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Nov 3, 2010

"Midsommar
and
Memories"

Manny and Gustav putting up the Midsommar Maypole last year.

Towards the end of June is the Midsommar holiday in Sweden.
The actual date changes each year but it is always a weekend close to the Summer Equinox around the 20th of June.
By that time we are into the 'May-through-August' 24-hour daylight period.

 
Outside at the ICA parking lot it is a hub of activity,
and inside, with all the visitors from other parts of Europe, the lines go from the cashier all the way to the back of the store.


For the first time, this young man (who had just taken over the family business from his father), brought his van all the way from Gideå on the other side of Örnsköldsvik to sell his smoked fish, sausages, turkey breast and other specialty meats, including "Renkorvar" (reindeer sausages).
Between the locals and the tourists he did a bang-up business!

There's an outdoor dance, 









and Classic Car enthusiasts from far and wide gather in the fields outside the village to show off their "wheels" and chat it up with other Auto Aficionados. This couple even brought their pull-behind Classic Trailer with them.

But perhaps the best of all was this "Classic".....
complete with foliage, flags AND bulletholes!




All over Sweden people dance around the Maypole and like this picture taken a few years ago of our beautiful daughter Louise, dress in the traditional costumes from the region where they live.             Ours is Ångermanland.


It's a time for families and fun and signals the beginning of the five week holiday season thoughout the entire country.

 
We all have fond memories of summer festivities linked with food.  Hot dogs and hamburgers, Sloppy Joes and barbequed chicken, potato salad and ice cream cones... you name it.

Midsommar in Sweden is no different in that respect, but the authentic foods associated with it tell much more of a story of the change of season and life on the farm that was so common only a few generations back.
(Hang on to your fork!)


Pickled herring (matjessill) a food item that every Swedish home has as a staple, new potatoes (ny potatis) just out of the ground in the early summer, sour cream (gräddfil) from the milk cows,  and chives (grässlök) the first perennial herb to peek through after the long winter, is the traditional meal for this celebration.
(Ready to give up your will to live?  Take heart...)


The dessert of choice is always strawberries that come fairly early in southern Sweden, and their most common usage is in a soft and luscious cake filled with berries and mountains of whipped cream.


We loved it a few years ago at Midsommar when the strawberries in our garden came on much earlier than usual since we are this far north,  and we had a granddaughter Kiki (on the left), and a daughter Hedda (on the right), in the kitchen constructing their masterpiece. 
It was delicious...
and the only thing prettier than the cake was the girls!

This year our Midsommar was kind of a relaxed, quiet time at home on the farm. 
 Manny is in Latvia on his mission, the older girls and Oskar are at school or working and so many of our children and grandchildren are living far away in various parts of Sweden, the U.S. and Canada.


We are half a world away and we miss them terribly.
 We were so glad we had Maxie and Gustav, laying around for a few minutes on the kitchen sofa during the holiday weekend,
reading a farm machinery manual together.
 (How appropriate!) 
Between the two of them this year,
they made for some

Very Sweet Memories. 

1 comment:

UtahMOMof7 said...

Hi Lorayne! Love your blog! My son is coming to the Stockholm Mission in May. Learning many things from your site. Thanks for sharing.
Valerie Albrechtsen
Farmington, Utah