Enjoy Not Knowing

Just another American living in Sweden


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raspberry scones

Here we go! Number 10/10 on my list of recipes from Eggton’s scrumptious blog. I almost can’t believe it. Mostly I can’t believe it because I thought this was post 8, then I scanned through my past posts and realized I hadn’t listed two of my recipe posts. So, here it is. The final recipe for number 21 on my 30 before 30 list.

These scones couldn’t be a better pick to wrap up this list. Seriously guys, you gotta make these.

For any clarity needs and a side bar on Ranger Rick and tulip cruelty, here’s the original post.

The ingredients you will need:

  • 2 cups flour
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 2 1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 8 tbs. butter cut into 12 inch cubes and then frozen (since this is in italics you know it’s serious)
  • 3/4 cup heavy cream
  • 1 cup frozen raspberries (again, important word in italics)

The steps you will take:

  1. Mix dry ingredients in a bowl; flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. Whisk everything to reduce clumps.
  2. Add frozen butter to the bowl. Eggton says to use a pastry blender or a dough scraper here, I don’t have those appliances so I used a hand mixer. My scones tasted awesome (though you’ll never know if I’m telling the truth, will you?). Regardless, I say a hand mixer also works. You’ll just have to trust me. You’re done mixing when the largest pieces of butter are about the size of a pea.
  3. Pour the cream into the mixture and mix with your hands. Again with the italics, yes. Stop when the cream is no longer creamy and the dough is sticky. There will still be loose flour in the bowl. Deep breath, it’s supposed to be there.
  4. Turn the mixture onto a lightly floured counter and form into a rectangle. Flip it over and form a rectangle again, repeat this until the rectangle is no longer coming apart. (Or coming apart less). Handle the dough as little as possible so the small chunks of butter stay intact.
  5. Use a lightly floured rolling pin to flatten the rectangle into a pan 8×10 rectangle as best you can. Push it back together if it comes apart.
  6. Gently press the frozen raspberries into the bottom 2/3 of the dough. It’s okay if the raspberries break and/or don’t really press into the dough.
  7. Fold the top third of the dough over the raspberries. Use a knife or other tool to scrape under the dough first, if necessary. This will result in a log(ish) shape.
  8. Gently roll the log into a rectangle using the lightly floured rolling pin. Eggton says it should be 1 inch thick, mine were not, but good for you if you can get them that thin. Cut the flattened dough into triangles and transfer the triangles into the freezer.
  9. Heat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit or 200 degrees Celsius. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  10. Remove the triangles from the freezer, place two inches apart on the baking sheet, and brush each scone with a thin layer of cream. Sprinkle each scone with a little bit of sugar to really top everything off.
  11. Bake for 20 min (or more) until the scones are golden brown and your home smells wonderful.
  12. Allow the scones to cool on the baking sheet for a while before moving to the cooling rack. Or before eating every single scone while standing hunched over the oven. Your call.

The wonderful scones you will eat:

Until next time!

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swedish word of the month: smörgåsbord

For the second Swedish word of the month I thought I’d present one of the few words that are also English words. The key difference here is the Ö and Å. The Swedish alphabet has 29 letters, the first 26 are the same as the English alphabet, plus å, ä och ö.

The Swedish word smörgåsbord is defined as an open-faced sandwich, served cold, with butter, pickled herring and cold cuts. The smörgåsbord is served as an appetizer. (As according to the Swedish Academy’s dictionary) The English definition is similar, a luncheon or dinner buffet offering a variety of foods and dishes (such as hour d’oeuvres, hot and cold meats, smoked and pickled fish, cheeses, salads and relishes). (As according to Miriam Webster’s dictionary).

To be perfectly honest the English definition aligns almost perfectly with my experiences. The Swedish definition seems less specific…though the specificity of the English definition is likely implied within the Swedish definition. Convenient how that happens time to time in Swedish. Little is expicitly said, much is implied – we’re all on the same page after all, aren’t we?

Before moving to Sweden I had heard of a smorgasbord, though I had never eaten pickled herring in my life. The home made kind (as pictured above) are definitely the best). Pickled herring is quite tasty, definitely give it a try! (N.B. DO NOT confuse sill (pickled herring) with the Icelandic shark dish hákarl).

