dinner group recap

By Thursday, September 23, 2010 , , , ,

Before our latest dinner group dinner, to me the land of Sweden was basically IKEA, Tretorns, ABBA, gravlax and Alexander Skarsgard (yum). Well, our hostess for this dinner was Cecilia, our dinner group’s local Swedish "ambassador" and the perpetuator of the myth that all girls from Sweden are blonde and beautiful. In working with her on the menu, I learned many things about Swedish food culture and I especially loved learning about Swedish Christmas celebrations and how family food traditions are treasured and showcased during that magic time of year.

Once I had a conceptual idea of what to serve, I checked out a few cookbooks from the library, as most of Cecilia’s recipes were in Swedish: the stunningly photographed The Scandinavian Cookbook and the charming Swedish Table. Both books had a seasonal bent to them, which helped make these somewhat heavy dishes feel lighter and brighter with the incorporation of fresh produce. What was surprising to learn was that the Swedish seasons mirror the seasons of the Upper Midwest, except we are lacking the prime ocean access and its briny bounty.

I couldn't have been more pleased with the menu. The courses worked well with each other. The creamy and hearty soup and the equally hearty meatballs were balanced nicely with the tart and crisp salad and the meal ended with an apple trifle that wasn't at all heavy and showcased the beautiful, in-season fruit perfectly. Each course was led off with a rousing "Schnapps" song and a tipple (or shot) of aquavit. Needless to say, all who attended left with full bellies and rosy cheeks ... and a warm feeling in their hearts. Skal!

Menu for SEPTEMBER 18

Cocktails and nibbles:
Icy-cold Vodka and Champagne
The Carlsson Family's Gravlax and store-bought pate with water crackers and toast
First Course: Yellow Pea Soup with bacon, tomatoes and parsley (The Swedish Table)
Second Course: Chanterelle, bacon and plum salad with blue cheese (The Scandinavian Cookbook)
Main Course: Swedish Meatballs with creamy mashed potatoes and served with an orange-scented cranberry sauce
Dessert: Apple Trifle (The Scandinavian Cookbook)

Happy eating, -s.

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  1. I'm still thinking about those meatballs. So delish