Saturday, June 21, 2008

it's that time again!

Ah, the Midsommar smorgasbord. Sorry I haven't been around - I finished grading my students' papers and immediately had to get started on this. I've been baking and pickling for days to get everything done (the beets needed 48 hours, the gravlax 42, the terrine 12+, the herring 4, etc...) so how rewarding that Matt (who lived for a time in Sweden) and Mandy came this year and gave us props for authenticity. Nice!

the spread, from top:

crockpot contains yellow pea soup with mustard, tumeric, and white wine

to the left (clear glass bowl and white dish) = herring in mustard sauce and pickled beets

coming down (glass jar and white plate) = mustard dill sauce and gravlax

moving right (cake stand, white serving dish, teal-edged plate) = swedish rye and dill havarti, sausage and slice cucumbers, port salut cheese

further down, center and left (rippled glass tray and metal bowl) = goat cheese and tomato terrine with roasted garlic, arugula, basil and the chopped salad which accompanies it

left (white serving dish) = steamed asparagus (also enjoyed with the dill mustard sauce)

and finally: swedish meatballs, turnip and potato mash, milk gravy, lingonberries

black licorice tucked into a corner, but the salmiakki and akvavit didn't get pictured.

also not seen: dessert! A giant bowl of fresh sliced strawberries, lightly sugared, whipped cream with a touch of our mexican vanilla (Nam-hun's suggestion, and a good one), and Anna's ginger thins.

We ate, we drank, some of us got to play a viking game that's kind of like lawn bowling. At the end of the evening, we gave away bunches of fresh rosemary from our garden tied with linen twine. Its seemed doubly appropriate, both for its culinary attributes and its folkloric associations - which, if you don't remember your Hamlet, allow me to quote for you, as Shakespeare references this language of plants in Ophelia's famous mad speech: "There's rosemary, that's for remembrance; pray, love, remember." It seemed a fitting favour for two epicures' going-away party.

here's to you, friends. I will miss you, deeply.


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