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Magic Midsummer!

Last weekend was Swedish midsummer and boy did we put the Swedish into midsummer. Tina Sparkles made the trip up from Malmö and my sister-in-law is here from Sydney, what better way to show off  Sweden’s fascination for dancing around 20 foot penis’s than with an Extreme Swedish Midsummer Celebration! For a bit of a back story clink here.

For our ESMC, we wanted our picnic menu to be something memorable. We decided upon a super Swedish menu but due to work commitments, we handed over the food preparation to the Super Nanny. The super special Swedish recipes were in Swedish, the super nanny speaks English. None of us thought this was a problem and to be quite honest, after being here for only two weeks her Swedish is nearly on par with mine. This is because of our successful method of training: Swedish! Initiation by Fire – welcome to our intensive 4 week course including the full-time care of a 2 yr old who only speaks Swedish. We had presumed the 2yr old, who understands English perfectly, would indeed after a few days, change into partial English. The 2yr old however, prefers the Super Nanny to learn the thousand-year old Swedish language instead. Some days, she feels that just speaking Swedish louder, will help this process. “I WANT ICE-CREAM!” “CAN I WATCH TV?”, “WHERE IS MY DUMMY?”, are all classic Swedish phrases, the Super Nanny now knows.

DSC_0496

Lemon Elderberry Heaven

The menu consisted of my mother-in-laws famous Västerbotten’s Pie with red roe and creme fraiche and for dessert, a Lemon and Elderberry pie topped with strawberries.  With two pie crusts to be made, and the recipes all in a foreign language, the lemon/elderberry topping and it’s pie crust had their cooking timings reversed making for delightful, unexpected textures all round. The Super Nanny was very, very apologetic but no one was concerned as the pie turned out just as if I had made it myself! God Bless Her, trying to be so authentic like that.(That is a classic Lou Lou cooking mistake – although I can read Swedish and therefore have no excuse – but I wouldn’t have admitted it and just passed the pie around with a smile.)

As we live in a compact city with well designed public transport infrastructure (we don’t have a car) we popped on the bus and headed south to the idyllic town of Tyresö. The bus was full and a few stops later an elderly women pushed her way on with a pram. The bus swayed around corners and lunged forward, we noted, tut tut, that she wasn’t giving a rats about the baby. Later on, as we all disembarked, we discovered why; the pram was full of beer and not babies. Gee whiz, for such a strong Swedish tradition, people sure were acting like they were Australian.

Complete with its own castle and lake, Tyresö park made the perfect choice for our Extreme Swedish Midsummer celebrations. Everyone else in Stockholm thought so too, so the park was packed with thousands and thousands. And that’s when you can be really happy you live in a land of order and cue ticketing systems. This massive public even was run perfectly, not many ques for anything, rubbish bins a-plenty and someone to sell the kids big helium balloons to keep them happy.

1000554_10151480539785779_1669039510_nThen, just at the right time, everyone was invited down to add fresh flowers on the big penis before it was raised. After this, talented live musicians played traditional folk instruments and everyone danced around the penis, pretending to be frogs. You can’t make this shit up. But I have to say that when you live here, it does seem like the most natural thing in the whole world to do.

All-in-all it was a ‘golden day’ as my Nanna Burn’s used to say. Simply golden. As golden as the crust on the Lemon and Elderberry pie.

 (Strawberry photo courtesy Miriam Preis + imagebank.sweden.se)

 P.S Why do I suddenly have time to blog? Because I was in a park on Tuesday night enjoying time with friends and having a BBQ. I stepped on a fucking Swedish bee and now cannot walk/work due to an infection, so all this talk of lovely outdoorsie Sweden is bullshit. TSH over the years, has assured me that nothing can kill you in Sweden. That bastard. He lied.

11 Comments Post a comment
  1. Hehe, Super Nanny messed up the cooking times so she could be as authentic as you ;). They looked good. I’d eat them! The dancing around a penis like frogs certainly does sound too good to be true ;). It’s like you all give up your “normal” sensibilities for these very unique festivities. I was wondering what was happening with the sudden posting ;). Hope your foot feels better, eek.

    June 27, 2013
    • Oh the pie did taste great, it was a winner. Dancing around like a frog was a dream come true, alas that was all before The Incident, when I still had use of both my feet.

      June 28, 2013
  2. The language thing is funny! I remember when I first arrived in Africa I had the contact number of an Aussie living there (she was a doctor and lived with her Mozambican husband and their 4yr old). I phoned and the little girl answered. In my best Portuguese I asked to speak to her mother… Although she’d answered the phone in Portuguese she immediately switched to English and told me she’d get her. I was horrified that my accent was so bad that a 4yr old saw through me!

    PS. That pie looks AMAZING!

    June 29, 2013
    • Bilingual 4 yr olds! How annoying. They pick up language so quick and easy the rotters,

      June 29, 2013
  3. Peta #

    Ha ha…sounds like my cooking in Austria!!! Also reminds me of one of your first encounters of ‘shopping by picture’ and ending up with gravy instead of coffee. 😀

    Mmmm….elderberry. I miss that taste, I think you can get it in IKEA here though so may have to make a trip out. Sadly there’s no free bus like in Stockholm then.

    Nasty bee….Australia may have 7 of the 10 world’s deadliest snakes, but clearly Sweden has the bees, therefore you can convince TSH he’ll be perfectly safe here in Aus.

    Hmmm…the 2yr old seems to have the same method of communication as our 8 month old…yell at it and it will come. OR the Star Wars approach…reach out your hand and use the force. But I detect a disturbance in the force as this doesn’t seem to work, so instead he yells at it louder to see if it will come. (Doesn’t work!)

    June 29, 2013
    • We should start picketing now for a free ikea bus in Sydney!

      June 29, 2013
  4. Kat #

    Sounds like you had a wonderful Midsummer. And I’m very envious of the old lady with the beer pram – and not just for the obvious reasons. Last time I took an unoccupied pram on the bus, the driver made me pay. Maybe if I fill it with beer, I’ll get a free ride 😉
    Hope the bee sting heals soon – horrid little blighters. (Husband still doesn’t believe me that we have a species of poisonous snake in England – just because Sweden don’t have it, then England shouldn’t either, apparently [sigh].)

    June 29, 2013
    • Ha! classic husbands opinions. I did not she didn’t pay for the bus and thought maybe the bus driver had had some beers too, as you say, they are usually pretty picky with those things!

      June 30, 2013
  5. eek! hope the bee sting heals soon. i’ve never been stung by a bee; maybe because i run like hell when they come buzzing around. i’ve even stopped my car mid-traffic and gotten out when a bee flew in!

    July 1, 2013
    • OMG, now after this I would totally stop the car and jump out if one were to fly in!

      July 1, 2013

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