Enjoy Not Knowing

Just another American living in Sweden


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2013 – looking back

At the end of each year I like to take a moment to reflect on a year gone. Okay, no, that was a bold faced lie, sounded good though, right?

This year at least I would like to take a look at last year’s New Year’s resolutions which read as follows:

  1. Paint a painting.
  2. Find a lasagna recipe Evelina enjoys as much as I do.
  3. Make homemade macaroni and cheese.
  4. Bake a rulltårta.
  5. Watch more movies.

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It seems the only resolution I have successfully been able to follow is number five. To be fair I have also completed 3 & 4, but really just in the past few days as a last ditch attempt to be successful with my resolutions. Yes, I deem 3/5 successful. Passing grade people!

In regards to the first two. I’m pretty okay with their lack of completion, as they are both well on their way. For my birthday Evelina got me two canvases and some paints. I have already planned out what I am going to paint and how I’m going to paint it. Half way there. As for number 2…Evelina has exasperatingly explained that she does not like lasagna. She will not like lasagna. As she does not like cheese, which is a main ingredient in lasagna. Little does she know I plan on adding these two uncompleted resolutions to my new resolution list (coming 2014) and I have a little something up my sleeve. Cue evil laugh.

found here

found here

I don’t want to dwell on the things I haven’t accomplished, but rather take a look at the things I have.

  1. Well on my way on learning Swedish
  2. Read Wuthering Heights
  3. Went to Mexico
  4. Read a book a month (despite some delays in posting about it – coming soon)
  5. Own the complete 10 seasons of Friends

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And those are just the things off of my 25 before 25 list. I’ve even:

  1. Planned a Lucia celebration
  2. Celebrated my Dad’s birthday with him
  3. Attended my brother’s high school graduation
  4. Listened to my calendar when it told me to eat chocolate for breakfast
  5. Learned even more about Sweden

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I’d say this has been a successful year.

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rulltårta

That’s right! I made a rulltårta this evening. I’m gonna go ahead and call it a roll cake. Checking off number 2 on the 25 before 25 list!

I made a gingerbread and lingon berry roll cake. I’m gonna go ahead and directly translate the recipe I used from Arla. Of course, with my own helpful hints.

Ingredients:

Bottom:

  1. 2 dl flour
  2. 3 krydmått sodium bicarbonate
  3. 1 tablespoon Christmas spices, your own blend
  4. 4 eggs
  5. 1.5 dl sugar
  6. 2 tablespoons sour milk

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Lingon and cream cheese frosting:

  1. 100 g butter, unsalted, at room temperature
  2. 300 g cream cheese
  3. 1 tablespoon vanilla sugar
  4. 1.5 dl icing sugar
  5. 2 teaspoons whipping cream
  6. 0.5 dl lingon jam

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Directions:

Bottom:

(Helpful hint 1: read all the directions before you start, it helps you make less mistakes). Set the oven to 250 degrees Celsius. Mix all dry ingredients. (Helpful hint 2: Not the sugar.)

01

Whip the eggs and sugar until fluffy and airy. (Don’t do what I did and later try to remove as much of the sugar as possible from the bowl with the flour and other dry ingredients. Sugar is a friggin’ dry ingredient.) Use a “potlicker” (that direct translation of a spatula is just too good not to include) to pour the whipped eggs & sugar into the dry ingredients.

02

Add the sour milk. Mix with a spoon.

04

Spread the mixture onto a baking sheet with baking paper. (Helpful hint 3: spread very thinly. Very. Seriously, super thin.)

05

Bake in the oven for 5-6 minutes. (Helpful hint 4: watch it, 5 minutes is on the long side, especially if you listened to helpful hint 3 – which I did not do, and it was on the thicker side.) When ready, take out and let cool.

07

While baking the bottom, mix the frosting.

Lingon and cream cheese frosting:

Whip butter and cream cheese until fluffy and white. (The picture got weird, it really was white. You’ll have to trust me.)

06

Whip in the vanilla sugar and baking sugar gradually. (Helpful hint 5: seriously read all the directions before baking, doing what I did and just dumping the sugar in just isn’t as good.) Whip until the frosting is formed. To finish off the frosting add the whipping cream and lingon berry jam. When prepared spread the frosting on the bottom.

08Spread the frosting evenly. Helpful hint 6: don’t eat a lot of the frosting, there is less for the cake if that happens. Now comes the hard part, rolling up the cake. I thought this would be tricky, but it actually wasn’t! Be sure the bottom isn’t stuck to the paper, peel it off a little and carefully roll your cake!

09

Helpful hint 7: If it doesn’t look super pretty, just put it on a super pretty cake dish. It’ll taste great, so it’s fine if it’s not the prettiest the first time around. That’s what I told myself.

10Try it out! I hope you like it!

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liseberg

I don’t know if you heard. But there was a woman who fell out of the tallest wood-steel roller coaster, at six flags Texas.

Last year I feel like there was also an incident where someone fell out of a roller coaster. Maybe it was the year before that.

This is clearly terrible news. But, aside from freaking me out a bit at the time, it hasn’t really affected me in the long run.

Yes, this means I’ve been to amusement parks the past few summers in a row. I’m not sure what that says about my intelligence. But, I’ve always gone before these accidents have happened…and not to the same exact park. Helps?

