Saturday we experienced our third annual Swedish Christmas celebration (one of our friends is Swedish hence the theme). This year they outdid themselves as usual as we were treated to a very well organised and traditional meal. It started with a little champagne and crab/caviar appetizers which prepared us for the meal.
The starter consisted of different types of pickled herring, deviled eggs, smoked salmon, potatoes and bread. I have to say I wasn’t sure this would be a course I would ever see myself eating in the past (pickled herring isn’t really big in Canada and I used to be a wee bit of a picky eater) but over the years I have come to enjoy it and even have a favourite – the herring in mustard. This of course was paired with white wine and a shot of Akavit (Swedish schnapps made with various herbs).
Following the starters we were given the choice of wine or Christmas beer – yes they even have a little Santa-ish looking character on the can – even better they bought it at IKEA!! This course also included a tall shot glass of chilled vodka to be sipped throughout the meal (not as a shot as I was attempting to do). The main food course included an amazing potato dauphin type dish with anchovies, Christmas ham, sausages and of course meatballs…all chased down with the vodka.
As if that wasn’t enough we finished off the meal with a fantastic rice pudding served with dessert wine and port. The night didn’t end there as traditionally the next item on the agenda is a game of Trivial Pursuit….we poured ourselves some gin and tonics and laid out the board, we got through one set of questions then decided it would be more fun to chat but I think we get points for trying.
Our gracious host also explained to us that if it was actually Christmas Day in Sweden we would have to stop what we were doing at 3:00pm to gather round the television and watch an episode of Donald Duck cartoons…LOVE IT!! There is also a tradition where you sing and hop around the Christmas tree like a frog but sadly there wasn’t room for the 6 of us to do that, maybe next year.
During one of the drinks courses I invited everyone over to ours for a Canadian Christmas in 2 weekends however am not sure how I will ever compete with that. For starters our traditions include sitting down at the table, eating turkey then falling asleep on the couch shortly thereafter. I have 2 weeks to come up with a tradition that can rival 5 courses of alcohol and a frog song….any suggestions?