Lifecruisers Christmas table 2007
Höganäs Keramik lead-free stoneware plates,
which started to be produced in Sweden 1909.
(The glasses is French Chrystal though)

You have already read bout the wrapping of Some Swedish Christmas Gifts we gave Mr Lifecruiser’s daughter in the post below. Now we come to the rest of our Christmas!

The Evening Before Christmas Eve

Mr Lifecruiser’s daughter came here the day before Christmas Eve and we had a really nice time, eating and just enjoying. (She celebrates Christmas Eve with her mom).

So what is on our Christmas table nowadays?

To eat: Christmas ham (main course), home made mustard for the ham, boiled potatoes, turnips salad, pickled herring several sorts – some with sour creme and chives, sausages, Swedish meatballs, malt bread, Swedish cripsbread, rice pudding (with cinnamon).

Swedish home made meatballs is a must on the Christmas table. OK, it almost killed me (because of my back) standing there and roll the meatballs, but it’s sooo worth it! No factory made meatballs in my home, oh no, that would be like a death sin…. *giggles*

Not to forget, Mr Lifecruisers speciality: Jansson’s Frestelse (Jansson’s temptation) which is a kind of creamy potato gratin with brisling anchovy fillets, eg. sprats. It’s often translated wrong using the word anchovies instead of sprats. That is because pickled sprats are known in Sweden as ansjovis since way back in time. The real anchovies in Sweden are called sardeller. A bit confusing yes.

The secret to a tasty Jansson is the quality of the ansjovis fillets (sprats) and to chop it in very tiny pieces. For us, the only possible choice is Abba Ansjovis filéer, but sadly enough they seem to have ceased to exist in the stores nowadays. A real pity.

Lifecruisers Janssons Temptation Top

Lifecruisers Janssons Temptation Close Up

Mr Lifecruiser’s Jansson’s Frestelse Recipe

4-6 portions:
9 medium potatoes (of the mealy kind, ex King Edward)
2 medium onions
20 Abba’s ansjovis filéer (sprats) = 2 cans of 100 g each
3 dl whip cream
Bread crumbs
7 teaspoons margarine

Oven: 225°C

How to make it:

Peel the potatoes and the onions. Slice the onions thin and the potatoes into thin sticks, roughly 0,5 cm circuit and in the potatoes length, preferably in a food processor. Chop the sprats into very tiny pieces.

Grease a large oven proof dish. Place a layer of potato strips at the bottom of the dish. Next a layer of onion followed by a layer of sprats. Repeat with layers of potato, onion, sprats and finish with a potato layer.

Pour over two thirds of the cream. Spread bread crumbs evenly on the top. Put a the teaspoons with margarine on the top.

Bake in the middle of the oven for about 40 minutes, then pour over the remaining cream and let be in the oven for 10 more minutes until it has a golden color.

And who was this Jansson that did fall into temptation?

No one know for certain, but there are two theories. One is that is comes from the 19th century opera singer Pelle Janzon, who was a real gourmand. The other theory is that came up in the periodical Gastronomisk kalender where Gunnar Stigmark claimed that it came from a film called Janssons frestelse in 1928 and from there were picked up by his mother and then to other households and eventually into cookbooks. (source Wikipedia)

To drink: Christmas brew (dark beer), Lager beer and Snaps.

Lifecruisers Janssons Temptation

The snaps is O.P. Anderson’s Aquavit, Sweden’s oldest and most enriched aquavit, original recipe from 1891 with a taste of cummin, anise and fennel, which has been produced with craft production techniques and stored for 8 months in oak barrels to get the right mild taste. It has won gold medals in several international competitions during the years.

One thing I didn’t know before was that it also is KRAV-marked, which is a Swedish way of marking it as an ecological produced product. Nice to know.

(Schhhh! Don’t tell any one, but for me, the snaps favorite is Aalborgs akvavit from Denmark!)

Any one of the regular cruisers who can guess where all the other photos of the food are? *giggles*

Right! We didn’t remember to take any photos of the Christmas table when all the food were on it! No, I swear it was NOT the snaps! This Altzheimers Light really is killing me sometimes…. *giggles*

This time I didn’t even have any chance to take photos of the empty dirty plates like I sometimes do, since I had already washed them up! Darn…

So what to do? Well, I did at least arrange some photos of the Janssons Temptation for you afterwards, which you simply have to be satisfied with.

Mr Lifecruiser’s daughter was here to around midnight, but we didn’t get to bed until 02:30 in the morning…

Oh, did I forget to tell you what she did give us for Christmas? All the things we wished for, except for the Corvette Stingray 1955-1957 that were on Mr Lifecruiser’s wish list…. *giggles*

Which was Campari for our life giving drinks we use to make, books with funny questions and answers in making some good reading, Chocolate and lot’s of lottery tickets. Actually we have 4 small wins from that lottery tickets, but probably we’ll just change them for new lottery tickets.

