Sunday, October 16, 2011

stuck on Sweden

Deborah's journey continues on to Stockholm...
This beautiful Swedish city comes on like a blast of golden light after the cool grays of Paris. The warm copper hued buildings attempt to fool one into thinking Stockholm is a hot town. Well it is, if you are a club kid, as it offers up great bars, restaurants and music venues to check out all over this tiny, uber-hip city, but it's the weather that is not accurately represented by all these apricoty tones.
This is a city on the edge of the sea with stormy brooding clouds flashing past at dramatic speeds. Put on your coolest looking hiking boots, grab a sweater and scarf and hit the streets.
 Bikes are everywhere in this pedestrian friendly city.
The Swedes seem to shine in metalwork.
 At least when the weather changes you can see it coming!
Anchors and bicycles sit comfortably side by side.
There is so much charm to be found on these ancient city streets.

Östermalms saluhall
Sweden is not especially known for its cuisine, but their ingredients struck me as being especially fresh and wholesome. The butter served with our breakfast every morning was the creamiest and richest flavor I have ever had. Whole grain breads and crackers bear the Swedish imprint; they are satisfying, hearty and pure and they taste wonderful.
The Swedes seem to be more adventurous than the French when it comes to trying new cuisines. In the restaurants it was hard not to notice the latest trend: a heavy focus on sushi and Thai food.
In the famous Östermalms saluhall, the fabulous covered food market, an impressive display of prepared dishes featured traditional Swedish recipes and high-end fine ingredients from all over the world.

 The cheese stall at the slauhall. So much to chose from, so hard to decide.
Blindingly beautiful fruit!
These colorful wreaths are so festive. I wanted one bad and tried to figure out if I could dare sneak one past the custom officials back here in New York.  When we landed at JFK and got to the baggage claims area there were trained dogs sniffing every suitcase. Gulp! Glad I didn't try anything.

Stockholm got under my skin in short order. Our three day stay whetted my desire for a much longer visit. My homage to this Scandinavian city is a whole grains pilaf brightened with fruits, vegetables and lots of fresh herbs.

Tack Stockholm!

Mixed Grain Pilaf with Raisins and Dill
1 cup of *mixed grain rice
2 tbs olive oil
1 carrot chopped
1 small onion, chopped
2 stalks of celery, chopped
1 cup of cabbage, chopped
1/2 cup golden raisins
1/4 cup dill, chopped

•Cook the rice in 2 cups water, simmer for 30-50 minutes till tender (according to package directions)
•Heat olive oil in a saute pan. Add the chopped vegetables and stir fry for about 8 minutes till vegetables are tender, but still a little crunchy.
•Add the raisins to the vegetables in the pan and continue to cook for one more minute
•Stir the vegetable mixture and the chopped dill into the cooked rice and serve

*Mixed Grain Rice
I buy this blend of 3 different rices and beans at the Koren supermarket H-Mart, but there are a lot of great mixed grain blends in the stores these days. Try different ones to see what you like.


  1. FYI
    Tina Nordstom seems to be the Deborah Soffel of Sweden.
    Speaking of which, how come you're not on the Food Net Work. I'd love to produce that.

  2. If you do actually spend more than 3 days there, get a Cris Craft and see some of the Islands. Great for picnics. Better yet, make friends and get invited to someone's island week-end home. Great ferry rides also.

  3. Thanks for that great link! I am going to try my hand at pickled herring. Love the idea of spending a weekend in the islands. Def on my wish list. Thanks!!


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