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2017, that happened

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My last blog post that did not feature a book was in July. That’s quite a few months of happenings with no writing. In fact, after doing a quick scroll through of my 2017 blog I now realize I’ve only posted 7 times outside of my book of the month posts. Seven:

  1. one year old
  2. finally 2017 (a look ahead)
  3. ry-guy
  4. mediwift
  5. t-man
  6. 15 days: my iphone withdrawal story
  7. four(teen)th of july

Either there’s not a whole lot going on for me, or a whole helluva lot. To be honest, definitely some of both. So, yeah, that happened. I do want to continue my recent tradition of reverse bucket listing my year. This year’s list will serve two purposes: it’s a great way to reflect on the good times of 2017, and is also a list of blog posts soon to be featured here:

  1. Hosted wintry guests
  2. Went on a cruise
  3. Celebrated weddings in Newport, RI and Sundance, UT
  4. Traveled to the western USA with my family
  5. Saw the Grand Canyon
  6. Went to Vegas
  7. Followed my savings plan
  8. Coached a growing group of girls
  9. Attended my 10 year high school reunion
  10. Completed another year of my ECE degree

I’ll stop at 10, because that’s been my modus operandi the previous two years, but there may be an extra post or two coming down the pipeline with happenings from the eventful 2017 – like my epic summer vacation. Get ready, 2018 is here.

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book of september: a wanted man

After reading Persuader in March of 2015 I was looking forward to reading more of Lee Child’s Jack Reacher novels. Now I’ve finally read another!


My expectation was to read the first of the Jack Reacher novels. The reality was that I read the 17th novel (according to Wikipedia, and the list in the back of the book). Missed it by a hair, you could say. To be honest I’m not exactly sure what went wrong. I’m sure it has to do with my lack of paying 100% attention to things occasionally. Or something of that nature. 

Persuader is the 7th novel in the series,  and A Wanted Man is the 17th (as mentioned). So now I either have to wait for the 27th or actually start from the beginning. The best part of the Jack Reacher books is that you really do not need to read them in order. It’s impressively done by Child. I’ve heard the claim before, that books in a series don’t need to be read in order, but this is the first time I actually ageee with that claim. 


A Wanted Man was an exciting read with a few surprising laughs along the way. Child’s writing style is a treasure and I so very much look forward to more Reacher novels. In whatever order I do very well please. And you should read a Jack Reacher novel, whichever one you very well please.


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15 days: my iphone withdrawal story

15 days, that’s one day more than two weeks. That’s how long I haven’t had a smart phone at my immediate disposal. That’s actually how long I haven’t had a phone of any kind easily at hand. 

These days there are a lot of articles about phone addiction, the dangers of extended screen time, or even this one about decreased mental capacity while in close proximity to a smart phone. I haven’t done any empirical studies on how smartphone use personally affects me, but it’s definitely safe to say I am affected. 

First, there occurred a mishap that led to my iPhone being submerged in water for an extended amount of time. No, I do not have the 7, so yes, that was the end of that. Not that I would believe it at first. My very first response was to envelop my phone in a bag of rice for over 48h. Because diligent Googling said that was the ideal amount of time. 

These first 48 hours were no walk in the park. I constantly felt like I was forgetting something whenever I was leaving home, or a friend’s place – wherever I was really. That feeling of “something is missing” was not a comfortable one. Even when I assured myself that it was my phone, and that I didn’t have it with me. 


I didn’t let the fact that my phone was drying out in a bag of rice stop me from uploading to Instagram or scrolling through Facebook. Most importantly I didn’t let it stop me from taking pictures. (I have over 6,000 pictures on my phone pretty much at all times, and yes, I back up regularly to the cloud and harddrives – don’t cry for me Argentina). My addiction to technology is deeply ingraned. I borrowed my wife’s phone often and brought my SDLR around with me in a way usually only reserved for tourists. 

Day three was test day. Finally I would find out if my phone would turn on or not. If my phone would be saved. Turn on it did not. I despaired. I cleaned it out diligently and charged it. Thinking that maybe, just maybe it was completely drained of battery, and needed a charge. 

