February 3rd, 2007

Photo Scavenger Hunt Gross

Posted by Lifecruiser in Food, Photo, Swedish
Lifecruisers contribution to theme Gross
© Lifecruiser (Herring, Stockholm, Sweden)

Theme: Gross | Blogroll Info | Next week: Broken

Almost the same as the gross Silver fish head I showed last week. But there is some difference actually.

The Swedish word Gross is actually an old way to count:

1 dussin = 12 of anything
1 gross = 1 dussin dussin.

Clear? *giggles*

Gross is 12×12 = 144 is the right answer with other words.

Later on we just started to use the word gross for something that comes in a big amount, not precisely 144 things of something.

Grosshandel = Big volumes of merchandises, what you would call Wholesale I think.

So this is Gross in two meanings.

A lot of gross huh? *lol*

Cruise list: Eph2810, Tricia, Heather, Superkimbo, Pastormac's Ann, Teena in Toronto, That frolicsome kid, Jannie Funster, TorAa, Carol M., Incog, Biker Betty, Pat, Coll, GoofyJ, Holly, Linda, Desert Diva, Shoshana, Michelle, Cindy, Preckie, Melli, Mitey Mite, Beckie, Sissy B., Mummy B, Debbie, Srp, Gattina, Hootin' Anni, and Sanni.
February 1st, 2007

13 Cake Cafe Experiences

Posted by Lifecruiser in Odditys, Food, Swedish

Yesterday we took a day trip with my sister to Norrtälje, a small town 6 Swedish miles north of Stockholm. The reason for going there was that it has been a wish of my sister for a long time now to visit their famous Café “En liten smula” (means “A little crumb”).

The Café has an award winning owner, Therese Wikström - one of Swedens best pastry chef’s. Therese has worked in first class restaurants in both Sweden and other countries and have had Jan Hedh as mentor, which is a pastry chef Master and has World championships titles in the baggage. She has won prizes every year in row now.

When she was working on a restaurant in New York, she introduced the Swedish Semla on the menu as a dessert. The americans loved it. (Read what a semla is: Lifecruisers Semla)

This is a very small Café in a very old town house and the rooms are decorated like your visiting someone in their home, giving a very comfy feeling. We sat in the kitchen. Even though we didn’t find her best masterpeices in the Café, there still was a lot of delicious things - don’t you agree…?

[Hove over to enlarge!]

Lifecruisers cafe visit
Lifecruisers cafe visit
Lifecruisers cafe visit

Lifecruisers cafe visit
Lifecruisers cafe visit
Lifecruisers cafe visit

Lifecruisers cafe visit
Lifecruisers cafe visit
Lifecruisers cafe visit

Lifecruisers cafe visit
Lifecruisers cafe visit
Lifecruisers cafe visit

Lifecruisers cafe visit


NOTE: Every comment is equally welcome, even if you’re not participating in this Thursday Thirteen-thing, we LOVE all comments :-)

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Cruise list: That frolicsome kid, Debbie, Nathalitanis, Dave, Susan, Chelle Y., Christieo, Charlotte, The Shrone, TorAa, Crystal, Scooper, Jenny, Melli, and Robin.
January 24th, 2007

Fishy Oral Sex

Posted by Lifecruiser in Food, Photo
Cruise list: Aka R'acquel, Haddock, Chrissy, Gledwood, TorAa, Jen, Frances, Hootin' Anni, Claudie, Melli, Lazy Daisy, FelineFrisky - Diane, Debbie, Angelo, Eph2810, Jodi, Sanni, Gattina, That frolicsome kid, Michelle, Janet, Amy, Linda, Bee, Skittles, Rose, Cooper, and Rav`N.
December 25th, 2006

Swedish Christmas traditions

Posted by Lifecruiser in Food, Swedish
Lifecruisers xmas Day sleep in
Jenny Nyström 1906

This is how half of our xmas day has passed! We woke up at 3 o’clock in the afternoon! Man, were we in a big need of sleep and relaxation….!!!!

I said xmas eve: “tomorrow I’m gonna sleep until I wake up, without any alarmclock for once”. I think I’ll make this as a xmas tradition.