You’ll never know… If we suddenly leave for a trip around the world, then YOU know! *giggles*

Christmas Eve

At Christmas Eve, we were visiting my Mom at the elderly home where she lives. I think she is so sweet in this photo, a real grandmother dream. Of course I may not be objective in this question since I love her so much…

Lifecruisers Mom Christmas 2007

This was the first year that the relatives were allowed to eat Christmas dinner together with the elderly at her ward, though we were the only one there sadly enough. This was taking place in the afternoon. I felt really sorry for the other elderly, we did our best to cheer up the mood there, but you could tell that some of them were a bit sad.

Christmas table at the elderly home

We can clearly notice that the residents get cheered up when we’re there and it doesn’t take much. It’s very rewarding.

It’s a pity we can’t let my Mom celebrate Christmas in our home. She need special equipment to be lifted since her body (literally) is falling apart from the inside in the joints and can’t have the strain of a normal lift to and from the wheelchair. She can’t sit up that long in her wheelchair to be moved somewhere else.

At Christmas Eve, she was very tired all the time we were there, but she did struggled well to stay up.

So we just have to do the best possible of it, haven’t we? We were happy that she was rather well, considering that she just had finished an antibiotic cure and had an ascertained shortage of blood. Poor Mom, so much sickness and yet she is so easy to get to laugh. I really admire her big.

We had bought some Christmas gifts for my Mom too, but it’s not easy I tell you, to a lady of her age who has almost everything already, can’t see almost anything and don’t have any wishes for herself….

She can still feel, so she got very soft, very Christmassy red socks, a hair conditioner spray and a face lotion with anti wrinkle effect. She thought that was very funny with the wrinkle effect at her age. We were joking about that and she laughed so much that we decided to call it skrattsalva (laugh lotion) instead.

The hair conditioner spray were functioning real well to get control of her hair. When she has laid down which she often does during the day, her hair has a tendency to be quite wild looking. I was joking with her asking if she had been on a wild party during the night. She loved that of course.

She needed to rest since she had been up all day, so we went home to have a peaceful Christmas by ourselves. We could have gone to my brother in the evening, but we felt that we wanted to have a quiet evening for ourselves.

There have been so much stressful and unhealthy things happening this autumn, not only my Mom being ill several times and are right now (which is why this post is late), but even other things which I haven’t been able to write about here out of consideration for the involved persons.

We had a very peaceful and cozy evening at home eating a more modest Christmas dinner with the left overs from the day before. We always have such a nice time together. Lovely love time for the Love couple ;-)

Oh, our Christmas gifts for each other? That’s a seeeecret….
*teasing you*

OK, I’ll mention one of the more mentionable ones: a trip somewhere in Europe as soon as the weather gets better, maybe in the beginning of March.

Something we really are looking forward to!

You can also get some information about Swedish Christmas traditions from my post last year: Swedish Christmas Traditions and Lucia with Glögg & Lussekatter.

Visit Renny who tested a ready-made Jansson’s Temptation from the store, though I must say that home made can not even be compared to the bought ones as so often is the case.

Captain Lifecruiser

Pssst. Also read about Gattinas Christmas in Amsterdam!

22 Comments on “It was a different Christmas for Lifecruiser this year”

    RennyBA said:

    What a wonderful round trip into your Christmas tradition – very much like we do it in Norway, but with your personal touch – it was a great read Capt’n!

    Don’t be sorry for not giving us enough pics – I have a great imagination you know!

    Good to see your Mom for Christmas too and I know you are a very nice daughter to visit her regularly.

    All your Xmas food sounds just wonderful and I have tasted that ham with the special mustard once – its delicious!

    And of course I haven’t forgotten your home made Jansons Frestelser – I’ve no doubt it was much, much better than our ready-made we had yesterday – I just had to try you know – thanks for the Link Love!

    RennyBA’s last blog post..Norwegian newbies try Jansons Frestelser


    The food looks and sounds wonderful. May I come over next year?

    Your mother is lovely. I so remember doing all those things. My parents are both gone now. Cherish them as you are, since they don’t stay around nearly long enough.

    Great on the European trip. That sounds grand. I’m sure you will have a great time planning and then executing your trip. Have a great day. :)

    Comedy Plus’s last blog post..The Barber

    claudie said:

    I’d like really to taste this Jansson Temptation! I will try to find a time to cook it not The right one of course but a sort of one! Home made cooking is the best.
    You had good time with your mother and I think these moments are very important in our life.
    We had time with Pierre’s mother. It is so important to have time with the old persons who always are waiting their family to enjoy the life.

