Friday, May 22, 2015

Lindström thank you very much! And Måns Z!

Happy Memorial Day weekend kick-off everyone!  An extra day off here in the States, and we sure can use it. I hope that you have a wonderful Friday.  I'm all set to watch the Eurovision Semi Finals from 3 - 5:00 (Eastern Standard time) today on SVT,play.  Handsome hubby linked up the laptop and I think all I have to do is hit play (hope so). ;-) Here's the line up for the second semifinal:

All the countries are clickable in the list above so you can hear the songs.  And here's the link: Semi #2.  Heja Sverige och Måns (the Swedish singer of Heroes, our Eurovision song).

Speaking of Sweden, love those Minnesotan descendants who made sure to keep the ö in the o! Check it out here:  In Lindstöm they know that the ö makes a diff, but some people don't know that ä, å, and ö are actually letters with their own sounds and not just put there to look fancy and "Swedishy" like Häagen-Dazs®.  Actually I have no idea how that would sound but it does taste good.  Have a great däåög!  :-)
man candy - aka Måns Zemmerlöv (See all the umlauts folks?) 

Tuesday, May 19, 2015


Hej!  Looking over my "intro" I realized that I had promised you crafts of the Scandinavian persuasion.  Well, being stuck in a 9 - 5 has severely limited by time to craft but it needn't be that way for you!  I hope that you are so inspired by "Hildas Hem" latest post that you rush out and visit a flea market to get the things that you need for this nifty lamp.  We're looking for some little white lights for our outdoor space.  Maybe I'll even try doing something like this cool hanging lamp too, using the bulbs in bottles and my kitchen tools that I also hardly get around to using now as well.  (Let's just say we had hot dogs for dinner.)  Here's the make your own lamp link and for those of you who have tons of time, a hot dog recipe that I hope tastes like Sweden!
from Hilda's Hem

Sunday, May 17, 2015

Scooby dooby do! Shaggy is in...

Um no!
Not this either...
But this... 

Shaggy is in, and I like it.  Do you?  Hard to find a good haircut sometimes for these super straight Swedish locks. Every miss by the stylist is totally noticeable.  I remember having a bob cut back in the day at one of those cheapo hair salons and she left a big hunk hanging by my ear.  I had to take out my nail scissors and finish the job myself when I got home!  I also remember cutting my hair on a whim in Stockholm right before meeting an old friend for drinks (Lena, minns du?)  That seems rather foolish but at the time I figured who better would know how to cut Swedish hair than a Swede, and it did come out pretty nice.  
Here's my friend who I hope to see again this summer, skål!
Skål Lena!  (2012)

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Steampunk City

photos by Bobbi Lane and Lee Varis
Hi friends, remember I told you I wanted to go to a Steampunk festival?  See here.  Well we went to Waltham with the girlie and all dressed up and sweaty hot we wandered around looking for something to do. Turns out that Steampunkers (in my humble opinion) seem to prefer the planning, preparation and dressing for the event to the actual physical doing of something once they are there.  The festival did not disappoint with the range of costumes and theatrical eye candy but was a little bit of a let-down overall. Nothing some ice creams and a big pint of beer afterward couldn't fix. ;)  I got quite a kick of seeing the crowd at the local Mexican watering hole dressed up like they were going to swash-buckle their way through a plate of nachos or drop out of a dirigible into a vat of tequila.  I mean who knows their alter egos might do?  Personally Baroness Ingrid von Ramsbottom aka the Swedish siren was ready to get back into the 2015's and out of her corset pretty darn quick. Still it was a fun outing. 

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Varm korv
Hi everyone, are you looking forward to barbecue season?  I am but there's one thing missing -- korv. Swedish hot dogs with mustard are the best.  I wish I could grill one up right now.  Eaten with mashed potatoes or a roll they hit the spot and are always a clear fav with the kiddos.

There's lots of different recipes on line but here's one that looks approximately like Scans. Of course making your own kind of takes away from the appeal of the fast n' easy meal, but if you are really missing the taste, it might be a good one to try - let me know how it comes out!
8 lbs. lean pork
4 lbs. lean beef
6 lbs. potatoes, ground
1 c. onions, ground
1 tsp. pepper
1 tsp. allspice
3 tbsp. salt

Grind all the meat together twice, then mix in with the other ingredients. Pack in casing and simmer about 1/2 hour. Prick sausage before boiling to eliminate air bubbles. If you want to freeze the sausage, do not boil, but freeze after stuffing and then, when ready to use, put in cold water and let them simmer. Remove sausage from the water and fry.

Sunday, May 10, 2015


A magazine devoted to lagom!  How cool is that?  Love it.
Now here's a post from Slate that I think you'll like about the flip side of "lagom" - which means just right.  It's like anything your idea of what's just right, might not be mine so judgement is involved in this terminology.  I cherry pick the fun side of lagom to keep me on track but there is this...

Lagom can often feel like a national hindrance, and some of Sweden’s critics argue that it has increased people’s dependence on social welfare, stifles ambition, and is overly nonconfrontational—perhaps explaining why Sweden has stayed neutral in many world conflicts when other nations might have expected them to act.
Maybe. But for a true demonstration of the power of lagom, it sometimes helps to observe a bunch of Swedes—when they are outside of Sweden.
That’s because when Swedes cross international borders, they often seem hell bent on leaving lagom far behind. And this may be especially true of Swedish teenagers and young adults, whose natural narcissism and hormones can run afoul of lagom at home.
My husband and I recently took a weekend Baltic cruise—the easiest way to escape Sweden for a couple of days in Riga, Tallinn, Saint Petersburg, or elsewhere—hoping for a couple relaxing days. But instead we found ourselves in a taut booze cruise of sorts for young Swedes. Dozens, maybe hundreds, of girls in their early 20s sat in the pre-boarding waiting area, looking like nervous mannequins, with their piercing blue eyes and expectant, clipped laughter.
Behind them milled roughly the same number of boys, some holding open cans of half drunk Carlsberg beer, some with sleeked-back gelled dark hair, some with spiky short blond hair. They scanned the room, stealing glances, tagging, and marking, before boarding.
It all lent a certain air of tension to the noisy hall. The lagom that I had embraced since moving to Sweden seemed fragile, like it was about to break into a thousand pieces under the weight of all those hormones. And sure enough, once we set sail, the ship transformed into something more like a college fraternity party—constant noise through the night, a naked man walking through the breakfast buffet the next morning—than any typical Swedish gathering.
It stayed like that for the whole weekend. Floating on international waters, away from home and the unspoken rules that govern Swedish society, the passengers gladly threw lagom overboard.
But they knew, as I did, that it would have to be fished back up before we docked in Stockholm.

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Fritillaria meleagris
Ha, tricked you!  You thought it was a frittata didn't you?  No such luck, this fritillaria meleagris is a beautiful checkered flower that you could find for example, here, at the oldest botanical garden in Sweden.  You know about Linne right?  See here, for information about this famous Swedish botanist: in English:
In brief, he's the one that classified the flowers in the 1700's and made quite a name for himself.  He even made a name for others - "Linnea" now being a popular Swedish name for girls!  At any rate, he was quite the renaissance man, and made his way to Skåne for which we have this to thank for our unique midsummer pole in Skanör. more here
Leaving you with one more picture of this special midsummer event
 and a suggestion from a dear friend that Uppsala is a beautiful place to visit.
Check out and let me know if you go!