EuroShopper, the cheapest brand. Imagine shopping at a Spartan store and getting something less expensive than the store brand. That cheap. And rice. Lots of white rice, sometimes with pesto or tomato sauce. And Ramen, the exotic cuisine of college students. In addition my usual addition of egg and sesame oil, I've started adding rice to beef it up.

It's all delicious. And worth the traveling.

Monday, February 18, 2008

gasque then afterward

Saturday I attended my first gasque. A gasque is a long, fancy, proper, festive occasion. I will omit formalities now and generalize the series of events in these words: watch, champagne, sit, sing, drink, eat, sing, sing, drink, eat, sing, drink, sing, drink, stand, drink, dance. Lots of talking and smiling mixed all about. Then dancing. Always dancing.

So, we have a three course meal. We arrive to the starter: seasoned toast with marinated artichokes, garlic, sun dried tomatoes, garnished with dandelion greens. It was a great starter, maybe a little too garlic laden, and not quite filling for the hour singing period before dinner.
Dinner arrived with the white wine. The salmon was moist and flakey, crusted with cheese, breadcrumb mix. The baked, sliced root vegetables were primarily potatoes colored with beets and a heavy amount of pepper. Maybe a little paprika too. Tzadziki acted as the universal sauce, with a high proportion of chopped mint, which seems very popular here. Excellent.

this photo is over-exposed. the salmon's color is washed out.

Dessert was the most enjoyable. Chocolate hazelnut mousse topped with fresh raspberries and mint leaf. Bright, sour raspberries meeting the velvet whipped hazelnut. So rich and dense. Too good.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

blood pudding verdict

So, I had purchased a half kilo of blood pudding about 2 weeks ago. I was very surprised by my first impression, and decided not to throw out the remaining blood. So, weeks have passed, and the presence of the pudding on my fridge shelf has inspired my roommates into a blood pudding feeding frenzy. On one occasion, one of them ate an entire half kilo in one sitting! Another time it was eaten along side some falukrov (really common, basic, fatty sausage, probably similar to bologna. I wouldn't know, it just seems like it would be.) and bacon (really common, delicious pig). Regardless, it seemed to be always served with Lingon Sylt (lingonberry jam). Yes. So stereo-typically Swedish. Tonight I gave the blood another chance. A fair one, in fact, by pairing it with Lingon. The lingonberry improves the experience upwards of good enough. Still though, I am not into this. It's a shame. I do see potential using it to richen sauces, maybe a good gravy? This doesn't even get a photo...for now.


As I had mentioned in another post, pea soup and waffles is a traditional Swedish meal typically served thursday nights. The waffles (that's right, plural) are served on a plate, plain. Mind you, these crisp around the edged, but moistily gooey innards are eatable plain, but with a small spread of toppings, it's just not as attractive an idea. So, we have: whipped cream (real, in a large dish with ladle for serving), strawberry preserves, and blackberry preserves. I think that's all. Maybe there was something else? Regardless, these waffles go down easy, which is a difficult thing if you've just waited about 45 minutes (yes, there is only one waffle iron in this operation) for your order to arrive. To savor or to relish? Marmalade.

note: this was a fiend's plate. mine was clean and had less toppings to start with.

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

fat tuesday.

I had all but forgotten of Fat Tuesday until a teacher invited the class to gather for samla. Samla. You may ask, "what is this strange word?" And no, it is not even recognizable as an altered, strange spelling of patzki. That's because it's not a punchki. It is, however, "filled" dough. It's not fried. It's powerded (dusted?). It's not filled. It's split in half and laid with a dollop of whipped cream and a sweet, almondy paste before reconstruction. It's tasty, but nothing exciting. It's what you'd expect from dough and whipped cream. It's sweet, heavy, fattening. It left my stomach with a frown (maybe because I had two, maybe because I used it to supplement dinner? perhaps).


Sunday, February 3, 2008

pea soup: tradition

Pea soup and waffles is a traditional thursday night meal in Sweden. I knew this ahead of time. And, naturally, I assumed the familiar: green, split-pea soup with ham. Ham: yes. Green: no. Spit: no. Rather, I was presented with a thick, hearty, salt-pork laiden bowl of delciousness. The peas are whole, though the majority are pulverized from hours of heating and frequent stirring. This meal was from Uplands Nation, and a bottomless bowl cost an easy 20SEK (that's about $3.25 for a full meal!). It is served in a very large stock pot, with two types of mustard, some herbs, chopped onion, and capers (or were they pickles. I don't remember). A large, communal block of cheese and knackerbröd are gratis and the vegetarian pea soup also fares well (not as rich or thick, but decent).

and the vegetarian version. made vibrant with sliced yellow and red peppers.

a future post will be dedicated to Waffles. they're good

current snack: nutella oatmeal. sort of like CoCo Wheats, but with a pleasant hazelnutiness. Next time I'll add banana too.