I’m so glad that we didn’t have to go to the julotta - a Swedish old-fashioned xmas tradition to go to a very early church service on Christmas Day morning. From the beginning it was 4 o’clock then it was changed to 6 o’clock in the morning.

In the old days they were going there by horse and sleigh and it was the most beautiful horses and harness they used. And that fact may have been the only way to get me there in that hour in the morning…

This day will go in slow motion over here. We’re having real xmas peace. Except for my terrible headache I have, that’s not peaceful at all ;-)

Yesterday morning we did get xmas stockings - not from ourselves or Santa, but from my oldest sister. She is just so sweet. She loves xmas, has always done. She wanted to give us a xmas like in the childhood.

There was magazines, candy and a photo frame with a part of a big xmas poster that we used to put up on the wall when I was a child. The rest of the poster she gave parts of to my other siblings and mother too. As memories of old times. Great idea really, she is very creative.

Xmas eve we spent together with my Mom the whole afternoon and later in the evening at my brothers home. We were about 20 persons there with both my family and my sister in laws. Everyone was bringing some traditional xmas food with them.

What is traditional Swedish xmas food and drinks?

We’ll start with some glögg - mulled wine with some gingerbread cakes. In the glögg there should be a lot of raisins and almonds and a few drops of cognac.

Instead of the turkey we serve xmas ham as the main food, even if some people serve turkey too. There must be mustard for the ham. At the side of the ham we eat boiled potatoes or turnip & potato mash. Some people even have au gratin.

Other typically food that could be on the xmas dinner table is: pickled herring, “sillsallad” - a kind of beetrot salad with herring, raw spiced salmon, smoked salmon, smoked eel, luthefish, egg halfs with white roe or shrimps, pigs trotters, sausages, small links, Swedish meatballs, pork ribs, red cabbage, brussel sprouts, malt bread, Rice a la malta - and rice pudding with a lot of cinnamon.

Janssons temptation is a gratin type dish of tinned sprats cured in brine (kind of herring), onion & sliced potato that most certainly is there too, which by the way Mr Lifecruiser is an expert on making :-) Normally I don’t like Janssons, but I do like Mr L’s!

To the food we drink Christmas brew (dark beer), pilsner beer, lager and schnaps. For me, the schnaps must be Aalborgs akvavit from Denmark, but I know that many drink Skåne akvavit from Southern Sweden. Together with the schnaps we always sing traditional xmas carols for every toast we make. The youngsters always think that this is very embarrassing… *lol*

I’m sorry I don’t have any pictures - I’ll have to remember to take photos next year :-)

To the coffee afterwards we eat Lussekatter and maybe have a whisky or cognac. There are also stewed fruit, fig, jelly, candy, toffee, hazelnuts, walnuts - all kind of nuts (which reminds me of the fact that we have lost our nut cracker!), raisins, marzipan, ice chocolate and lots of chocolate boxes.

No wonder people need to get out walking off all the fat…

Something else that has been very traditional is to light sparkler’s, but I hardly don’t see that any more over here.

We do have the tradition with the mistletoe over here too, but it’s not that spread as in the U.S. and personally we don’t have it in my family. I can’t remember that we ever had, but maybe I was too young to remember.

Mr Lifecruiser and I don’t need any mistletoe since we’re kissing all the time anyway ;-)

There is one thing on the TV that has been almost holy and that is a special program with Disney’s movies that Swedish TV is broadcasting at 3 o’clock with classic’s like Kalle Anka (Donald Duck), Musse Pigg (Mickey Mouse), Pluto and Ferdinand (the bull sniffing the flowers in the cartoon).

Santa comes to deliver the xmas gifts after the xmas dinner in the evening and only if you’ve been nice during the year of course. Often it’s some one of the family members that’s dressed up as Santa, but some familys talk somebody else into come and play Santa, so the kids won’t recognize him too easily.

An old tradtition is to ryhme to every gift, but there is many familys that don’t do that anymore. As there is many familys that just deliver the gifts without any feelings at all, just ripping up the wrapping without any feeling. It’s a pity. It’s more exciting to handle over one gift in a time and that person have to open that one before the next one is handled out.