    You will soon have a trip in Europe! Good idea!
    I think to pass a journey in Avignon to visit “La Palais des Papes” soon with the daughters, if they are free…Perhaps sunday!
    The Lifecruisercyber ship could sail on the Rhône and all the members singing “Sur le pont d’Avignon…”

    claudie’s last blog post..Merry Christmas to all bloggers!

    claudie said:

    I wanted to say “Le Palais des papes” and not La palais!

    claudie’s last blog post..Merry Christmas to all bloggers!

    Maribeth said:

    How wonderful it was that you spent the time with your mother. We did the same for Hubby’s father until he passed away. He was always pleased that Hubby came. Me, he didn’t know too well, but I always came and sometimes I would stop in with Shubi so she could cheer the other patients, and she always did.
    I’m glad your Christmas was bright!

    TorAa said:

    You are so brave – and your X-Mas traditions is not that far from the other side of “Kjoelen”. Right.

    I was luckely enough to see and talk to my mother at the Family X-Mas party one more time. She is born in 1919.
    Interesting for the 2 of you: She told me how and why her grandpa did go from Stockholm to Løiten (The cradle of Norwegian Aquit). He was a Tailor.
    The rest remains a secret until we meet again. Small world in the Nordics—

    Anna y Tor

    TorAa’s last blog post..Christmas Gifts and Cards

    Jeni Hill Ertmer said:

    I especially enjoyed reading your posts (for this year and last) about the foods you indulge in at Christmas. Some bring back lots of memories (lutefisk, especially) of my own childhood. My grandma always cooked lutefisk for our Christmas eve supper along with plain boiled potatoes, a white cream gravy and creamed peas. Our family also always had a dish which I have no idea in the world how to spell it but it is “jellied veal” -sort of a ground veal & spices mixture allowed to “set” in the gelatin from the knuckle bones. Cut into squares, it is eaten then either plain or with a few drops of vinegar atop it. Do you know what I mean and can you give me the Swedish word for it so I will know then how to spell it in the future perhaps? Oh, and we also always had the sill -in different sauces -and cheese too. Our local grocery store here always orders in rounds of Bondost cheese and I try to always make sure to purchase one for our use here. Last year, I got a second round of the cheese to give to my older daughter and her fiance as one of their Christmas gifts -which they loved. I got one for them this year and forgot to get it out of the refrigerator to give to them when they were here on Monday! Great having a dose of the senility factors set in like that isn’t it?
    Have a very Happy New Year now too!

    Jeni Hill Ertmer’s last blog post..Some New Things

    Sanni said:

    Oooooohhh… aaaaaaahhh… “Jansson´s Versuchung” – how I absolutely love it. thank you so much for sharing the Mr LC´s recipe. I´ll give it a try as soon as I can walk to the grocery again. Christmas has been far to hoggish this year. I´m afraid I´ll roll down the hill :shock:

    Since I have to leave out the fantastilicoius O.P. Anderson’s Aquavit till next June (and the DOM *sigh*) I´ll inguldge myself with a double… well, ok, triple dose of Jansson´s Frestelse asap :mrgreen:

    Your mom looks fabulous – she´s a granny to dream of. I showed her photo to Lil Luis and explained a bit. “Uiiiiiiiiii!” he said and kissed the laptop. Where´s the camera when you need it?!?!?!

    puss o kram,
    rolling Sanni

    Sanni’s last blog post..Merry Christmas!

    Lifecruiser said:

    Jeni, my apologies for not mentioning one of the ingredients in a authentic Swedish Christmas dinner table, the dish you’re after is: Kalvsylta. (Kalv = Veal, Sylta = Brawn)

    The reason for me forgetting about it is (of course my Altzheimer Light *giggles*) that we don’t have it any longer ourselves and I suspect that people more and more are cutting it out along with a lot of other things, like the Lutfisk too. My parents were the only one in my family that ate Lutfisk.

    We’re getting more and more stressed – and health concerned nowadays and are cutting down on the xmas traditions as a result of that.

    Hilarious Happy New Year to you too :-)

    Hootin' Anni said:

    You’re so lucky to have your mother with you still! Oh how I wish mine were here——-what a gorgeous setting for your dining table Captain!!!

    Happy New Year!!!

    Gattina said:

    I see you didn’t suffer from starving during Christmas days ! The meatballs I only know from Ikea and there they are already very good (to me). I can’t believe that relatives were not allowed to visit their old mothers or fathers so far ! That’s incredible. I know that here in the public retirement home they organize a big Christmas party where all relatives are invited (they just have to pay a small amount for the their food) and I can see from the pictures hanging at the wall afterwards that they all have a lot of fun. When I read what you are living with your mother, then they have the paradise on earth here. Your mum looks really cute under the tree ! I would never think that she is sick.
    When you expect the worst it doesn’t happen, lol ! Contrarily to what I believed our Christmas was really nice. The “DIL” behaved what I would call normal and they had prepared everything with a lot of love. They had invited another couple of friends so we were 6 and had a lot of fun. Tomorrow I publish pictures from Amsterdam at Christmas ! I tell you it is depressing ! They really don’t know Christmas decoration for the city and celebrating Christmas as we do, the people don’t know either. Most of them didn’t even have a Christmas tree ! I think it must be the only country in whole Europe where this happens !

