International Dinner Project: Sweden (Sam’s choice)

Sunday, 6 May 2012

Pinnbröd (Swab Bread)

Pinnbröd! Strangely enough, this is actually something familiar to me. Well, me, and anyone who was a kid in the 80s and went to Cubs, Scouts, Brownies or Girl Scouts. We knew it as damper.

Basically, (and the recipe looks pretty much the same to me) it’s a simple dough wrapped onto a stick and cooked over a flame. The boys opted for the BBQ rather than the gas stove top. What I did forget though, was that these things take a little while to cook, and our boys aren’t the most patient, Sam toughed it out almost all the way though.

Once done the boys drizzled “Runny Honey” on them and polished them off. Ryan, “I love them!”. Both boys finished their pinnbröd with no complaints. I always found it to be a rather heavy bread, but the boys were happy – onto the next round!
I almost forgot to add, little Ethan absolutely LOVED his pinnbröd, he finished it in record time and said his favourite word “more, more”

Sam and Ryan’s rating: 100/100 (yeah I know, but it shows their enthusiasm…)

Kroppkakor (Potato Dumplings)
Raggmunk (Potato Pancakes)

Potatoes seem to be the vegetable of choice in this course. Now let me state o from the outset, I am not a big potato fan. I’ll eat ’em if they’re on my plate roasted, or chipped and I love hashbrowns, but potatoes, if they’re mashed, I can only manage a few mouthfuls of before I start to gag. So this one was going to be as much a challenge for me as it was for the boys…

Raggmunk, is a grated potato pancake, it’s a pretty straightforward recipe, and quite easy to make. Which earns it big points because it’s pretty tasty too, I think upping the potato to batter mixture would make it ever better, but that may just be my love of hashbrowns talking. They were supposed to be served with lingonberry jam, but I couldn’t find any in time for tonight. But they were nice enough without it anyway.

The Kroppkakor was going to be more of a test for everyone though, and not just in the eating department, making them was a little difficult as well. The potatoes and boiled and mashed, all pretty straight forward to start with, then they’re mixed into a potato-type dough. But that’s were things got messy and fiddly, no matter how much flour I added that thing just kept getting wet and sticking everywhere. Which made me a little grumpy because I hate difficult dough… but eventually we got they, well, we got to a point where I could make them into workable balls. Next was making the salt pork and onion fillinh and sautéeing that up.

Then it was just a matter of filling the balls, sealing the filling in wthout it sticking to everything under the sun, and dropping them into boiling way. I’m quite a fan of dumplings lately, but these were quite different, so would be interesting to try. We were so focussed on getting the Raggmunk and Kroppkakor to be cooked, ready and hot at the same time that we forgot about the steamed veges. So tonight we had a vege free night – if you don’t count the potatoes and onion (is onion a vege?)

So, how did the boys go? Welll…. they both tried everything… however, Ryan struggle with the dumplings, and Sam struggled with the potato pancakes. Ryan did eat almost a whole dumpling when we promised him a little fizzy (soda/pop) drink, so it wasn’t a big struggle for him – he just preferred the pancake. Sam polished of his dumpling, saying that he likesd the filling more than the potato outer, and he made an honest attempt on the pancake.

Again, this is the most involved little Ethan has been with a meal. He loved the dumplings, infact, so much so, he ate just the filling (we had left overs after we ran out of potato dough).

How did Mum and Dad do? Well, we loved them, the potato pancakes were nice and light, the potato was barely noticable (which is why I said earlier that they could be a bit more potato heavy – so I think we may try them again with a bit of an alteration to the recipe.)

As for the Kroppkakor, to say we liked them would be an understatement, raved over them would be a better description, “these are really nice!” Jocelyn mumbled to me through a half full mouth. The potato casing offset the saltiness of the pork nicely, we both had seconds, and I think I had thirds as well…!

If they weren’t so fiddly and time consuming to make I’d guarantee I’d make these again… maybe for special occasions only, not regular everyday meals though… unless I get faster at it.

Sam and Ryan’s rating overall: 10/10 (they both rated their favourites)

Kanelbullar (Traditional Swedish Cinnamon Bun)

When my cousin found out we were doing Sweden, she said you have to make Kanelbullar, they’re in all the bakeries over there. So being the obliging cousin I am – that’s what we did – plus – I knew it’d be a hit with the kids.

Looking at the ingredients it is very similar the Netherland’s Kerststol and Greenland’s Kalaallit Kaagiat – albeit without the fruit. They are all up in the same portion of the globe and I imagine there’s a bit of cross-pollination of  foods. So with the dough I knew what I was doing – it all went rather smoothly, getting the spirals onto the oven tray without the falling apart was not too difficult, but the dough is very soft. Jocelyn worked hard putting together some make-shift paper rings so when they rose they didn’t just blob out – and those paper rings did the trick wonderfully.

The recipe called for pealr sugar, which I have never seen in the stores here, but a little research seemed to say that the Dutch Vruchthagel that we had was the exact same thing, just with a bit of colouring – so that would have to do!

The verdict? Well let’s just say the 100/100 rating got blown out of the water this time round! I can honestly say I was impressed by these, they came out nice and soft and spongy, sweet and very moreish. We had another helping with out coffee, later once the kids had gone to bed. And the boys both took one to school in the lunchboxes. Surprisingly enough we found out today both boys has a Swedish student in their class!

Sam and Ryan’s Rating 1000/10

I knew very little about Swedish food going into this, but I can now say they eat very well, would love to try that lingonberry jam that we couldn’t find, it sounds interesting, so I’ll be keeping an eye out as specialty stores.


12 thoughts on “International Dinner Project: Sweden (Sam’s choice)

  1. Once again it all sounds & looks so tempting… Especially those Kroppkakors. I might give those a shot 🙂

    You really should order some pearl-sugar, although the “vruchtenhagel” might have worked as a substitute, the real ones are much bigger than the “hagelslag”, they’re like little white “pebbles” (not crystals) that will melt into heavenly moist sugary spots in your baked goodies. If you do get hold of some you have to make a “suikerbrood” (sugarbread) It’s like brioche-bread but because of these pearls melted into the bread while baking it’s just delicious with some butter and nothing else 🙂

  2. If you’re ever on the hunt for more Swedish fare, there’s a great blog out there called scandilicious, gorgeous styling and food for all things Swede. I’m a big fan of rosti & pancakes, definitely a fave for me!

  3. Pingback: International Dinner: Norwegian pepper cookies and fish burgers | The International Dinner Project

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