Though we have skipped the xmas gifts in that way, we only buy for our nearest ones, so we didn’t have any gift opening over at my brothers place since we are too many. We opened our xmas gifts from Mr L’s daughter and our best friend Miss Ass. Lifecruiser when we arrived home again.

We had only wished for lottery tickets since we live compact living and don’t want any extra things to take up space here - and we got lottery tickets in mass! We won a smaller amount on one which we’re going to buy new lottery tickets for, so we still have that chance to become millionairs ;-)

We had such a wonderful time with a really wonderful family and relatives. No fuss, no argues only a very merry group of happy persons enjoying xmas traditions together.

That’s a typical Swedish xmas eve in a nutshell.

Cruise list: Dot, Marie, RennyBA, Melli, Shazzer, Teena, and Happy and blue 2.
December 23rd, 2006

Photo Scavenger Hunt Lines

Posted by Lifecruiser in Food, Photo

~ Lines on-line ~
Mrs Lifecruisers contribution to theme Lines
Candy Line Up
Red and green is really classic xmas colors and I find it difficult to use other colors at xmas time. OK, maybe gold and silver too, but that’s it. I’m very conservative in that case.

Merry Christmas & A Hilarious Happy New Year!
(God Jul & Ett festligt Gott Nytt År!)

© Lifecruiser (Stockholm, Sweden)

NOTE: Every comment is equally welcome, even if you’re not participating in this Photo Hunt-thing, we LOVE all comments :-)

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Cruise list: Srps, LibertyBelle, Nicola, Sandy, Christina, Bobby Griffin, RennyBA, Debbie, Mike, Skittles, Superkimbo, Melli, Happy and blue 2, and Eija.
December 22nd, 2006

Christmas preparations

Posted by Lifecruiser in Food, Swedish, Life
Lifecruisers xmas preparations
Jenny Nyström 1908

It’s a very old tradition to boil rice pudding for xmas in Sweden and they even put it outside for both Santa and the elfs to eat during Christmas. In reality it’s said that it very often were animals that ate it. Maybe a fox.

Mr Lifecruiser is childish fond of rice pudding and he is almost religious about how to cook it. You might even call him a rice pudding gourmet ;-) it will be eaten with a lot of cinnamon and some sugar with milk on top of that.

We won’t boil ours until maybe the day before Christmas Eve and I’m not sure when we’re going to prepare other food since we’re away on Christmas Eve. We’ll have our own xmas after that.

The xmas preparations is going on:

- Cleaning the apartment
- Wrapping the xmas gifts
- Preparing some of the food
- Sending xmas wishes
- Making xmas phone calls*)

We’ll be around during the holiday, not as much as usually, but around. In case you aren’t we want to wish you all dear blog friends:

Merry Christmas & A Hilarious Happy New Year!
(God Jul & Ett festligt Gott Nytt År!)

*) If you know some one that’s spending Christmas alone, please take the time to make at least one phone call to them on Christmas Eve/Day. Christmas is a very diffult time for the ones that’s alone and just one little phone call can mean a big difference showing them that they aren’t totally forgotten by the whole world…

Cruise list: RennyBA, Martin, Steve Novak, Happy and blue 2, and Irish Church Lady.
December 13th, 2006

Lucia with glögg & lussekatter

Posted by Lifecruiser in Food, Swedish
Lucia in Stockholm around 1910, of Jenny Nyström
Lucia in Stockholm 1910
(Jenny Nyström)

Welcome to celebrate Lucia with us today! It’s a tradition here in Sweden at 13th of December since the medevial age. Many knows about the the martyr saint Lucia from Syrakusa in Sicily nowadays, but we didn’t back then. Mostly it was a celebration of the winter solstice.

This was the longest night of the year and there was a lot of supernatural powers out that night and it was better to stay awake to be on the safe side! So they slaugthered the pig and was partying the whole night before the christmas fasting started.

