There’s been a fight for the Kombucha lately. My husband has been cultivating it since this summer and our son has asked to try it every day for a week. His reaction has been -yuck every time until suddenly one day he liked it. I keep buying juice and it’s gone in a day, same with bread and cereal, everyone who has a teenage son will probably relate to this. So I could understand the look of fear in my husbands eyes. He took swift action and adopted my 6.5 litre large drink bottle with a tap, that I bought for selling lemonade in the barn, and divided the scoby. We now have a small Kombucha factory in the kitchen. I’ve tried the Kombucha but can’t get over the fact that the Scoby looks like a placenta so I leave it alone. Instead I decided to try a “new” thing this morning. This week has been crazy with preparations for the xmas market I’m having in the barn/gallery this weekend and I always when I get into my creative mode I forget to eat. Last night we watched an episode of Quarry and they drink Bulletproof coffee. Apparently it keeps you full for hours so I thought I’d try it. So far I can’t recommend it to anyone. Coffee with butter for breakfast does, not surprisingly, make you feel slightly sick…maybe I’ll try it again for lunch.
I’ve always had a little dream to run a small bead&breakfast. We rent out through Airbnb and have had guests from all over the world. This year has been great renting out and I’ve met so many wonderful people. We only have the upstairs apartment though. This week I paid a visit to another b&b on the Island for inspiration. It used to be a row of little fishing huts but two guys saw the potential and bought them 30 years ago, just in case they would get tired of fishing. Who would’ve known the fishing business would shrink that much? From being one of the largest fishing communities in Sweden there are now only a handful of boats left. The b&b is called Havskatten and they have done a remarkable job building it over the last 7 years. When I got there they were building a sauna upstairs but they kindly took a break and gave me the grand tour. There are 12(or was it 15?) rooms. All very simple, stylish and practical. Even if some of them were small it didn’t feel cramped. Two large conference rooms, kitchen and a wood oven for baking Hönö bread. The spa upstairs will be awesome and I can definitely see myself renting it for a few hours to sit in the sauna looking out over the harbour and then dipping into the outdoor bath that they are planning to build. Sometimes it’s good for things to take time and they have readjusted their plan along with demand. Now it’s almost fully booked already for next year! They also have a boat to take guests on lobster and seal safari and have Hönö bread baking evenings. It’s perfect for weddings, conferences, families you name it. I came away with so much inspiration. Even if I’m only one person, they are two and one of them is a builder, it makes me dream about how the barn will look like 7 years from now…
Today we had the pleasure to go visit Risö(translates as “Rice Island”). Risö is what I thought was a tiny island outside Fotö but it was much bigger than what you can see from the opposite shore. Leif and Göte picked us up at Fotö with their boat and 2 minutes later we set our feet on Risö. I had pictured in my mind that there was a large group of people working there every day especially after seeing on Facebook the impressive things they have built. Turns out most of the time it’s just them two. It’s completely funded by gifts of material and no one is being paid. There’s a beautiful cabin with five bedrooms, a well equipped kitchen and a large dining room with Leif’s gorgeous photos printed on canvas decorating the walls. After a day out there I do believe him saying he has thousands of pictures on his phone, it was so beautiful! We got shown around the newly built house where they plan to house people doing work rehabilitation, the finished B&B and there’s an awesome area for barbecuing and even smoking fish or meat. The only signs of past life is left by the army. Risö must have been one of their most popular hide outs. I remember when I was a kid it was so exciting to go into the dark caves they had left behind all over Hönö but a few years back they blocked them up for the safety of the public. After the grand tour me and my daughter ventured out to look at the island. The view was stunning and we found loads of drift wood perfect for future artsy xmas presents. We saw a mink, so cute, jet black and fluffy! Although I know that they are hated on the islands. There used to be one or two mink farms at Hönö and after they closed down there’s a lot of them left in the wild. They eat birds eggs and even hens I’ve heard… After our adventure at Risö we stopped at Fotö and visited our old chicks, the lucky bunch, who we gave away a while ago when I thought I had too many. If only I’d known. But it was a happy occasion, they have a great new home! Vera, Buffy, Captain Pugswash and Reneé Biggs, a huge garden to forest in and the goose Gizmo for company. Not that they seemed too keen on each other. Gizmo was so impressive but my phone had run out of battery by then so I couldn’t take any pics. I did bring my analog camera of course so I’ll post some when they are developed.
We came home hungry and tired after two hours it felt like a whole day. Not the last time I visit Risö though. Now I really feel like building stuff again! I will go back to offer my hands and one day perhaps bring my wet plate gear with me.
It turned into a very productive Halloween! Halloween is still very confusing for most Swedish people. It didn’t make it here until a few years ago and every year Facebook is flooded with questions and statements about when to actually go out to do the trick-or-treating. I think most people confuse it with All-saints when you go to the cemetery and light candles. A lot of people also seemed to think that because the 31st fell on a Monday it would be ok to go out the weekend after. We did bunker up on sweets and the doorbell rang three times. I had my own fun ignoring the mask ban(this was sparked from the world-spread clown scare and last years shooting at a Swedish school but it didn’t register my mind at all until afterwards -doh!) and opened the door with an alien mask(cause it was still in the hallway since last year) on going -Whaaaa!!! All the kids looked a bit stunned but then asked for sweets. My daughter picked a very detailed pumpkin pattern and I thought she would give up but in ten minutes she was done!
In the morning I started this years Glögg, a Swedish kind of mulled wine, first time ever actually for me. It’s very simple. Made of cut raw potatoes, baking yeast, ginger, cardamom, cloves, cinnamon, raisins, sugar and a soda called Svagdricka which is only sold about this time of year. You mix it all together and leave it for six weeks. We also made Hönö bread in our own oven for the first time. Usually it’s made in a wood oven like you can read about in my past post. It did take a lot longer because our oven only heats to 275°C, even with an oven tray over it and baking it on a pizza stone but I’m very happy with the results! Hönö bread is very sweets and fluffy, nicest when still warm from the oven or the day after I think. Ours turned out a bit too sweets but with butter and sprinkles of salt it was still yummy. We’ll do another batch before the xmas market and tomorrow we will experiment with crisp bread. If you have any suggestions for a recipe please comment!