21 June 2012

Midsummer Magic


It’s Midsummer again and the longest days of the year are upon us.  Midsummer is celebrated around the day of the summer solstice. The actual date for the celebration varies year to year between 19 to 25 June since it is always celebrated on a Friday.  


Summers in Scandinavia are especially memorable as the sun never sets leaving long hours to fest.  Think Maypole dancing, lots of “Skåling” with Schnapps and Aquavit, eating gads of food, and perhaps some skinny dipping too!


What to wear pole dancing Scandinavian style?  Crisp white cotton is always the perfect choice, and if you are a “Fröken” top it off with a handmade crown of flowers. The Midsummer Pole is also decorated in fresh flowers and birch bouquets.


Midsummer is a festival of love and fertility. More babies are conceived on this day than any other day of the year in Scandinavia.  Why not with magical ways to find your love match? 


Girls will pick seven different kinds of flowers for their crown which is placed under their pillow to dream about their future partner.  If you roll around naked in the fields on the Midsummer morning, you’ll have a great marriage. If you gaze into a pond water under the moon’s glow during the Midsummer night, you’ll see a reflection of your one true love. (Best to bring that love along for the gazing ritual).

 
After the dancing everyone dines on Gravlax, boiled new potatoes, herring and fresh strawberries. Don’t be surprised if you are called to share a song or a joke followed a down the hatch shot of schnapps. 

Gravlax   This is easy to make at home! 

  • 1 teaspoon whole white peppercorns
  • 1 teaspoon whole black peppercorns
  • 1 teaspoon coriander seeds
  • 2 tablespoons sea salt
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 1 1-pound salmon fillet, skin on
  • 1 cup chopped fresh dill, divided top and bottom
Mustard Sauce
  • 2 tablespoons grainy mustard
  • 1 tablespoon white vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons grapeseed or olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh dill
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • sugar to taste

  1. Mix together salt, sugar, and cracked peppercorns in a mortar and pestle.
  2. Rub it into both sides of a beautiful skin-on cut of fish 
  3. Completely cover the fish with a thick layer of fresh chopped dill. 
  4. Wrap tightly in plastic wrap 
  5. Place in container large enough to fit (I purchased a professional oversized cake pan just for gravlax making) 
  6. Place weights on top (Go into your garden and start collecting stones, bricks etc) 
  7. Refrigerate for 24 - 36 hours turning every 6 hours.
When it's done, you simply scrape off the dill and slice it paper thin.
Blend Sauce ingredients adding oil slowly.
Enjoy!


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