In the 17th - and 18th centurys in the western parts of Sweden, the farmers and their servents started to eat and drink early in the Lucia morning. There were big meals and beers, snaps or aquavit several times, in some areas it was tradition with 3 to 11 meals!!!

Oh, what a heaven for this hungry monster, can you please send me back in time??!!!

There were also one woman on the farm that was dressed in white like a bride and got to wear a wreath with candles on the head and our Lucia was born. This can be copied from Germany, where a girl were dressed up to be “Christkindlein”, with lighted candle in the head as a halo. Lucia can have been identical to the Jesus child.

The difference here was that this Lucia bride was connected to a lot of burlesque pranks. Some researchers have seen this as a symbol of the goddess Freyja (of love, beauty, sex, and attraction). The Lucia bride took the risk of being marked as loose-living, irresponsible and filled with lust.

Around 1900 the Lucia song was born with the first Swedish lyric of Sigrid Elmblad 1924 based on an Italian melody, Barcarola napolitana of Teodoro Cottrau. Later on there came other songs too, but we still sing this ones today in the “Lucia walk procession” (Luciatåg in Swedish).

It sure gives a very special atmosphere in the darkness of December…

The more modern Lucia tradition started 1927, when one of Stockholms newspapers started to choose Stockholms Lucia among women. It has since then evolved to drinking coffee and/or glögg and eat Lussekatter (Lucia buns) early in the morning today instead of the 3-11 big meals. Bummer…

Today we celebrate Lucia everywhere - in our private homes, in schools, in the daycare, at organisations and workingplaces. A lot of bigger towns has election of their own towns Lucia where the voting is in the local papers.

A Lucia tåg consists of 1 Lucia in the front and after her comes her attendants, dressed in white dresses they too, but not the wreath on the head, just one candle between their hands. There is also stjärngossar (starboys) and santa helpers. In the daycares, the children fighted so to become the Lucia earlier, so now they very often have several Lucias…

You might also have heard of the tradition in Grand Hôtel in Stockholm to surprise the Nobel prize receivers with a Luciatåg in the morning. It’s a tradition in the newspaper to report about their big surprise. (I guess it seems rather strange to other countries).

I think that we hold a world record of the worlds biggest Luciatåg, a yearly one in The Globe arena, where 1200 persons are participating from music schools and Stockholms windinstrument orchestra.

When I was young I was party’ing all night before the Lucia morning too, no pigs around other than maybe humans though ;-) It’s still a tradition to stay awake until the morning and celebrate Lucia - not all do it, but we actually did this night!

A Lucia without glögg and lussekatter is no real Lucia for us Swedes.

Lifecruisers Lucia coffee with glögg and lussekatter
Lifecruisers Lucia tray this morning

What the heck is glögg?

Swedes has been drinking heated wine since the 16th century spiced with honey, sugar, cardemom, cinnamon, ginger and clove. Some time even heated cognac with melted sugar. The name glögg comes from the word “glödga” which means heat up.

It wasn’t until around 1890 that the glögg become a christmas tradition here in Sweden, probably just because glögg is warm and sweet and the Swedish winter is cold and bitter. I guess they were exhausted from trying to keep warm with love - either that or they didn’t want any more children ;-)

Glögg is as natural for us in Christmas time as Santa is!

What the heck is Lussekatter?

This special buns also comes from the medevial age when they thought that the holy Nikolaus walked around and handed out gifts to the children together with a devil figure, Lucifer. The word Lusse probably both comes from Lucifer and from the latin word Lux, that means light.

The reason for why lussekatterna was formed to a sun cross has also to do with Lucifer, as he was assumed to be afraid of the light and therefor the sun bread - lussekatterna - were supposed to scare him away and draw the sun back.

Saffron comes from the red pistilmark on a Crocus sativus. 1 kg of the flowers gives about 12 g dried saffron. It has been used for over 3,000 years as a spice and medicals, but even for parfume, mascara and coloring.

