Return to Sweden

Today we had a couple of visitors we’ve been so looking forward to. Okay, Mirinda’s seen Sarah on screen, but that’s no substitute for three dimensions. The last time I saw Nick was at the Venison Dinner three years ago when we were subjected to Brexit lunacy and Catholic nonsense. Happily, today was nothing like that.

Mind you, there was a bit of discussion about people and their allergies to dogs. For instance, in a classroom, if one person is allergic to a guide dog, is it right to ban the guide dog from the room? Who deserves to learn more and who deserves to suffer less?

Though, other than that, the chat was pretty much about the food. And Sweden.

A few weeks ago, while planning the menu, I decided to go for all Swedish food. Unfortunately, it’s not the best time for finding nettles for proper nettle soup, so I was forced into using spinach but, otherwise, it was all pretty authentic.

For the entrée, I put together three small dishes and placed them, together, on the long plates that Karen & Nigel left us when they returned to Oz. It showed me how enjoyment of a meal can also come through the eyes as the plate elicited oohs and ahhs as I put them down.

The photo above doesn’t show the egg and butter ball which was put into the soup before eating. The herring is marinated in dill and onion and the meatballs are on lingonberry jam. It was all very well received and, if I do say so myself, delicious. It’s fortunate because we have a lot of meatballs left over for dinner tomorrow.

The photo also doesn’t feature the snaps we started with. I welcomed them to our home and table and downed a glass of birch Sav. Disappointingly, they all sipped theirs.

Main course was an old favourite. It’s something we have quite often though, of course, the salmon we get here isn’t as thick or juicy as the fish I was buying in Sweden. Anyway, I pared it down to dinner party size then completely forgot the caviar. That’s because I’m an idiot because it was right by my left hand when I plated up.

Missed ingredient aside, it was also well received.

Unusually, this marked the second time that I’ve been asked about the scattered garnish. Last time it was Rupert and, today, Nick asked what the green stuff was. I said it was just some pointless dill scattered for effect. That satisfied him.

With the meal we had a lovely bottle of red which I’d been saving to have with them ever since we had dinner at their place in 2017. A surprisingly smooth 1990 Margaux from Chateau d’Angludet. I remember asking Wine Guy Mike for a particularly good bottle and he recommended it. It turns out it was an excellent recommendation.

Then, of course, for dessert I knocked up a batch of cardamom buns.

The plan had been to freeze the leftover buns. There were no leftover buns.

Apart from the herring and lingonberry jam, I made everything myself, from scratch. I’m pretty sure the whole meal was a success. In fact, for the first time, our guests took the menu home with them. That made me happy.

And, as well as the food, the whole day was lovely. There was lots of chat, none about work, and quite a few laughs and surprising discussions.

After we wandered onto my love of modern art, Nick suggested I watch a recent BBC programme about Bridget Riley. After they left, I found it and watched, forcing Mirinda to look every now and then, in between her Swedish language lessons she has suddenly decided to take. Nick was right, I enjoyed it very much.

All in all, a lovely day. My knee held up okay but, by the end of it, I was very thankful for a good solid sit down.

Nick, Mirinda, Emma and Sarah
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1 Response to Return to Sweden

  1. Mirinda says:

    A Swedish feast – though not a smorgasbord

    We also had 3 little tomtes decorating the table and Guarding the wine

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