OFF SEASON

Thanks for stopping by, and welcome back in October!

FROM ALL OF US TO ALL OF YOU

...a very merry christmas. God Jul.

A GREAT LAST MINUTE GIFT 2


A classy bottle opener Barbara flasköppnare by Thomas Sandell for Skultuna will delight (adult) recipients.
IMAGE: PRODUCT IMAGE ROYALDESIGN.SE

GOD JUL

A GREAT LAST MINUTE GIFT


Photographer Claes Grundsten has published more than 30 books about trekking, hiking and Scandinavian nature. This awardwinning beauty was published in 2009 by Max Ström and features the national parks of Sweden. Available in a large format and a compact (cheaper) gift edition in Swedish and English.
IMAGE: PRODUCT IMAGE WWF.SE

HOPE IN A BOTTLE


Mette Ditmer has designed soap dispenser Yin Yang that turns your regular refill soap into foam. Is this what will make our five year old wash his hands without the neverending parental nagging? If so, it's worth its weight in gold.
IMAGE: PRODUCT IMAGE TING.NO 

23rd OF DECEMBER

IMAGE: PHOTO BY ANDERS/AWESNES VIA FLICKR, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED, USED WITH PERMISSION

LET IT RAIN, LET IT RAIN, LET IT RAIN

skogsgron-Garda.jpg - Regnkappa CityCoat Skogsgrön - Heminredning på nätet hos Inreda.com

It's a wet winter. This rain coat from Garda of Sweden looks nothing like a hiker's outfit and is perfect for city pedestrians who want to stay dry on their way to work. Available from Inreda.com among others.
IMAGE: INREDA.COM

TIED UP WITH STRING

Se större bildSe större bildSe större bild
These lavender bags from Axlings look darling tied up with string. Plain is pretty. Available in several colours or an easy DIY on this night before christmas. 
IMAGE: PRODUCT IMAGE AXLINGS

DON'T FORGET



We've finalized the menu for the holidays, stocked the kitchen, fridge and freezer, and we are going over the ingredients over and over and over again, because stores close tomorrow night and don't open again until Friday...
IMAGE: PERSPEKTIVET MUSEUM

CHRISTMAS STAMPS

The philatelic bureau of Sweden released their Christmas stamps a few weeks ago (above) featuring woodland creatures celebrating christmas. Rather sweet. I do miss the grainy relief texture of stamps, but agree that the sticker versions ease the process of addressing and stamping hundreds of christmas cards every year.
IMAGES: PRESS IMAGE POSTEN.SE

POKER

Iris Potatissticka

Besides tasting, there's only one way to check whether your cakes, potatoes and carrots are cooked. 
Our tester is broken and its substitutes are leaving ugly holes in our food. The best looking potatissticka from Iris is now available at Bagaren och Kocken. 
IMAGE: PRODUCT IMAGE BAGAREN OCH KOCKEN WEBSHOP

3RD SUNDAY IN ADVENT



Vinterhamn, by Benny Andersson & Björn Ulvaeus, performed by Helen Sjöholm.

GIFTS FROM SCANDINAVIA

Untitled #2

Mixing jug with utensils from Rosti Mepal, Bowl Mine from Kosta Boda, Tray from Svenskt Tenn, Fridge carafe from Eva Solo, Paper star from Clas Ohlson, Ceramic box from H&M Home, Santa Family Ornaments from IKEA, Tealight holders from Royal Copenhagen. 
IMAGES: PRODUCT IMAGES CERVERA, KOSTA BODA, SVENSKT TENN, EVASOLO, CLAS OHLSON, H&M HOME, IKEA, ROYALDESIGN

SIZE SMALL

Mini paiformer
What a brilliant shortcut for those gifts you'll be making and baking for neighbours, friends, teachers and everyone else. These tart pans measure 15 cm across and made from light cardboard, they are perfect for petite pies, buns, cakes, and look fantastic in a clear plastic bag and tied up with ribbon or string. These looked great as well when I checked them out at the store. 
IMAGE: PRODUCT IMAGE CLAS OHLSON WEBSHOP

RASPBERRY

Berlock Hallon/Robus IdaeusBerlock Hallon/Robus Idaeus

My fondness for necklaces and charms haven't waned much. Silversmith Eva E Eriksson makes these sweet raspberry charms that have captured my heart lately.
IMAGE: PRODUCT IMAGES EVA E ERIKSSON WEBSHOP

MINI ME

Bild: Lucior för pynt
These sweethearts remind me of myself as a young girl. I had a pink nightgown with that kind of neckline and bangs and barrettes, just like her! Which is why these are being removed from my wish list and upgraded to the must-have list. Available at the museum shop at Nationalmuseum.
IMAGE: NATIONALMUSEUM BUTIKEN 

TIME FLIES

Horsefly (PSF)

That christmas countdown is a fun reminder during the year, but right now I feel as if it's a race against time. Santa's not the only one making a list  and I just realized mine runs four pages long. Do any of you know some unemployed elves by any chance?
IMAGE: By Pearson Scott Foresman [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

LUCIA


I can't help it. The 13th of December in Norway doesn't come close to Lucia day in Sweden. I suppose the next best thing is seeing the broadcast on SVT Play here (available worldwide for another 30 days). The next next best thing is to press play.
IMAGE: LUCIA IN GUSTAV VASA KYRKA, OLA ERICSON

INGEN ANNAN ÄN ANNAS




Call me crazy, but the new packaging for Annas Pepparkakor is enough to make me buy a box! Paired with a bottle of great glögg, almonds and raisins, this is a great hostess gift when abroad in December.