It says that Cleopatra used saffron in her baths so that lovemaking would be more pleasurable :-)

We baked Lussekatter…


Lifecruiser ingredients to bake Lussekatter


50 g butter
5 dl (0,5 L) milk
50 yeast
1 tsp salt
2 tsp sugar
1,7 L wheat flour

1 g saffron
125 g butter
1,5 dl (150 ml) sugar
1 egg

1 egg, raisins
(granulated sugar, optional)

Melt the butter and pour the milk into it. The doug mixture should become 37°C (106°F, finger warm).

Crumble the yeast in a doug bowl. Pour the salt over it. Stir. The yeast melts from the salt. Pour some of the dougspad and stir until the yeast is mixed up.

Put in the rest of the doug mixture, salt, sugar and most of the wheat flour (1,4 L). Work the doug smooth.

Allow the dough to rise to double volume under a kitchen towel in a draft free spot for about 60 minutes.

Lifecruiser Lussekatter doug step 1

Crush the saffron or mix it with a little alcohol to solve it.

Stir the butter porous with the sugar. Add the saffron and the egg.

Lifecruiser Lussekatter doug step 2

Work in the saffron mixture with the rised dough in the dougbowl. Add the rest of the wheat flour - nearly 3 dl - save the last for the bake table.

Kneed the doug on the baking table and work in the rest of the wheat flour.

Lifecruiser Lussekatter doug step 3

Cut pieces off the dough to make lussekatter and put them on a baking plate. Put in some raisins.

Let them rise under a kitchen towel again for about 30 minutes to almost the double volume. Brush with the egg.

Lifecruiser Lussekatter doug step 3

Put into oven for about 8-10 min in 250°C (482°F)

Watch out so your oven have the right tem, our was too hot!

(The classic shape of a Lussekatt is the first pic)Lifecruisers lussekatt  Lifecruisers lussekatt
Lifecruisers lussekatt  Lifecruisers lussekatt
Lifecruisers lussekatt  Lifecruisers lussekatt
I guess we shouldn’t have played with the doug ;-)

Help the ants to fight the elephants by support Lifecruiser in The Weblog Awards 2006!

♥ Vote every day to Saturday for us here ♥
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Cruise list: Chaotic Mom, TorAa, Eph2810, Beth, Rose, Gattina, Nils, RennyBA, R'acquel, Melli, Chana, Mar, Froggie, Danielle, Marie, Friday's Child, Happy and blue 2, Nathalie, Irish Church Lady, and Emma.
November 10th, 2006

Swedish Cinnamon bun fun

Posted by Lifecruiser in Food, Swedish
Lifecruisers cinnamon buns

Why not surprise your hon with some bun fun?

Have some Friday fun! Bake buns together! Could be really fun, especially if you both are baking-buns-virgins ;-)

Having problems to get your partner interested in baking buns? Read this secret tip: Bake nude! Works all the time - don’t get too hot though ;-)

Our Swedish Cinnamon buns


50 g yeast
150 g butter
0,5 L milk
150 ml sugar
0,5 tsp salt
(1 tsp cardamom, optional)
1,2-1,5 L wheat flour

75 g butter
50 ml sugar
50 ml ground cinnamon
(1 tbsp vanilla sugar, optional)

For brushing:
2 egg
(granulated sugar, optional)

Melt butter in a saucepan, pour over milk and warm to 37°C (106°F, finger warm). Pour the mixture over the crumbled yeast, add sugar, salt (and cardamom if desired - I don’t), mix. Add flour, work the dough smooth.

Allow the dough to rise to double volume under a kitchen towel in a draft free spot for about 30-40 minutes.

Lifecruisers cinnamon buns

Kneed and divide in two. Roll out the dough into two rectangles about 60 cm long and 0,3-0,5 cm thick. Mix the butter with the sugar and maybe the cinnamon if you’re sure of the amount cinnamon you want and spread the rectangles with it.

Lifecruisers cinnamon buns

Roll them up and pinch rolls together at seams. Cut rolls into rings, 2 cm thick, place the rings with the cut surface up in paper moulds and let them rise under a kitchen towel again for about 30 minutes.

Lifecruisers cinnamon buns

Brush with the beaten eggs, sprinkle with granulated sugar on the top if desired and bake in the middle of the oven at 250-275°C (482-527°F) for 5-10 minutes.