    Lifecruiser said:

    Gattina: just to not misunderstand each other; they were allowed to VISIT the elderly, but not to have a xmas dinner with them. In that case you had to try to fit in their own small room and have food with you and how to keep it warm? That was very difficult of course. It’s much more nice to have it together with them all in my opinion. Your version sounds much more human!!!! My Mom would have loved to be there, such a party person :-)

    Shoshana said:

    These are just so lovely! I want to make the potato dish…but first I got to buy the potatoes.

    Shoshana’s last blog post..i love books, I LOVE BOOKS

    Dianne said:

    Oh I’m so pleased that I came across your blog – I found it from the MyBlogLog on “Down River Drivel”. I really enjoyed reading about all the traditions – the foods, the gifts. And I adore the photo of Mom – she’s lovely and reminded me of home.

    Dianne’s last blog post..My Friends From Pakistan

    SwordGirl said:

    I really enjoyed reading about all of your traditions! I love your Christmas style! Your Mom looks so sweet and adorable! It is really beautiful what y’all do for her and the sunshine you bring to the folks there. Your posts made me feel very happy. It is so refreshing to see how well you take care of your precious Mom. :-)

    SwordGirl’s last blog post..Angelique

    Gattina said:

    I published today some pictures of my Christmas in Amsterdam. You will see that it is really a depressing city at Christmas time ! But you can also the the “DIL”, lol !

    OldOldLady Of The Hills said:

    Lovely visiting with you and reading about your Christmas, my dear. That picture of your Mama IS very sweet…..The Elder home—well, not so sweet, I guess. But, it is the way of things now.
    The Potatoe “Goodie” sounds Perfect! I will have to stop by Renny’s to see what the Store Bought looks like! (lol)
    A Very Belated Merry Christmas to you and yours, and a VERY VERY HAPPY NEW YEAR TO YOU!

    OldOldLady Of The Hills’s last blog card photos

    Melli said:

    Ahhhhhhh LC! I looooove your LAUGH LOTION with your Mom! I know it made her Christmas MUCH merrier! I wish I had thought to get some of that for OUR Mom! Next year – I’ll remember! (if the Alzheimer Light doesn’t do me in!) That potatoe concoction looks fabulous — I could probably make a whole MEAL off of just it! ( i don’t do ham… so really, I COULD!)

    Melli’s last blog post..Saturday Photo Scavenger Hunt — Messy

    three rivers kango said:

    I am glad that I found your website. I love the graphics and colors!

    Looks like y’all had GREAT Christmas food. I love Swedish Meatballs….but, rarely get the real thing….I usually get it out of a lean cuisine box…horrible, I know.

    It can be a pain to make those labor intensive dishes over the holidays..but, those traditions and familiar tastes are part of what make the time so special!

    Have a great New Year’s!

    A. said:

    What a lovely Christmas you had, and yet again I am late visiting. We were able to have my mother out of the nursing home for the day, but I don’t know that she will be able to leave there very much longer. We bought her a digital photo frame and I loaded up all our family photos into a slideshow for her. It was a great success, but trying to get the younger generation to provide the photos was the hardest thing!
    I love all your traditions for the Christmas meal, and I really do want to try to make Janssons temptations. It sounds so delicious, though I don’t know where I would get the sprats.

    A.’s last blog post..In the Bleak Midwinter

    RennyBA said:

    I just could not wait – New Years Celebration is such a great event – come on over and have a good time with me :roll:

    RennyBA’s last blog post..Happy New Year from RennyBA

    TorAa said:

    Dear U 2.
    It seems, and I hope, I can be back to normal. At least I try.

    Comments I should have written first hand:
    Handmade meatballs – I love also love to do it – roll them to the perfect with the traditional spices, but – we have the same challenge – backs —

    Then ( sit down and read with Nordic history in mind):
    My mothers Grandpa – Mr Standquist – a professional Tailor from Stockholm around 1870 went to Löiten – the craddle of Norwgian Aquavit and he even bouth shares at the destillery. That did last until, by law it’s were forbidden unless state owned. Then he moved to Drammen (only Scandinavians understand the understatement: Drammen after Löiten).

    We do love you both and hope we can meet again


    Anna y Tor

    TorAa’s last blog post..Papa goes Dreaming – about his Women and Buenos Aires

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