Thursday, July 14, 2016
Dear Diary. This week is a whirlwind of Swedishness, and happily it doesn't appear to be ending soon.
Thursday I attended a cocktail tour of the Chef Magnus Nilsson exhibit at American Swedish Institute. While I've explored the exhibit multiple times since the opening, there is always something new to see and learn. ASI Interpretive Services Coordinator Hanna guided us through the photos with a particular eye toward food preservation across the Nordic region. FIKA provided tasty cocktails and bites.
Friday I interviewed Swedish Crown Bakery owner Eva Sabet at her shop in Anoka. I met Eva last year when she taught a Christmas baking class at ASI. A Swede born to Hungarian immigrants, now Eva makes her home in Minnesota with her Persian husband Fari. I love the Swedish, Hungarian, and Iranian influences on the bakery menu, but mostly I love biting into Eva's pastries. They are lush and full of the flavors I love best: cardamom, citrus, almond, and fruit. We left the bakery loaded with cardamom bread, several twists, chocolate meringues, aquavit and orange herring, and a taste of Bohemian vegetable soup that I cannot stop thinking about.
Saturday we drove up to Lindström for Karl Oskar Days. I've wanted to visit Karl Oskar Days for years to celebrate all thing Moberg. Lindstöm is part of Chisago County where the characters from Vilhelm Moberg's Emigrant series settled after their journey from Sweden. We used an event map to weave our way to the Karl Oskar House on the outskirts of town. There we met fellow Swedish enthusiasts and heard some amazing stories of immigration. They've even recreated (spoiler alert) Kristina's deathbed complete with an Astrachan apple tree at the window. The apples are already plump and ready to drop.
Swedish week continued into last night at the Modern Swedish Supper class I taught at ASI. We cooked and enjoyed a meal of Flying Jacob, Taco Paj, Biff a la Lindstöm sliders, and kladdkaka with boozy berries and whipped cream.
From modern Sweden and new immigrants, to old immigrants, and back to modern Sweden: it really doesn't get better than this.