Swedish sausage

DSC_0074 DSC_0075 DSC_0076I’ve been very curious about homemade sausages. By tradition on the island, people make their own, usually with pork and Chritmassy spices and then boil it like the ones I tasted Christmas Eve. I still remember my grandmother making it in the kitchen when I was a little kid. Luckily santa gave my husband an electric meet grinder yesterday. He was overjoyed and ran to the shop to buy the sausage skins. There are so many recipes online but he started out with the same as he used for the turkey stuffing, Chipolata(I know it’s not Swedish but at least it’s made in Sweden, by an English man and an American). It’s a pork sausage heavy on the sage and it came out great! I can only imagine how good these are going to be on the bbq. Gosh I will have to put my gym card to use after New years Eve.

A very cool Christmas Day

image imageOver the night the temperature dropped down to minus 5c degrees. after opening presents we went down the beach and took a Chritmas Day swim, well only me in the water. Took a few hours to defrost and lots of lovely turkey and trimmings and in the afternoon we bundled up warm and went back down to watch the sunset.

The hens’ water froze last night so now they have a heating plate that keeps the water from going solid and also a red heating lamp. Couldn’t help sneaking a peek after they’d gone to bed for the evening and they were wide awake and looked very comfy. image

God jul!

imageGod jul! Today we celebrate Christmas eve. A lovely spread of the usual meatballs, little sausages, herring, beet root salad, Christmas ham and potato gratain. This year I wanted to try something new and bought Christmas sausage that you simmer and eat with a white bechamel horseradish sauce. To be honest it doesn’t look very appetising when cooked but the smell immediately brought back memories from my childhood. I really liked the taste and will buy it next year as well although not as much since most of the family refused to even taste it. After dinner we opened presents, enjoyed some live music in the living room and now relaxing on the sofa. Best thing is half the family is English so tomorrow we celebrate English Xmas and do it all over again!

Swedish julbord

sweets

sweets

Västerhav

Västerhav

mmm...mumma

mmm…mumma

chilli herring, hawthorn herring, caviar herring and lots more

chilli herring, hawthorn herring, caviar herring and lots more

seafood table

seafood table

In Sweden there is a tradition to have julbord(a Christmas food buffet) before Christmas. Most companies will treat their staff to a julbord at a restaurant often along with entertainment. We decided to treat a friend for his birthday and at the same time ourselves and booked a meal at Västerhav, a hotel&restaurant at Grötö(porridge island). Our friends(well he’s more a part of the family) motto is when on the island you never leave the island but we agreed that it doesn’t count if you visit one of the other islands in the same archipelago. We got on the ferry at sunset, which is now about 3pm. We were welcomed at the restaurant with some warm glögg(Swedish mulled wine). Lucky for us all the other guests had chosen the option to stay the night so while they checked in to their accomodation we had the whole place to ourselves! It was absolutely stunning with candles, fireplace, Cristmas decorations and three large tables full of  amazing dishes. We ordered a jug of Mumma, Christmas beer mixed with red wine, spirit, spices and julmust(traditional non-alcoholic soda). First we attacked the seafood table, salmon, crayfish, 7 types of pickade herring, salmon/horseradish/strong cheese pie, mussels, prawns etc…aaaah it was lovely! Then some red wine and after the meat and cheese table, Christmas ham, boarsausage, moose, meatballs, lots of homemade chutneys and pickles along with stilton, marmelade and crackers. At that point the place had filled up with the rest of the customers and they all did the Snapsvisa, songs they sing and finish with a small glass of schnapps and we got caught along and ordered some homemade sloe schnapps. By that point we were so full we skipped the dessert table, ordered another schnapps and made for the ferry back. Right outside one of the golfcarts, that they use to transport customers from the ferry, was parked and we discussed nicking it but luckily came to our senses. All in all we agreed that it was a fantastic night and next year we might book the overnight stay so that we can eat, rest and then eat some more.

very tempting...

very tempting…

even the ferry had Christmas lights

even the ferry had Christmas lights

Smoking again!

smokey!

smokey!

I’ve felt festive for at least  a month. We’ve had advent times three, Lucia, got a Christmas tree and now I can’t believe it’s only a few days until Christmas! The husband got started on the Christmas food today, he planned it weeks ago. With the weather being totally unreliable with sun, rain, wind and hail he set the electric smoker up in the barn. Now there’s salmon smoking away out there and next ham and cheese. Mmmm I can’t wait!