PS. Their factory outlet is located in Tyresö.
IMAGE: PRESS IMAGE ANNAS PEPPARKAKOR

TOP THREE READS 2

Gods & Gårdar omslagLantliv omslagHem & Antik omslag

My favourite magazines for christmas: Gods & Gårdar, Lantliv, Hem & Antik.
IMAGES: TIDNINGSKUNGEN.SE

TOP THREE READS 1

After being named a favourite christmas blog, I thought I'd return the favor and show some link love myself. My favourite Swedish christmas blogs are:

ANNAS JUL
JULBLOGGEN: MIN VITA JUL
HEMMA MED HELENA

EASY GLISTENING


After the introduction of more delicate details into our holiday home, I've fallen in love with Rebecca Uths tealight holders for Georg Jensen. Brass coated in palladium or 24 carat gold.
IMAGE:  PRODUCT IMAGE GEORG JENSEN WEB SHOP

OH WELL, WHAT'S A ROYAL BALL?


Mom: Remember the Nobel museum we visited in Stockholm?
Son: The one with images on the floor and old things from hospitals and experiments?
Mom: That's the one. The man who named that museum also gave money, millions, to people who came up with great experiments and inventions. To celebrate those experiments the king give them a gold medal and then they have a fancy dinner and dance in a golden room.
Son: GOLDEN room!?
Mom: Let me show you. (Shows the photo above)
Son: Oh. What a boring party.

Those who feel differently can read more, or view it here tonight.

FINALLY!

Detaljbild:Nygårda Julmust Vintage Oak

"Äntligen!" was the annual exclamation from Gert Fylking at the announcement of the Nobel Prize in Literature. I feel the same way about these sophisticated bottles of julmust. Apotekarnes Årsmust and Nygårda Julmust Vintage Oak 
IMAGES: PRODUCT IMAGES CARLSBERG & SPENDRUPS

PLOWING THROUGH

Snöplog 1909Yesterday the air was thick with gray rainfog and snow. Standing outside the house, I looked down towards the airport and the only thing I saw was three blinking lights going back and forth back and forth. Clearing snow is a neverending job on that landning strip. IMAGE: Malmström, Axel (1872–1945) (Stockholmskällan) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

PIGMENTALLY CHALLENGED?


A small beauty tip for those missing the sun as much as I do. You couldn't exactly describe me as tanned. My summer tan is sort of your winter pale, and the polar night takes me beyond pale into... transparent? Face Stockholm to the rescue with its great range of foundations for pale Scandinavian skin tones.

PS: Their products are a great souvenir for those hard to shop for teens that have outgrown Pippi Longstocking gifts.
IMAGE: PRESS IMAGE FACE STOCKHOLM 

KANONBRA SENAP

Aside from flavourful hard cheeses I miss Swedish mustard. If my kitchen was large enough to house the traditional bowl and ball, I'd love to make mustard myself. Or punish disobedient teenagers by making them perform this ardous task. Until then, I'll take the shortcut a.k.a a blender.
IMAGE: PRODUCT IMAGE SKEPPSHULT 

EASY LIKE SUNDAY MORNING?



My ventures into baking aren't as aesthetically pleasing but let's pretend that life is always this pretty. Swedish Saffron Buns from Green Kitchen Stories.

WARM

Mittens are a great gift in the bleak midwinter. A new take on the traditional Lovikkamitten for those of us unable to knit ourselves: Sigrid from Heart of Lovikka.
IMAGE: PRODUCT IMAGE HEART OF LOVIKKA WEBSHOP

A TOTAL FAKE

FEJKA Konstgjord krukväxt IKEA Naturtrogen, konstgjord växt som håller sig lika fräsch år efter år.
The elements are against us. Every time we open a window to let in fresh air, a flower dies. In the hallway I've resorted to fake flowers (gasp!) and despite its old-lady-resputation it looks great. So I have a new botanical strategy: Let's fake it 'til we make it.  
IMAGE: PRODUCT IMAGE IKEA

2nd SUNDAY IN ADVENT

Adolf Fredriks kyrka december 2012Adolf Fredriks kyrka, december 2012.
IMAGE: BY ARILD VÅGEN(Own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Common

BOOK REVIEW: SCANDINAVIAN CHRISTMAS

Trine Hahnemann is a household name in Denmark as a self taught food entrepreneur with a passion for Danish cooking. She has a number of Danish cookbooks under her belt, several successful catering ventures, and appears in TV and magazines on a regular basis. This is Hahnemann's collection of recipes for December celebrations, the time of year when she takes four weeks (!) off work  to decorate the house and entertain family and friends.