Days four and five I wrestled with the thought of life without a phone. If it was truly gone I would need to replace it. At some point at least. But maybe – just maybe, I bargained with myself, I could make it all summer without a phone and wait it out for the 8 (or X or whatever Apple decides to name their next smartphone). Why spend the money on an old model now when I can buy the newest version in a few short months? Can I really make it three months without a phone? I could. Right? Or I could buy the 7. That one is waterproof. But why spend that money when a newer better version will soon(ish) be available? Can I make it? I can. Right? How long could I delay my reward? I was torn.

Day six, life. Much to my surprise my iPhone blinked blue on the sixth day. All the buttons were functional, and I could turn it off and on using them. However, the touchscreen was unresponsive. This meant a trip down to the nearest fast phone fix it locale to see if there was anything to be done. One tense afternoon and one phone call to aforementioned wife, lead to the news that the repair costs would equal phone replacement costs. Day six continued: contact with Apple Support, which in alignment with my recently completed survey I am highly likely to recommend to a friend, colleague or blog reader. (In the name of honesty: I added the last category). They helped me with exactly what I needed and gave me an estimate on fixing or replacing my phone, which would result in a functional phone guaranteed to be returned to me. The right decision was ade clear to me: send it in.

The weekend following day six was a three day holiday weekend in Sweden (Midsummer – see previous posts 1, 2, and 3 for more information on that). So it wasn’t until the tenth day that my phone was to be picked up. Alas, UPS could not enter our condo building so the successful pick up occurred on the eleventh day. When I kept our kitchen window ajar and listened for truck noises all morning – and promptly ran out with my decrepit phone when I saw a large brown truck from my bird’s eye view. 

Since then Apple has been assessing my phone and determining that a replacement product is to be returned to me. Bringing us to the present day: day fifteen. Mail is not delivered on weekends in Sweden, so we shall see what happens on day seventeen. 

Maybe my newfound freedom from mobile phones will mark the beginning of a less phone-dependent, more present in the moment period of my life. Or maybe like any true addict I will be back at it as before exactly when the opportunity presents itself. I’m shooting for the former. 

After my initial panic of being without a phone for an extended period of time, later bargaining with myself about how long I could make it without a phone, I’ve now been able to enjoy these past days without a phone. It’s been nice. It’s one less thing to think about. One less thing to remember to have with me. One less thing to distract me from the matter at hand. I think I’ll take a phone vacation every now and again. It’s been nice.


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t-man

On this, Tyler’s birthday, I would like to share with you his childhood nickname. T-man was the little tyke who always had a smile on his face, and did his best to keep up with his big brother. 


It took a while, but when I got over the fact that he was not the sister I had been hoping for this little guy really grew on me.

When he was in Sweden last we were reminiscing and I mentioned how I remember him just loving candy as a child. Like actually love. When you’re little (and damn pithy) you like to say “If you love it so much, why don’t you marry it?” T-man would have married candy, no questions asked. He wouldn’t even bother with whatever taunting tone you tried to have because he would have been so darn excited about the impending nuptials. 

From the perspective that comes with adulthood (we’re adults now, I think) Tyler says he still loves candy. Like love love. So I guess we’ll see what’s coming down the road (or aisle) in the future.

Happy birthday T-man! I hope it’s one for the books.


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mediwift

If I’m going to share my brothers’ childhood nicknames on their birthdays, then it’s only fair I share mine. When I was little my older cousin had a hard time saying my name. Marissa is only about a year older than I, but that did give her a leg up,in the talking thing. Trying to say Meredith, it always came out Mediwift. Which aside from being ridiculously cute, also made for an awesome, and at times still standing, nickname.

Marissa and Mediwift on my 3rd birthday


Meredith is actually pretty hard to say. Understandably seeing as there’s an R right in the middle and a -TH at the end. Just as any Swedish person who addresses me as Meredit (there is no lisping -th sound in Swedish). After recently taking a course on language learning for the preschool child I have more insight in this than ever before. Though I don’t want to get too boring technical I do want to say that the strategies Marissa used to say my name are common and work well in terms of being understood. And, again, just ridiculously cute.

So, if you’re feeling silly and want to say “Happy Birthday Mediwift!”, I will say thank you. I know you’re talking to me. Though this is a today only offer.