Liseberg day

Anyway, two summers ago I made my first ever trip to Liseberg in Gothenburg (Göteborg for all you Scandinavians out there). Evelina got train tickets and tickets to the park for me for my birthday. I was thrilled. Because a) I love amusement parks and b) they had just opened the highest free fall roller coaster in Europe. It’s name is AtmosFear (the cunningness of which is reason in and of itself to ride the ride – if you ask me). It’s 146 meters above sea level, and drops you at 110 km/h. Yeah I had no idea what that meant either. That’s 482 feet above sea level, or about 2/3rds of the way around 1 lap on your average track. At 87 miles/hr, or fast enough to get you a killer of a speeding ticket on a state highway. Not bad I say, not bad.

AtmosFear

Gothenburg is a beautiful city, and catching the view of it from the top of AtmosFear is certainly worth it. Unless you’re terrified of heights. This may not need to be said, but: don’t ride the ride if heights terrify you.

But summer fun isn’t the only thing that Liseberg has to offer.

photo 3 (1)

During the winter months Liseberg becomes a spectacular winter wonderland. No, the rides are not operational, something about whipping around at 100km/h when it’s -10 degrees Celsius just doesn’t add up. What they do have to offer is a Julmarknad, or Christmas market. They also have a charming Christmas atmosphere to offer. And really that’s the best part. No, I’m not being extremely sarcastic, so don’t read it like that. What’s even better than the best part is going there with great company. (Still serious.)

Julmarknad

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happy lucia!

It’s that time again! Today is Lucia, so I hope you all have a happy happy day. Last year I wrote about the Lucia tradition here in Sweden. It’s a pretty big day.

You all remember the general gist of things. Swedes dress up in one of four outfits, walk around in a line while sing traditional songs, and then eat lussekatter & drink glögg.

This year at work a colleague and I were in charge of planning the Lucia train for the children at the pre-school. It was quite the task as over 200 people would be present. We were in charge of scheduling, assignment of different tasks, attendance, food, et cetera. Basically, this was my first endeavor into party planning – for 5 year olds. I think we pulled it off. My biggest fear was not realized (that someone would get set on fire – which was rational, we had open flame), and none of the children cried. The children seemed to have a grand ol’ time singing away the an outdoor stage, and the parents crowded around trying to get a good photo.

I would do it again next year. To be honest, just give me an excuse to wear a Santa hat and I’m in.

photo (3)

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hockey underway!

This hockey season is officially under way, with 21 ice practices and 2 scrimmages now under our collective belts it’s finally starting to sink in.

Time to break in the new skates, and dust off the old equipment.

new skates

Time to see just how far you’ve come over the summer.

iworkout

With the start of this season I was thinking back to last season. How much fun we had, and what a great season it was. I’m looking forward to a new season.

go team go!

My stroll down memory lane even took a stop around last January, mid season, to when my brother came to visit.

Christmas 2012

Ryan came for his first Swedish Christmas last year. He was here in Sweden over New Years as well (for the second New Years in a row). While he was visiting he joined the team on the ice a couple times. First for what I’ll call a family night on ice. I’m calling it that mostly because it sounds incredibly fun!! Which it was. The team invited friends and family to join us on the ice. We split into six teams and scrimmaged each other on three mini-rinks. It was a ton of fun, and I was ecstatic that a member of my family was actually able to be there. I am so glad Ryan skated with us that night; a memory I will cherish forever.

The second time Ryan joined the team on the ice was supposed to be a practice time. But turns out it was a goalie, Evelina, Ryan and I, and one other player. We spent the night skating around on the outdoor rink. It was a great evening where Ryan got to demonstrate more of his hockey skills, as we did a few drills and played around in the fresh, freezing, Swedish winter night.

hockey night

It’s easy to say I’m excited for the upcoming season. But I’m even more excited for nights like that. Unexpected memories. With friends and family. Ryan, consider this your official invitation to Sweden this winter.

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swedish groundhog’s day, or is it fish day?

The other day was Groundhogs Day. I hope you all celebrated accordingly. With long, loud parties late into the night. That’s what I did at least.

Maybe.

you a'int nothin' but a groundhoggg....wait, is that right?credit

you a’int nothin’ but a groundhoggg….
wait, is that right?
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Here in Sweden I was really hoping for a cloudy day. REALLY. You guys know by now how cold I am. But when Saturday rolled around I was awoken by the sunlight streaming through the windows of our bedroom. I was simultaneously filled with glee and remorse. FINALLY the sun was back. BUT now it will be winter for forever.

Little did I know “murmeldjur” as they’re known here in Sweden, are a little known animal. There is no Groundhog’s Day. (Hope for me at last!) Here, instead, you cut open a female “aborre” (a European perch) and inspect the eggs. Depending on the number/size/etc. of the eggs determines how close we are to spring.

Say it like Dory says escape. Aborre!credit

Say it like Dory says “escape”. Aborre!
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This also seems to me to be a slightly more scientific manner of determining the seasons. Rather than whether or not a small squirrel cousin is afraid of his shadow. So I’m going with the fish. I’m also claiming that the fish say spring will come early.

Happy Spring Everybody!!

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