9781849491921

Disregard the publisher's misleading blurb claiming this is your guide to a Swedish, Norwegian, Finnish and Danish Christmas (it's absolutely not), and a decorated  holiday home (unless my book is missing a chapter). This book is no such thing. Instead, it is a great introduction to Nordic christmas flavours since many ingredients and some dishes are common to the whole Nordic region. Sea buckthorn vinegar, pickled herring, and liver paté may not suit the innocent novice palate nor children, but the brunch recipes featuring baked spinach omelette, kale, root vegetables, salmon and sweet rice pancakes are less intimidating.

The dishes are mainly modern takes on traditional dishes or ingredients, such as kale bruschetta and orange pickled herring. Sometimes its the addition of a single flavour that upgrades a simple dish, such as the grated horseradish in the dressing for the root vegetable salad.

Christmas 5-030620  _93L5808

A closer reading of the recipes drew me in. I look forward to exchanging hot dogs for lamb stew cooked over open fire (see photo) on a winter outing. Pairing brussel sprouts with chili and clementines sounds daring and fantastic. Exchanging the cured salmon for cured cod may also be a stroke of sheer brilliance. The true test lies in whether this book can guide us to duplicate her results and so far the cookie and glögg recipes I've tried were easy to follow and delivered good flavours.

It seems the author assumes some familiarity with Nordic ingredients since the level of detail in the instructions is inconsistent, and at times lacking. Unless the kitchen is your gaming zone, you'll find yourself googling for explanations on how to roll a log of rolled pork belly, truss a goose, or how to handle raw fish when curing and salting salmon and cod.

Christmas 7-031067

Scandinavian Christmas is a great source of inspiration for "Scandinavians" wanting to update their winter menu. It's also a great gift to a "foodie" with a curious palate, who wants a modern take on Danish Christmas flavours without unnecessary elaborations on tradition. Lars Ranek's photography is wonderfully moody with a great dose of atmosphere and decidedly Danish styling. If only the publisher would have dared to present it as a unique peak into Trina's personal Danish holiday recipe box, instead of placing it in a broader Scandinavian lifestyle context, this book would have found its audience amongst international foodies with greater ease.

Scandinavian Christmas, Trine Hahnemann, Alhambra House, Quadrille Publishing Ltd, 2012, 144 pages, ISBN 978 184949 192 1. PHOTO CREDIT: COVER IMAGE QUADRILLE PUBLISHING, ALL PHOTOS ©LARS RANEK; USED WITH PERMISSION

STRÅLANDE JUL

EASY DOES IT


34-2190 Trälåda
Always on the lookout for items that organize, sort and store, I've seen my share of designer boxes. Yet I keep returning to the basic ones. Plain wooden crate from Clas Ohlson. 
IMAGE: PRODUCT IMAGE CLAS OHLSON WEBSHOP

LOW KEY



No red in sight. Sparse but festive.
IMAGE: PRESS IMAGE HIMLA AB, FALL 2009

WE'VE GOT ISSUES

NibHJEMME // NOVEMBER 2013 // JUL Nordic Design 2013 Christmas Magazine
Christmas decorated Scandi interiors for your inspiration as you deck the halls for the 2nd Sunday in advent. Click on a cover to access the e-zines. 
IMAGES: SCREEN DUMPS NIB HJEMME/ NORDIC DESIGN

A GREEN HOME


Kartio Dricksglas skogsgrön 21 cl

Red is the ubiquitous christmas colour, but I'm leaning more and more towards green accessories for the home. Iittala has added a soft "Forest green" to the Kartio range and it's perfect.

Would it look good on a harvest table? Yes. Would it look good in a christmas decorated home? Yes. Would it look good filled with the first flowers of spring? Yes. 
Done deal. I just have to find IRL to make sure the screen doesn't lie.
IMAGE: TOREBRINGS WEBSHOP

THE RESULTS ARE IN!

Luciafest 1943

THIS IS the best recipe for Lussebullar! Tjohooo! (800 gr of flour made mine waaaay sticky so I added about 1,5 dl of flour and then some while shaping the dough.)
IMAGE: LUCIA 1943, PUBLIC DOMAIN VIA WIKIMEDIA COMMONS

LET'S GLÖGGA LOSS

Eva Solo mulled wine decanter - red - Eva Solo
One of the first entries on this blog was about wanting to find a better way to serve glögg. But the Rosendahl thermos jug didn't look as good IRL. So our glögg still ends up a sweet sticky mess with big ladles and tiny cups. Apparently Eva Solo felt the same way. Mulled wine decanter, available at Scandinavian Design Center among others.
IMAGE: PRODUCT IMAGE, SCANDINAVIAN DESIGN CENTER WEBSHOP