SCENT OF CHRISTMAS

Eyvind Hellstrøm is a Norwegian chef who gained fame with restaurant Bagatelle in Oslo between 1982 and 2009. Under the direction of Hellstrøm it became a two-Michelin-starred phenomena. Kristin Jacobsen is a Norwegian chef who has published 7 cookbooks and been a regular contributor on Good Morning Norway, as well as assisting chef to Hellstrøm during countless TV-productions and cook books. 

Since my husband is the Norwegian adult in the family, he always cooks a Norwegian Christmas dinner. I have gratefully sampled, praised and enjoyed it for the past 15 years, but have no idea how to make it.  Last year I was asked to bring a traditional dessert to the book club christmas party, and finally had to purchase a recipe book with Norwegian christmas foods. With plenty of options, I decided on Duft av jul by Eyvind Hellstrøm and Kristin Jacobsen, subtitled as a "kitchen handbook for the christmas season".  

In it I found exemplary simplicity in its organization with five main chapters: Seasonal dishes, Christmas dinners, Side dishes, Desserts, Pralines & Cookies. Each chapter is in turn organized by main ingredient: meat, fish, game etc.  

Chalk it up to good sense, good taste or good training but you will not find crossover versions such as gingerbread-spice-brownie-with-peppermint-frosting here. This kitchen duo has perfect pitch when it comes to adapting traditional flavours for a more contemporary palate. Ingredients range from humble to fancy, but each dish is well balanced, never excessive. The attention to detail is visible in every aspect but never intimidating. I grade its range of diffculty as from "beginner" (fruit salad) to "proud home cook" (pork roll with glazed peach). 

The dessert I brought to the party? It was simple, but it was a success. 

The first 50 pages are available as a sample read here

You can find six recipes from the book on Hellstrøms homepage, and also  watch Hellstrøm prepare a roast pork flank (in Norwegian). 

ACE OF VASE


 A vase that makes me happy. Handmade by Joanna Günther. Available at Designtorget

IMAGE: PRODUCT IMAGE, DESIGNTORGET WEBSHOP

SKANSENBUTIKEN

Skansenbutiken is housed in a small building, just outside the Skansen outdoor museum. I come for the atmosphere, and small Swedish souvenirs. My sons come for the old fashioned hard candies. It's not the cheapest of souvenir stores, but in return everything is genuine and well made. No plastic viking helmets, only sensible and decorative items, mostly in natural materials. They have finally re-opened their web shop after a few years offline. Pay them a virtual visit. 

2nd SUNDAY IN ADVENT

Klövsjö Church, Jämtland, Sweden (15897347096)  
Klövsjö church, Jämtland Sweden, around 1900. 
IMAGE: N. THOMASSON, FROM THE ARCHIVES OF THE NATIONAL SWEDISH HERITAGE BOARD

THE NO SHOW SNOW

It will be a green Christmas in Oslo. We have brought out our Snö candles from Skandinavisk to keep hopes high, but the most we can hope for is a frosty scene on Christmas Eve this year. 

IMAGE: PRODUCT IMAGE ILLUMS BOLIGHUS

PLANNING AHEAD


Life with kids also means stains on table linen. Considering white linen table cloth and dark red napkins. Cotton napkins Agnes from Kid. 

IMAGE: PRODUCT IMAGE KID.NO

HISTORISKA JULKALENDERN

The Museum of Swedish history has a fun daily calendar on IGTV, historiskajulkalendern. They share a fun fact or story about Scandinavian christmases through history, followed by a short tutorial for a craft  that relates to the story. If you don´t speak Swedish, you can skip the story and watch the tutorial. I quite enjoy it! 

1st SUNDAY IN ADVENT


Sollentuna Church

Sollentuna church, altar and interior.  
IMAGE: BY  BRORSSON, CC LICENSE 

WHAT IS SCANDI STYLE TO YOU?

Did you think that Scandi style is all about bright, light and stark interiors? 

If that is still yout MO check out: 

GRANIT 

Bolina

Bruka Design

The past 5 years the Scandi-trends have been rich colours and pastels, a lot of pinks and plenty of brass. To see more, visit the christmas sections of: 

Artilleriet

Svenskt Tenn

CLEARLY MINIMAL


My mother has always had an affinity for Ingegerd Råman´s design, thereby introducing me as a teenager to the complexity of minimalistic design. To keep it lead-free IKEA chose crystalline instead of crystal for the DYRGRIP glasses designed by Råman. 

IMAGE: IKEA PRODUCT IMAGE 

HAVE A WOOLLY JOLLY CHRISTMAS


This baby mobile from Klippan just makes me smile. 

IMAGE: PRODUCT IMAGE KLIPPAN YLLEFRABRIK

CORK IT UP


Sustainable, hand harvested, 100% natural, and with natural water repellant qualities. There is so much to love about cork. These coasters/small trivets from Formgatan are smoked to bring out the material's darker tones. For a list of Formgatan resellers look here

IMAGE: PRODUCT IMAGE DESIGNTORGET WEBSHOP