To alternate if you bake often, you can change the filling to hazelnut mix that’s available ready in the stores, mix that with some butter to make it smooth and spread it on the dough.

Y U M M Y A L E R T S !

TIP: Hand over a towel for all the drooling when you can feel the smell from the buns in the oven…


Cruise list: Teena, Eph2810, Christine, Lazy Daisy, Martin, Napfisk, Debbie, Wystful 1, Chi, Miss Ass.Lifecruiser, Mandy, Mar, Barbara, Happy and Blue 2, and Sandy.
November 9th, 2006

Thirteen Cooking Figures

Posted by Lifecruiser in Odditys, Food

1. During 1007 days we did homecooked meals for 899 days and fast food for 108 days (3 times/month). That’s well done of us I think!

2. We have 51 books about cooking - and a bunch of other recipes filed too. Still we’ve almost used the same recipes all the time, but we’re changing that now…

3. We are 2 persons cooking our food together and we’re doing it in a kitchen that has about 7 square meter mobile space, without getting in the way for each other! See the kitchen here.

4. If you happen to found recipes in another language:
Online conversion for cooking so you can convert the recipe figures.

5. Since it’s getting closer to Christmas now, I think you should really check out the Mothers meatballs recipe. That’s a must on the Swedish Christmas dinner table. You must do hundreds of them. They disappear in a furious pace!

6. Swedish crispbread, the noisiest bread ever and my favorite, has been crunched for 250 years now. Not by me though, I’m old, but not that old ;-)

7. My favorite food? It’s not possible for me to say since I love hundreds of different kind of food and I would probably changed my mind hundreds of times too :-)

8. You can’t tell by my figure that I love food. I’m picky, but I love to eat food. Often. All the time. At least every 2 hours.

9. Check out An ode to Olives. I could eat millions of Olives. I probably have. I love olives. No - I adore them.

10. There will be zero dinner left overs here.

11. We’ve an old cookbook from 1930, The Princesses cookbook with very interesting recipes.

12. Have one extra tasty drink before dinner, it sharpens your taste. Preferably one with a bitter taste, to really make your taste start from zero again.


NOTE: Every comment is equally welcome, even if you’re not participating in this Thursday Thirteen-thing, we LOVE all comments :-)

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Cruise list: Danielle, Sisiggy, My 2 cents, Momma Bee, Mar, Imperfect Christian, Chelle, Karla, MamaDuck, Uisce, Chaotic Mom, Jaime, Carmen, Oiive, Debbie, Maribeth, ChupieandJsmama, Andrea, Tink, Nathalie, Miss Ass.Lifecruiser, Caylynn, Norma, Zingtrial, Gattina, The Shrone, and Happy and Blue 2.
October 19th, 2006

Thirteen Chocolates Champs

Posted by Lifecruiser in Food, Photo

We dedicate these champs to Dave Wanda over Here, there and back at Groundhog Mountain. Dave’s birthday is the 18th and Wanda’s the 19th of October, a perfect match for each other. Head over there to congratulate them!

[Hove over to enlarge & read the birthday wishes!]

This is 13 of our best chocolate shots from the Chocolate Festival last weekend. Hours of delicious chocolate to be stunned of, drool over - and taste! Some one throw me a big towel!!!

NOTE: Every comment is equally welcome, even if you’re not participating in this Thursday Thirteen-thing, we LOVE all comments :-)

Want to participate? (more…)

Cruise list: Mandy, The Shrone, Tbirdonawire, Debbie, N. Mallory, S@m, Norma, Beth, Denise, Barb, Moogie, Tammy, Leesa, Frances, My 2 cents, Cheysuli, Colleen, Kathy, Maribeth, Carmen, Dave, Miss Ass.Lifecruiser, Mar, Tina, Chi, Tracie, Chelle, Amy, Gattina, Lazy Daisy, Irish Church Lady, Geggie, Sobeit, Southern Girl, Carol, Sandy, Stephanie, Napfisk, Kay, and Happy and Blue 2.
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